when is the best time to take the bottle away?

Elizabeth - posted on 12/05/2010 ( 33 moms have responded )

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i have a 21 month old son who i have tried to take his bottle way many times. and he will take a sippy cup during the day but when it comes to bed time he has to have his bottle or he will not go to sleep he will scram and cry all night long, i dont know if it is because we are also trying to potty train him and also trying to get him to sleep in a toddler bed all at once. please help me as i am a first time mother and at a point where i dont know what to do?

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Joana - posted on 12/18/2010

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i had the same issue when my son was rapidly approaching 2 and the specialists at Childrens Hospital Feeding Clinic told me it's not necessarily the bottle he was attached to but the sucking motion that was calming him. They suggested instead of just taking it away to gradually change/take away the sucking part of it by making changes to the nipple. They told me to start by poking extra holes in the nipples so he had to suck less to get liquid out and eventually lead up to cutting an X in the top of the nipple so it becomes more of a sippy cup than a bottle. IT WORKED! It took a little time but eventually he decided on his own that it wasnt the same & didnt give him the same comfort/satisfaction and stopped using it. GOOD LUCK!

Stacy - posted on 12/06/2010

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It took me 3 nights of crying, kicking and screaming to break my son off his bottle but it was all worth it!! Hang in there and you will both be better off in the long run! Good luck!

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MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 01/18/2012

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One change at a time, three changes at once is A LOT. ;)

Lindsey - posted on 01/13/2012

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It sounds like he is really attached to the bottle. so instead of giving him milk when he goes to bed start giving him water at least that way he might lose interest. Its also very bad for the sugar from the milk on his teeth all night. Another thing that helped my son transition was using a soft nipple sippy we use Nuk they are inexpensive and my son loves them.

Lindsey - posted on 01/13/2012

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It sounds like he is really attached to the bottle. so instead of giving him milk when he goes to bed start giving him water at least that way he might lose interest. Its also very bad for the sugar from the milk on his teeth all night. Another thing that helped my son transition was using a soft nipple sippy we use Nuk they are inexpensive and my son loves them.

Emma - posted on 12/20/2010

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our son still takes milk to bed but in a sippy cup. yur lil un is screaming because he has formed an attachment with the bottle and now believes it is impossible to sleep without it. You should take it away, it will be difficult but i watched a documentary and because of the prolonged sucking through a baby bottle a 3 year old bpy had to have half of his milk teeth pulled becasue they were rotten. It will be hard but so worth it, we had the battle with the dummy a while back, and we went cold turkey, 3 nights and he stopped asking for it. Good luck x

Candy - posted on 12/18/2010

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I would like to suggest the juice aisle in the store. I can't remember the brand, but they sell a 3 pack of apple juice sippies. The lid is a cartoon character like buzz or woody from Toy Story, or Disney Princesses. There are also short ones in a 12 pack, I think. They are shaped more like a bottle, and when the apple juice is gone, I wash then out and refill with water for bedtime. Water at bedtime is all I gave both boys after I took them off the breast at around 12 months. Anything else is not good for their teeth. I weaned them from daytime bottles around 18 months. Stay with it. It will work!

Sara - posted on 12/18/2010

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with my daughter I only gave her a bottle at night and in the morning when she was one and then for two months she only had the bottle at night and at 15 months I just threw all the bottles away and she just used her sippy cup

Nicole - posted on 12/17/2010

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You should try to change things one at a time. Too much change at once will keep him from wanting to potty train, sleep in a toddler bed and get rid of the bottle. Idealy you should ween him off the bottle when he turned 1. What I did with my daughter was I started to put only water in her bottle at night and eventually she just stopped using it at night, because she didn't like going to bed with water. Or you might have to do what my sister had to do for her son and take it away at night and found a new routine to help him fall asleep and even when he cried for it she didn't give in. Do one thing at a time. It might be freaking him out with all of these changed that are expected of him.

Nikkole - posted on 12/17/2010

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And another thing with liquids before bed when your potty training your supposed to take away ALL liquids and hour or more before bedtime so they dont wet the bed!

Heather - posted on 12/17/2010

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I took both my girls bottle away for their fist birthday. I built up to it, giving them their favorite juice/milk/formula in cup w/straw & only giving them water in the bottle at night for about a month leading up. By the time their b-day was around the corner they were saying "No bottle, CUP!" :) It seems as though you're going to have a hard time, but you should definitely pick the most important one from the 3 you're trying to train him & do it gradually. Talk about, lead him to liking the idea. It's how I made the paci's go bye-bye too. Good luck :))

Jennifer - posted on 12/17/2010

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My cousin is a social worker, and has told me that you need to understand that your child is different from other children. What might be best for one child, is the opposite for another. My son is a year and a half, and is fine with not having a bottle accept for when it comes to a nap and bed. I can give him a sippy cup, but the catch is we have a 6 month old son who gets bottles. He feels that if baby brother can have one, he should be able to. He only gets the two, and usually I do only one...the bedtime one. He is a very smart and bright toddler, but does not comprehend why his little brother gets bottles and he cannot. So, we do what we can to get him to want what we have (cups and straws), and for the most part it has worked. But, I am not going to force him to get rid of one bottle a day when he is already interested in potty training and we are working on toddler bed. One thing at a time is very important. He started on his own with the potty training, and the toddler bed. He only wants a bottle at night, so sometimes it is more of what you feel is right. The ages they tell you about is more of a guide, it is not set in stone. If you want them off the bottle, then you just have to take all of them and get rid of them. Get sippy cups they will like, in fact there are sippy cups that resemble bottles. My son loves those, as the top spout is in the middle of the top kind of like a nipple. It is clearly a sippy cup spout however, and he lets us know in his own way that he is a big boy because he has something brother does not. He then takes the bottles to is brother and tries to teach him how to hold his own bottle. So, just follow your instincts and your heart. Your child will do what you need them to do, it just might take some time. That and if you are stressed about it, they will feel that and then you are in an uphill battle.

Kristen - posted on 12/16/2010

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I always thought 12 months was the time to take the bottle away. I just now took the bottle away from my daughter who never even noticed. She actually wouldn't drink from it anymore as I had her on a sippy cup. She's desperate to keep up with her brother and he doesn't drink from a bottle so I guess she shouldn't either!

Laurie - posted on 12/15/2010

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My three year old son still has a bottle first thing in the morning and last thing at night. It is a small bottle (180ml) and he has to brush his teeth after the night time bottle. We visited the Dentist about three months ago and she said his teeth were fine and the bottle was not hurting anything. I think the reason that bottles are frowned upon after a year is that if they carry them around all day - say with water in them - that can warp the teeth placement. Two one minute sessions a day are not going to warp his teeth. The second problem is rotting teeth which can be avoided by limiting juice and brushing teeth once or twice a day. That said - I am willing to get my son off bottles but I can't just throw them out as he has a younger sister who is not ready to give up her bottles. I did get him to reduce from a big bottle to a small bottle by explaining to him that that much milk right before bed was making his diaper explode (the gel leaked out due to too much liquid quite frequently). I managed to get him to drop the afternoon nap bottle because we were toilet training and I told him that he was not going to be able to keep his bed dry if he had a bottle right before nap. The toilet training has since seriously sidetracked but the afternoon bottle is still gone. We are working on getting rid of the remaining bottles without a huge fight. Eventually he wont want them and in the mean time it is not doing him any harm. As evidenced by his dental check ups.

Jessica - posted on 12/12/2010

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try giving him a sports bottle instead I had to do that with my daughter sort of transitiond her slowly from baby bottle to sport bottle (hers was a barbie on lol) to sippy cup to nothing at all at bed time besides a pat lol hope you could follow that and that it made sense

Christina - posted on 12/12/2010

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You might just have to put up w/ the screaming and crying all night and give him a sippy cup w/ some water only to sleep with so he knows he will not be getting a bottle anymore. My 2nd daughter was like that she wanted a bottle at night but I had one heck of a headache for a few days but she finally realized that was all she was having... but to me that might be a little much on your son to put him threw all that at once although we have to but maybe try one thing at a time take away the bottle then once he can sleep in his own toddler bed try potty training him as part of becoming a big boy. My daughter is turning 2 nxt month and wants to sleep in her sisters bed already but IM the one thats not ready for it lol..

Danielle - posted on 12/10/2010

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I definitely think that it's important to do one thing at a time. I took a developmental psychology class in college and an interesting thing I learned was that children go through the terrible two's because it's such a stressful stage full of transitions. Think about it from a toddler's perspective. At this age we expect them to potty train, ditch the bottle, ditch the soother, move into a toddler bed, go from high chair to booster seat, etc. That's a lot and it can be very overwhelming! With that said, I myself have a "bottle addict" (as I refer to him). Only my boy is much worse. He simply refuses to drink out of anything but a bottle. I've tried at least 15 sippy cups. I've decided to skip the sippy cup stage altogether. He's starting to become good with a regular cup and I figure by the time he's 24 months old he will be ready to use a regular cup. Therefore the day after his second birthday I am throwing all of his bottles into the garbage. No ifs, ands, or buts. If he decides to scream for two hours at bed time so be it. My husband handles the screaming much better than I do (I think it breaks most mothers' hearts) so if it gets really bad I am just going to go out to do groceries, go to the gym, anything to get away from the crying. Here's my reasoning for allowing the bottles until the age of 2: I figure, they say it's okay to breastfeed for that long so why isn't it okay for my baby to have a bottle for that long? I don't let him have it in his bed, I brush his teeth every day, and he doesn't get anything but milk or water to drink. Like many areas of parenting, you'll get a lot of mixed feelings with regards to this topic.

Hayley - posted on 12/09/2010

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Aww bless him. I think you're right, could be that you're changing too many things at once. Maybe leave the bottle for a little while...try again in a few weeks see if that helps :)

Jodi - posted on 12/08/2010

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Hi My daughter is 2 1/2 and still loves her bottle but the bottle fairies are coming at Christmas. I just thought it was to hard to potty train and take the bottle away all at once. Now she's potty trained so next the bottle.

Jennifer - posted on 12/08/2010

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I'd say that if it bothers you, then get rid of it. Otherwise, institute some new rules of having to brush teeth after a bottle before bed. Maybe have the dentist tell him so it seems more official. As long as you restrict the bottle to keep him healthy, I'd let him keep it. I think the worse thing you can do is take it away and give it back and take it away again. It teaches him that tantrums are an effective tool for getting what he wants and will increase his use of them - far worse than bottle usage.

Michelle - posted on 12/08/2010

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wow thats nuts i have a 19 month old son and hes been off the bottle probably since 13 months. One day i just decided he had enough of the bottle threw them all out and tried sippy cups. It wasn't easy i had to try like 10 different kinds of cups before he found a good fit, but now that hes older he will drink out of anything even a straw. Its not good to give kids milk in a bottle at night because you can get bottle rot in the mouth (teeth) i give him a sippy cup of milk every night and i have no worries :)

Cathiann - posted on 12/08/2010

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I took the bottle awat at about 14 months and replaced it with a cup that had a straw and it worked ! ?Good Luck !

Erica - posted on 12/07/2010

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My son came off the bottle at about 13months. I wanted to do it earlier but I first had to find a sippy he liked, once I did he was fine.

Karli - posted on 12/07/2010

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Hello,
I also have a 21 month old. We took her bottle away just a few weeks ago but she seemed okay with it. I wouldn't worry too much if it is just at night time. It may be the thing that calms and soothes him before tucking in. My son has his blankies and my daughter has her soother( I have to figure out how to get that away from her too). If you really want to be bottle free maybe try to replace the bottle with a fuzzy, soft stuffy, or a cozy blanket. I'm trying that with my daughter and her soother, at Christmas it is going to the babies who need them. Hope this helps.
Karli.

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ye it's probably alot to do at once and he is hanging on the bottle as a source of comfort. keep giving him bottle before bed until you have dealth with the potty training and toddler bed and then work on the bedtime bottle

Tamara - posted on 12/07/2010

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A week after my son turned one I just took it away...u might have to deal with alittle crankiness but eventually he will adjust. also u probably shouldnt be trying to change so much at once bc that will make him not like things even more its just harder for thwm to deal with change

Judy - posted on 12/07/2010

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Ahhhh no one told you about the magic age of 13 months. That is about when a child's developmental growth will create an emotional attachment to the bottle (where previously it has been a physical attachment, for the nutrition). Since you missed weaning by 13 months, you are stuck until you can find an emotional replacement, or they are developmentally old enough to manage the emotional detachment. My daughter was sneaking up on 3. What worked for us was to use the Christmas holiday and we left her bottles under the tree for Santa to pick up and take to babies who needed them, and he replaced them with some new sippy cups. Any holiday would work for that concept, the trick is to prep them in advance, talk about the "plan" and so they see it coming in advance. It is sort of like a pet that has been ill for a while, you are still sad when they are gone, but it is not a shock, so the transition is not as emotionally painful.

Nikkole - posted on 12/06/2010

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Just throw the bottle away or what we did was i told my son he was a big boy and he didnt need bottles anymore so we went out picked out sippy cups and tossed the bottles! My sons dentist said bottles are soo bad for kids teeth past the age of one! good luck

Erica - posted on 12/06/2010

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I took my son's bottle away when he turned one. My child's pediatrician told me at the age of one, the child's brain recognizes attachments. However, for now, It may be best to stick to one thing at a time. Everything is changing in your toddler's world from his bed, to having to recognize when to go on the potty, instead of just playing right through it, as well as trying to change to a sippy cup. These can all be comfort items in his life and may be overwhelming for him to get rid of these all at once. So, I would stick to working just on the sippy cup, since a bottle can harm his teeth the older he gets. You might try putting ice in a sippy at night with his water. This was always a big hit with my son. And he loved to put the ice cubes in his water cup. Hope this helps. Best of luck!

Casey - posted on 12/05/2010

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I still give my son a bottle at night before he goes to bed and he is 2 years and 3 months old but he is not allowed to have it any other time only at night time the rest of the time he has a sippy cup, I have just started to cut down the amount of milk he has at night time, he went from having 240ml down to 180ml and then to 120ml which is what he has now and I don't think he has noticed a big difference I am hoping that over time we will cut it down to nothing but I'm not going to rush it.
I think you are trying to get him to do to much at once and it's probably starting to stress him out a bit, I would just start off with the toddler bed and get him settled in that cause thats a big step for a little person and then I would tackle the bottle issue and last of all I would start toilet training but get him comfortable with one thing first before starting the next thing cause to much at once is just to stressful for you and especially for him.

Ashley - posted on 12/05/2010

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If you take the bottle away it will be a few rough days but if you stick to your guns it will be over, in my experience its easier if you just get rid off all the bottles through them out, as for potty training i just trained my son took a couple days just keep potty's around in all the rooms and let them go bottom naked for a few days lots of liquid and salty food its called three day potty training its amazing. Good luck

Natalie Rose - posted on 12/05/2010

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My daughter is turning 2 in two weeks and still takes a bottle to bed and naptime. I know I need to get her off the bottle soon but I'm not exactly sure how either. I also just started potty training a couple days ago and I think I'll just tackle one big thing at a time. My daughter also started sleeping in a big girl bed a couple months ago. My advice, I suppose, would be to give yourself (and your little man) a break and tackle one thing at a time. These big transitions are emotionally draining for you and him even when they go fairly well!

Best of luck to you!

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