Bottle feeding past 1 yr.

Maria - posted on 05/26/2011 ( 32 moms have responded )

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I have been reading a lot of the conversations and comments and I can't understand why a parent would want their child on a bottle past a year old (give or take a few months)? My oldest was off a bottle by his first birthday and I never put milk in it. I did not want him to associate the bottle with milk. My youngest will be 1 yr. in a few weeks and I am already starting to wean him from the bottle. What are the reasons for continuing bottle feeding after the recommended age?

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Emma- Sorry I seriously LOL'd at the way you wrote that about you daughter and a bink! "My second is more of a dummy girl and likes the bottle but likes to drink water out of a sippy cup not a bottle. "





Anyway My girls were both off the bottle by 12 months because they didnt want it anymore. they both took a bink. My son is almost 14 months old and still takes a bottle but has never taken a bink (He hated it from day one) When he was born I nursed him. At 2 months we added formula once in awhile so my husband or Mom could watch him while I ran to the store. This resulted in crying and screaming in pain for hours. Come to find out at 6 months he was allergic to milk. So he went on soy milk based formula and I had already stopped nursing since we didnt know what was wrong with him. I would have taken him off the bottle but right after his first birthday he got sick with an intestinal virus and was super cranky and clingy so I didnt take it then. We start to wean him off again and he got the chicken pox so I didnt have the heart to take his only comfort away. I started to take it away from him again the other day but he got the intestinal virus again. I just dont have the heart to take it away when I know he is getting some sort of fluid in him and I have a better idea of how much. I figure when he isnt sick and I dont need to watch his fluid intake (He has lost 1/2lb in less then a month from being sick) so much I will take it then.

Celeste - posted on 05/31/2011

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I really cant see the harm in a child older than one (there is a limit to the age of course) having a bit of milk in a bottle. As long as they are not running around with a bottle hanging out of their mouths all day long, permanently sucking on milk. My 15 month old still has milk in her bottle, but has water or juice in a sippy cup. She is not ready to give up her bottle just yet, but has dropped milk feeds all by herself since starting the weaning process ( Baby Led Weaning) and I have not had to do a thing, she has done it all. She refused a pacifier when she was younger which I am now greatful for, so her only bit of 'extra' comfort in terms of having something familiar for bedtime is her milk in her bottle. If she still has her bottle at bedtime by the age of 2, then thats fine by me, and I can then start gently working on it to convert her to a cup as she will also have a better understanding of what Im saying to her and as I believe children develop confidence, maturity and the ability to comfort themselves at very different rates too.
I do agree that popping a pacifier or bottle in a childs mouth every time they just so much as open their mouths is not a good thing, and my reasoning is tooth and speech development may be affected. I agree, that using it just to make a parents life easier when there really isnt a need from the child in any way is not helping the little one in the long run, but every family situation is unique and every bub is unique. They will all outgrow these things one day! :)

[deleted account]

My first son was off right before his first birthday no problem... My baby, is a SUPER temper tantrum, screamer... So a little part of it is I cannot handle the no sleeping screaming for hours (literally) everyday for a bottle. Which is bad but I really did not see harm in him having it for a few extra months if that comforts him... He REFUSES to drink from a sippy cup, I have tried every single kind. We work on it slowly. People tell me do not give him the bottle, he will EVENTUALLY drink from the sippy cup. I just feel like that is a lot of anger, screaming and stuff for him to go through. So I just take it slow.

Andrea - posted on 05/29/2011

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I honestly don't think there is any parents who WANTS their child to use a bottle after the age of 1yo. But it's not always so simple.

My son was a preemie- born @ 33 wks. When he was old enough for food, he refused it- and he was young enough that the preemie in him was still short of shining through. So our DR recommended keeping him on formula (I couldn't breastfeed)- until he was 18 months old OR until he picked up a non-bottle appetite. He was on the small-side and she wanted to make sure he continued to grow. Oh- we also tried to give him a sippy cup- which he refused.

OK. So now food appeal has picked up enough to stop using a bottle- but he's 18 months old- and much more opinionated about what he wants.
I'm not a fan of cry-it-out in the first place- and it doesn't help that my son is about as stubborn as they come. I had come to realize that my son would always do the things "expected" of him- but when HE was ready. Well this happened, too. He had 1 bottle- at night before bed until he was well into 2 years old, but it became less and less frequent- until it finally stopped (long before he was 3).

In our case, I wasn't going to watch my son scream every single night (both for HIS sanity AND OURS)- and since I know him well, I knew he would stop using a bottle when he was ready. It was a security thing at night- and he's realized he no longer needs a bottle to feel secure.

Some babies are pretty much ready for go off the bottle/breast BEFORE they are one- and drink from a sippy in addition to their meals. I think that's great. But not all babies are the same.

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We did cold turkey with our girls. My son will go cold turkey as soon as he is better. If she uses a cup during the day and you take the bottle away now you might have a few restless nights but trust me better now then when she is older. I'm going to regret not taking it soon just like I regret not taking my 2 yr olds bink when she was little. UGH

Stifler's - posted on 02/13/2012

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My first wouldn't take a bottle whenever we tried to feed him he'd scream it was 10 months of hell. As soon as we gave him a sippy cup he drank his milk. He gave up the dummy on his own too. My second is more of a dummy girl and likes the bottle but likes to drink water out of a sippy cup not a bottle.

Gladys - posted on 02/13/2012

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My daughter is 14mo and we are having a hard time taking away bottle. She will drink juice from her sippy but not milk....! Any suggestions? What worked for your little one in the transition. thoughts on stopping cold turkey vs. Weaning? advise/personal experience welcome

Angela - posted on 06/02/2011

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It is my understanding that a bottle can't hurt the teeth unless you let them sleep with it with anything but water. Anything else can lead to tooth decay.

Anne - posted on 06/02/2011

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My dentist told me the exact opposite. He told me that they are just the baby teeth and they have nothing to do with the permanent teeth. He told me that as long as the bottle/paci is gone by the time the babyteeth start falling out, I shouldn't worry about that. He said it's more important to brush the kids teeth regularly after drinking milk and juice to prevent cavities and tooth decay.

Jerrie - posted on 06/02/2011

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I am a mother of 2 kids. my oldest is 2 going on 3 and my youngest is 1 going on 2. I also took the bottle away at 1. On the night of their 1st birthday while they sleep the bottles went to the trash. They drank milk and juice out of them but they knew what the sippy was for. I didn't have a problem with getting them off of the bottle. I get judge for taking their bottle away at 1 by my grandmaw n law but i am my kids parent and I care much about their teeth. My grandmother n law has told me her kids stayed on the bottle until they was close to 7 years old. I never figured out why she just let them have the bottle that old. But I do get judge for what i did but I really don't care because a dentist told me himself after a year old a bottle will slowly mess up a childs teeth.

Angela - posted on 06/02/2011

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@Tiffany, don't worry and do not feel pressure. I had a doctor tell me with my first child to throw away all my bottles when she was 6 months old! I disregarded her advice and my oldest was off by age 1, my middle took a while longer about age 2.5 and my now 2.6 year old still takes a bottle (water) at night. Also if she is sick and needs the comfort I allow it.

I get some looks from others about the bottle even when she was younger because my Claire is very tall for her age, she is about the size of a 4 year old at the moment. It really is Mom knows best in your situation. Do what you feel is good for your child. I said it before I never saw a 8 year old sucking a bottle :)

As far as potty training all children are different. I am lucky I guess that my daughter's preschool does not care if she is potty trained or not.

I have raised 2 of my 3 children to adulthood and none have issues and both got off the bottle and went potty. It all comes in time not to matter what you do!

However I do have to say one must help a child transition and sometimes potty and bottle can become a power struggle, Thus why I don't make a huge issue of it. I pick my battles. However when she wants a bottle when we go to the grocery store or to preschool I tell her no, she gets a bit upset but I let her get over it. She can however drink from cup, if she could not I would give her the bottle.

Tiffany - posted on 06/01/2011

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i would much rather not be in a hurry either.... just feeling the pressure from doctor and reading all this stuff.... I'm gonna just do what feels right for us..

Anne - posted on 06/01/2011

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Why is everyone racing to get their kid off the bottle, off the pacifier, out of diapers? Our goal was to have the kids off it by the time they started preschool. And they were! No effort needed. We just told them that if you want to go to preschool, then you have to stop peeing in your diaper, stop using the bottle/sippy cup, and no more pacifiers, otherwise the other kids will think you are a baby. The FOLLOWING day, they were dry and off paci/bottle. Why is there such a rush? There is really no harm in letting them enjoy it. My kids turned out fine. And a lot less stressful for the parents. ;)

Tiffany - posted on 06/01/2011

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My son Turned one on may 8th i started about 9 months with the sippy cup but he still just does not get it. I've tried a few different types some he can get a sip out of if i tilt it up for him...So if i'm supossed to stop giving him a bottle and he can't figure out the sippy cup how is he going to get his milk? I'm also having a hard time getting him switched over to whole milk my doctor said start half and half then eventually just no formula, but when i make a bottle like that he will not finish it when i make a regular bottle he downs the whole thing...Everyday we work on using the sippy cup i'm not having much luck..

Ashlie - posted on 05/31/2011

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i also dont think any parent WANTS their child on a bottle or pacifier past a year old, i sure didnt want my son to..and he never really cared for the pacifier,but the bottle was another story. i was determined to have him off of it by 1, but it didnt happen that way. my son is extremely stubborn,so it took me until he was about 2 years and 2 months to get him off of it. there are 2 other kids in the house, one that was in school and i could not have her not get any sleep because of tyler screaming for a bottle. and its not always that easy, he would SCREAM, not just cry for hours, i mean 4 hours and then once he fell asleep it was short lived cause he would be awake within the hour for another 4 hour screaming session, so we had to keep trying once we knew he was ready it only took a couple days of whining and it was finally over lol thank goodness! but i got so much crap from people about it, and i was thinking, well if its so easy why dont you break him of it? it wasnt laziness or not wanting to hear him cry thats for sure..but i think he needed to drink that milk to keep full, he is a very big boy and no not fat lol he is now 39 months old and the size of most 6 year olds he is tall and weighs 46 pounds, so i really believe he needed a bottle to feel full. the thing to keep in mind is that every child is different!

Elizabeth - posted on 05/31/2011

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I find it easier. I dont have to worry about her spilling. And I dont see any harm in having a bottle once and a while. She knows how to use a cup and is growing perfectly.. so what's the harm? she's off formula which was the big thing

Andrea - posted on 05/31/2011

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@ Angela, I was mostly agreeing with everything you said- I guess my post directed at the original poster. =)

Sarah - posted on 05/31/2011

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My son didn't give up his night time bottle until he was about 16 months old. He refused to drink out of sippy cup & I had to get that milk into him somehow. He was underweight to begin with & I wanted to make sure he continued to get enough calories. If the bottle was the only way to achieve this, then oh well. At around 16 months, we discovered that he figured out how to drink from a straw. I bought him a few straw sippy cups to try & we haven't used the bottle since (he's 20 months old now.) We didn't have a problem with the transition either, which was a relief.

Angela - posted on 05/31/2011

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@andrea My daughter is still on the bottle and for medical reason she was on a special formula until age two! So I do not disagree with you at all, I was saying that there are different cries and I know when she needs her bottle, IE at night for comfort and when it is just a battle and being two. I also feel some parents as stated by the poster may use it as a crutch. My friend uses the bottle and pacifier for her soon to be 3 year old and she never offers a cup because according to her ti is messy and she does not want to hear him whine...that is a crutch and I suspect she is not alone but then again it is not life or death so in the end it is not a big deal is it?

Andrea - posted on 05/30/2011

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Yes, Angela, you are right- and I should have differentiated. There certainly IS a difference at age 2 and baby with their cries. My son cries "all the time" when he doesn't get exactly what he wants (i.e. chocolate on demand, a toy, etc...) And he gets to cry- we don't let him have whatever he wants- but those cries, for him- they do stop relatively fast. The "bottle cry" was a different cry for him- and I didn't feel like it was really his fault- since we (at our DR's recommendation) continued to intentionally give him a bottle for nutrition. You know how you get to know your child's cries? There's the "I just fell cry", which for our son, is urgent and hard at first. Then there's a "I'm not getting what I wan cry"- which starts with the lip and it starts slow. And the bottle cry- even when he was a bit older (he didn't cry after he turned 2- I had already decided that he would stop when he was ready)- was the little baby cry- I don't know how else to describe it. And our situation is unique- just like everyone else's is.



In our case, there was an intentional reason that our son was still being given a bottle after the age of one- as there are for other babies, too. Most importantly, each child is unique. In a way, I sort of think this is a silly question. Are you truly interested in the few reason's that bottle feeding might be recommended after age one? Or just sort of giving parents with children over the age of one on a bottle a hard time?

Anne - posted on 05/30/2011

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Our kids had their bottle with chocolate milk until almost 4 years. For the last 2 years though only one bottle or sippy cup at night and one when waking up in the morning. For us, it was just out of convenience. When our kids would wake up at 5.30am and we gave them the bottle or sippy cup, they would usually go back to sleep for another hour. As the the pacifier, our daughter never had one, but our son used a pacifier at night until 4. I did have a long talk with our dentist about it and he told us we don't have to worry about his teeth. Most nipples/pacifiers are orthodontic, and as long as he still only has his baby teeth, we shouldn't worry. At 4, we went cold turkey.

[deleted account]

None of my four kids have ever had a bottle, they all had cups from 4 months old but only ever had water or baby juice in them. The only thing i ever had trouble getting my kids to give up was my second oldests finger, he used to suck it and its not something you can take away lol.

Angela - posted on 05/29/2011

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I think if you can avoid the pacifier it is best, but I did read somewhere and heard several times some babies need extra suck time.
I had a Dr. tell me after they have all their teeth a pacifier is bad for their teeth. I was not sure and it really did not matter because as stated none of my kids were attached to it for long. Good to know however to pass the ortho ones advice to my friends

Angela - posted on 05/29/2011

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@andrea, we had similar situation and I agree with most of what you say.I am not a fan of crying it out either for young children, but I do think their is a difference at after age 2 years(for normaly developing children) between crying and crying to get what one wants. My DD Claire throws fits for many reason and cries when she does not get her way, I don't give in to that at all.
When all my children were young I never let them cry it out as babies, all co-sleep, also if my DD is ill, scared etc I don't let her cry it out. However at times it is just a part of growing up, like when she cries when I leave her for preschool. She is fine after a few minutes if she was having really bad separation anxiety I would rethink her readiness for preschool.

Nicole - posted on 05/29/2011

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if you get the cheapo ones yes. most of them are orthodontic now and shaped differently for tooth development. but still when you have to take it away most not all but most develop a thumb sucking habit. cause they develop a sucking habit from having it.

well and thumb sucking is worse i know this cause my sister was an advid thumb sucker. she needed braces really bad but before they could do them they had to put in a mouth spacer to widen the roof of her mouth cause it was shaped like her thumb and it was all messed up. she had to have thousands of dollars of work before the braces could even go on. and it was painful my mom had to turn a key in her mouth three times once a day every day for almost a year to widen her mouth back out like it should be.

thankfully i never did suck my thumb didnt have that problem and i never took a pacifier either as a baby. so yes and they can cause speech problems and delays. but im sure if you find a pro pacifier mom out there she can poiint out studies where they dont. just like snipping a boy or not one mom says its bad and will point you to studies in a greement and another can tell you its good and give you studies showing that to so i guess its a to each their own kind of thing. but ill stick to thinking pacifiers are the worst thought of baby device ever.

Angela - posted on 05/28/2011

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Well I have to agree with what you say then, I don't think a pacifier is needed by any child after age 1 for sure, and i do think it is a crutch for some parents. I have a friend who uses a bottle and pacifier with her 2.5 year old all day all night. I never say anything but I think it is a bit ridiculous. I used pacifiers for a short time but none of my kids cared for them. By three months none even wanted it anymore. I think they can be bad for teeth ? Not sure

Nicole - posted on 05/28/2011

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i understand if there are medical problems and a child may need extra time. but i guess i more referr to parents that would pick up their 3 year old from my preschool class and instant pop that pacifier in their mouth. and nothing would be wrong with them....o.0. they would be great children all day and in went the pacifier. that would push my buttons so bad.

never gave my daughter a pacifier. even as a baby. i got mad at my mom and she insisted my daughter having one. she would spit it out anyways after a few seconds. so i never saw the need to have one either. not big on them and i guess its for that reason pacifiers start bad habits in my personal opinion. the only attachment my daughter has is to fabrics. she is very textile. i am hoping this does not lead to a blanket attachment.

to me there is a point where you have to say no. and most parents seem to either be ignorat as to when that point is or choose to ignore it cause they dont want to deal with the tantrums. those are more of the parents i am referring to. and your daughter can drink from a cup. and will except when she needs that extra comfort. its why i still give night sippys from time to time. im mertely talking abotu the parents whose children dont drink from cups at all at the age of one + or are still on sippy cups at 6 and 7 years old. kids gotta grow up some time.

Angela - posted on 05/28/2011

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@Nicole, I don't think any time is too early after 6 months and if the child is okay with it. But as you stated they have to be ready physically and mentally for potty training and I think also for weening off the bottle. My other children were off the bottle by 1 year, my Samantha potty trained fully by age 2 even at night and my middle by age 2.5. Both were off the bottles and my oldest insisted on a cup.
But my youngest Claire has been through a lot and it is a comfort, causes not any medical issues and I do not do it to keep her a baby but to ease her into transitioning into toddlerhood or growing up per say. Every child is different.
My Claire was not happy when I took the bottle away during the day, she had a few fits too. She still will ask for it once in a while but is not throwing fits over it. At night if she wants it we give her a water bottle but as of late she takes it less and less. So on her own she takes care of it her self.
The pacifier is hard to say a lot of experts say young babies need to suck extra....but older children as you stated it is not good, and I agree 100 percent.

Nicole - posted on 05/27/2011

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yeah i got that alot every one in my family almost was like your taking it too early! my child never had a pacifier, off a bottle at one more like 10-11 months , and now at 15 months starting to toilet train. but my daughter also shows signs that she is ready too. ( little one also had a full mouth of teeth by 8-9 months so she wasnt on formula too much anyways. at 15 months she is getting her last three teeth)

it irks me when i see 4 and 5 year olds in strollers and they have pacifiers. 2 and 3 year olds should not have them for dental reasons. but you see bigger toddlers with them. yeah its a comfort thing. parents give them cause with out it the child throws a fit. my daughter threw a fit for a while because of the bottle. it lasted three days. we couldnt have pop bottles or anything that looked like a bottle had to use cups all of us. now we are ending the bed time sippy cup of milk. yes i will let my daughter throw a fit then too. she can scream it out till she goes to sleep. thats for me 30 extra diapers i dont have to use a month for night time diaper changes and she wont wake up screaming to have it changed either. if you ask me parents want to keep their babies babies and it just does not work like that. there are other ways to comfort and soothe, if its a self soothing issue.

Angela - posted on 05/27/2011

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My 2.6 yr old Claire still wants a bottle when sick, scared and at night. She only gets water at night. She can drink from a regular cup.I recently only give the bottle at night.
My reasoning: We started out BF but she was too sick to nurse properly so I pumped for 8 months. She was ill for a long time and was on a special formula up till age 2 years. She did not even start solid until age 9 months. Due to hospital stays and being sick often her bottle was a comfort. She did not have a favorite blanket or toy it was her baba.
She has gone through a lot and to take away her baba on top of potty training, nursery school etc. I think it is asking too much.
I have to say I never seen a 8 or 15 year old sucking on a bottle so I am not worried of it at all. But I do see many kids sucking a thumb...
Every child matures at a different rate and I just feel it is not a big deal as long as you make sure to give water at night as not to cause tooth decay.

Lady Heather - posted on 05/26/2011

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For me it was because I thought she would have a hard time with it so I kept up a nighttime bottle for a couple of months. Went on holiday. Ran out of bottle liners. Turned out she didn't give a crap.

Katherine - posted on 05/26/2011

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The child won't give it up. My 2yo still won't at night. I am having SUCH a hard time with it. My other one was done at 10 months. It's a security thing. I don't want to cold turkey cut her off and I only put water in it thinking that would deter her...but nope. I need some suggestions too. Yes it's recommended but not for every child.

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