Does your little one like to be cuddled in daddy’s arms while fed his bottle? Or does he like to have a sippy cup close at hand while he plays with his toys?
His preference will tell you a lot about what he responds to and what will help him to express the little boy he is inside, but I can’t help thinking that when you’re caring for an adult baby there are no hard and fast rules.
One of the joys of caring for an AB or little boy is that he’ll find all kinds of ways to show you his little side – and that all of them are a gift to a daddy whether he’s in your arms as you give him his baby bottle, or he’s toddling around the house with a sippy cup in one hand and a teddy bear in the other.
Often, an AB will tell you that he’s a particular “inner age”. He responds most strongly, say, to be cared for like a 2 year old, or maybe a 10 year-old (with a wetting problem of course!) And for a daddy, that’s a great place to begin providing him with the safety and care that can lead to trust and unconditional love.
But as I often say – the amazing thing about an Adult Baby is that he’s also an “A”.
You might spend one weekend helping him to explore the babyish sides of his personality, and then on a weeknight you might dress him in shortalls, hand him his sippy cup and then snuggle him as you watch a movie together.
There’s something adorable about a sippy cup. They provide a sense of safety to both you and your little guy – no worries about spills on the carpet, although there’s no guarantee you won’t need to wipe the occasional dribble off his chin.
A sippy cup can be a real expression of personality. The color, shape and decorations are a way that he shows his unique personality. Maybe he loves a certain cartoon character.
Maybe you even have different sippy cups – I mean, why shouldn’t his sippy cup match his outfit?
But a sippy cup says something else: that even though he’s playing or doing things on his own, his daddy is still by his side. The sippy cup is a reminder that he’s not a big boy, and that his dad is there to keep things safe.
A sippy cup keeps lots of healthy liquids (juices or milk) close at hand and every time he goes to take a drink, he’ll be holding in his hands a reminder that his daddy is taking care of him. He may also remember that what goes in, well, it must come out too – and that he’s diapered for a reason. As he takes a sip, he’ll know that a wet diaper won’t be too far behind but that his daddy will check him and change him when needed.
In contrast, a bottle will elicit more babyish feelings from your little guy. Even if he’s drinking from his bottle on his own, it’s a more tangible reminder that he’s still a baby boy.
Sitting in his high chair with a bib around his neck and a bottle on the tray, he’ll remember that he’s under his daddy’s care not just for diapering and dressing, but for feeding as well.
But perhaps one of the most intimate acts in caring for someone is when daddy gives his little guy his bottle. Cradling him and bringing the bottle to his son’s lips is a quiet but sure gesture of how much the two share. Daddy is there to feed his boy, and his boy is giving a gift in return by placing himself into his care.
Those moments when you give your little guy his bottle and you look into his eyes as he happily sucks on his bottle can be a very emotional and deep bonding experience.
But whether your little guy is given a sippy cup or a bottle, or maybe both in one day, he’ll understand that you care, and this will help to deepen the trust he feels in you. Just remember: keep up on your diaper checks and change your little one when he needs it, and make sure he always has plenty of liquids to keep him healthy.
And what about you – if you’re a dad or AB, which do you prefer? Does a sippy cup or bottle depend on the ‘age’ of your adult baby? Does it depend on circumstances or time of day? And what’s your all-time favorite bottle or sippy cup design?