Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Vito hardly ever eats

Bad mommy in the house. At least that's how I feel whenever my toddler Vito refuses to eat. Today he fell asleep on the carpet without dinner.

We're trying to wean him from the bottle (he's almost 3!) so this week, we decided to give him milk in his sippy cup (we'll handle weaning him from the sippy cup next year). Vito's a lazy eater. He'd rather drink milk. Since the yayas left, we've actually seen progress—Vito sits at the table with us and so he eats now. He likes it that he has his own place at the table (the yaya used to follow him around with a spoon and bowl). He likes that he can see the food in their respective bowls and dishes and pick what he'll eat. He likes that he uses his own spoon and fork. So Vince and I really think it's great we have no yayas since Vito's become independent and he's eating!

So we figured that since his eating habits have improved dramatically, it was time to let go of the bottle. Oh, but when we started the no-bottle rule, it's been hell. Complete and utter hell. He refuses to eat if we refuse to give him milk in the bottle. The result is a hungry Vito. No milk and no food. As parents, we are horrified. Fellow parents and even yayas tell us, "Okay lang yan. Magugutom din yan." Meaning Vito will cave in eventually. But, dear God, it is not easy to stand firm when you know your child is hungry!

We don't know what to do. Vince and I were talking earlier, when the kids were already in bed. We discussed giving in. It's only been two days actually. Will Vito give up the bottle? Will he start eating again? Did he inherit his parents' bullheadedness? Because right now we are in a deadlock and neither side wants to give in. Oh wait. Vince and I want to give in. We just want our baby to eat really. Maybe we'll do this bottle-weaning another time.


  1. Try buying him a cute kiddie cup with a straw-- even better if he helps choose. The typical sippy cup can seem tedious to some kids for some reason. My own kid never took to sippy cups. hth

  2. Hello Frances . I know where you are coming from as I remember those days when I started weaning my kids from the bottle. Though each kid is different, you may want to try the following tips.

    a. Start refraining him form giving bottled milk before meals as that would make his appetite full.I know it would take a lot of creativity to do this but you can try doing it one step at a time. If you start with dinner or lunch so be it. You can actually reward him by giving back the bottle before he goes to sleep.

    b.If he has lot of bottles it might be time to discard them one by one. If it's possible to just keep three bottles a day (one after each meal) then that would be a great achievement. Again creativity plays a big part on explaining to your kid the reasons why.

    c. Every achievement is a milestone. Eventually Vito will understand why he needs to be weaned from the bottle especially if he will be going to school. I believe in a year's time you and your husband will be able to accomplish this.

    By the way, I was the blogger whom you have wished good will and one of them is to have back my husband's lost Canon camera for nine years. Though it was my daughter who had a hand me down one ,still I am thankful for what you did. Btw, it was an Olympus which is the same brand that you have wished .

    Blessings !

  3. Hi frances, good morning. I had that same problem with my son before but not with bottle but with breast milk i weaned him exactly 3yrs. We talked to him na he should start drinking sa glass. So for a week before his bday if he wants milk he need to drink sa glass first at least half we made it a game with prize depending on the amount he drinks then he can drink from me. The day after his bday he finished one glass of milk then fell asleep since then he drinks sa glss na. Hope Vito eats na. God bless. you have a beautiful family. :)

  4. Frances! Hay, I have the same problem with Yukie. Though we haven't started weaning her from the bottle but we always have a hard time feeding her! As in! If I don't feed her, she won't eat by herself. Depende kung ramen or spam ang kakainin nya, she'll eat by herself. Hay!

  5. Would you believe I left bottled milk when I was in grade school? Yes grade school. My daughter who will be turning 5 years old next month is still on bottle feeding. I don't really mind that she is though. I'm happy that she is growing and that's all that matters. She will decide on her own when it's time to let go.

    1. Same here! :D I remember bringing my bottle as my baon to school. Haha! :))

  6. Hey Frances! Just think, he's not gonna go to high school with a bottle! I had the same problem with my daughter Nonie. I took the bottle away when she was 2 1/2 years old. She was so bad, she went everywhere with the bottle and fell asleep with it in her mouth! But when I hid the bottle, like you I felt so bad, she didn't eat and she was matamlay, parang someone died. It was so sad. My nanny told me and my friend said, just give it to her, she's only a baby! Which is so true! So I did like the other moms suggested: I let her pick a sippy cup for the morning feeding and still used the bottle @ night. Eventually, the nipple broke and I concoted a story that another baby needs her bottle so we wrapped it up and tied it with balloons and gave it away (of course, this wasn't easy, she would cry @ night and look for her bottle). She basically did not need the damn bottle, she used it to soothe herself to sleep at night. Now she moved on to a blankie! She takes it everywhere! Good luck!

  7. Hi Frances! Each child is different. Yun eldest daughter ko 5 na nun nagstop sa bottle feeding. Siya na mismo nagstop nahiya ata sa classmates. Hehe. Yun 2nd ko naman 2 ksi sbi namin her little sister will use her bottles. Baka si Vito ganun din. I agree with Sarah's suggestions. Try mo din. Best of luck to you and Vince!

  8. I guess they're really at an age when they are making their own choices. My Vito's been quite a picky eater lately. I didn't experience the bottle-weaning stuff, kase he was never on it, but we have a challenging time finding stuff that he likes to eat. Ugh. Especially meat, he seems to hate it when we give him meat, like beef. Chicken is OK. I wish he'd eat more protein!

    Actually, having a "prize" worked for us for a while, like Anonymous suggested (1st commenter). It sometimes still works, usually the reward is more of something he likes. This season, it seems to be grapes (I guess kase matamis). Sometimes it's donut or those white-covered raisins (pero mahal yon). Basta he eats, OK lang for me. Have you tried offering "prizes" too? Maybe it might work for a time, like it worked for some moms?

  9. Hi Frances! My son is turning 4 in June. And he's still on the bottle. And no, I have no plans of weaning him. We tried it before and like you, his appetite suffered (a lot!).

    Same thing with potty training. We tried every trick in the book to get him to give up wearing diapers. Absolutely nothing worked. And you know what? One day, he woke up and said he wanted to wear briefs! I am now a firm believer that kids know when they're ready. So I don't sweat the small stuff.

    We take him regularly to the dentist and he has perfect teeth! :)

    But then again, you and your husband know what's best for your kids. And if weaning him from the bottle is what you wanna do, then hold firm. Kasi tama din naman ang iba, "Magugutom din yan."

    Good luck!

  10. Don't give up nor give in! ONCE YOU START A CHANGE, DON'T GO BACK esp if you know it's something necessary for their well-being...otherwise it will just feel like you're goin one step forward and two steps back. Using bottles longer than necessary will be bad for their teeth (same goes for pacifiers). I've seen kids with teeth that seem to rot earlier coz they were on the bottles too long. Tell him he will be using the "kuya" bottle (sippy cup) now coz he's a big boy na and only the baby boy will get to use the bottles. I would totally not let him see any milk on any bottle, but since he will always see the little one with it, that would not be doable. I've seen BIG kids on SuperNanny programs that won't poop unless it's on the diapers or BIG kids that won't eat or sleep without their pacifiers. Mahirap lang sa start but if the kids learn that they don't have any other choice but to follow, susunod din sila. Besides they will be confused if you start and then just go back. That's part of your parenting and are letting them know what they should do and that they should do what you tell them to. Tough know physiologically, he should be able to eat like any big kid by now and not having the milk in the bottle will not stop any kid from eating right. If you give in, he will know that if and everytime he does this, he will get what he wants even if it's not good for him. It's hard to see him not eat but you won't be doing him any favor by giving in, instead you will be doing yourself the favor because then it will just be the easier way out and less anxiety and stress for you since you won't have to endure the guilty feeling of watching him not eat. Keep in mind, as he grows up, he will always test how far you will let him get what he wants and you won't wanna be a pushover if you want what's best for him :) Parenting and disciplining will always involve a battle of wills but your will needs to be stronger than your kid's or else, they will run the house, not you. The Christian parenting "seminar" that we were able to attend said to show your kids you love them by doing the hard job of parenting and standing your ground and giving them limits. Show them you love them enough not to let them do things that will not be good for them. Some parents give up on the parenting part and just want to be friends with their kids daw but that's not right. It's your job as a parent to set the limits and keep them safe and healthy, no matter how much your kid dislikes you for doing it.

    Differentiate also if it's behavioral or biological...For example, when my son was being potty trained, when he is awake he would know when to go to the bathroom but when he is sleeping, he still wets his diaper at 2+yrs. We tried making him pee before sleeping, not giving lots of water before sleeping and even waking him up in the middle of the night just to go to the bathroom but it's like making a zombie go pee since he is in that deep sleep and he is not even aware that he is peeing. So then we decided to wait and let the pull-ups stay at night, but not during the day when he is aware of what he needs to do. We thought his bladder is still not ready to control the pee overnight. We waited til he woke up about 2weeks in a row without any wetness in the pull-ups then we thought, ok the bladder might be ready by then. That is the biological part which you cannot control since the bladder develops in its own time and some kids' bladder develop faster than others. Sometimes there would still be some "accidents" at night but they soon went away. Now, the times that he would have an "accident" while he is awake, that only happens because he didn't wanna stop playing and give himself enough time to get to the bathroom, and he goes at the very last minute...that is the behavioral part which you and the kid can control.

  11. i also weaned our daughter from the bottle when she was 3. she never took to sippy cups with the spouts so i experimented with different kinds of these until i found the perfect fit for her, a cup/glass with a lid and a straw. until now at almost 5 she drinks her milk this way:)

  12. I guess you can see it the way a Mom would wean her baby from breastfeeding directly. I mean, he weaned from you and went to the bottle when Inigo came along. So he now only has his bottle and sippy cup for milk. But iba parin ang comfort ng bottle ('close to nature' pa yung iba diba!). I remember weaning from the bottle before grade school I think (mga 7 years old?) and I can horribly remember when my Mom decided to wean me from the bottle at around 5 years old. I lost weight, didn't eat right, and I also remember frantically looking for the teat of my bottles! Akalain mong itago lang yung nipple so I can't suck!

    Anyway, for me I wouldn't force wean him although I'm sure that's not what you are doing or meant to do naman with Vito. Sabi nga yung isang commenter mo, hindi naman mag bbottle yan hanggang high school. :D Saka he looks fine! Give him little snacks na lang if he doesn't want to eat a full rice and ulam meal. When Jacob refuses rice meals, we give him a plate of apples/oranges/watermelon/pears to eat instead. And he has green smoothies rin so extra healthy tummy filler!

  13. My son is 4 and is still drinking milk from the bottle for his nap and at night. He is good at eating regular food already. He has a little brother who drinks from a bottle. Until my 4 y/o is ready, then thats the time I will wean him especially because he still sees his little brother drinking from the bottle.

    I dont feel the need to rush my boys into these things, just like toilet training. I constantly ask my pediatrician for advice for these things. He often tells me that each child is different and they all wont stop bottle feeding at the same time:).

    Dont stress on it. Its all part of the beauty of parenting :). good luck!

  14. Health concerns about weaning from the bottle too late...this might give you more courage and incentive to do what you know in your mind and heart is good for you child :)

    "When should I start using a cup instead of a bottle?
    Children who drink from a bottle for too long have a higher chance of tooth decay, ear infections, and it may reduce their appetite for foods. This can lead to poor nutrition (such as low iron).

    Drinking from a cup is also an important skill for your baby to learn. Once you are starting to give your baby solid foods by around 6 months of age, you can give your baby some tap water to drink from a cup.

    When you change your baby from formula on to regular cow's milk at 12 months of age, use a cup. The bottle is not needed any more."

    The American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents to ensure bottles are history by age 15 months. The process of going from bottle to cup likely has setbacks, but don't give up on the challenge. Your baby's dental and overall health could be affected if you allow bottle feeding to continue for too long.

    Read more:

    Many toddlers become attached to their bottles. They have them with them much of the time, so besides providing nourishment, bottles also mean comfort and security.

    But it's important for parents to start weaning babies from bottles around the end of the first year and start getting them comfortable drinking from cups. The longer parents wait to start the transition, the more attached kids become to their bottles and the more difficult it can be to break the bottle habit.

    Switching from bottle to cup can be challenging, but these strategies can make the change easier for parents and kids....




    Many pediatricians recommend that around his first birthday, your baby should give up his trusty ba-ba full-time in favor of a full-fledged cup. What's the rush? There are several reasons.

    Dental hygiene: If your baby spends all day (or worse, all night) slurping on a bottle of milk or juice, his teeth — the ones you can see and the ones you can't — it could lead to permanent damage and serious tooth decay.Health and nutrition: Too much bottle time can mean more ear infections. There's also the matter of a balanced diet. If your baby loves his bottle and sips from it nonstop, he'll have little room in his tiny tummy for nutritious foods.

    Development: If his mouth is plugged with a nipple, your baby can't practice talking; clutching the trusty bottle to his side keeps him from using both hands to play and explore.

    Habit: A one-year-old's will is more malleable than an older toddler's. (They don't call it the terrible twos for nothing!) So breaking the bottle habit now (and possibly the paci, too) will be easier on both your baby and you in the end.

  16. Frances, I work at our County's Health Department here in southern Illinois and I would like to take this opportunity to raise this awareness to your readers because I think that this is important. There is more than meets the eye to this weaning from the bottle issue, a lot of parents are not aware that this affects the health of their children greatly. I myself was late at weaning my son, (he was already 2yrs old when he got off the bottle) and I did not know this back then...but since i learned about this, I make sure to spread the word. Please refer to the resources I am posting below.

    “…In particular, said co-author Jane Brotanek of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, bottle feeding children for too long can cause them to drink too much milk and juice. These foods are low in iron and prevent children from eating higher-iron foods such as beans, enriched bread, green leafy vegetables, eggs and meat.”

    "Excessive milk or juice intake, prolonged bottle-feeding, snacking and junk food intake might contribute," the authors wrote.

    Iron deficiency can lead to anemia, or low red blood cell and hemoglobin count. Anemia, in turn, can cause harm to young children's mental and motor development.

    "What you put in your baby's bottle can affect your child's future," Brotanek said.

    Learn more:

    “Children who are bottle-fed well past their second birthdays are significantly more likely to develop iron deficiency, investigators here reported….In a cross-sectional survey of more than 2,000 children ages one to three, the longer a child was bottle-fed, the greater the prevalence of iron deficiency. Bottle-feeding for more than 24 months tripled the risk for iron deficiency compared with children bottle-fed 12 months or less (OR, 2.8; 95% CI, 1.3-6.0)…. Insufficient iron levels can affect the central nervous system and red cell production, increasing the risk for cognitive and behavioral problems, they said "Because of this," said Dr. Brotanek, "prevention of iron deficiency in early childhood is an important pediatric public health issue."

  17. “According to a 2003 survey and study conducted by Karen A. Bonuck, Ph.D., and Richard Kahn, M.S., of the Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, children who are bottle fed for a prolonged period of time may be at higher than normal risk of developing iron-deficiency anemia or becoming obese. …The study was supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)… The researchers concluded that use of the bottle did not seem to be significantly associated with a child being overweight, but both obesity and iron-deficiency anemia were significantly linked to a child's bottle use.
    Although iron deficiency is common in children, iron-deficiency anemia has been associated with delayed mental and psychomotor development. Children who either don't eat enough or eat foods that are poor sources of iron are at greatest risk of developing iron-deficiency anemia. According to, poverty has been found to also be a contributing factor to iron-deficiency anemia because children of poor families often don't get enough iron-rich foods.
    Interestingly, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants be introduced to drinking from a cup by six months of age; they recommend a child be completely weaned from the bottle by 15 months. However, 20 percent of children two years old and nine percent of children three years old are still using a baby bottle. Further, babies who are more likely to stay on the bottle the longest are from poor, urban, less-educated and minority parents.
    According to Drs. Bonuck and Kahn, children who aren't weaned by the recommended time often become habituated to drinking milk or sweet liquids throughout both day and night, rather than drinking water. Cow's milk is low in the iron needed for growth and development, and it also decreases the absorption of iron. Further, drinking milk and sweet liquids can also discourage a child's taste for other food, as well as for a more balanced diet.”

    I hope that we have done something good by raising this awareness and make sure to spread the word too :)

  18. Hi Frances, my daughter Gwen is 2 y.o., still on the bottle and is a VERY picky eater. She dislikes rice, and is too lazy to chew kaya no meats like chicken, pork and beef. Kaya we just rely on the milk for her nutrients na rin. She survives with biscuits lang sometimes. Ang hirap, but don't stress yourself. I read na magugutom din yan, at kakain kung anong gusto. When we see that she's eating a particular food, sinasamantala na namin and we let her eat that like french fries, toasts, etc.

  19. I experienced this too with my sons. But you see, kids are like us too. Di ba there are times when we don't feel like eating also? This has very little to do with weaning. For as long as your son isn't malnourished you have nothing to be afraid of. Babalik din yung appetite n'ya. Just make sure that something he likes is available all the time. With my sons, they will eat anything with cheese. Basta don't have your heart set on them eating a full meal all the time. It doesn't make you a bad mom if they don't eat rice + viand 3 times a day.

  20. Hi Frances,
    I'm grateful for summer vacations since I also get to set rules in the house without the yayas. I've a 4 year old son and a 2 year old daughter. I tried this compromise with my son, milk in the cup in the morning and milk in the bottle at night.

  21. Hi Frances! my son 4 and is perfectly healthy and has perfect teeth. He takes his milk from the bottle but not in an attached way. He does well without it throughout the day. I see no point in being a Nazi mom, I wouldnt want my son to have useless anxieties. Just relax and take it as it comes.


This is all pretty new to me so please feel free to share your mommy wisdom!