Sippy Cup Snub: Payback for My Stubborn Behavior As a Kid?

My 17-month-old son refuses to drink from a sippy cup. Turns out, it’s all my fault.

Allow me to explain.

We’ve  struggled to get Mason to drink from a sippy cup for months now, and we’ve gotten nowhere. We’ve tried four different sippy cups, all recommended highly by other moms. We’ve offered him cups at the same time every day, for months.  We’ve  taken sips from his cups to show him how fun it is. We’ve proffered three different kinds of juice, a tactic that worked for other moms but not for us. One day I even forgot to bring his bottle with us to school (truly forgot), and I reasoned that perhaps this was the day he would finally drink from a cup; instead he refused to drink anything all day. You see, despite our best efforts, the child just refuses to kick his bottle habit. He’ll play with the cup, put the spout or straw in his mouth, and grin while he does it–but he still refuses to sip and swallow.

Yesterday morning marked a turning point in how I’m viewing the issue. I had purchased a think baby cup, which is basically a glorified bottle–genius for a kid who is fighting the transition, right?–and I was positive it would work.  I filled it up with milk, Mason’s fave beverage (turns out he despises juice), and gave it to him first thing in the morning. He studied the cup carefully, pinched the silicone spout between his fingers, shot me a reproachful look, set the cup down on the floor, and walked away. I attempted to give it to him three more times, and he pushed it away every time. His teacher tried, too, with no luck. Around 2 p.m., I got a text from her that he had rejected the cup twice and thus had not had anything to drink since 8 this morning when I broke down and gave him a bottle.

Frustrated, and at a loss (It’s just hopeless!), I called the pediatrician for advice. He said to give Bug one more month with the bottle as an option, and then to only offer the bottle at night. “For now, be consistent and keep offering him the cup,” he instructed. “If you’re lucky maybe he’ll just start drinking from it on his own.” We’re to act completely neutral. If he chooses to drink from the cup, great. If not, no problem. Otherwise, our doc said, it could become a control thing. Lastly, our doc noted that we are dealing with a disposition issue, not a developmental one. Mason took his sweet time holding his own bottle, he cruised for 7 months before he finally decided to walk (on Christmas, no less), and now he’s making it clear that he just isn’t ready to use a sippy cup. He’s stubborn and this behavioral pattern proves it. (“Good luck potty training,” a coworker who’s aware of our situation quipped.)

Last night I called my mom for her take on all this. Mom, I just don’t get where this stubborn behavior comes from.” Her response: “Oh, Heather, I can’t imagine,” and then she laughed for a good minute. What? Me? Really? I’ve always had a stubborn streak and a strong personality–but really? Well, yes. She reminded me of the time when I was around 12 and she asked me to do something over and over until I responded, Fine, I’ll do it because I want to–not because you told me too. Apparently that summed up my point of view on almost everything, and it seems to sum up Mason’s POV, too. He’ll do it because he wants to, not because we told him to. “Payback,” my mom laughed. But I prefer to view it as a challenge, and one that I can overcome with patience, time, and a new attitude. Bring it on little boy. Mama knows how to play this game, too.

Does your child have a behavioral trait that your mom considers payback?  Or, do you have sippy cup woes of your own? Dish here!


Putting the Kabosh on Teething Pain with Chilled Fruits & Veggies

We had the Saturday from h-ll. Poor Mason’s cutting three new teeth and he has a brutal cold so he just clung to us and screamed most of the day. His little gums were horribly swollen and red, his nose was running nonstop, and his chest was rattling when he breathed. I’ve never felt so helpless as a Mom. He’s always been a good baby so we don’t have much experience with crying/screaming jags (yes, there’s an excellent chance we’ll get hit hard with #2). I kept wishing there was something I could do to make his misery go away, but I could only try to minimize his painful symptoms. At one point, I started to cry, too, out of sympathy and exhaustion and worry. I became Worse Case Scenario Mom and was convinced something was seriously wrong with him. Luckily Chris is an excellent voice of reason or I probably would have taken my baby to the ER…for teething and a cold.

To treat his cold, we turned on the shower and had him breathe in steam from hot water for 10-minute intervals (Chris and I took turns holding him and distracting him from the discomfort of the hot, wet air with his toy cars). He also slept with a humidifier running and a thick coating of Vicks on his chest. To help the teething pain, which seems to be the greater of the two evils, I gave him baby Motrin and frozen pacifiers. At mealtime, I coaxed him to eat a few different soft, squishy foods. He didn’t want to eat much (he even rejected mac ‘n’ cheese!), but here are the things that he would eat. We’d go through the list, try a few other things, and then repeat. (Other moms have recommended frozen bagels and waffles to us in the past, but unfortunately Bug wouldn’t go for either.) Any other suggestions to add to the list?

1. Homemade applesauce, chilled in the freezer for 20 minutes before serving

2. Beets, diced, cooked, and chilled

3. Banana, sliced and partially frozen

4. Full-fat Greek yogurt mixed with icy smashed pear; try one spoonful of yogurt for every two spoonfuls of fruit.

5. Ripe melon, diced and chilled– not the easiest thing to find this time of year but we lucked out.

6. Ice cold milk — a drink, I know, but Bug consumed more milk than anything else.

Other foods that Mason was willing to eat included chunks of Swiss cheese, toast with melted cheddar cheese, corn, and peas. He rejected eggs, pasta, turkey meatballs, blueberries, and grapes.

Tonight I’m making a chicken-ginger soup (recipe to come soon!). Now that both Bug and I both have his cold we need a little TLC and hot bowls of homemade soup just sound good!