“Julie, I was looking on your registry for a breast pump but didn’t see it on there. Do you already have one?” my friend, asks.
I am 7 months pregnant and about to have my baby shower.
“Uhhh, what’s a breast pump?” I reply dumbly.
“It’s something that you use to pump the milk from your breasts so that you can store it in bottles for your baby,” she says, “Everyone does it. My friend pumps when she’s in the car on her way home from work.”
My eyes nearly pop out of my head.
I imagine my boobs attached to the hose of a vaccuum machine while sitting in bumper to bumper traffic. The trucker driving next to me winks and flashes his cell phone number.
“No thank you,” I say wiping perspiration from my brow, “I think we’ll skip that part.”
Fast forward 16 months:
“Honey, it’s time to wean our son,” my husband says as he watches our son pop off my boob, inspect my nipple curiously and then swat at it with his small hand.
I look up at my darling husband, “What? But…but… he’s my baby! This is my only cuddle time with him! I was going to nurse him at least until he’s ready for college.” I pause, “At least.”
The Happy Hubby stares back at me, firm in his decision, “It’s time.”
I sigh and look down at the Happy Buddy, but he’s already finished and has flown out of my lap to get back to his toys – that are apparently much more interesting than my nipple.
And that was the beginning of our quest to wean the Happy Buddy. But we have a problem. Because I never pumped or gave him a bottle, he has not learned how to suck on anything other than me. As we decrease his nursings, everyone keeps telling me that I need to increase his liquid intake in another way, but he will not drink from a cup!
This is what happens: I give the Happy Buddy a Sippy Cup. He acts like I’m giving him a $500 allowance. He eagerly and joyfully puts it in his mouth and begins to chew on the spout ravenously, but he never takes one sip – thus destroying the purpose of the “Sippy” Cup.
So I seek advice. Mommies say, “Have you tried this brand?” “How about the ones with straws?” “Why not just give him a bottle?” “You really need to get fluids in him!”
Oh, the Mom Guilt! I constantly wrestle with the voices in my head, “If only I had introduced the Sippy Cup sooner!” “If only I had given him a bottle from the beginning!” “Now, because of me, my baby is going to be malnourished and dehydrated!!!!!!!!!!!”
The people at WalMart know me now because I have gone so many times to buy Sippy Cups. We must have at least 67 different kinds in our cupboard. I think this confuses the Happy Buddy more than anything! He’s probably thinking, “Sheesh, Mom. Stick with one kind please! And while you’re at it, just put a chocolate milkshake in there and I will show you what I can do.”
Before we go broke buying Sippy Cups, I’ve decided to pray about it. We’ve been praying at mealtimes, at bedtimes, throughout the day, etc. Whenever Daddy prays over the Happy Buddy before bed and says Amen, I always tag on with, “And PLEASE help the Happy Buddy to learn to drink from the Sippy Cup!!! Amen!” And then the other day while the Happy Buddy was eating lunch I placed a Sippy Cup on his tray and began declaring the power of the name of Jesus over him.
“In JESUS’ NAME!” I cried, my arms outstretched over his curly head, “In JESUS’ NAME I pray that you will drink from a SIPPY CUP!!!!!”
I seriously thought that when I opened my eyes the Happy Hubby would be sitting in his highchair, Sippy Cup to lips, guzzling that thing down like a pro.
But it didn’t happen…yet.
So I am still praying.
Would you please pray too??? 🙂
“21Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. 22If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Matthew 21:21-22
I am happy to report that as of December, 2010, the Happy Buddy is chugging like a pro! 🙂
Thank you for your prayers!
Hi Julie, You are great! Love reading your stories. I can just picture exactly what’s happening. Caleb is doing something similar w/ me already at 10 months! I am not a toy! Right? Look forward to talking to you sometime! 🙂
Lots of love,
Okay I haven’t had to do this with my own child clearly, but I do have this issue with kids at work. So here are my professional ideas:
First I would stick with one sippy cup. Maybe one that has a top that you dont really have to suck that would just pour out, or one that resembles a bottle so it would be like a nipple. Let him get used to having to change what he’s doing in whatever way you think will be easier for him. Will he attempt to drink from it? Or does he just not get the concept yet? Have you tried helping him out by tipping it in his mouth a little so he can at least get the concept? Maybe a cup that he doesn’t have to suck on so he doesn’t have to do that much work initially would be best for that.
You could also try to put breastmilk in the cup initially so you’re not changing everything up on him at once. I know you don’t have a pump-which is exactly like you described by the way :)- but you could hand express some into a cup. And of course give him praise when he does it-even if he just brings it to his lips. I’m sure you will be great at that! Just throwing out some ideas but I hope they help! He will get it!
We had a similar issue with Robbie, although he just quit nursing cold turkey at 11 months and didn’t know how to use a sippy cup effectively and would NOT nurse (we’re talking screaming bloody murder and arching his back… , such sweet memories…) Anyway, the only one that he could do for a loooooong time was the kind with the silicone spouts, so that as long as he chewed on it with his head tipped back, liquid would get in his mouth (usually causing him to choke with surprise, but you take what you can get, you know?!).
We’ve never really done juice with our kids–they just drink milk or water–but when I was teaching them to use a sippy cup, I would use juice at first, so that it was sweet and intriguing and they’d (hopefully!) want more of that taste.
You could borrow a breast pump from someone, if you wanted to try giving him breastmilk in the cup. Although, my theory is that he’s not nursing for the taste, but for the comfort and the snuggles. And really, he’s probably not getting that much liquid at this point, especially if he’s not nursing hardcore and being all distracted and playing, like you described. So don’t let people guilt you into thinking he’ll be dehydrated! :o) Just give him lots of juicy fruits to eat if you’re worried.
Anyway, “they” say not to borrow breast pumps, but that’s really b/c they say a too-used motor can’t express enough milk to keep up your supply… but that’s not your issue, here, so it would be fine.
I’d say don’t go backwards to a bottle. He’ll eventually get it! Maybe have Daddy try holding him in nursing position with a sippy cup? That’s how Isaiah learned, I think. If I tried it, he just wanted to nurse, but he’d take a cup of water from JP. :o)
Praying for you and Noah and Ryan!
Happy Home Fairy
this is the greatest advice and encouragement EVER!!!! Thank you sooooooo much, Laurie. It made me feel so much better to know that I am not alone!!!! I loved your comment about “sweet memories” 🙂 You are the best, thank you!!!!!
I had another idea since I clearly need to go back to work or something:) You could try a squeeze bottle with a straw that the liquid will come out when you squeeze it. You could squeeze small amounts into his mouth when he starts chewing on the straw. I bet if he got some yummy juice he would be sucking through that straw in no time!
Julie have you tried the nuk brand, they gave handeks on side they come in red green and blue I say skip the red more for girks but other two colors would be good, you can get them in walmart or target. They were only ones my nephew would use so I used on Kelsey she took to them right away it’s the only one she likes
I recommend to everyone. They have nipples close to bottles, they are soft
Oh Julie–this may be my favorite one of your stories yet!!! 😉 First of all–I was TOTALLY that girl driving around with a breast pump attached under a great big shirt. 🙂 hahaha
but I also breastfed the twins until they were two and was SOOOO sad to stop.
I did pump so we could give the girls bottles of breastmilk but I still had a VERY difficult time getting them to take to a sippy cup. I can remember being SO worried just like you about them getting dehydrated. I would actually give them water out of a regular cup–just help them hold it–just to make sure they were getting some liquids. We would spill some but they seemed to be able to at least drink something that way.
Hang in there sweetie!! He will get it eventually I promise. PRAYING for you guys!!
Some kids are just like that! My oldest two took right to sippy cups when the time came, but my third just would not have anything to do with them! I bought EVERY brand at the store to try. Then I just tried straw cups and it worked!! Can totally relate!