Oh dear Lord. We knew Bauer would have to be off the bottle and on the sippy cup by the time surgery came around. Thank you to all the moms who have "been there, done that" and helped in getting us off on the right foot.
We started off just letting Bauer taking some apple juice out one of the sippies. He loved the juice and got used to the new nipple. Being something foreign he wouldn't ever take a whole lot from it. But one day we were just letting Bauer play with the sippy and my brother went over to hold it for him and he finished the entire thing. aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh!!! Now we knew he could do it. The only negative thing about the juice was he expected that to be in his cup and when we started sneaking in milk he knew something wasn't right. We are not sure, but the formula appeared to curdle when mixed with the apple juice. We could not find anything online about it, but we stopped mixing them just in case.
I've heard people say that God shows you things about yourself through each child. Well, this child has shown me that I don't have quite as much patience as I would like. I wanted Bauer to get this whole sippy thing so bad. There were times he would just hate the thing and wouldn't want anything to do with it. I wanted to chunk it through the window because I felt so stupid for not being able to help him get it. I realized quickly that the bottle was just a comfort for him and babies are not very crazy about changing anything. So we slowly kept working on it and tried to stay calm with the whole thing. Over about a 3 week period he gradually kept cutting out bottle after bottle. His 5:00 a.m was always the one he refused most, but then one morning he just took it with no problem. I COULD HAVE THROWN HIM IN THE AIR AND DONE A BACK FLIP! Seeing as how this would have scared the crap out of him and put me in the hospital, I stayed calm and he finished the cup. It was February 26th, my birthday, when he finally went an entire 24 hours without a bottle. Happy Birthday to me!! There was no way in heaven we were ever going to put a bottle near his mouth again because we knew he was completely capable.
One of the best places we found answers was at http://www.cleft.org/ . Go to the discussion list and check out some of the topics. If you don't find an answer type in your question and normally someone will answer with their suggestions. It helped us so much.
The most important things to remember are:
*stay calm - don't throw cups across the room - :)
*try different sippies - it's expensive, but you'll be amazed at the difference.
*ask other moms about their experience
*start early - give yourself and your child time to get use to it. they don't like change any more than we do.
*pray for patience and don't panic. They are completely capable of doing it.