In the spirit of coming clean I am going to confess, in this very public (internet--free access to all) yet very private (read by none) forum, that my almost three year old daughter still drinks from a bottle. . .
I would never tell her pediatrician, and don't you dare either
but you know what? I really don't care anymore. . .
To clarify a little, she really only drinks her morning and night milk in a bottle. She'll drink anything else (water, juice, the occasional cocktail--not really) from anything else (cup, sippy cup, straw, and the occasional water bowl for some animal at a house we are visiting--really), but her milk in the wee hours of the morning and her milk at dusk before bed, HAS to be in the bottle.
To be fair, her bottle was her "comfort item". No silky blanket, no cute little stuffed wabbit, she hugged an empty bottle(d'ya think I was going to give her one with milk--that is a no-no!!) at night for a long time (not unlike at least one of her parents............... not really). In fact she still sleeps with her arms lovingly wrapped around a sippy cup--I kid you not! at least we graduated her comfort item.
All new parents who have not lived through the bottle (or boob) to cup transition will probably be judging me rather harshly by now, but they have no clue. (Stop thinking badly of me!--just wait until you have a five-year-old with a pacifier)
I fought to get her to drop the bottle, believe me I fought. I tried all kinds of sippy-cups and she just sobbed inconsolably and refused to drink milk (and really wouldn't you rather have a child who drinks milk?) and when I gave her back her "ba-ba" she caressed it lovingly closing her eyes in absolute ecstasy.
And then I was struck with the realization that sippy cups are REALLY, REALLY, really not all that much different from a bottle, as far as the sucking goes (and that is one of the reasons "they" say to quit the bottle--that and teeth--well, she doesn't take it to bed with her).
In my daughter's other country of origin, CHILE (viva Chile, mierda!!!), children often drink from bottles, well beyond the recommended cut-off age in the U.S. (1 year). My husband says his mom brought him milk in the morning in a bottle until he was 12. . . and if you knew my husband like I do, you would know that it is probably not an exaggeration. And look at him. . . . he turned out (mostly) ok.
Really, bottles are practical. And I don't feel AT ALL (really, not at all, not a bit, not even a teensy-weensy bit) that I am prolonging her babyness (for my sake--trust me, I already have another baby-- or to her detriment).
I might feel different if she wanted to take her bottle to the playground, playgroup, or the mall (wait. . . I don't go to the mall), and I am sure she'll grow out of it at some point. . . right??? So I am not THAT worried about it, but let's be frank, it's not something to brag about either..
oh. . . and while we are being honest, now, thanks to the husband, her milk has to have chocolate in it.
oh. . . and the morning milk we give to her still half-sleeping because that way she'll drink it and go back to sleep until 8:30.
oh. . . and she was born before the latest BPA panic (at least the full-blown public scandal). . . so? yes............ her bottles are chock-full of the nasty hormone-altering chemical.