Bidding Adieu to Double Bottles
By Cheryl Lage
My twin girls are going to be one soon. I am a strong believer that you should take the bottle away at one year old. I did it with my older daughter; she cried for about 2 days and then it was over. She now loves her cup.
Should I try to do the same with the girls? The girls know how to drink out of a cup already, and they are actually pretty good. Some people say I am being mean.
I don't think my daughter has had any major side effects...
At one year of age, your twin girls should be fully capable of giving up their bottles.
Big kudos to them for already demonstrating some dexterity with cups...way to go, girls! (And you too, Mom!)
You sound thoroughly (and justifiably) convinced that the time is now to abandon the baby bottles and I commend you on your readiness and willingness to address it tout suite. It IS the perfect time. (If they use pacifiers, I would be reticent to remove all "suck" sources simultaneously....if they don't, certainly don't introduce them. A sippy cup can provide a suck urge release if they still need it.)
Some people have declared your bottle-abandonment intentions "mean"? Wow. To my thinking it is far more "mean" to deprive your clearly-ready girls of an opportunity to succeed in an arena at the appropriate time developmentally. For parents to allow the perpetuation of a infant-appropriate practice (that maturing children should be able to "kick") just because there will be a brief period of discontent and adjustment during the acclimation....to my thinking, THAT is mean!
So many illustrative (and theory supporting) analogies are applicable.
Here are two:
Do we deny our twins immunizations administered on a medically well-researched and predetermined schedule because of the momentary (and minimal) pain, followed by a few hours/days of mild discomfort we know they are destined to experience? No. We realize that it is in the children's best interest health-wise to suffer briefly for long term benefit. We console them. We hug them. We tell them we know how they feel. We tell them we are proud of them and that we love them... and then we allow them to grow.
When it is time for children to go to school, do we delay their education in perpetuity because we anticipate some reluctance on their part...that they may cry, or "not want to go"? Nope. We realize that it is in the children's best interest educationally and socially to cross that bridge. We console them. We hug them. We tell them we know how they feel. We tell them we are proud of them and that we love them... and then we allow them to grow.
Now certainly I am not relegating your concerned pals to this ilk, but SO many parents in loving efforts to to make their children perpetually "happy", unintentionally end up crippling them socially.
Medical and sociological research has provided us with appropos age ranges for the abandonment of certain transitional aspects/accoutrements of infanthood/childhood, even adolescence. If you are unsure of "right times", your pediatrician can provide the current prevailing wisdom.
We ALL have certain task confrontations that we as parents are loathe to address. Sometimes it is caused by anticipating the dis-ease or sadness we know it will cause our children. (Even when we KNOW it is the right time to tackle a task, no one relishes seeing their babies sad or struggling...it is AWFUL! But often, in our Mama-gut, we know it is the right thing to do.) Sometimes we merely anticipate a predictably rough patch of intensive parenting, and delay until WE are ready as parents. (Potty training twins, case in point!)
Eventually, all those challenges must be faced. Why not do it when the babies are most receptive/malleable and likely to succeed? Even a quick Google of "appropriate time to wean from bottle" reveals your timetable of age one is spot on!
You sound like a wonderfully pro-active mom. Try not to be hyper-influenced by those who take a more "reactive" perspective on parenting...I can tell it's not your way. Don't let the guilt-applying psychobabble get you down...or worse, tempt you to alter your course of action. You, as the mom of your unique family, know what "feels" right for your situation. Trust yourself. I trust you!
Wishing your family awesome birthday celebrations and many years of
bottle-free fun ahead!
Feel free to contact me with your experiences in twin potty-training, or with any twin parenting dilemnas you may have at http://www.twinsights.com. I hope to hear from you!