How to Wean Your Teen from Their Bottle (Again)
I know it may seem like a long time ago, but do you remember weaning your baby from the bottle? It was a bit of a nightmare for us because my kids loved their bottle, or their “baba,” as we lovingly referred to it. They never used a pacifier, probably because they attached to their baba instead. Well, I harkened back to those baby days to wean my teens from the water bottle, which I also refer to as their baba. Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s great that they love to drink water, but I think it’s more about needing the bottle that is an issue. So here’s my plan–feel free to use it, too.
STEP 1: INTRODUCE A REAL DRINKING GLASS
First, get your teen used to the idea of using an actual drinking glass instead of a bottle. Most teens are not able to break from the bottle without any type of transition period. So introduce the glass by placing it on the table next to them. It’s okay if it’s empty–just allow them to see that there is another option. When they give you the same confused expression as when you revealed you didn’t have the Internet as a kid, it’s okay. Just identify the object as a glass that has the option of being filled with water. You can leave it at that–you don’t want to overwhelm them.
STEP 2: OFFER A FULL GLASS OF WATER
The next step is to place a full glass of water next to their water bottle. The idea is to help them associate seeing the water through the glass with drinking the water. If necessary, you can put a straw in the glass to aid with the transition from a water bottle to glass. It’s okay if they don’t drink from it yet. But if they do, that’s great, too!
STEP 3: HIDE THE WATER BOTTLES
I know what you are thinking–“Whoa, hold on a second, that’s a bit drastic!” But let’s face it. Carrying around a water bottle all day like another appendage is a practice that must be dealt with dramatically. After they have finished searching the house for the water bottle and start panting from lack of hydration, offer a full glass of refreshing water. It’s normal if they resist, but eventually, they will drink from that glass, I guarantee it.
I hope it goes as well for you as it did for me. Actually, I should clarify that: I hope it goes as well as can be expected for three teens weaning from their water bottles. Cheers!