19 answers

My Son Will Not Drink Milk Unless It Is in a Bottle....

Does anyone have any idea of how to get my 2 1/2 year old son to drink milk from anything but a baby bottle. He has one in the morning and one before bed and refuses milk in any other form, cup, sippy cup etc. I do not have a problem taking the bottle from him, I'm just afraid he'll never drink milk again. I even bought a really cool cup for him with Mickey Mouse on it and that didn't work...I'm stumpped.

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you could try taking the bottle to the toy store and getting a new toy BUT you have to pay the store with the bottle. Then there is a new toy and no more bottle.

Hi,
My first son did the same thing. I knew that I had to stop the bottle, so at about 21/2 yrs old I threw out the bottles and he did stop drinking milk. I couldn't get him to drink milk out of anything, and I also bought really cool cups. He would only drink water. But then one day he started drinking milk again. It just took time. I really can't remember how long it took, but I don't think that it was that long. He's 6 now and he drinks milk all the time.

So, all I can say is that I think that if you take the bottles away that he will eventually drink milk again.

Gook luck,
S.

More Answers

Good morning A.,

Sorry to hear about your tug of war with your little guy. The solution is easy, just a difficult emotional one for you as i is a control factor of you being in control not him. Your young man has learned at a young age to tell you how it is.. as our kids have a way of doing...... but we have to watch those pot holes in rearing children. as I have had two that are now 36 and 2o.

Since your son is 2 1/2 your best advice is toss out all bottles he does not need them -take back owner ship of parenting and control of who is raising who...trust me he will drink milk.. it is not the vehicle that makes him want milk ... he would not care what the content was in that bottle.... he just wants the bottle...

Mom your doing a great job.. give him those spill proof sippy cups and cutsy cups you find enjoy raising him. they are only little once. but his baby baby bottle stage is gone. the bottle stage is gone too....you will find once that bottle is gone potty training if it is not done will be ALOT easier too. He should be almost finished with that job too..... or will be by age 3 . Good luck Mom... BIG HUG... whatever you do... do not give back a bottle once you take them away you will have lost battle. u will be starting from ground up again twice as hard.. that is why i said toss them out. or box them up for the next child. or salvation army if there are no more babies for your family.

My son went on a milk strike when we took his bottles away at 15 months. To be truthful, he never got over it. He even refuses to drink chocolate milk (he's 3 1/2 now). Instead of trying to force him to drink milk out of a cup (which I think might be why he hates it so much...because we pushed it too hard), we now offer him lots of calcium-rich alternatives such as yogurt (Yo baby from Stonyfield Farms is great!), cheese sticks, and calcium-rich veggies. Maybe if you try not to make it such an issue, he;ll come around on his own. Whatever you decide, good luck! :)

My youngest son refused to drink milk at all, under no circumstances, when he was old enough to. In fact, it was probably 1.5 - 2 yrs. before he would drink milk. He might have some in cereal and that would be it (after the first year anyway). I talked to his ped. and he said as long as he gets his calcium and vitamin D in other products such as ice cream, cheese, yogurt, fortified juices and such things that he would be just fine. If he associates milk with his "bottle with mommy" time try buying milk in small cartons (like you see in lunch rooms for schools)or even flavored milks. I hope things work out.

Hi A.-
Have you tried a straw sippy cup? If not, it might be something new for him to try. You could also try the Nuby brand sippy cups. They have a soft silicone spout and they also have a soft silicone straw cup. You can find these at Walmart and some other stores. It might be a better transition because it is not a hard plastic.

there is this new sippy cup like bottle that u can try its called Nuby and it comes in Soft and the hard cups.. that is the only thin that i can think of unless u try to add flavors to the cup like tellin him that if he drinks in this cup the mike is a Differet color strawberry or chol... that might work.. Hope that helps..

I know that most people will tell you just to take it away but I think it is still ok. I usually took my kids bottles away during a vacation. We travel to Florida once a year and they were so busy having fun that it was easy to get rid of it. I did notice that they didnt drink as much milk when they gave up the bottle. Your son is only 2 1/2 dont worry so much he won,t be drinking that bottle when he's 5.

Hi,
My first son did the same thing. I knew that I had to stop the bottle, so at about 21/2 yrs old I threw out the bottles and he did stop drinking milk. I couldn't get him to drink milk out of anything, and I also bought really cool cups. He would only drink water. But then one day he started drinking milk again. It just took time. I really can't remember how long it took, but I don't think that it was that long. He's 6 now and he drinks milk all the time.

So, all I can say is that I think that if you take the bottles away that he will eventually drink milk again.

Gook luck,
S.

neither of my kids would drink milk out of a cup. my youngest still has one bottle at night (she's 15mos), but that's it. i asked the pediatrician about and he said as long as they're getting calcium in other forms (yogurt, cheese, fortified juices/bread/etc) not to worry about it. maybe check with your ped and see what they say?

Since taking the bottle away at about a year, my 22 month old Gina will NOT drink milk, either. I was told by the doctors, though, that it's not so much the calcium they need from the milk, because they're so little they don't need much calcium and they do get it from other things they eat during the day. What they DO need from that milk is the fat to help them grow... so in lieu of milk, offer cheese, put cheese and butter on various things you child eats during the day, and the problem is solved even without him drinking milk. WHAT DID get my daughter to drink milk, though, starting about 2 months ago, was we were at my aunt's house and Gina saw her granddaughter drinking milk out of a "reusable OR disposable" sippy cup with ELMO all over it. Since she loves Elmo, my aunt told Gina "do you want some ELMO JUICE just like Isabella?" and suddenly "ELMO JUICE" was okay, even though "MILK" is not! Maybe if you try putting milk in the mickey mouse cup you have and calling it "Mickey Mouse Juice" he'll like it! Or, if it's not Mickey that he's a big fan of, find a cup with a character he just adores, and name the milk after that character as so-and-so juice, whatever it is LOL It worked for Gina! But don't despair if you can't get your child to drink the milk: remember, it's not so much the calcium they need, it's the fat. Offer him cheeses and put cheese and butter on things, and he's not going to be deprived of the good things he'd get from that milk!

here'a a couple of ideas: 1. throw all bottles out and just see what happens, 2, talk to him about new babies needing the bottles (works with pacifiers too) and maybe he'll want to give itup, 3. let him pick out his own new cups for milk, 4, flavor the milk! adding chocolate or strawberry mixes don't add a whole lot of sugar and if it gets them to drink it, then it's worth it.

does he eat yogurt?? ice cream? calcium enriched oj? then if he does, if he goes on a milk strike, he'll be ok, he'll go back to it. good luck.

Maybe try to add chocolate to the milk and put it in a sippy cup and tell him the only way he can have it is to drink from the cup not the bottle good luck ~C.~

my oldest was a bottle fed baby, I tried to take it away as gently as possible but I think anyway you slice it you are doomed for 3 or more days of screaming. What did work for me is I would offer him the bottle but he could only have water in it, this did not interest him at all. And he could have milk or whatever drinks in a sippy cup. he screamed regardless but I felt like at least this way it was his decision.

I am having the same exact problem with my son...he will be 3 in Jan. and he only drinks milk from a bottle. I have been getting some suggestions about it..try milk in his cereal...or milk in a box, they sell milk in juice box type boxes...Stop and Shop has them in their organic section...Horizen is the brand name...I have been doing this with my son and he will take it from the box...hopefully this helps you...

M.

MY SON IS TWO YEARS OLD AND I HAD THE SAME PROBLEM. WELL, NUBY MAKES A SIPPY CUP WITH A SILICONE NIPPLE LIKE TOP. THE WAY I LOOK AT IT IS IT FEELS LIKE A NIPPLE BUT ITS ACTUALLY A SIPPY CUP. AT LEAST IF YOU CAN GET HIM USED TO THE NUBY YOU'LL BE ONE STEP CLOSER TO A REAL SIPPY CUP. HOPE THE NUBY WORKS.
A.

My son refused to drink milk after I was done nursing. What I did was I bought Ovaltine and gave him chocolaate milk. At least with ovaltine he is getting more vitamins

PARENTS HAVE TO REMEMBER WE ARE THE PARENTS WHAT WE SAY GOES IF YOU GET RID OF ALL THE BOTTLES CHILD WONT HAVE A CHOICE LET THM SEE YOU DRINK FROM THE NEW CUP HE'LL GET THE HANGE OF IT THEN BOTTLES WILL BE A THING OF THE PAST

Hi A.! I am a fellow day care provider a town over from you.

Anywho, have you tried having your son go to the store with you and pick out which one he would prefer? I think they even make bottles that turn in to sippys. Sorry I don't have any better advice for you! My 17 month old tries stealing my day care children's bottles if I put them down, so don't feel bad,lol!

you could try taking the bottle to the toy store and getting a new toy BUT you have to pay the store with the bottle. Then there is a new toy and no more bottle.

Breaking the Bottle Rules
Easing the bottle-to-sippy-cup transition
By the editors of Babytalk

In a recent Babytalk.com poll, 53 percent of moms admitted that they didn't wean their baby off the bottle at 1 year of age, the time recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Half of those moms waited until 18 months to make the switch to sippy cups, and the other half delayed until age 2 or later. So if your little one has already passed his first birthday and is still relying on his nightly "ba-ba," don't worry. Ease the transition with these tips from pediatrician Jennifer Shu, M.D., coauthor of the AAP book, Heading Home with Your Newborn:

Reserve bottles for naps and bedtime; too many may make him too full to eat his meals.

Look for sippy cups that have a soft, nipple-like tip if your baby seems reluctant. One to try: the Avent Magic Cup, which is also spill-proof.

Remove the spill-proof valve from the sippy cup at first to make it easier to learn to suck from it.

Don't limit the cup to just juice and water. Put breast milk or formula in it, too, so your baby realizes these beverages don't have to come from a nipple.

Babytalk, November 2005
www.parenting.com

Bottle Weaning
By Karen Miles

At Eric Farbowitz's 1-year checkup, the pediatrician told his parents that it was a good time for him to give up his bottle. But as they quickly found out, their son disagreed. A sippy cup would do during the day, but first thing in the morning and last thing at night, he screamed and cried for his bottle. "This is one of the hardest challenges we've encountered as parents," says his dad, Isaac.

Most kids are capable of drinking from a cup at 12 to 14 months, but there's another reason to wean: "If a child's teeth are bathed in milk or juice throughout the day or night, there's significant potential for tooth decay," says Irene Buzzi, a pediatric dentist at Miami Children's Hospital. Simply replacing a bottle with a sippy cup a child can tote around doesn't solve the problem — he needs to give up the constant companionship.

To encourage the transition:

Reduce bottle-feedings — slowly. Start by replacing a midday bottle with a sippy cup rather than trying to eliminate your child's bedtime bottle right away. Once you decide to get rid of the bottle for a specific feeding, don't give in if your child cries for it — he'll just learn that fussing brings the bottle back.

Just add water. Because milk and juice create the tooth-decay problem, you can try filling the bottle with water when it's not time for a feeding. It may help him lose interest — though Eric wasn't happy when he realized he'd been duped by this trick.

Break the bond. It'll be harder for your child to let go of his bottle if he relates to it as a toy or security object, so allow it only at mealtimes. You can also institute a home-only rule: If your child knows his bottle doesn't leave the house, he'll get used to not having it.

Make bedtime bottle-free. If he uses it to comfort himself at night, gently separate it from his sleeping routine. Hand it to him before you clean his teeth, then tuck him in. If he balks, comfort him in other ways, such as rocking or singing.

Give him time. It might take you six months or more to wean your baby from his bottle. But patiently guide him one step at a time, and you will.

Parenting, August 2002

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