Weaning my son off the bottle turned out to be easier than expected. A day before we went cold turkey, we let him know that we were getting rid of his bottles and asked him to say a “buh-bye” to them. Giving him that notice, preparing him for it – turned out that was all he needed. He was able to seamlessly transition away from that one drinking mechanism he had mastered from birth.
In the week that followed that switch, I found myself staring wistfully at the armchair in the corner of our room. The same armchair on which I’d spent days and nights feeding and pumping, holding and rocking, burping and shushing.
I was at once happy and sad. Happy to have crossed this stage without tears. Sad and taken aback by the realization that my son was no longer a baby. Even though I had been right by his side encouraging, cheering him along, from one milestone to another, even though I had watched him grow from baby to toddler, turned out it hadn’t sunk in.
I had prepared myself for a week of crankiness, crying, and disturbed sleep. I’d thought he would have a hard time letting go of the bottle, that he would fight and I would relent and that we would be back on the armchair, him on my lap, his back against me as he drank his milk.
I had thought I would have more time. I hadn’t known that I needed more time. I hadn’t known that I too needed a chance to say “buh-bye”.
I’d believed that he found comfort in that one bottle he drank each night. But in the end, it turned out that the person who drew comfort from it all was me.