Philip is now two and a half years old. And the difference between Philip as a new two year old and now is astounding. He is steadily leaving toddlerhood behind for life in the fast lane as an up and coming preschooler. In fact, he's registered and ready to go to preschool this fall at St. James' Episcopal School this fall. He'll be going two days a week for three hours both days. He's already so excited and I'm so excited for him.
The past month kick-started a lot of changes for our big boy. With the deadline for being successfully potty trained as of the start of preschool looming over heads, I decided it was time to be rid once and for all of Philip's best bedtime buddy: the bottle. Since his first birthday, he had been going to bed every night with a small bottle of warm water. He was completely reliant on it for going to sleep. I didn't want to take it from him before Andrew was born as I was feeling guilty about all of the upcoming changes with the birth of his brother so I figured we'd deal with it after things had settled down for a while at home. This was the same train of thought that I had about not moving him to a big boy bed yet, too.
Well, if I had it to do over again I would.have made the changes prior to Big D's arrival because boy, oh, boy has it been interesting handling a ticked off two year old while also dealing with an almost seven month old.
The first step was taking away the bottle. I had been putting off doing the dirty deed, second-guessing myself, and pondering whether or not it was really as bad of a habit as parenting magazines would have me to believe. Philip used to be content to hand over the "ba-ba" after getting out of bed in the morning or after nap time. It was no big deal. But within the past few weeks leading up to operation Bye-bye Ba-ba he had become increasingly dependent on it, pitching a fit when I tried to get it off of him in the mornings and all out demanding it at random times throughout the day. This was definitely a step in the wrong direction. It was time to take action.
Surprisingly, it wasn't as traumatic for either of us as I had been fearing. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a cake walk, and he didn't willingly and without fuss hand it over, never to ask for it again. We went cold-turkey after explaining to him that after such and such time, there would be no more bottles, because bottles were for babies and he didn't need one anymore, etc, etc. Oh there were definitely tears. The first night was the worst. But we stuck to our guns and the next morning he only asked for it once. Another fit ensued at nap time, but he quieted down faster this time, and didn't ask for it when he got up. In fact, he only asked for the bottle a few times after we took it away. He even started telling us that "ba-bas were for babies" and that he was a big boy. So, in the end, he got with the program pretty quickly, all things considered, and he's been bottle-free for well over a month now!
It turns out that it was a good thing that we decided to wean him off the bottle when we did because the next little wrench he decided to throw in our hands would have made dealing with taking the bottle away much, much more difficult... but that's a story for another post!