2 ½ year old interested in a bottle for the first time
Dear Dr. Laura,
Our daughter is 2 ½ and is still nursing and loves "Mommy's milk." She almost never drank from a bottle when she was an infant. She pretty much went straight to the sippy cup. She recently has been intrigued by bottles and today, at her request, I bought her a glass bottle. My partner is very concerned that she's engaging in a regressive behavior, and that most kids are weaned from bottles by this age and bottle drinking could be bad for her teeth. My sense is that she's exploring and experimenting and her interest will last for however long and then she'll move on. Reading various discussion groups it's clear that many people think that it's very harmful for a 2 ½ year old to drink from a bottle. What is your opinion on this? Thank you so much.
I think you're both right. It is not unusual for a child this age who has been nursed exclusively to see other kids with bottles and wonder what she's missing. Telling her she can't have a bottle would seem like a deprivation.
On the other hand, it's a good idea to be judicious about bottle usage. For instance, you wouldn't want to wean her from the breast to the bottle, and you wouldn't want her to use a bottle with milk in it to fall asleep. You also don't want her to fill up on milk and not eat meals.
One solution would be to only use water in the bottle. That way she can try a bottle out but is unlikely to find it particularly satisfying. She may wonder what the fuss is all about, but she won't feel like she's being deprived of something all the other kids get.