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First, please let me know if I've posted this in the wrong place. I'm foster mother to a 10-month-old boy who is bottlefed (donated breastmilk). I have only breastfed before, so I have no idea how to go about weaning him from the bottle. I don't know at what age is typical or how to go about doing it. Help? He has some developmental delays so he doesn't hold his bottle as I've seen some babies at his age do. I tried a sippy cup one day at about 6 months of age, but the flow was too slow for him. He doesn't eat much in the way of solids as he still had a tongue thrust until about two weeks ago, so he still needs to get most of his nutrition from the bottle or an alternative. Thanks! (I do bring him to the breast for comfort and attempted relactation against foster care policy, but I was unsuccessful.)
 

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Moving to Life with a Babe.
 

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<p>I think you need to slow down.  If he has document issues there is no reason to rush.  </p>
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<p>But there are habits to encourage.  Start mixing night time bottles down to water.  Water does not damage the teeth and that is the main issue with night bottles.  </p>
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<p>Don't allow him to walk around with a bottle.  </p>
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<p>Just put small amounts of drink in the cup and keep on letting him experiment with them.  Until he gets them down pat you cannot completely wean.  </p>
 

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<p>I think you are starting way to early. There is no reason why he can't continue to happily have a bottle for a long time. Many times children drink less milk when you tinker with the vessle and I wouldn't mess with anything until after a year and after he is firming in the world of solids. Bottles really aren't a big deal.</p>
 

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<p>Just wanted to mention the baby is on donated breastmilk not formula so night time bottles are not a problem.</p>
 

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<p>He is too little to be weaned from the bottle, in my opinion.  Doctors start suggesting it around 12 months usually and this is mainly so the teeth don't rot.  A LOT of bottle fed kids have bottles much much longer though and it doesn't necessarily affect the teeth, especially if he doesn't fall asleep with it sitting in his mouth and you brush/wipe his teeth down every day. </p>
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<p>I don't know what his particular circumstances are, but being in foster care in itself involves loss.  That combined with his delays is good reason to move very slowly on bottle weaning.  There is no need to rush if you are caring for his teeth.  His nutrition is very important and it sounds like for him, the bottle is his main source of nutrition.  Plus, kids his age still have a huge need to suck. Best of luck!</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>HappyMonkey</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1291215/weaning-foster-child-from-bottle-to-cup#post_16186424"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Just wanted to mention the baby is on donated breastmilk not formula so night time bottles are not a problem.</p>
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<p>The bottle container does make it an  fluid an issue. If the baby is allow to sleep with it. The bottle can allow the breast milk to pool in the mouth creating a decay issue. When coming "straight" from the source (breast) there is not an issue because the suck/swallow clears the mouth and prevents pooling milk.  </p>
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<p><a href="http://www.llli.org/NB/NBSepOct02p164.html" target="_blank">http://www.llli.org/NB/NBSepOct02p164.html</a></p>
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<h4 style="color:rgb(85,85,85);margin-top:2px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:2px;margin-left:0px;"><em>How Milk is Delivered</em></h4>
<p>The mechanics of breastfeeding make it unlikely for human milk to stay in the baby's mouth for long. During breastfeeding, the nipple is drawn deep within the baby's mouth, and milk is literally squirted into the back of his mouth. The suckling process includes a swallow and the nursing child must swallow before he can go on to the next step. In contrast, baby bottles can drip milk, juice, or formula into the baby's mouth even if he is not actively sucking. If the baby does not swallow, the liquid can pool in the front of the mouth around the teeth. The artificial nipple is very short, so the liquid in the bottle is likely to pass over teeth before being swallowed.</p>
<p>Dry mouth is another factor that can increase the incidence of early childhood caries. Saliva, which helps maintain normal pH, is not produced as much at night, especially among those who breathe through their mouths. This is one reason why brushing the teeth before going to sleep helps prevent dental caries. An infant or toddler who nurses often at night continues to produce saliva, which may help combat dry mouth.</p>
 

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<p>I don't think I would wean him from the bottle just yet. Just give him a little more time. It doesn't sound like he's ready.</p>
 

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<p>Hi, OP!  <span><img alt="wave.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/wave.gif" style="width:25px;height:29px;"></span>  With our bottle-fed dfd, I was in a hurry to wean.  I don't really know why, looking back, but I do think in part because WIC and her doctor kept pushing me to be rid of bottles before a return home if RU happened.  I think I had her weaned by 13/14 months, and I regret it.  I think since we are such staunch bf'ing mamas, it seems wrong to be so laid-back with "the enemy," but the truth is, you really should approach the bottle-feeding with him just as you did the breast with your own.  It's just a different feeding apparatus, that's all.  You wouldn't dream of yanking the breast from a child this early, so trust those same instincts with him and his bottle.  Use the skills you so beautifully possess regarding child-led parenting and apply them here: he's not ready, and he seems to be telling you.  We don't force solids on our kids, and didn't with dfd either.  Naturally, they never seem to really take solids in great portions until closer to a year in our house.</p>
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<p>Looking back, I wish that I had looked at her bottle-feeding experience the same as my breastfeeding my babies and approached it identically.  I know it's more difficult than the breast, but it could have made many of our struggles better to be able to snuggle with a bottle the same as I snuggle my biological children nursing.</p>
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<p>Don't rush him, OP.  Follow your heart the same as you did with your girls.  <span><img alt="love.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/love.gif" style="width:23px;height:16px;"></span></p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
<p>Thanks for the info, everyone. I haven't begun to try to wean him from the bottle and I will wait a good long time and read his signs, just as I would my breastfed babes. Thanks for reminding me of this. You hit the nail right on the head, helping me realize that I abhor the bottle and was feeling anxious to get rid of it. But it's what he uses to get his nutrition even though it's not my ideal, so we'll go with what's best for him with the situation we're in.</p>
<p>Being in foster care does mean some loss for him, so I don't need to take away the bottle that's helping provide some comfort.</p>
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<p>It's weird that I don't follow the mainstream on other things, but for some reason hearing people talk about getting rid of the bottle at a year got me thinking along those lines. Thanks for bring me back to our less-than-mainstream reality! I knew I'd find wise mamas here.</p>
 
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<p>Bottle-feeding after breastfeeding can feel sub-par, but the truth is, it's more than just nutritional.  It's an emotional bond between the two of you.  Believe me, I wish I had held onto that emotional time longer.  The time you spend snuggling and feeding is huge; imagine if you didn't have those times? </p>
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<p>Try your best to ignore everyone's best intentions and *wonderful* advice.  <span><img alt="winky.gif" height="15" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/winky.gif" width="15"></span>  I, too, come from a very mainstream family, and the influences get to be a bit much at times.  But if you can try to think of it as breastfeeding, only without the breast, lol, you might be able to tap into that instinct better.</p>
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<p>You're an incredible mom; you'll handle it the way you feel is absolutely best for him!</p>
 
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