What is the best/easiest way to get rid of the bed time bottle?

Andrea - posted on 05/08/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My daughter turned 1 at the end of March. She has been on whole milk since she was around 10/11 months. She uses a sippy cup all day [one just for milk and one just for juice & water] but i just can't seem to get her to stop needing/wanting a bottle of milk to go to sleep. I only started that horrible habit because she was in a body cast for hip dysplasia and now can't seem to break her of it..PLEASE someone help [without the let her cry it out method b/c i've tried and she'll stay up for hours screaming until you cave in]

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Debbie - posted on 05/08/2012

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We give the cup of milk with snack at 7p and then bath and brushing teeth at 8:30 and then bed.

Kaitlin - posted on 05/08/2012

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It's totally understandable that you did that to bring her comfort during that difficult time- I would have done the same! :D But you are completely right, it's a habit now. Habits are hard to break, and for kids, they need their parents to break the habit for them.

Honestly, I know you don't want to do CIO, but there's a difference between giving her what she needs and caving to her demands. She continues to scream because she KNOWS you will cave. If you don't give her a bottle for two or three nights, you won't have a problem. it's all about being consistent. By all means, go in every few minutes, tell her no bottle in bed, milk is for breakfast (or whatever), rub her back and give her kisses, tell her you love her, and then leave again. You're not denying her love or attention, just the habit. It will really really suck for three days, you'll be tired and cranky, and so will she, but it will probably be even fewer. Once she knows you won't cave, she'll stop.

Debbie has a great idea, just make sure it's not too close to actually going to bed because it may give her too much energy, be sure to have it at the table or high chair (and not in bed so the habit is broken) and brush her gums/teeth after her milk/snack.

Debbie - posted on 05/08/2012

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You could take her to the store and let her pick out a special cup, maybe a fun one with a straw, the ones with characters on them, and tell her it's her bedtime cup. Allow her to have 6-8 ounces of milk in it with a small snack, say a graham cracker, and try a new bedtime routine.

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