What age do you stop giving your child a bottle?

Kayla - posted on 06/07/2010 ( 94 moms have responded )

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My niece is 40 days younger than my daughter. They are 21 and 22 months old. My daughter has been off the bottle since she was 14 months old, but my niece still gets a couple on a daily basis for naptime, bedtime and morning...to me this is not okay. What do you ladies think?

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Sarah - posted on 06/08/2010

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My youngest daughter is 2 and she still has a bottle for her milk before bed (yes, we clean teeth afterwards).
I highly doubt one bottle a day is damaging her teeth.
Why is it so bad that a toddler should have a bottle or 2 a day, but if they were still breastfeeding once or twice a day, this would be fine!
It's a comfort thing probably, and i don't see why just because a child suddenly reaches a certain age, that comfort should be ripped away.

If EVERY drink was coming from a bottle, then i could understand. One or 2 though, I don't see the big deal.

Heather - posted on 06/10/2010

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I will let my son (who is 13 months) have his bottle as long as he still wants it, he has never taken a binky and he only has his bottles in the morning and bed time...I see nothing wrong with it and I dont get why other mothers feel the need to judge others parenting choices...we all do what we feel is right for our children, after all we are the ones who know them best. I also dont get why it is recommended to BF until at least 2...but bottle fed babies have to wean at 12 months...what is the difference? What about BF moms giving breast milk in a bottle after age one...I dont see the big deal...and honestly, I am more irritated that so many women feel the need to pass judgment over such trivial things as binkys and bottles!

Suzette - posted on 06/09/2010

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@Sherri,



At the AAP website I went to the “Children’s Health Topics” and selected the Quick Access by age. I chose, under Early Childhood (1yr to 4yrs), the topic of “What are some of the developmental milestones my child should reach by 2 yrs of age?”



This took me to the page of HealthyChildren.org, I’m presuming that AAP does credit this website since they direct you there. Under baby, they have feeding and nutrition.

In that section, it has a subsection titled, “Discontinuing the Bottle.” It states the following,



“It is recommended that the bottle be given up entirely at around age one and almost certainly by eighteen months.”



It goes on to state,

“Incidentally, giving your toddler a drink or other snack before bedtime is acceptable— provided you brush his teeth afterward. In fact, it may help him fall asleep. A short breastfeeding, a drink of cow’s milk or other liquid, or even some fruit or another nutritious food will do. If the snack is a bottle, gradually phase it out by substituting a cup.”



http://www.healthychildren.org/English/a...



Even the AAP doesn’t state that it HAS to stop at the age of 12 months, it’s a guideline. They state at least by 18 months. I’m certain that they take certain things into consideration when giving out this guideline as well.

Jodi - posted on 06/09/2010

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I don't see the issue. Both my kids still had their bedtime bottles until they were around 3 1/2. They didn't TAKE their bottle to bed. They had a bottle while we snuggled and read a bedtime story, then went and cleaned teeth before bed. It isn't damaging the teeth. It was just a part of a comforting bedtime routine. Anyone still breastfeeding at that age would also have the same issue making sure teeth were cleaned. What's the issue?

Joanna - posted on 06/07/2010

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Why is it not okay? Because it's not the way you parent your child? Everyone parents differently. Why is taking the bottle away at such a young age so important? I never understood why 1 was the magic number.

My daughter's bottle was her comfort object, and we couldn't find any sippy cups that she liked (we found one but she would only drink water from it). She kind of weaned herself so from 1 to 1 1/2 she had a bottle before her nap and bedtime, and then from 1 1/2 to just before she turned 2 she had a bottle after her bath and before brushing teeth and going to bed. Then right before she turned 2 she just suddenly stopped caring about the bottle, so it worked perfectly, we got rid of it with no hassle.

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Nichole - posted on 06/17/2010

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My son lost interest in the bottle at 4 months and I was having issues getting him to eat until I switched him to nuk soft sippy cups...they are the softest soft nippled sippy out there. And he went completely off bottles, then almost monthly we went through the same thing, him "outgrowing" cups, so we progressively switched him to harder nippled cups. Now he only uses hard plastic toped sippy cups at 9 months.

Tara - posted on 06/16/2010

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My daughter was completely done one her first birthday. My son was given a bottle at bed time only up from 11mons to 1 year. Then just a sippy cup. He's almost 14 months and can do a straw sippy cup pretty well. I wouldnt worry though. My dentist said as long as they are done by 3 1/2 their teeth will be ok. Thats what most people worry about.

Jessica - posted on 06/15/2010

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@Joanna-teeth are always changing. If you study pictures of the same person from infancy to adulthood and pay close attention to the teeth you can see this change. Once the teeth completely erupt from the gums they must then slowly shift and make space for all of the other teeth to fall in place as well. I would not worry about what her teeth will look like as an adult. You will just stress about something you cannot really see until all the permanent teeth are in and no more baby teeth remain.

Jessica - posted on 06/15/2010

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It is not that big of a deal. There is nothing wrong with it. If you think about children have MILK teeth for a reason. If proper dental hygiene is used I see nothing wrong. It is just our culture and a difference of opinion among a wide range of different types of parents. We all do things at least a handful of things which other parents see us doing and deem those actions wrong or developmentally inappropriate when they are not. My son is 20 months and still uses bottles. Believe me she is not going to suffer because she had bottles until her mother felt it was time to stop.

Wendy - posted on 06/15/2010

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I let my kids do it on there own and by the age of 2 they all off the bottle and threw it away and said big cup all on there own no drama! Now the paci was a total different hard issue!

Joanna - posted on 06/13/2010

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That could be true, at least it is in my case... my paci-loving child didn't start talking until she was 23 months (until then she had about a 10-15 word vocab), and even now at 2 1/2 although she talks a lot, no one really understands her but me (which is a hassle and I'm worried about that for preschool!)

Amanda - posted on 06/13/2010

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Oh, I meant it takes longer to learn how to talk! I don't think it has an effect on really anything besides a child's speech!

Joanna - posted on 06/12/2010

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My 2 1/2 year old still uses her pacifier at bedtimes (it's been a real pain in the bum to get rid of them), and her teeth are a bit messed up! When she bites down she has a pretty big gap between her top and bottom teeth. I really truly hope this doesn't affect her permanent teeth!

Meghan - posted on 06/12/2010

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Dana I seriously just read an article on your question about nursing and bottles and falling asleep In today's parent...
the article is a mother asking about whether or not she should wean her 18 month old from BF and more specifically nursing to fall asleep. Part of the answer was "Feedin her until she falls asleep is a concern. First, she should not fall asleep with her teeth and gums bathed in milk as this may promote tooth decay..." the rest of the answer is talking about self soothing.
In today's parent there is also an article about soothers..."unless the pacifier is causing dental or speech problems, it's fine for kids to use it during sleep periods (though not all day long) until they are four or five years old-before the permanent teeth come in." This is a direct quote from the magazine-I personally think 4 or 5 is TOO old for a soother, even if just at bed time.
Joshua has never taken a soother and like I said he is down to one bottle, but he does like to suck on washclothes. I was told by a nurse that doing this can cause issues with his teeth (pushing them forward, I guess the same effect that a soother would create??)

Brandy - posted on 06/12/2010

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i introduced a sippy cup to jenna as soon as she started to hold her own bottle. i still bottle fed her but i put a little water in the cup for her to just kind of explore with the cup. then around 12 months i didnt think she was ready to give up the bottle so i replaced some of her bottles during the day with a cup until she was only getting a bottle before bed and at night. i know i shouldnt have let her have a bottle in the middle of the night but she was hysterical every night about 3am after we moved to a new house and it calmed her down and helped her sleep. i think i took her bottle away completely at about 15 months and she was fine as long as she got to go to bed with her cup. and i know it can cause tooth decay but i figure, i brush her teeth and i only let her do it for a couple weeks. now the bottles not an issue but she is still adjusting to going to bed without a cup which is heart breaking but im pretty sure she'll be over it by the end of the week. one of the reasons i wanted to break her of the bottle before she was two is because i may need to take her to daycare soon and the daycare that i prefer is affiliated with a preschool program, they have the 2 year olds sit at a table and drink from regular cups etc... there are no binkies or bottles allowed because they are training them for preschool and i want jenna to be a part of that.

[deleted account]

Heather, I don't have a problem w/ using a bottle of just water. It is mainly a teeth issue for me I suppose... and the walking around sucking on a bottle ALL the time thing that happens w/ some kids. It's not the bottle itself I take issue w/... just whats in it or how it's used... in some cases. :)



Then again, I'm 33 and used to use adult 'sippy cups' and still use water bottles. lol! I like to avoid messes....

[deleted account]

Thanks April, hopefully she doesn't mind me asking her about it?!! I'm not saying you guys are wrong but I'm genuinely curious because I had a lactation specialist tell me to wipe my daughter's gums and eventually her teeth after each time breastfeeding......silly me, but I assumed it was because of the same issues with bottle feeding an infant? I'm curious about the study...

Anyhow, Roxanne only breastfed until 6 months but I've always wiped her gums or teeth now that she has them afterwards....I was pretty anal about it because that lactation nurse lady had me freaked right out! LOL!

April - posted on 06/11/2010

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Dana...yes as a matter of fact, i do remember who it was. It was Lisa Moreau.

and yep, i was suggesting that breast milk is less of a threat than formula.

Heather - posted on 06/11/2010

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Amanda, I do agree about the binky slowing down speech...but I dont see how a binky would cause a child to be slower to learn.

I keep seeing that people see no problem with BF for 2+ years, and we all know that the older the child gets, BF is more about comfort than nutrition, because after 2 a child should be getting most of his nutrition from the foods he eats..not that breast milk does not have tons of good stuff that babies need...I am just saying, children 2 and up should be eating more than they BF. So why is it not ok to use a bottle to sooth and comfort a child who is over one, just like BF moms use breast feeding to sooth and comfort their children for years? Why should bottle fed babies be expected to not need the closeness and comfort that a bottle gives them by age one (other than the teeth issue) I sometimes put just warm water in my sons bottle, and he really doesn't care whats in the bottle, he just likes to be cuddled and comforted, especially before bed. I dont think its any more strange than moms who BF till the kid goes to kindergarten IMO...

Amanda - posted on 06/10/2010

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But I would like to just add, binkies are kind of a different story. One of my biggest pet peeves is when a baby is playing perfectly fine, and the parent puts there binky in there mouth, JUST BECAUSE! Not only does that get the baby more attached and make the child think they need it all the time, it also prevents talking, or takes the baby longer to learn.

Amanda - posted on 06/10/2010

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I started transitioning my daughter from bottles to sippy cups at like 7 months...almost as soon as she could hold one. & by the time she was 12 months old she didn't even care for a bottle. Im sure it would have been different if she were screaming and throwing fits, but she didn't so it was easy to toss them all at 12 months! She also like to be a "big girl" and drink out of my cup, so by the age of 2 she had pretty much mastered drinking out of regular cups. I do however love sippy cups, just because if my 10 month old happens to get ahold of my daughters cup, I don't have a huge mess to clean up. I think all kids are different, and just because your child is still on a bottle after their first birthday, it doesn't mean they are behind. I still see kids 3 and 4 years old carrying blankets around...I think it's a comfort thing.

[deleted account]

Yeah, my 17 month old nephew still gets several bottles a day. It's not an all day, hanging out of the mouth thing though. Just kind of like his regularly scheduled 'snacks' since he really doesn't like to eat very often. I think my son would have a boob hanging out of his mouth all day if the things were portable. lol! He is VERY much attached right now.....

[deleted account]

I'm not a huge fan of bottles after a year BUT only when I see a child running around with it hanging out of their mouth. I think those children/parents give bottles, pacifiers etc. a bad name.....to have a bottle or two in the confines of your own home....*shrugs*.....do what you like!

[deleted account]

April and Dana, I've heard there is a difference too. Sorry I'm not a researcher though. lol!



I am still breastfeeding a 2 year old though and I don't brush his teeth after. He doesn't usually nurse to sleep at bedtime, but he does nurse in bed... and frequently once in the middle of the night/early morning. So far his teeth are fine.... Hope they stay that way.



I'm not a 'fan' of bottles after a year. Sorry, I'm just not, BUT I think you all pretty much know that I subscribe to the parenting philosophy of 'your kid, your business'. :)

[deleted account]

Oh, I just remembered something...... I know some people mentioned the difference between a breast nipple and bottle nipple being different shapes and bottle nipples possibly causing problems in regards to tooth development.....is that maybe the difference? Oh heck, now I'm just confused! Please someone, help?!!

[deleted account]

Thanks April.



I've heard that too from someone but, IMO, if a child falls asleep while feeding, whether it's a bottle or breast in their mouth there's still a chance of milk pooling. Are they suggesting that the breastmilk itself is less of a threat than formula? Do you remember who it was that mentioned the study....I wanna pick their brain?!!

April - posted on 06/10/2010

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Dana, they just came out with a study that suggests that breastmilk/nursing to sleep does not harm the teeth. it was presented at one of those big breastfeeding conferences...i am not sure of the details, as i didn't go. but someone else in this community did go, but she hasn't posted on this thread. maybe she can explain more, if she decides to post .

[deleted account]

Roxanne doesn't drink much either but that doesn't change the fact that it happens...I do agree with you though that there's TOO much emphasis on milk and dairy......there's tons of ways around it if necessary!

Zoe - posted on 06/10/2010

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My son has not had a bottle since he was about 1 for the simple reason i got fed up of buying teets one night i just gave him a no spill cup and he has never looked back he is now 18 months

Sherri - posted on 06/10/2010

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Mine has never drank milk he positively hates it and is absolutely healthy without a drop of it. He gets plenty of Vitamin D and Calcium other ways.

Sarah - posted on 06/10/2010

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I totally agree that getting the milk into them is more important!
My youngest point blank refuses to drink milk out of anything but her bottle (yes, we have tried! lol) I don't want her to have no milk, so I think the one bottle a day she has is worth it.

As Dana pointed out about the teeth thing, just clean them!!!!
My eldest had a bottle (one a day) until she was 3 and her teeth are fine! :)

[deleted account]

Roxanne is not emotionally stunted because I let her have a bottle at 15 months....no child is going to be emotional stunted having a bottle or any other comfort item.

[deleted account]

Quoting Sara.

" To me getting her milk and calcium is more important than her totally being independent of the bottle."

OMG! I've said the same thing so many times before.....although Roxanne self weaned from her bottle at 17 months and no longer wants, when she did want it I felt the pros outweighed the cons.....it was more important for her to get the calcium, protein, fat etc. then my worrying about her teeth.....GAH! Her teeth are a seperate issue and we take care of them seperately....brush your kids teeth, it's really that simple!

[deleted account]

Thanks Heather.

I did breastfeed my daughter for a year. As part of the weaning process she got breastmilk in a bottle then eventually whole milk in a bottle. I think that is where the milk in a bottle attachment comes from. She just didn't "get" how to make a sippy cup work until about 14 months, but even after she was drinking all other liquids in a sippy cup, she wanted her bottle for milk. So I let her have milk in a bottle once every other day, and I brush her teeth after. I say every other day because she is two and we are slowly weaning her from the bottle. To me getting her milk and calcium is more important than her totally being independent of the bottle. She won't take a bottle to kindergarten. Just like kids that are a little slower in potty training won't wear a diaper to kindergarten. Babies are so varied in their development that it's not fair to expect all of them to be off bottles at the same time.

[deleted account]

Are there any long term breastfeeding mothers out there that don't agree with a child past 12 months having a bottle?

[deleted account]

That brings up a good point.....when I was at the lactation clinic a specialist told me it's always a good idea to brush gums/rub with a damp cloth etc even after breastfeeding.....it's not recommended to nurse a baby to sleep OR give a baby a bottle to fall asleep! It's recommended to put your baby down to sleep while they're relaxed but still awake....correct me if I'm wrong but that was my experience and understanding?!!

[deleted account]

but he will drink from a straw but i have to hold the cup... so maybe a little progress has been made

[deleted account]

My son is almost 16 months old and he still has only a bottle... we introduced sippys and he hated them and after a day and a half of him not taking any fluids bc we tried the just throw them away at his first birthday.... he obviously wasnt ready.... and since daddy was deploying in the summer and we are expecting another baby in a month and bottles are his comfort it was a battle that could wait.... i didnt want to start the process and then he backtrack when daddy left and with the new baby.... but just a question about the whole tooth decay things that most moms are scared of... if you breastfeed do you brush your childs teeth at night or after every feeding...?

[deleted account]

Haha! Funny story.....my daughter didn't get a pacifier until she was weaned from breastfeeding at 6 months.....she started to suck her thumb and I wasn't having that!

Sherri - posted on 06/09/2010

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My kids never created an attachment to there bottles, pacifiers, or sippy cups. I never took them away to be cruel. My oldest got rid of his pacifier on his own at 4 mo's. My middle one hated his bottle and never took a pacifier. So we just put his formula into a sippy cup. My little guy only took his pacifier for a few weeks and he was done. However, they all loved drinking out of regular cups by around 16mo's. By 2 they were only drinking out of regular cups so the sippys just got put away. My oldest had a animal pillow that was his attachment, my middle never had any attachments, and my little guy has his blankie those ended up being there attachments.

Suzette - posted on 06/09/2010

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Sherri,



"I guess what I am not for is kids attached to things that are really designed for babies. Baby bottles, pacifiers, even sippy cups. I feel like we need to be making our kids independent and not holding them back by letting them act like babies."



There are actually pediatricians who recommend that a toddler be allowed to keep their sippy cup past the 12 month mark. Especially considering that toddlers at this age are still learning to coordinate properly with walking and eating. Taking away objects that they're comfortable with, whether that be a bottle or a sippy, can developmentally throw them off on things that they're already comfortably learning. It's like an overload on them, attemping to make them learn too much at once.



I do agree, if it worked for your children then that's great for you. Each parent knows their child the best and one shouldn't judge the other for what they're choosing to do... as long as it's not abusive or damaging to the child. ;)

Jodi - posted on 06/09/2010

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That's fine Sherri. That's why I asked. It clarified your view on all of it. I don't agree, but I respect that is the way you parent your own children and don't judge you for that either.

Jodi - posted on 06/09/2010

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There are carbs in milk - it is in the sugars :) One of the things my husband was advised to have was a sugar free hot chocolate in the evenings. Each cup of milk is around 15grams of carbohydrate. Probably hence the view that warm milk helps you sleep.

Sherri - posted on 06/09/2010

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I guess what I am not for is kids attached to things that are really designed for babies. Baby bottles, pacifiers, even sippy cups. I feel like we need to be making our kids independent and not holding them back by letting them act like babies. I took away bottle at 11 mo's, Pacifiers by 4 mo's and Sippy cups by age 2. If they want to be attached to something let it be a blanket, stuffed animal, toy etc.

I am NOT saying anyone elses way is wrong this is just my feeling on those things and what worked for our family. If you choose to breastfeed or bottle feed until they are 20 if it works for you great. I just won't advocate for it.

April - posted on 06/09/2010

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dana and jodi...i read something somewhere about how it is good to feed carbs to your child as a meal before bed, but not protein. the article said that protein actually keeps them up..makes it harder to get them to sleep at night, but that carbs helped put them to bed!!! not sure if it is true but it might be because of what you guys are saying!

Jodi - posted on 06/09/2010

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No, you weren't wrong. Hubby's dietician talked to us about it. The reasons allude me right now, but I do remember it made sense to me when she explained. It's just that my brain is focused on taxes right now, and I have a mental blank on anything else.....back to work!!

[deleted account]

Thanks for backin me up, Jodi because I must have sounded like a moron....I'm gonna find an article that helps explain why...

Jodi - posted on 06/09/2010

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I wasn't looking for an argument either, just wondering. That explains your view on the bottle then. I am all for providing a child with a little comfort if that is what they use it for. Just my opinion. Doesn't make either of us right or wrong :)



LaCi, believe it or not, carbs in the evening are GOOD for you. I know it sounds weird, but a small carb snack helps regulate your blood sugar. I was very srurpised, but my hubby is diabetic, and we were struggling with his blood sugar readings first thing in the morning. Anyway, it turns out that a small carbohydrate snack in the evening (around 15-30 grams) HELPS his blood sugar levels. I can't remember exactly how that works (I have it written down but can't be bothered searching for it, LOL), but it is something to do with the 12 hour fasting not being good for us, and it does work at regulating things better!!

Sherri - posted on 06/09/2010

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I am not I am just not up for a fight Dana.

Jodi yes I am against extended breastfeeding past a year as well. Although I also know that it is recommended till the age of 2. So although I don't understand why children need the breast past 12mo's as long as they were off the breast by 2. I would try not to judge.

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