Detritus of a Plastic Civilization

Or Bottle Wrap (Part 1)

That’s right. I finally got around to the long-promised bottle wrap-up. (Only took 5 months.) In the process I’ve discovered it’s a bad idea to procrastinate this sort of thing because you tend to forget a lot. When Trixie was on the bottle I could have told you her average daily intake to the quarter ounce. Now I can barely remember when she drank from a bottle at all. I also have no recollection of Jenn ever being pregnant, but she assures me she was. Of course, this site helps a little bit with the details.

To be honest, this would never even have been written if we hadn’t been cleaning house recently. I was trying to find some extra space for dishes in the cabinet and started pulling out bottles. And more bottles. And more. It was hard to believe how much crap was stuffed in there. I had so completely blocked out the whole pumping/feeding/cleaning ordeal that I felt like I was seeing this stuff for the first time. And it was terrifying.


Many of the plastic artifacts pulled from the cabinet were strangely familiar. My hand remembered how to hold them, even though I couldn’t remember why or what they did. Some were labeled with alien and difficult to pronounce words like “VEN-TAI-RE” and “EV-ENF-LO”. But slowly I realized what it was. I was holding a feeding bottle. Trixie didn’t used to eat solid food at all.

It all came back. The pumping, the milk line, the cow’s milk transition, the bottle weaning, and of course, Bottle Telemetry. It was a long time ago, but now I remembered it clearly.

Initially, the main function of Bottle Telemetry was to help me gauge if Trixie was drinking enough milk. We moved past that point early on, but it was still helpful in managing the milk cycle. As Trixie got older and ate more reliably, Bottle Telemetry became more a measure of Jenn’s marathon pumping prowess and less about Trixie’s daily diet. I’m not going to rehash all the numbers again. The charts from ‘We’re All Mammals‘ [June 27, 2004] still stand.

When Trixie was 11 1/2 months old, she didn’t know it yet, but the pumping party was almost over. It was then that we first introduced cow’s milk. Over the course of a couple of weeks, we worked our way up from a 1:5 ratio to a 50/50 mix. When she turned one, we started weaning her from the bottle. Shortly after that (specifically August 8th, 2004) I discontinued Bottle Telemetry. It just didn’t really serve a useful purpose anymore.


The bottle to sippy cup transition went fairly smoothly. My approach was to introduce the cup when Trixie’s resistance was low. I would give her one first thing in the morning when she was still sleepy, agreeable and extremely thirsty. This worked well, but once she was awake she wanted a bottle. Too bad for her I knew she was perfectly capable of using the cup. Shifting her completely over took a couple of weeks and a lot of patience.

She was completely off the wagon — I mean, on the wagon — I mean, through with the bottle — at around 13 months. It could have been sooner, but she caught a cold and we were concerned about her fluid intake.

We crammed all the bottle and pumping related paraphernalia up in the cabinet and swore to never lay eyes upon it again. Until now. Seeing all this stuff makes me want to cry because most of the time I was responsible for cleaning it. It makes Jenn want to cry too, but for different reasons.

There’s more to this than just a giant pile of empty plastic that represented one of the most arduous periods of our life. How about the stuff that used to go in it?

Coming Tomorrow, Part 2: Do Milksicles Dream of Frozen Sheep?

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11 Responses to Detritus of a Plastic Civilization

  1. Jaynee says:

    My daughter was formula fed, but we also have a lot of bottles. I found two grocery bags filled with them last night, and we have another 15-18 that are in current rotation with our son.

    It’s amazing how fast they grow up, right? My 5mo son just had his first taste of solid food last night (carrots) and I got a bit emotional because it seemed he grew to 5 months overnight!

  2. old school hannah says:

    Yippee!!!! I love the milk stories best of all. You better hide that paraphenalia deep, deep, deep somewhere, maybe in Al Gore’s lock Box, deep like it all was in your subconscious, or Trixie will never get a sibling. Repress repress – you clearly know how. At least you haven’t lost your appreciation of Jenn’s “pumping prowess” – it never ceased to amaze me. Can’t wait for tomorrow’s installment!

  3. haeshu says:

    the pumping devices look like medieval torture devices when they are devoid of context, and they feel like them too!

    let us know your disposal plan, so we know what to do with all of our plastic too! looking forward to the next installment.

  4. Becky says:

    OK, so I really want kids at some point in the future, but this is not helping at all! I do extensive babysitting/nannying, and I can handle the multitude of birthing shows on Discovery Health, but this whole milk production process is still beyond me, and seems a little scary…
    Nonetheless, I am excited to see what tomorrow brings!

  5. Camille says:

    Good read. I just have to say that I’m glad I didn’t have to deal with all of the pumping and storing and bottles. Sure, having a ravenous baby latched onto you gets old sometimes but the alternative is kind of scary. 😉

  6. Jamie says:

    My daughter Sam won’t have anything to do with a bottle now at about 12 months. She was always breast fed, but we would supplement with a pumped bottle when my wife was unavailable. Early on we moved to juice and water in a sippy cup during meals.Last night while mom was out I tried to give Sam her bedtime milk in a bottle, the red sippy cup, the blue sippy cup, and finally just kind of pouring it over her face. Nothing worked, so I just put her to bed where she immediately went to sleep for 10 hours. Dodged that bullet, I guess.

  7. Diana says:

    Baby Jake is 6 months old and I pump 3 times a day. Those plastic pieces are all too familiar right now.

  8. haeshu says:

    collette is eight months old and i am trying to remember when i ramped down to pumping just once a day at work. im still on the two pump schedule and once sounds so nice…

  9. amy says:

    My 6-month-old is still a big fan of her milk, and I pump 3-4 times a day…we’ve got 47 storage bottles floating around (we use numbers to keep track of the freshness dates, v. elaborate system) and 3 sets of the pump paraphernelia. And boy, are we tired of washing! (one of the reasons we have so many plastic things is our hatred of the washing…we do the “leave soak” up to the point of borderline unsanitary…then we have to boil everything. no apparent illness yet, knock wood).

  10. Jen says:

    I haven’t pumped in nearly 2 years and that Medela pump equipment is giving me bad flashbacks.

  11. suzyQ says:

    Just getting over a particularly bad case of KIDS, myself. I’ll add that KIDS has been worse than BIDS for us. Now, I think my husband is getting sick with our latest creeping crud. I wish I could be as grumpy as he is when I’m sick!