When should a toddler not have a bottle before bed, and how do you get them off?

Beckie - posted on 03/12/2011 ( 32 moms have responded )

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My daughter is 13 months. I have heard of parents not giving their toddlers a bottle before bed. When should they come off the bottle and how do you go about this???

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Marisol - posted on 03/17/2011

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give her water. the only reason they say to take them off the bottle or sippy cup is because it causes tooth decay. If you give them water especially when its bed time it's all good.

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Lynne - posted on 03/16/2011

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my children stopped the bottle at one year. they are old enough to drink from a sippy cup. When you are getting rid of the night bottle, give milk and a snack. That will help them make it through the night. Slowly move the time up until it sis supper and they make it through the night with out being hungry.

Kelly - posted on 03/16/2011

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We stopped giving her bottles at 12 months and no drinks at bedtime since 14 months , she get her last drink after dinner then its potty and bedtime routine she is now 17 months.

Tori - posted on 03/16/2011

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We were told no more bottles at all after a year and that they need to be completely gone by 15 months. It was hard but got easier. We would let her have a sippy cup with water before our bedtime routine and we would all go brush our teeth and not drink anything and laid her down and she goes right to bed. It took a few weeks because she was so used to falling asleep with it, but now doesnt even phase her.
we were told by her pediatrician that jsut before one we needed to start working on sippy cups only and now more bottles. We did the bottle at night as needed until that 13 month mark or so and then cut her off.

Medic - posted on 03/16/2011

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I don't think a toddler should have a bottle at all. My older one was off the bottles at a year. On his birthday we just threw them all away. My 14 month old was off by 6 months, we just introduced a cup and she took to it. With my older one we just threw out all sippies on his second birthday.

Julia - posted on 03/16/2011

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My son was breast fed till he was 9 months... trying to get him to take a bottle was hard, taking it away was nothing. LOL. Now trying to get my in law to not give him one when I didnt want him to have one... now that was a different story.

Jennifer - posted on 03/16/2011

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With both my kids, I cut out day bottles when they started eating infant cereal and were increasing the amount of baby food they were eating. In order to cut out bedtime bottles, I would give them a bit of oatmeal before bed as a snack. My oldest was completely off bottles by the time she was 14 months and my son was on them a little longer but he was off them by the time he was 16 months.

Jenny - posted on 03/14/2011

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i have not read the other posts, and im sure you've recieved lots of advice already.

i never gave my first baby a bottle before bed. why? because i read in a book that the cycle should be Sleep-Feed-Play instead of Play-Feed-Sleep. So i never give my babies bottles before bed, but during the night i do give them a bottle or two depending on age.

And thats how its done when its done from the start. You'll have to take time to break the habbit.

Beckie - posted on 03/14/2011

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brianna i tried my daughter on 3 different sippy cups but she wouldnt have it she just screamed

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One year is when I took the bottle from my 3 children, cold turkey. The only reason the baby should not have milk before bed at that age is because it is bad for gums and new teeth

Brianna - posted on 03/14/2011

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my daughter is 16months and she was having a bottle before bed (she would drink it in the highchair then go to bed i never let her drink it in bed) a few days ago i stopped the bottle i would just feed her her regular snack before bed and give her milk in a sippy cup.. she didnt even seem to noice or mind that the bottle was gone.

Blythe - posted on 03/14/2011

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My pediatrician said we should take the kids off the bottle at 1 year. Both my kids were off by then, it is easier when they are younger to break the habbit than to wait until they are older.

Allie - posted on 03/14/2011

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I gave my daughter her bottle before bed until she was about 15 months old. I took it away from her before bed when she was throwing temper tantrums without it. That doesnt sound great but she had developed an addiction type behavior towards it. She had Dr. Browns bottles and I started giving her a cup before bed. Starting at 8oz, for 2 weeks, then down to 6oz, then down to 4oz, so on and so forth. You can try giving a cup first thing in the morning or at lunch time to get her used to it without her being frustrated. Then when she knows how it works, you can try it at night. She will know what she is getting. Soon you can serve all fluids in the cup rather than the bottle. She will know she isnt being neglected and you will have her using the cup like you want.

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I think every child is different... My son was drinking out of sippy cups at 8 months. I started getting him to practice the minute he could sit up! He took very well to it too! Unlike my daughter who stayed on the bottle for a year. At 12 mths I was like that's it! She started drinking out of the sippy cups and for a while, I still gave her milk before bedtime, but just like another mom said, it was in a sippy cup...until potty training time came along, then I stopped drinks altogether after a certain of night. But that didn't start until almost 2 yrs. so you'll have plenty of time! The thing with babies I find most though, is that that evening bottle is more of a comfort thing. After a while, even when the bottle stopped, just for comfort, I would give her the binky (pacifier).... which can become a prob too, lol! Some plp dont do the binky. But i did w/both of mine. My son again, also stopped with the pacifier at 8 mths, but my daughter...wooooosaaaa!!!! She was like 2 1/2 and potty trained and still wanted that dang binky! So to each his own. If you feel the binky will help, you can use it and it's acutally better since the bottle at night can mess up they're teeth...(bottle teeth).. and if not only for that reason alone. You just have to deal w/another issue later on down the line...taking away the pacifier. But like i say, every child is different. And atleast w/the pacifier her mouth will be ok. My toddlers doctor told me there's a big misconception about the pacifier. Plp think it makes your teeth bucked out but actually at that age their teeth, gums, shapes of their mouth are still forming. My kids doctor said they could have the binky until they were 5 yrs old and they're teeth would still be fine! Just not after the first 5 years...of course she said they shouldn't be still sucking on pacifiers at that age, Lmaooo!! but she was letting me know, it was o.k. to do the binky to soothe them. So that's just my suggestion to you, if it would help... ultimately, it's up to you... Good Luck!! =)

Debora - posted on 03/14/2011

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try this for breakfast cereal with milk let her try feeding herself for her spills place a plastic table cloth on floor under her high chair with you there to help her ,with a small sippy or plastic cup of juice .

Debora - posted on 03/14/2011

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GIVE IT TO HER using a tippy cup with her dinner and if she needs something for bed water is best since dentist will tell you babies or toddlers get bottle rot of teeth since milk contains natural sugars which damages teeth .you can check this out with her doctor so as not doing damage to her adult teeth as they come in yes at this age.

Lauren - posted on 03/14/2011

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if u r worried about giving her milk in the day i give my daughter milk with her breakfast as i said keep all the vitamins and good stuff x

Lauren - posted on 03/14/2011

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my daughter is 17 months and i give her milk befor she goes in her cot she has 6 ounces i think its good for give them nice warm milk befor bed settles there tummys for a good nights sleep until she dont want it im not gonna stop it makes her happy and its good for her with all vitamins and stuff i say keep going ;) xx

Darlene - posted on 03/14/2011

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When my twins hit one year I switched to a soft top sippy cup and they adapted very well. I never gave my kids a bottle in bed, I gave it before bed. I told them that the sippy cup was a bottle for big kids, they liked that.

Janine - posted on 03/14/2011

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My 6th bub is now 14 mths old. For the last 2 months he hasnt "needed" his bottle. We used to feed him in morning, mid morn, mid afternoon and dinner (around 6ish pm) The more they start eating, you will know when they are full. Supplement there mid-morning and mid afternoon bottles with water (maybe watered down juice in morning) and just start giving them a bottle at morning and night. I dont agree on giving them a bottle when in bed, but before they go to bed, absolutely. As long as they are having all there dietry needs at every feed and enough of it, there is no reason why they should still need a bottle constantly. If they are still crying and carrying on , try more cuddling or distractions thru play time etc. Unfortunately babies even to about 2 years will never appreciate how "full" there tummy's are so it will up to you to acknowledge this given a proper diet... Hope it helps x

Beckie - posted on 03/13/2011

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marina my daughter only likes the bottle for sleepy time too
thats wat im more worried about

Marina - posted on 03/13/2011

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My daughter is 18 months and just last night I did not give her the bottle. I knew this day was coming but she was so good on hitting the marks for her age that i thought i would give her alittle slack. She only would have the bottle when she went down for naps and bedtime so not giving her the bottle has been hard for her. She connects the bottle with sleepytime and I am trying to adjust as well. All I had to say was night-night and give her a bottle and she went right to bed, no fussing or crying. Now she crys for the lost comfort and I dont know what to replace that with. She has her Piglet but still its hard. I am gonna see how she does by the end of the week. I wish the best for you and hope your tiny one adjust to giving up the bottle :)

Kelly - posted on 03/13/2011

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I always took them off the bottle at 1 year, except my youngest who never had a bottle, was breastfed until 15 months. Just make sure she is able to use a sippy cup first. She should be able to at this age. Good luck!

Theresa - posted on 03/12/2011

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I just wanted to add that I found the soft spouted sippy cups worked the best to transition off bottle. We like the Munchkin brand ones.

Alicia - posted on 03/12/2011

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my daughter was 12 months old when we got rid of the bottle. her ped said by 12 months she should be on "big people" food and be eating what we were, there was no need for formula after 12 months because then they can have milk. we figured since we were getting rid of the formula why keep the bottle? so at about 6 months we started on a sippy. we only gave her juice and water in the sippy never formula because then it was like a sweet incentive for using the cup. by 11 months she was off the bottle except for before bed. i couldnt find a way to ween her because it was a comfort thing, and we never used a binky so it was hard. at 12 months we just stopped buying formula and thru away all the bottles. she cried for about 10 minutes every night for about a week. its ok to let them cry, no more than 10 minutes! but its ok. we gave her a sippy of water to bed because i figured i get thirsty in the middle of the night she might too. now she is 18 months and goes to bed no problem sippy in hand. and every morning the cup is always empty :) i hope this helped!

Theresa - posted on 03/12/2011

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My son will be 1 next week and he is now off the bottle. He has his milk in a sippy cup. he doesn still have the right before bed milk, but it's in a cup, not a bottle. My older 3 were all off the bottle right around a year as well.

Danielle - posted on 03/12/2011

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My son was off his bottles by 11 months old.

If she is still heavily reliant on a bottle throughout the day I would start there first. Give her a sippy throughout the day, and see how she adjusts. If she has no problem with the transition throughout the day, then you can try your luck and try to get her to take a sippy before bed as well.

If she does not take kindly to her bottle being taken away then I would suggest giving her a sippy cup as an option during the day, and continue to give her a bottle at night.

After a week or so with getting use to the sippy cup as a daily means, then throw the bottle away.

If you start transitioning her just make sure you are consistent. It can be confusing for her if you change your mind and keep switching back and forth.

I hope this helps.

Hayley - posted on 03/12/2011

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The other thing to try...with my daughter it wasn't the feeding she really wanted it was just the comfort of the bottle so instead of puttong fomula in her bottle I would put just water...this way it wasn't bad for her teeth and she could still have her comfort...she was fairly young as well...and she wasn't over eating. Like the other mom said...your daughter is still fairly young to really be worrying about this. My daughter was 18 months old before she was completely off the bottle...I started her at about 15 months. Let me know how this is going for you!



As for bottles during the day...how much solid food is she eating??? If she is only having the bottle for comfort...then try a sippy cup...which would also work for night time as well...if fomula is still a food supplement for her then I would only feed her a bottle at breakfast with cereal or whatever she eats and one around bedtime. She is old enough to be eating more solid food them formula. I hope this helps.

Theresa - posted on 03/12/2011

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Try cutting down the amount in the bottle. If she's doing 8 ox now, cut down to 6 for a week, then down to 4, then 2, then none. Just make sure the rest of the bed time ritual is the same. If you normally hold and rock her during the bottle feeding then keeping doing that even after the bottle is cut down and gone. She's still young, so I don't think you need to be in a big hurry for this.

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