For my first Mom Talk post of the year, I am sharing how we transitioned away from bottles to milk and some of the convenience foods that help us get through busy days.
So first things first, let’s talk about moving away from bottles. This was something that intimidated me at first and despite lots of google researching and asking my tribe of mom friends, no one seemed to have the same answer. So, like every other transition, I went with my gut and did what felt best.
I knew that Buel was ready to try milk from about 10 months on because he was eating other dairy products, but I waited until his 12 month appointment to give him some. Once his doctor gave him the all clear to drink cow’s milk, she let me know that he should be transitioned away from bottles by his 15 month appointment. So on our way home from that appointment we picked up so milk and started right away.
At around 10 months we had already started the transition from bottles to sippy cups during the day from the suggestion of his daycare teachers. We split up his mid-day bottle into a few sippy cups that he got with lunch and snacks and he immediately transferred over just fine. So, our first transition was switching his daytime bottles to milk and dropping his morning bottle since he wasn’t all that interested in it anyway.
Although I think Buel would have been fine to go cold turkey from bottles to milk, we had some formula left and I did not want it to be too huge of a change so we kept with his bedtime bottle for about a month. Slowly I moved the bottle up until it was just about right after dinner and then one day we went without it. That night I held my breath at bedtime, hoping for the best.
I was glad that we had already established a bedtime routine at that point so that the bedtime bottle wasn’t the only thing that signaled it was time for sleep. This made things relatively easy for us and bedtime is still a non-issue. I will say that it does take Buel a bit longer to fall asleep these days, but overall once he’s sleepy and we set him in his crib he falls asleep after 5-10 minutes. Before it was less than 5 minutes, but that’s life with a toddler!
While I’m at it, I figured I would also share how meal time is going for us lately. Overall Buel still eats almost anything but he is slightly more challenging at meal times. Sometimes he’s cranky and squirmy and hard to manage but what I’ve come to realize that timing is key. If he’s too hungry he barely eats, throws his food on the floor and refuses.
During the day Buel gets breakfast, lunch and a snack between each. I still follow my formula of a vegetable or fruit, a protein and a starch that I’ve followed since we transitioned to table food at each meal. Our routine is hectic and while I had visions of making all of his food from scratch, I’ve come to find a good balance and reset my expectations.
Our breakfast favorites are Cheerios and an applesauce pouch (still love the Target ones), Kodiak Cakes that I’ve frozen on the weekends, yogurt and frozen fruit or eggs.
Lunch and Dinner are where we usually rely on leftovers or convenience foods in a pinch. If I do not have leftovers, our favorites are frozen bagged veggies or Dr. Prager’s Littles with Earth’s Best chicken nuggets, fish nuggets or meatballs. This combo came be made in less than 2 minutes which is the key- when my toddler wants to eat, he’s ready to eat! When I’m really in hurry I’ll sometimes resort to Annie’s Cheesy Ravoli or Mac and Cheese leftover from the weekend. One of these days I’m hoping to make my own veggie tots and meatballs to freeze, but for now things are working well for us.
Leftovers remain the main lifesaver for us. Any time that I can put leftovers together for quick meals, I do. If I make Buel mac and cheese on Saturday afternoon, I’ll always fill a few of his bowls and put them in the fridge for later. Every night when I cook dinner, I’ve also gotten in the habit of putting together his dinner for the next night so he’ll eat whatever we ate for dinner the next day.
Buel typically eats right at 6:00 which is right after we get home from work. So, having his dinner ready is key. I’ll make dinner for us while Rich does bedtime or afterwards if he works late and Rich and I usually eat around 7:30-8:00.
I’m glad we’ve found what’s working for us lately but I think that means that things will change soon, that seems to be how it works but figuring out each stage is a challenge I’ve accepted with open arms as a Mom!
What time do you eat dinner every night? Do you have a routine, or is every night different?