Saturday, January 2, 2010

At My Spit's End

I can't take it anymore. I feel like I spend half my day handing Harry his cup, watching him spit, saying no, wrestling the cup from his hands, and wiping milk off everything in sight. It's gotten to where he asks for his cup, then starts raspberrying before I even hand it to him. It has been MONTHS now. And I have no idea what to do anymore.

When I have asked folks for advice, they always tell me to say no and take it away, which is what we've been doing with no success. Or they say that it means he isn't really thirsty, except that he is begging for his cup and cries and cries when it is taken away. Or that he is testing us to be sure we'll be consistent in our response, except that we have been consistent for months and he hasn't stopped. (And I feel like the harder we try (including prohibiting raspberries when not drinking), the worse it gets (fifteen minutes of non-stop raspberries).) Or that he'll outgrow it -- when? when he's 40? Months, people, it's been months. Someone must have experience dealing with this successfully after the aforementioned efforts have failed. Please help!

Honestly, I feel like we are reliving the biting-while-nursing issue (which never got resolved), but in a way that is thankfully far less painful to me physically but which is bringing up some old emotional wounds.


HereWeGoAJen said...

Oh poor you. These babies sure know how to push our buttons, don't they?

I think if it were me, I'd put him in his high chair each time he wanted his cup and then totally ignore any mess he made. (Well, I mean clean it up later, obviously, but not give him any attention.) And I'd probably do just water except at specific milk times, to simplify the clean up. But you know, I don't know if that would work for your sweet boy. :)

Mommy, Esq. said...

He didn't spit at all at our house when he was using the straw. Maybe that would help? If it weren't spitting it would be something else to worry us or drive us crazy.

maresi said...

Ugh, that sucks. I wish I had a miracle solution for you. I will say that I totally understand the emotions you're feeling.

niobe said...

Here are my suggestions, for what they're worth.

1. Does he just like blowing raspberries and want to play? Fill the cup with a little bit of water and let him burble in a safe place -- maybe his high chair, wearing a waterproof bib, with a plastic mat on the floor, or, wearing the minimum amount of clothes in the bathroom or even the empty bath tub.

2. Is he actually thirsty? Try another means of getting milk into him -- a sippy cup with a different spout (I can't tell from the post if he's using a sippy cup or a regular cup) or a straw or a milk box (like a juice box, but, obviously, with milk). Or skip the milk for the time being, and give him other dairy products.

3. Is it that he wants to play with the cup? Give him the cup, empty, and see what happens.

niobe said...

Oh, and if my suggestions are dumb or don't address the problem, I may just not be understanding the issue. So feel more than free to ignore them.

Nicky said...

LL has never tried to spit, but we went through a period where LL would fill his mouth with liquid (he did it with both water and milk) and then dribble the entire mouthful down his chin, over and over again. He barely drank anything for weeks. BUT, we discovered that he didn't do it with Playtex straw cups. Sippy cups and regular cups, yes, almost every time, and with certain types of straws, but never with these particular straw cups. So I would suggest trying different types of cups and spouts. For LL, he likes big cups with spongy-feeling straws, and everything else he rebels against. Maybe Harry just adamantly doesn't like your cups?

In the mean time, I would go with the suggestions of feeding him other dairy products for calcium, and water-filled fruits and veggies to fight dehydration. He'll come around.

Photogrl said...

That just sounds awful!

It's been too long for me to remember if I had this problem with Miss, I hope some of the tips the other girls left help!


Amanda said...

I love the suggestions you've gotten here, especially Jen's.

I'll be honest...Trip had an issue with spitting every single time we put a bite of food in his mouth a few months back. I couldn't not feed him and nothing seemed to work to stop it. Eventually I started using two fingers and kind of "popping" his mouth...of course this was like a butterfly kiss and it made him laugh at me. One day I notched it up a bit and popped him hard enough for his feelings to get hurt (for the record, I wasn't smacking him, I barely tapped him and it was always with two fingers). He cried for about 30 seconds and was done. A couple of bites later he spit again and I popped him again. He's only spit his food once or twice since then (like I said, this was months ago).

Yo-yo Mama said...

Aitch likes to shake her cups hard enought to send the liquid everywhere (spill proof my ass). So we limit where she can take her cup. I concur with Jen that when he wants his cup, put him in the high chair and reward him with the cup. As soon as he starts to spit, say "NO!", and take it away. Wait a bit and then offer it back.

Show him how to blow bubbles in the tub water to satisfy his rasberry desires.

Katie said...

I wish I had some assvice, but we haven't had this particular issue (yet). He was (and still occasionally is) a biter, though, so if you ever want to rant about that. . . ;)

I kind of agree with Jen, though. Any behavior modification that seems to really work is just ignoring it. Much easier said than done, I know.