Baby, Bye Bye Bye
Freida was born a mere 4 pounds 8 ounces, and was consistently below the curve ever since. Nursing her seemed to at least keep up the chubby-baby look - I felt good enough knowing she had plenty rolls, and I would be ecstatic when people would comment on how "fat" my baby was. Once she randomly decided to self-ween, her weight began to drop. I was planning on nixing the suckling altogether, but she didn't down milk from a sippy cup very well at all so I transitioned her to a bottle, and sure enough the fat and calorie content delivered by 12 oz. of daily milk kept her pants up! :)
I know Doctors generally recommend giving up a bottle at around the first birthday, but I decided to keep her on it for as long as I had intended to breastfeed her: 2 years. At our most recent visit to the Doctor (for her first vaccination), he pronounced her weight and height "healthy". Took that as a sign to get on the road to banning the bottle...
This past weekend my husband and I made a point to speak to Freida about certain things being only for babies, and about the concept of growing up. I went on to name different (slightly older) cousins, friends etc. that don't drink from a bottle because they are "growing up" and not "babies" anymore. She seemed to like that bit, and later asked me "does Sima have a bottle? No. Does Dovi have a bottle? No." etc. That's when I figured she fully got the idea.
Yesterday morning I brought out a stack of old pregnancy/baby/family magazines, and we sat together leafing through the pages to spot pictures of babies and cut them out. Once we had a nice selection of "babies", I gave Freida some glue and an old cardboard box (I think it was from our esrog...), and had her glue the pictures all over the "baby bottle box". We added some tissue paper (can't hurt to bring some prettiness to a painful goodbye!), and Freida said goodbye to her bottles - for good. Once boxed up we gave it to the mailman - she loves the mailman! - (I obviously had him put it back in my mailbox so I could sterilize and store them away), and said farewell!
She went to bed last night without it, and was able to easily verbalize "gave my bottles to the babies", and woke up this morning sans bottle as well! She asked for it this morning, but she proceeded to tell me where it went... she definitely wasn't stoked about not waking up without the bottle relaxation, but with a bit of distraction she got up and had breakfast really easily.
Seems to have been a successful transition - thank God! - and I would definitely suggest using this method for getting rid on bottles/pacifiers/blankies etc. It involves the kids in such a hands-on way, and makes them feel like they are really part of the process - which is key to all successful good riddance! Good Luck!!