Well, I guess not "The Juice", just "juice" in general.
It's my fault. Firstly, when she was barely eating and I was freaking out, I thought drinking juice that promises a whole serving of vegetables and fruits was at least a way to get calories into her.
Secondly, I can't say no to my daughter when, just learning to speak, she says "juice" and I say "cheese?" and she says "juice" and I say "shoes?" and she says "juice" and say "juice?" and she nods and we have had a Communication Breakthrough in the MommieV household. I can't just NOT give her the juice then, can I?
Thirdly, the time change really screwed with both our internal clocks. She was going to bed at 7 and I was following at 9. Still not early enough when she would wake up at 5:00, ready to go for the day. I started putting a sippy cup of juice in her bed, which seemed to help. She wouldn't make much noise until 7 am, and I'd go in to find an 8 oz juice cup drained empty.
So I take full responsibility for it.
But then it snowballed.
First she started asking for juice when we got in the car, then screamed all the way home when I gave her none. I learned, and started carrying juice boxes in the car. Then she would ask for juice when we got out of daycare and I would pour her a juice and she would be happy. Then she started asking for juice when I walked into daycare to pick her up, before we even put on her jacket. Last week? I just carried juice in with me to pick her up, because I didn't want to have to say no and face tears.
One day last week she had 8 oz of juice in the morning (she can just chug a sippy cup empty in minutes.) 5 oz on the way to daycare, 8 oz on the way home, 3 oz with supper, and another 3 oz before bed. If she spends the day with me, it's even more than that.
Again, I take responsibility here. I hate drinking milk. I have a traumatic memory from Kindergarten where I was the last kid at the lunch table and I was forced to drink warm milk before I could get up. They told me to just hold my nose and drink it. To me, the only thing milk is good with is cookies or chocolate cake. Not even peanut butter. Ugh. So I don't drink milk with meals the way some families do, and I don't want to force her to drink milk if she doesn't like it. Which, given the fact that she is like me in so many other ways, is entirely possible.
Also, I admit. I totally used juice as a substitute for nursing while we were going through weaning. She would often refuse a cup of milk and want mommy's milk. Juice, though, seemed to work.
So at the doctor today I asked about the juice-drinking. Should I be concerned? I can't figure out if she's drinking because she's genuinely thirsty, or because she likes the sugary juice. She kindof acts the way I do about cokes, so I'm thinking it's the sugary juice. (Addictions are inherited, you know.)
Of course the doc said cut back on the juice. Isn't he paid to say stuff like that?
So now we are on Juice Limiting. Tonight for bedtime I diluted her juice almost 50% with water. She drank it, although not as much chugging as she normally does with straight juice. I left the cup in her bed with her, so we'll see if it suffices in the morning. Ideally I want to get that bedtime/crib cup to be just water. Don't want the tooth decay from the sugar!
Baby steps. Don't want to force the girl to go cold turkey, that would be bad. We'll do more milk with meals at home (they have milk with all meals at daycare already.) We'll do more water when I think she's simply thirsty.
I haven't decided what to do about the daycare pickup tomorrow. Maybe a very diluted cup.
Anyone else broken a juice addict from the bottle/cup? Words of wisdom would be welcome!