Breaking the Toddler Bottle Habit

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Photo by sstepph
At almost 4-years-old, Suri Cruise is still drinking from a bottle, and people are aghast.  

From musings that it's part of some Scientology practice to accusations of poor parenting, people have some pretty strong feelings about toddlers with bottles.

A few years ago, I would have perhaps raised a slightly more judgmental eyebrow. I weaned my son of his bottle before he turned 1, like pediatricians generally recommend.

Now, my eyebrows are staying firmly in place because my daughter is 15 months, and I have no intention of taking hers away anytime soon. She likes it, she gets her milk in, and it helps her go to sleep. So what?

I know about all the dental concerns, but I don't think a few ounces a couple of times a day is that big of a deal. Dr. Harvey Karp, a pediatrician, child development specialist and creator of the DVD and book, The Happiest Toddler on the Block, agrees. He told Us: "Sucking is normal for kids when they are tired or bored, as long as kids aren't keeping the bottle in their mouths for hours."

Still, my Lila Claire is a long way from 4. Can I imagine letting her having a bottle for another 2.5 years? No. But I also can't imagine my children living the life that Suri does -- all the travel, events, media, film shoots, attention and craziness.

So if Suri needs a little help from a comforting, soothing staple in her life, then really, who cares. She'll give it up when she's ready.

I have much more of an issue with her sporting lipstick at her age.

How old do you think is too old for a bottle?

bedtime, celebrity kids, development & growth, food

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Lokis... LokisMama

My daughter is 15 months, and she still gets her bottle, mostly because no matter what type of sippy we try, she'll just get mad and throw it. I live in Florida, and it gets crazy hot here. I'm more worried about making sure she stays hydrated.

lovin... lovinangels

ok, I don't care about either. It's not my deal. If Katie Holmes, in all her perfectly coiffed glory was to ask me in my sweats (which is how you generally would find me, i'm forever working out for five minutes at a shot.) I'd say, yank the bottle. She would say, do your hair.
as far as the lipstick goes, my toddler LOVES to put on cherry flavored NIVEA tinted chapstick while I get ready for work. it's fun for both of us. I'd say, Suri wants to be like mommy. Problem? Nah.

CherB... CherBearCM

Hey well if it does end up damaging her teeth you can be assured that her parents will be able to afford fixing them, lol.

momof... momoflilangel

I say the sooner the better b/c the older they are the harder it will probably be. But I also am a firm believer in "too each their own". So if you want to let your almost 4 year old have a bottle then go for it. My daughter's bottle was taken away when she was 14 months old and we've never looked back.

nonmember avatar Hushmire

Suri will be on the bottle until she completes the $500,000 celebrity kid level to transfer to Hubbard's teat, where all milk and sustenance is derived from the Master.

Zalie... ZaliesMom

Well my 13 month old is still attached to her bottle... I have tried to take it but she has a meltdown everytime... the only thing to worry about is her teeth so I give her water to go to bed with!

JelloNYC JelloNYC

My son is 17 Months and only has the bottle for milk.  But, I am still trying to find a way to take it away completely.  I have been trying to get him to drink from a cup for a while now, and he does not seem interested in it...what should I do??embarrassed

Beani... BeanieWeen

It depends on what my two-year-old is drinking. Juice comes from a sippy cup, chocolate milk through a straw and regular milk rather vehemently comes from a bottle with a nipple and only just before nap or bedtime. Some kids just feel like milk ought to come from a bottle. I've been having  my daughter evaluated because she's advanced in some development and behind in others, mentioned the milk only from a bottle thing and they said some kids are just like that and not to worry about it. This coming from professional children's behavior specialists. Besides, I find if you make a big deal about a thing, it becomes a big deal to a child.

Beani... BeanieWeen

Oh, and same thing goes for pacifiers, too. I'd just recommend the orthodontic ones if your kid's a big chewer. Keeps 'em from grinding their teeth, too.

Abby Mason

FOR all the mothers that struggle with the bottle! I dont have a direct link to the advice I had found on a website when I searched Breaking the Baba! But It had great information to back up why a toddler does not need a bottle! My son who is 2 years old had a bottle addiction! I could not figure out what I should do! Everything I tried didnt help until I found the website! It told me that my toddler was getting instant satisfaction that filled him up so he could have the control over what he was doing and what he was eating! To help the stress introduce the sippy with nice cold milk at mealtimes and whenever the child wants a baba to give him nice cold water in their bottle!  When my son says baba I tell him no babas no more sorry are you hungry do you wanna eat eat or would you like a drink? It took my son a whole day to figure out that all the babas in the house were for his baby brother and not him! He started eating at mealtimes and snacktimes and it was so easy! He hated the water in the bottles and soon found out that eating FOOD keeps him fuller longer! He has gained his 5 lbs he had lost due to the bottle and milk! He acts even more happier at playtime and doesnt seem sluggish! He loves to eat and it has never again been a problem to sit him @ the table! Useful information for those stuck in a bottle rut! Its easy to go for the instant satisfaction of a bottle but over all my child is a better little boy because I TOOK IT AWAY EASY!

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