About a month ago, my toddler was almost bottle weaned. They had completely night-weaned themself after almost a year of us struggling to get them to fall asleep without a bottle, one night they just crawled into bed and fell asleep without it. And the next night. And the next. And the next.
No fan-fare, no drama, just incredibly happy parents.
Our only hiccup was trying to get our kid to drink enough from a cup to ditch the bottles during the day. We live in the South, it’s quite hot, dehydration was a big concern. Our toddler has something against the more expensive sippy cups, throwing them to the ground and smashing them. The cheap disposable ones are not toddler proof, and kiddo delighted in taking them apart and spilling the contents everywhere.
So we were kind of stuck at getting our toddler to drink enough straight from a cup, which he generally wasn’t willing to do a lot of. We started getting foods like melons that naturally have higher water content while pushing the cups. Kiddo was down to about one bottle a day.
My dad was planning on coming to visit for Labor Day Weekend. I told him about how close kiddo was to being bottle weaned, how we just had to get over the last hump, the issues we were having with sippy cups. He acted supportive, understanding, said he might have some suggestions, and then he got here.
Dad spent the entire 4 days shoving a bottle on my toddler every chance he got. He ignored all efforts on our part to stop the madness (our kid went through at least 2 gallons of milk in 4 days- 2 gallons), and it’s very hard to drag a 16mo who wants to play with grampa away. We even tried hiding the bottles, but he managed to find one that we missed.
Our almost-weaned, sleeping-through-the-night toddler had a complete regression. More than that, actually, it was never this bad. They demand the bottle constantly, crying when it gets nearly empty. They refuse to sleep without it, we try for hours until physical and emotional exhaustion takes over. They wake up numerous times at night, demanding a bottle. I tried to take a deep breath and say “They weaned htemself once, we just have to wait for it to happen again”. Then it kept going for over a week. Then two. Now it’s been a month since I got a full night’s sleep, we’re constantly waking up to find a soaking bed because our toddler is leaking through diapers again. I want to scream and cry and tear my hair out.
I have no idea what to do. The only thing I can think of to do right now is to just throw out the bottles so that we can’t be tempted to give in, which means signing ourselves up for a few days of hell. If we’re lucky. If we’re unlucky, it’ll be a lot longer and our toddler will decide to have some behavior problems from losing the bottles like that.
Mostly, though, I’m livid with my dad.