My Daughter is an Addict

Let’s face it, I’m harboring a junkie. I might as well come clean now, my 14-month-old is completely addicted to her bottle, and I am the greatest enabler the world has ever seen.

I know that I should wean her to a sippy cup, but each morning at 5:30 when I shove the bottle in her gaping, screeching mouth, I think to myself, “Oh, it’s not that big of a deal, I’ll take the bottle away  tomorrow…” then I wander back to bed for another half hour of blessed silence. But tomorrow never comes, and at the moment, I am having visions of my daughter as an eighth-grader, sneaking sips of whole milk between classes.

This morning she experienced her first taste of withdrawl. Oh holy goodness, it was bad. We were due at the surgical center at 6:45 am for tubes (Not a big deal. The seven minute procedure will save me $40 a month in co-pays and antibiotics. That’s like three pairs of cute shoes (or five pairs of duds)).

Under strict instructions from the doctor, she was to have no food or liquid after midnight last night. I’m thinking, no problem. We’ll keep her up late, let her sleep until 6:30, and I’ll lovingly bundle her up and take her in. She won’t even miss her bottle.

She woke up at 5:00 am screaming her soon-to-be-tubed head off. S-c-r-e-a-m-i-n-g. Do you have any idea how loud I can be? She’s louder. She was like a heroine addict who just found out they are no longer making needles or heroine. It was horrible. I finally buckled her in the car half an hour early, just to give the rest of the family some peace and quiet.

And when she came out of surgery, did she want her “Mama”? Of course not. The first word she uttered when she saw me was, “Baba!”, and she reached for my purse. Seriously.

We are so in for it.


  1. At first, I thought you said your 14 year-old, and I thought your were a horrible parent.

  2. I totally laughed when you wrote the ‘not make needles anymore’ bit. Clever. And if only…I hate those things.

    PS-how’d you feel about Biggest Loser last night?

  3. annie valentine says:

    Barbara – I’m going down to watch it right now. We got in really late.

  4. When my kids did the tubes thing they were all about the popsicles.

  5. don’t feel to bad. my 2 1/2 year old still asks for “a piece of milk” or “a piece of baba”

    I’m such a loser

  6. That is going to be FUN . . .

  7. I let them keep sipping until they’re three, but only at bed time. By then they usually ween themselves. My almost 2 year old is already almost done. I always get oh no, they’ll have cavities. Well they have perfect teeth, so there. So rest easy.

  8. Don’t feel bad. Mine was 17 months when I finally took it away. And now I’m just as bad cause I let him have his tippy in his crib. I know, horrible parenting! I think it’s cause he’s the baby, and the last one.. at least that’s what I keep telling myself!

  9. I hate to admit this, but my 4 year old wakes up each morning, drags his favorite blanket upstairs, and asks for ovaltine. He won’t drink it any other way unless it is in his sippy cup. I give in each time…….his wife is going to hate me when he starts asking for his ovaltine in his special cup

  10. Ptthhh, Soeli wouldn’t eat her first solids until she was 15 months, and it was still a loooong time until bottles every 3 blasted hours went by the wayside. And if you need more stories of my crappy parenting to make you feel better, she still uses a pacifier at 2, and eats her entire body weight in goldfish crackers every day.

  11. We had to take Elijah into surgery at 5 months. It was horrible. They delayed his surgery and so the whole waiting room got to hear my baby scream for food. The first thing he wanted upon waking was a bottle too. It’s not so bad when they are full with other food though.

    I’m sorry you had to do that. It is really awful. But you managed to make it funny. Hurray for you!

  12. Ya, good luck on that one… Glad she did good during the surgery. 2 of my kids had their tonsils out and the first one they wanted was daddy. WHAT? I birthed you, suckled you, held your hair when you chucked and you want DADDY???? Where is the love?

  13. Sheesh, I am with you. If you come across any miracles to get her over it, let me know.

  14. I have a 14-month-old and I haven’t even tried to wean him. I give a sippy cup a few times a day, but I don’t even bother trying to do the no bottle thing at night or first thing in the morning. I value sleep too much. I figure the other kindergartners will shame him out of it in a few years.

  15. weaning any child off of anything in general is hard, and even harder when they are your baby. try it during the day, maybe at lunch time just to see if she’ll even consider it?

  16. I hate how as moms we all judge eachother on our parenting skills, when in reality we ALL make mistakes! 🙂 I think you’re doing fantastic, honestly! Not weaned=not bad. Locking them in a closet=bad. See you’re totally good! 🙂

  17. I love this post because this is how my husband felt about COke in a can…the drink not the drug…yet it was a drug for him…

    You think your daughter was bad during her withdrawal?


  18. I loved it when you said, “She was like a heroine addict who just found out they are no longer making needles or heroine.” That was genius.
    I’m a weaner when it comes to weaning. My 4 year old still drinks hot cocoa every morning from a sippy cup.

  19. I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Really, what’s the difference between a bottle and a sipper? The cup’s just more socially acceptable.

  20. I read a letter to Dear Abby from a man who was dating a woman (she was in her early 20’s) and she still sucked her thumb.

    Her mother should probably feel a little bit bad.

    You, on the other hand, don’t need to worry.

  21. No judgment here. Abby turned 2 in September and just barely gave up the last of the night time bottles. I read that if you start adding a little water and gradually increase (more water/less milk) over time, eventually you end up with only a water bottle and well it’s just not as appealing. Abby now has just a sippy cup of water next to her bed when she goes to sleep.

  22. Oh Annie have I never told you about Tristan’s bottle breaking took forever. We took his bottle away(I don’t remember how old) he screamed for 2 weeks ,Daniel and I looked at each other (this is not worth it )and then gave it back to him. I’m positive he was proably 2 or later when he finally gave it up , without a fight. I saved one of his bottles because he was so attached. He has great teeth and is a really neat 23 year old.

  23. Sorry girls! You all loose! I am the worst parent, because my want for sleep over ruled what was “best” for my kids, I let them have the bottle whenever they wanted, including letting them fall asleep with it in their mouths! (Shock! Horror!) and yes, I did know it was possibly bad for their teeth. I banked on them inheriting my cavity resistant enamel. And in case they didn’t, I started a savings account for Dental work. That’s repairable. What I might have done had I been any more sleep deprived might not have been.
    Oh, and you will love life after tubes. Saves money and sanity.
    You are an awesome mom. Otherwise, you wouldn’t even worry about stuff like this.

  24. P.S. I’m still laughing about your Valentine’s post. I told one of the other mom’s at ballet about the “I’ll match your efforts” proposition and she laughed her head off. The dad sitting in front of us didn’t say anything, but his ears definitely perked up.

  25. I think weaning kids from bottles is HIGHLY over rated! What’s wrong with letting them have something that comforts them? It’s not like they will use a bottle forever! They have so little control over anything in their little tiny lives… what’s wrong with letting them enjoy?

  26. annie valentine says:

    Thank you Barb, I completely agree. In fact, I agree with every single one of you. The bottle stays.

    Wow, that was easier than I thought.

  27. I never had to worry about the bottle, it was the dummy (pacifier) I had problems with. But that was only with my first two. Then I was the human pacifier with my last two. In fact I breastfed my last until he was 2. But I am glad to say he is now 4 and completely weaned. Except he still sticks his hands down my shirt when he cuddles.

  28. I hate that not food or liquids thing. Worst thing ever. But I am so impressed that you came through the whole tube thing so well. Don’t you feel emotionally drained when they wheel your child off? It must just be me. Hated it when they were two and really hate it when they are 14. And I am one parent who will always do whatever it takes to get more sleep.

  29. My kids were all at least two before I took away the bottle. I am the biggest enabler. Tysen and Emma both had a kiki (Binki) until they were two and a half. To rid mine of the bottles and Kiki’s, I told Tysen that the new baby would need them and I told Emma that her cousin Zoe would sure like them. For Brennan I told him that the puppies up the street needed the bottles. He was entirely to intellegent at 1 year and told me, “You are not making any sense Mindi! Dogs don’t use bottles.” He was nearly three when he gave his up, along with the diapers. I told him, ” I am not buying you any more diapers or bottles, your to grown up.” His response, was an eye roll and a “Fine, Whatever!”

  30. So funny. I took my baby off the bottle at 1 yr as told to by my doctor. But I had another baby who was still on the bottle and the bigger guy is always trying to steal that baba from the smaller guy. If he cant steal it he will wait with anticipation until the bottle is discarded by smaller baby and drink what ever is left. Poor little guy.