12 month old won't take cup or bottle, Mom going back to work

Hi Dr. Laura

My daughter just turned 1 yesterday. I am going back to work. My problem is my daughter does not like to eat meals. She will pick all day long and she nurses more then 6 times a day. I need help to wean her so that I can go back to work and she can be at a sitters. I have tried a sippy cup but she is not interested in it. Can you help me?

I don't think you need to wean your daughter. Your goal is simply for her to be willing to take nourishment in other forms than nursing. Many kids don't eat much solid food at this age if they have the option of nursing. I know it's anxiety-producing when they won't take a cup or bottle, and you have to be away for long periods. But your daughter will not starve herself. She will eventually be hungry enough to take in some form of nourishment in your absence.

You might want to give the Nuby sippie cup a try; many moms say their babies find it more satisifying to suck on.

I do want to add that she may well start marathon-nursing at night once she doesn't have you all day. This is partly for nourishment, and partly for bonding. One year olds need their moms, and when we're gone all day, they miss us terribly. I know it would be tempting to wean her, but nursing is a big comfort for her when she's adjusting to missing you. If you can wait to wean her, and be patient while she nurses more at night for awhile, it will help her through this big adjustment.

Dr. Laura

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