At her grandma’s house today, Meg threw her bottle and broke the plastic ring (but surprisingly not the glass bottle). This means we’re down to 2 rings. So we have a choice: push drinking milk out of sippy cups or wash bottles twice a day (she drinks four 4-5 oz bottles a day). She’s 16 months old, so technically she’s not supposed to be drinking out of bottles anymore. She’s been drinking water out of sippy cups since around the time she turned one. She loves her sippies and carries them around, but refuses to drink anything but water out of them. She has it all figured out – milk comes from bottles and water comes from sippies. If you try to give her milk in a sippy cup, she refuses to drink it. She looks at you as if you’ve lost your mind and usually shrieks in frustration.
This wasn’t an issue I felt like fighting over, so I let her have what she wanted. We continued to let her drink milk out of bottles but stopped buying any new supplies. We had 4 nipples and 3 rings, which was a pain because we had to wash bottles daily, but worked. In fact, even though we complained about having to constantly wash bottles, it was nice to not have the option of letting dirty bottles multiply around the sink for days. Also, I find bottles a lot easier to wash than sippy cups.
However, four bottles a day with only two rings is not going to work. Since the ring doesn’t really touch the milk anyway, we sometimes take a used ring off one bottle to use on another without washing it. But daycare is required by law to use all new supplies for each bottle. Meg has bottles first thing in the morning, midmorning, midafternoon, and before bed. Since we have to send two rings to daycare, we’d have to wash the ring used for her first-thing-in-the-morning bottle before leaving for daycare, which would be a huge pain.
Its difficult to buy more rings. Generally, they just come with bottles. We use Medela bottles. The reason we don’t have many rings is most of our bottles came with an old style of ring. They changed the shape of the nipples and rings, so we can’t use the dozens of old-model rings we have. Since we have about 30 bottles (they’re also used for pumping), I don’t want to buy more just to get more rings. The only other way to get them is to order the rings off the Medela website for $2.65 each plus $11 shipping.
The reason we haven’t really pushed sippy cups is I don’t like our options there, either. I hate washing sippy cups – too many little parts and nooks and crannies. But with her drinking so many bottles a day, we’d have to buy a ton of sippy cups if we were going to put them in the dishwasher. Where are we going to PUT all those cups when they’re clean? I don’t want to buy MORE STUFF. If we’re going to switch to sippies, I think we have to really go for it and cut out bottles cold turkey. We can’t get by with just a few more sippy cups unless we’re going to hand wash them. But what if I buy 10 sippy cups (quite an investment) and she won’t drink milk out of the same kind she likes for water?
What it comes down to is the current system was working. We were all happy. I knew we’d have a battle on our hands someday when we decided to take bottles away, but I was happy to worry about that later. Now it seems we have to worry about it NOW. If it wasn’t so expensive, I’d probably break down and buy more rings.