Tuesday 10 June 2014

Tottering on the edge of Toddlerdom

So, Ethan's now 13 months old and changing by the day, if not minute. Having a little one is an ongoing learning process and it will probably remain that way until the day Ethan leaves home at the grand age of 30 (he's not allowed to leave me before then - I've made him promise).

I'm quite sure that you never truly 'figure' out the whole mum thing really. There's always something new to learn, a new stage to navigate your way through, a new method to try and use, new toys to familiarise yourself with, new challenges to tackle.

Ethan is tottering towards toddlerdom at an alarming rate. It shouldn't be alarming as I'm quite aware that he is going to grow up and one day in the not too distant future, he will be walking, talking and engaging with the world in all new and exciting ways. It's just I can practically see the changes happening before my eyes; I can see him absorbing information, watching what we do out the corner of his eye, quietly keeping watch and processing everything in his captivated mind.

To me, it feels a little like the rug has been pulled from under me since we celebrated his first birthday last month. I have no idea what to do with a one year old - what they eat, when they should be able to do things, what kinds of things we need to do with him to help him learn and play - so I'm in need of reading up so I can get my head around the next stage in his development.

The first hurdle we need to tackle is his bottle. To be honest, I think it's more a worried hesitancy on our part rather than Ethan actually needing his bottle, but I haven't been in a hurry to stop the night-time feed. The advice from the 'experts' seems to be that when they turn one, they only need 300-400ml of cows' milk per day, or other dairy equivalent. It's important, they say, to make them view their milk as a drink now as opposed to another meal and the bottle should be replaced by a sippy cup, so they can get used to drinking from a cup and to help protect their new teeth.

We've been able to drop Ethan's milk intake during the day successfully and without any problem, as he has been eating three good meals a day along with a couple of healthy snacks so he hasn't missed it at all. He tends to have 150ml milk at nursery around 10am or at home first thing when he wakes up then we save the rest until bedtime. I know we shouldn't still be doing this, much less from a bottle, but it's been the way we have wound things down for him at the end of each day for so long, and how we have sent him off to sleep again if he wakes in the night, I'm worried what we'll do if we don't have it as a crutch to lean on.

Ethan has been teething quite badly these past couple of weeks, and we've had two streaks of four or five nights where it's been hard to get him to bed before 10/10.30pm and he's woken up a couple of times needing cuddles, and more milk, before settling down again.

I know that this is probably just a phase and that we're lucky to generally have such a good routine with him but I'm just concerned that we may find it harder to say bye bye to the bottles than Ethan does.


  1. Don't worry too much, one day will be the right day. I couldn't tell you when my boys gave up bottles, it was important at the time but now it's a blur.

    Eldest is 16 in ten days. I still haven't got parenting figured out!

    1. Thanks Caroline. I'm not in a rush at the moment and I guess it'll just happen one day. 16! Gosh, such a milestone! x

  2. Doesn't time just fly! I wouldn't worry about the bottle thing. Molly is nearly one and a half and she still has three bottles a day - 2 full ones and 1 half bottle. She has a full one as soon as she wakes up and right before she goes to bed and the half bottle right before nap time. My mum has always said one is too young to stop bottles and it was never the advice she was given when we were all kids. In fact I think I still had one bottle a day when I was four! Lots of breast feeding parents would still breast feed well into the first year and the bottle is the same, so I wouldn't stop it if you don't feel ready yet. You are clearly doing the right thing but feeding him a healthy diet and I am sure he will just drink less as and when he feels ready. I can see Molly is drinking much less milk during the day now as she continue to eats more, although I do still use a bottle for milk and only a sippy cup for water or juice. Theres no rush! x

    1. It does! Thank you for your comment Francesca, it's really reassuring.and I think you're right - our little ones will let us know when they're ready. No rush at all! X

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