When should a toddler stop having a bottle before bed? How do you get them off?

Babies frequently feed before going to bed, but how do you break them off this habit once they are older?

40  Answers

22 12

Seriously people who made up all these rules of how to raise children??? As long as its not harming them let the child drink to his/her hearts content. They'll tell you when they don't want to anymore.

18
0 0

Thank God. Somebody with a little common sense. Why are they always trying to take away what is most comforting to our children. Let them be children. They grow up fast enough as it is!!!

5 52

i think they will let you know when they don't want it anymore.

11
7 3

My son is 2 1/2 and he still takes a bottle of toddler formula prior to bed.. He is a such a picky eater and despite many different techniques to encourage a fully belly after dinner he just doesn't get the calories and vitamins through out the day especially in the warmer months. So rather than taking a few small sips from the sippy cup he has an 6 to 8 ounce bottle prior to bed then he brushes his teeth goes to bed. Every child is so different and what works for one doesn't for another, and really who made these rules up??????

9
41 29

my daughter is exactly the same, very slim, doesn't eat alot so she has 100mls toddler milk, 100mls cows and we sit quietly and drink it, then brush teeth then a book...

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3 0

my daughter just turned 2 last month. She has been off the bottle since she was 1, but i still give her a sippy cup filled with milk before she goes to bed. weaning her off the bottle took a few nights but she got used to the sippy cup after she realized the bottle wasnt coming back. i think parents are sometimes worried its gonna be harder on them than it is the child and you shouldnt base your decisions on whats easy for you over the needs and wants of your child. My dr told me I should have her off this by now, only for potty training concerns. But like most moms posting, my daughter is a very picky eater. She doesn't like cheese and without her 2 maybe 3 cups a milk a day, i try my best to get her to get in as much calcium as she can. She doesn't like cold milk, so each morning, and each night, she gets a sippy cup full of warm milk. like most moms have said, i think its also that she doesn't eat a big dinner that she takes the milk, but the nights she does eat well, she doesn't drink as much milk before bed. our bedtime routine is started by bathtime, followed by brushing her teeth and hair, then we go downstairs, she sits with us, drinks her milk, accompanied with her blanket, when she is finished, we go upstairs, say our prayers, then its bedtime. she does not take her milk to bed. drs always say each child is different, so how can we treat them all the same when it comes to things like his. Like most of us have said, if your child isn't ready to let go of the bottle or bedtime milk then don't. But don't not try because YOU are not ready otherwise your holding your child back.

6
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17 26

A friend of mine had a great idea that worked for her son (and I will be trying with my daughter in the next few weeks). She told her son about the bottle fairy who takes away all of the bottles when he is a big boy to give to little babies. They packed up the bottles and put them in a bag, which they left outside their door. The next morning, the bottle fairy left a little thank you gift (colouring books, etc). He was thrilled and although a little sad the first few nights, it all worked out. I have been telling my daughter about the bottle fairy, and she is excited. I had been reluctant about taking away her bedtime bottle because she refuses to drink any milk from any cup, sippy cup, with a straw, without a straw, special cup. So, the night time bottle was the only milk she would get except a small amount with her breakfast cereal. Her dentist said this was fine (no teeth rot or overbite) since she was not allowed to play with the bottle (i.e. she drinks it quickly and doesn't play with the nipple) and we brush her teeth after her bottle. But I agree with the other posts that it will be easier if they don't seem to want it anymore.

6
4 7

My daughter gave it up on her own around 15 months. I wished she hadn't though because she has never drank milk out of a cup. We try to get her calcium but I know she doesn't' get enough. In hindsight I would have encouraged her to continue to take the bottle just so she could get milk. She is almost 3 now and doesn't drink milk, eats cheese and yogurt on occasion but not nearly enough.

3
7 1

I am a mother of four and have found that taking the bottle away right after the first birthday makes life a lot easier. It seems (and I've noticed it with friends' kids as well) that if they still have it around 15 months (or later) there is more of a battle to get rid of it. Good luck!

3
97 6

Personally, my son is 17 months and I'm in no rush to take away his bottle at night. :) As long as he doesn't have it when he's two, I think it's fine. :)

3
30 19

A lot of times it's the "comfort" of having the bottle in their mouth, and not the actual milk in it at night. It seems to soothe them. With my son, he was about 18 months, and I started giving him a sippy cup of water at bedtime. He cried for a couple of nights while he adjusted, but it was all worth it. He's almost 2.5 now, and still takes his sippy of water to bed with him :) Good luck!

2
0 6

I never let my son have anything to drink in bed and he gave up the bottle on his own 2 weeks after his 1st birthday. I had also started introducing sippy cups of water about 6 months old so he get used to having them around at meal times. I have always followed the sleep, eat, play philosophy never allowing him to nurse or eat his way to sleep. He eats breakfast as soon as he wakes up in the morning and has an afternoon snack as soon as he gets up from his nap. That way he learned to fall asleep on his own. He is now almost 3, we went through a 2 boughts of digestive illness (E-Coli and Rotovirous) where I was trying everything I could to keep him hydrated so we now have very weak juice at night when going to bed. I think you have to do what's best for your child and they are all different. i think where we get confused is when we say we are doing what's best for our child when it's really what's best for us.

1
1 16

My 2 and a half yr old is lactose intolerant and on lactose free formula after living with grandma for a while she was used to bottles being given 3 times a day and eating only little amounts as many things hurt her tummy. She also was waking over night atleast two time and was given water. When i got her bk i imediatly dropped the lunch time bottle and she started eating larger meals and gaining some weight filling out her tiny frame. Last fn we dropped the breakfast bottle and she now tolerates a little cows milk just enought to wet her ceral. Tonight i put my foot down she is 2 and a half now and i told her she was getting a cup of milk or nothing after a sad confused look and her asking bot bot again i said no! cup or no milk, she drank half and wanted to go to bed it seems it's not the milk she wanted at all just the comfort of sucking on a bottle! ..next job posting the dummy to santa in return for pressies this year! ...

1
0 0

I definitely would opt for going cold turkey. My daughter was addicted to the bottle. She wouldn't have gotten off of it accept I forced her to use the sippy cup. She really was against the hard tipped sippy cups, so Id suggest the soft tipped sippy cups. They now have the sippy cups that have the bottle like nipples on them. Those may be useful but I'd say no because it would probably make them more apt to stay on the bottle.

1
41 82

A toddler shouldn't be drinking out of a bottle at all. I stop giving sippy cups of milk before bed closer to age 2 because they can't drink before bed when pottty training!

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11 50

when my daughter was about a year and a half she caught a pretty bad viral infection. her nose was so stuffed she couldnt use her soother and drinking from a bottle was a challenge. we took the soothers away then and there, never mentioned it again, and she never asked. over the next couple weeks she wouldnt drink her bottle, it leaked all over the crib. switched to sippy cups with milk at bed time and they would go sour. now my daughter has a sippy cup of very weak juice at bed time, no water she would send it back. now she only gets her milk during the day. so my best conclusion is to take away the bottle and soothers when the child is sick and having troubles sucking, replace their attention with a nice blankie or stuffed animal, let them know that water or juice is better.

1
11 50

i must say that Calcium is best absorbed with food, so nutritionally the best time for a child ( or anyone) to have milk is during snack and meal times to get the full benefits, good choices start early in life :)

1

well if 71/2 twins like chocolate & strawberry milk in bottle twice per day is calming according to mom, what evidence does dad have besides embarrassing in public, to ask when they stop?

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24 15

my daughter is almost 3 & I just weaned her off her bottle beore bed and at night...my reasoning for it was mostly because the bottle itself was the reason she would still wake up at night...either cause her diaper was heavy & then she would ask for it and I just wanted to cut out any reasons for her to get out of bed and so one day at a friends house she was intorduced to the chocolate milk syrup...not the healthiest thing but its her treat now before bed..I warned her that there would be no bottle at night and that she had to choose whether she wanted to make her own chocolate milk or have her bottle and she choose chocolate milk...plus shes really into princess and the whole Princess dont drink from bottles...reverse phsycology thing really helped :)

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4 11

oh dear my daughter is 3 and she still drink milk from bottle..
and it so difficult to get her off from her diapers...
pls give sum tips.. thanks a lot

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15 44

I think the child will let you know when they are ready if you do it too soon then they will put you through lots of hell.

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2 39

The dentist told me once your child have teeth it's not good for them to go to bed with milk on them! Which is kind of bad because some kids get teeth early. Then she told me that 1 is a great time to stop the bottles before bed. Try giving them water instead of giving milk. Try if warm as well. Also try giving them a warm bath before bed!

0
0 0

Well, after reading many of the comments I appreciate the people that realize that every child brings their own set of idiosyncracies. My daughter is 21 months old. Maybe I am a lazy Mom but I let her have a bottle in bed at night. She still to this day will only eat small amounts of food and/or drink, 3-4 ounces of milk at a time. She eats every 2-3 hours 24 hours a day. There are the few good days when she eats a great meal at dinner and sleeps for a few more hours before needing something but rarely more than 6 hours. She is still less than 5% on the weight charts and that is adjusting for prematurity. She is a good two blocks under the curve on the chart. So, I have decided that this is not a battle that I am even going to touch right now. She does not play with her bottle, she drinks and puts it down. Plus considering I can't get her to drink more than a sip out of a sippy cup no matter what is in it, I am not going there. I have tried almost every sippy cup there is. And frankly she doesn't like sippy cups, she likes an open glass. Can't let her have that at night. Everytime I have tried to wean her off the bottle at night she has lost a significant amount of weight. So, I choose her still gaining a little and having a bottle over her losing weight again. I mean come on she hasn't even hit 20 pounds yet. She still has 3-6month clothes that fit her waist. She drowns in the clothes that fit her length. Plus, I get migraines if I have to get up in the night with her to often. So for me the cons aren't enough to outweigh the pros. I keep hoping she'll decide she doesn't need it, but that hasn't happened yet.

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0 14

My son is almost 15 months and he weaned himself off the breast at 11 months and for the first few weeks had a bottly before bed then just decided he didnt want it he would pick it up or even look at it i think they will tell u when they are ready

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1 16

we switched my almost-4-year-old to a sippy cup half-full of milk as soon as she was able to handle it and I don't see the drink-of-milk-while-snuggling-on-the-couch part of the bedtime routine going away anytime soon. As long as it's always followed by teeth-brushing, who cares? It's not like milk is poison - it's good for you! :)

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28 17

i really didnt have any problems getting rid of my sons bottle. just started putting everything in sippy cups and took it away at a yr. i added just a bit of chocolate to his milk and he drank it out of his cup. now he drinks everything out of his sippy and not had a bottle since.. he still drinks milk b4 he goes to sleep though

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111 36

My dentist recommends that they be weaned from the bottle by 18 months

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6 39

My son weaned himself off nursing at 13 months and went to the bottle. Now at 2.5 years old, we are weaning him off the bottle explaining to him his bottle has yucky milk in it and he would have it back at nap time. For awhile he would have a nap and his bottle. Now, most times he does not have a nap but requests his bottle. We explained to him he is a big boy now because he doesnt want naps. And big boys don't drink from a bottle. So, we took him shopping and he picked out his SPECIAL big boy cup. At times he still whines for his bottle.
Bedtime is a whole new scenario. He is unable to relax without his bottle at bedtime. I think him having a at bedtime, is a good start at success. Eventually, we will take his bottle out after he is done and give him water in his cup.

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3 34

Hi Melly, i assume this is your first child and we all introduce routines that we probably shouldn't when we are going through our steepest learning curve! Congrats on breastfeeding until 13 months and you probably have realised that giving your son a bottle at that stage, has caused an unnecessary attachment. Straight to a cup would have been best and despite what other people have posted, kids don't need milk before bed, give it to them in a cup well before, ideally with not in place of food. In respect to bedtime, this is always going to be a tough one to break, but make a new routine where milk is had with dinner in a cup, before he has a bath and brushes his teeth and reward with a bedtime story and /or perhaps a new stuffed toy to cuddle up to.

7 0

My daughter was 21 months old when she didn't have a diaper for the night and the day I took her diaper off I said that she can't have a bottle otherwise she wood pee her bed. Since then she never asked for a milk or bottle. she was very good.

0
2 73

I'm just glad to hear I don't have to take it away from him yet =) I'm a new mom and it was hard enough on me to stop nursing and now the thought of taking the bottle away at 1 scares me. Jaxin only has it for his two naps and before bed, so reading everyone's comments means this is ok and I feel so much better, Thanks ALL!

0
0 4

Kristen, you have to do what is right for you and your child. There are no "rules" on when they should have it taken away unless its interfering in their speech or sleep etc. Do what you feel is best.

3 63

I introduced a cup to my son right away but he wouldn't hold it. I tried the cups with handles, straws, without and finally he liked the cups with straws. I took his bottle away 2 weeks after his 1st birthday and he was fine. I never let him have a bottle in his crib so that probably helped. I too said @ 12 months the bottle is gone. My mom didn't agree but he is my kid and did fine. You might have a couple nights of crying but I say do it now before it gets harder and make sure you get rid of the bottles so you don't give in.

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29 4

my daughter weaned herself off the night time feed in her own time and by herself. She was about 18 mths old. She now just has a night time drink - we've just turned 2 - but we don't do beakers anymore, cups only ... again, her choice. Every child is different

0
19 1

My son recently turned 2. He gets 2 bottles (usually filled at least twice) a day. One at naptime, and one at bedtime. There is no real reason to get a baby off the bottle by 1 (its just a stigma) In fact, most kids have a sucking urge until well after their 2nd bday. My son doesnt do binkies, so he gets a bottle. His doctor says to not take his bottle away yet because he wont take milk in any other form. He doesn't eat well enough to take away those calories.
If your child will eat more solids before bed, that could help. I am thinkin about watering down his milk in his bottle and giving him full strength in a sippy. Im hoping that will encourage the sippy cup that he can have as a "snack" before bedtime.
BTW, my son has great teeth, and doesnt play with the nipple. If he falls asleep while drinking the bottle I take a wet cloth and wipe his mouth. No doctor I have talked to has an issue with this, and once again, there is no real reason to take the bottle away at 1.

0
41 29

actually kids keep a sucking reflex till around 7 or 8 yrs

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159 79

My little guy was completely off the bottle by the time he was 1 year old.

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4 32

I think it really depends on the child. You should listen to your child's needs rather than others advice I think. My daughter just started playing with her bedtime bottle and not really drinking much of it at all, that's when I thought it was the best time to get her off the bedtime bottle, and she had no problem with it at all. I think they will let you know when there really not too interested in it anymore.

0
5 16

My son had a problem with whole milk at first so we mixed formula with milk for awhile but when he turned one we replaced a sippy cup for the bottle and he didn't have any problem with it. He drinks the sippy cup downstairs with us and then we take him to bed and he is perfectly fine with no more bottle. We do brush his teeth before bed too :)

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3 83

My daughter was just over 2 when we stopped het taking milk to bed she has a drink of milk before she goes to bed and does take 1 to bed we found it easy but we found it easy weaning her off the dummy easy as well it just takes time and patience but will happen eventually

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29 16

Sheesh, my son has been off the bottle since the day after he turned one and has NEVER taken a bottle to bed!! It is terrible for their teeth. He has 1/2 a cup of milk about an hour and a half to two hours before bed and that is it.

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4 13

When they get teeth. Otherwise, they'll end up with bottle rot.

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11 50

oh ya are you saying you should take a babies bottle away at 4months? because my daughter had teeth by then. they need that nutrition and comfort, weather or not the have teeth. if your child or someone you know has a child with bottle rot, there is a pretty dam good chance there is something else wrong.. maybe brush your kids teeth on a regular basis.

3 4

My son stopped taking a bottle before bed as soon as he turned 1, and he never minded it. I thought it would be an issue, but we just took it away and that was it. We had already decided to take the bottle away when he turned one. My daughter is almost 9 months and never really did take a bottle before bed, and still doesn't, so I don't think it should be a problem taking the bottle completely away when she turns 1 either. I think every child is different, but as far as our family was concerned, there would be no bottles and no pacifiers past 12 months.

0
2 12

Hi all, for me its going very difficult to stop my son with his bed time bottle, even if he has done a stomach full dinner also sipped a cup of milk. he does not sleep without a bottle, sometimes he even pukes out all the milk, but does not get convinced to sleep without a bottle.

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1 23

Make sure they eat well at dinner time so they do not need the xtra feeding. Also before they go to bed let them drink out of a glass or cup but not a feeding cup or bottle. It will get more simpler as the days progress but it will happen in good time.

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41 29

thats fine if ur child likes to eat, alot don't like mine...

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19 34

as soon as my son turned 1 i took away all bottles and nuks. Worked out wonderfully! that is also when i stopped giving anything to bed with him. Sometimes i will give him a sippy cup of water to go to bed with in winter cuz it gets really dry in our house but other than that nothing. they just have to learn to self discipline i guess!

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