At the speech evaluation last week, a speech pathologist told me “NO MORE BINKY OR BOTTLE!” Ava has a protruding tongue, with oral-motor therapy she will be able to get her tongue muscles back, but the binky and bottle encourage tongue thrusting, which is counter-productive to learning speech. The binky and bottle have to go.
So here is the plan:
Ava never gets the binky during the day. When we take her upstairs at night, she gets a binky, but we take it out of her crib when she sleeps. My husband wants the binky in her crib all night, in case she wakes up, which is 90% of the time. He takes it out of the crib before she wakes up in the morning. She still looks for the binky when she wakes up, and whines for it. But so far, it is OK. She does look for it in the place we used to keep the binkies – a small heart-shaped box with flowers on it on the kitchen counter. But now there is only some hand cream in there. She gets SO mad when there are no binkies in there!
With the bottle weaning, I give her a straw cup throughout the day. The “honey bear” straw cup, which teaches a child how to suck through a straw. I also have a few of the Gerber “Tossables” straw cups. She seems to be doing REALLY well with those. Yes, the mess factor is greater than with a sippy or bottle, but I guess I have to allot more time to cleaning.
I give Ava a bottle of milk at night after dinner. She loves her bottle SO much. I have been decreasing the amount of milk in the bottle every night. I offer her more milk in a straw cup, which she has yet to take. But she does not ask for more milk. I may start giving her milk with her dinner too. She sucks her bottle of milk down in 5 minutes, maybe less. And then she is done with it. She is not a kid who lets the bottle linger in her mouth or takes it to bed with her. I never got into that habit, thankfully!
But as soon as the bottle is fazed out — I anticipate a lot of screaming. I am not looking forward to this. Mostly because my husband works late and he probably won’t be home before 8 pm. So it is the “Mommy and Ava show” until she goes to sleep. I have to remember to have a glass of wine handy after 7pm.