When will you stop the bedtime bottle?

Meredith - posted on 06/16/2010 ( 34 moms have responded )

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My daughter is 13 months and I feel like I need to start considering when to ween her from the bedtime bottle. We have a nice bedtime routine: bath, brush-teeth, books, bottle (she'll drink about 6-8oz of milk), then bed. My biggest concern is that she is not a big drinker throughout the day, so I count on that bedtime bottle for a good chunk of her daily fluid intake, not to mention it helps calm her down and go to sleep easy. I also still cuddle her while she drinks the bedtime bottle (my own selfish thing I don't want to let go of). She drinks the best from her bottle first thing in the AM and that bedtime bottle (she will drink sips of water from a straw-sippy cup during the day and with meals; she hates juice). Using sippy cups is another story/struggle of ours. Any tips on how and when you plan to ween from the bedtime bottle would be great. :)

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Sheri - posted on 07/07/2010

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My B/G twins are 15 months and we took the bottles away before they turned 1. We tried a variety of sippy cups. We started by taking away all bottles except the morning and evening, then we took away the morning then last was the evening. They get milk in sippys with Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner and either water or a 50/50 juice water mix with a snack (1-2 times a day). All meals and snacks are in the kitchen and in their high chairs (occasionally we have snack and water in the car if neccessary). But no walking around with food or drinks (except water if they are thirsty). It's very routine so they know what to expect when. We have a great bedtime ritual that was modifiied over time. Now they eat dinner between 5 and 6, when I take them out of their high chairs they walk straight to the bathroom and over to the tub (they do this on their own becuase it's been the routine the after bath they go to their room and we play for 15-20 minutes, get in their jammies, sing the same calming song and then put them in bed (so bedtime is between 6:30 and 7:15 and they sleep for 12 hours). Mostly no fuss. Yes, I know I am fortunate but I have instilled rountines (they of course have been adapted over the months) but they know what to expect and small changes repeated for a few days become the new routine. Oh yeah, we did help the transition from bottle to sippy cup by putting them in their high chair and reclining it back so it was simulating them laying back like when they took the bottle, then slowing quit reclining (probably did that for 3 months). You can hold them and cuddle using a sippy, I think sometimes it's not the bottle but the closeness to you that they get when drinking from the bottle

Lotte - posted on 06/29/2010

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my daughter had a bedtime bottle till 2,5year! Just because it was a nice bedtime routine and a good moment to drink a lot.
Never noticed teeth problems. We stopt spontain because she didn't drink the bottle out anymore.
my son is 14months and drinks still breastmilk 4times during the day and 2 in the night. He just refuse solide food and eat just a little.
They are all different! If you feel still ok I wouldn't force anything!

Alba - posted on 06/26/2010

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I nurse still and always nurse my baby to sleep and he is 14 months old. I don't see any harm in having this night time bond even with a bottle to send your little one to sleep. You will know when they are ready.

Tenile - posted on 07/16/2010

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my daughter is 15mths and she stopped having the bottle around 9-10mths my son (3 1/2now) stopped the bottle about the same time basically give her a sippy and throw out all the bottles and let her see you put them in the trash and take them out to the garbage tell her ur a big girl no more bottles and give her the sippy put her in bed and let her cry after a few time she will stop crying and wanting the bottle

Yvonne - posted on 07/13/2010

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We stopped Quinns bedtime bottle when he was about 8 or 9 months. Doing it this early meant he wasnt dependant on it for sleep and he because he still had mainly milk he was happy to take it from whatever it came in just as long as he was still getting it! He has been absolutely fine and dropped his last milk feed at about 12 months. He gets milk with breakfast and dinner and has cheese yoghurt and cereal to top up.

I would say if you are thinking about doing it do it sooner rather than later. The longer you leave it the harder it is to do. I have friends who have really struggled to get their 2 and 3 year olds off and now really wish they had done it much sooner.

Good luck.xxx

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Lizzie - posted on 07/12/2010

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I must admit that I have gone against some of the advice and use a non-spill cup rather than a sippy one, as I can leave this with my daughter all day with no risk of mess, and have found that she drinks plenty more, and she will only drink water and no juice - which is a huge positive as it is so much healthier. We use Avent cups, which are orthadentic, so shouldn't cause tooth problems. Also, I don't think you should ever stop the bedtime bottle if your baby will have it - as long as you brush her teeth then the more milk she will drink the better. My daughter refuses her bedtime milk now and this is frustrating for me, as the only milk I can get her to drink is first thing in the morning.

The only thing I would say is if you are going to continue giving a bedtime feed, then to use a cup rather than a bottle with a teat, to minimise the risk of tooth decay. Also - make the most of those cuddles - my little one will only let me have a cuddle when she feels like it now!!

Hope this helps!

Janine - posted on 06/30/2010

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am not a big believer about the bottle being taken away/to fact the it causes harm to teeth. My first daughter was 2 before it was gone completely from her life. Her teeth are PERFECT. My middle daughter was around 2 also but she is 8 and still sucks er thumb. Her teeth are HORRIBLE. My son is 14 months old and I can NOT get him to drink from a sippy cup. You wean your child when you feel they are ready. Try it every night and if your child throws a fit give him the bottle. If not keep up with it and soon they will not want one at all As for my son he is still up 3-4 times a night and drinking 11oz combined for 2 of the times he is up. He quit breastfeeding on his own at around 9 months. He is still on baby/toddler food. When he is ready and more mature I will wean him of everything. Every child is DIFFERENT remember that and you will be fine.

Danielle - posted on 06/29/2010

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I don't think there's any rush to take the bottle away at this point...just don't let her drink it in bed so that she doesn't fall asleep with milk in the back of her mouth and end up with tooth decay or ear infections. My son is picky about what he drinks also (15 months old) so I depend on his milk as his main source of fluid intake and that's why I've decided to let him hang on to the bottle until he's drinking other fluids in more abundance. Like your daughter, he only drinks sips of water here and there out of a straw cup throughout the day. I also spoke to his doctor about this just a couple of weeks ago and my doctor told me it won't interfere with his development and around 18 months is when I should become more strict about taking the bottle away.

Charmalita - posted on 06/29/2010

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my daughter got off of her bottle a week after her first birthday and she never had a problem with it. She didn't go to bed with a bottle and is the same with a sippy cup now. she stops drinking around 7pm and that's it. and she doesn't wake for one during the night either.

Stephanie - posted on 06/29/2010

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For both my kids I started them on cups once they were between 6-7 mos during the day at mealtimes with water or diluted juice just to get hem used to the cup. they do reject it at first cause its new and different but once comforatble and age approp. I started with small amounts of milk and then they took to the cup and the bottle just was gone. for bedtime I nursed so again I brought a cup of milk and incorporated the cup into bedtime routine by offering it instead of milk while we sat in the chair rocking and cuddling. I'll be honest the first few nites weren't easy weaning can be tough but by nite 3-4 they didn't put up a fuss much and willingly took the cup. once they ar sleepy I lay they in the crib and stay by them either rubbing their back or singing to help them dose off. now my 3 yr is at the point where she has about a half of sippy cup during bedtime stories and then she lays in bed and with in 10-15 min she will falls asleep on her own. I don't blame you the cuddling is important for both of you and you can adjust your routine to rmove the bottle and keep the cuddling just try a cup and maybe try a few stories that talk about bedtime and or some quiet cuddle time with the two of you siiting in a chair just relaxing. my 14mos on likes this most he points to things in the room and I tell him what they are plus remind him that its nite nite and he will snuggle back against trying to settle in.

Lori - posted on 06/29/2010

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My son stopped drinking from a bottle the day he turned 1 year old. We still give him milk before bed from a sippy cup, but we don't use it to put him to sleep. His bedtime routine starts w/ bath & pajamas, then we sit on the couch and cuddle with his sippy cup of milk and blankie. Then we brush his teeth after, read a story, say a prayer and put him into his crib. That way he is not replying on a bottle to help him sleep and his teeth are being brushed after he is done eating and drinking for the day.

Ashley - posted on 06/29/2010

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A couple weeks after Logan turned one I switched from bottle to sippy cup at night. I did it cold turkey. He wasn't too pleased that first night and it took a while, but he did drink his whole sippy cup of milk. He doesn't like milk from the sippy cup during the day whenever I have him but daycare says he does great there so, I know he's getting enough. It can sometimes be tough but just push through and she will get it. Logan just turned 14 months and hasn't had a bottle since.
I will have to say, as much as I don't want to, I put a little bit of hershey's chocolate syrup in his milk during the day if he won't drink his white milk. They make it sugar free. Oh well, it never hurt me.

Shawna - posted on 06/28/2010

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i had no issue with my daughter. now 14 months she has used a sippy cup since 8 months. i took the bottle away cold turkey becasue she keeped chewing through her nipples and she has done fine. and now even on emergancy bases when i do give her a bottle she dosent regress.. she goes right back to her sippy no fuse. i know its probablly easyier said then done but you just got to do it the weaning thing isnt going to get you anywhere you need to just take it away i give her a cup of water to bed and she drinks 6 oz cups of milk a day..





you can start with the silicone nipple sippy cups they feel more like the bottle till she gets used to it..

Sara - posted on 06/28/2010

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I just broke my 13 month old daughter of the bottle. Her Dad was away with the USMC for 2 weeks and I was spending 1 1/2 hours at night having her cry and fidget after drinking her bottle and acting like she wanted more. To me it really couldn't get worse than what I was going through and I was definitely not going to give her more bottle. So I cut it off and the first night we had a tough go (not much different than I was used to, though) and since then she's down with not even a cry (usually) in 5-15 minutes EVERY time! I was also working on getting her to put herself down to sleep since I was not able to so often and it seems to help them soothe themselves from wanting the comfort of their bottle and your cuddling. She's never slept better! No waking up several times a night and if she does she's back out before I can even sit up in bed. I wish I had started earlier. Good luck to all and our biggest asset is her sippy cups, which we had to try quite a few before we found some winners. Playtex has a curvy one she loves and the soft tipped ones usually help with the transition better. She never wanted milk from a sippy until she stopped taking her bottle, though, so don't let her fool you! Hope some of this helps and at least gives you hope!

Kristen - posted on 06/28/2010

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We stopped bedtime bottle 2 weeks after Kaiden turned 1 and did it cold turkey. We just gave him a sippy cup with milk and it did phase him one bit. We do however give him his bedtime milk earlier because he loves to play so it takes him longer to finish it; we give it to him around 7:30, bedtime is betw 8-8:15. And on many occasions he will sit with myself or Daddy on the couch and drink some of his milk (sometimes all of it) so we still get that cuddle time...but not every night. Good luck!!

Meredith - posted on 06/28/2010

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Thanks everyone for your replies! There's some good tips in here. I never was worried about her having enough milk, just enough fluids overall - because she loves cheese and yogurt so she gets plenty of the nutrients. I think I will start giving her the bottle before bath/book/brush-teeth time so it's a little earlier. I have tried every sippy cup out there. (seriously, I've probably spent over $100 on sippy cups). The ones with the straws work best for her, but she still prefers water in the cups and milk from the bottles. I'll just keep working on it I guess. Thanks again!

Sarah - posted on 06/26/2010

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Hey there! My daughter was still trying to figure out what sippy cup worked best for her at that age, so we would let her practice the sippy all day, but I kept the night bottle because I wanted to make sure that she at least got some milk during the day.

If she takes a sippy okay, this is what I would do...
right before bath time, let her drink some milk from her sippy. Then do her bath and brush her teeth. We replaced the bottle with a book in the rocking chair every night. We had done a book on most nights before, but now we always do. When you do the milk right before the bath, her tummy will still be full and you can brush her teeth without giving her a bottle right after. THen you still have cuddle time with the book.

I thought it would be a hard transition, but once we found a sippy cup that she would do well with, the new routine was no big deal for her. I thought it would be. She still sleeps 12 hours without any change.

I would say that we made the switch to the new routine around 13 1/2 months. Good luck!

Kelly - posted on 06/26/2010

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My daughter is 14 months and has 2 bottles of milk 1 in the morning and 1 at night, she drinks juice or water thoughtout the day. she loves her milk so its not something i'm going to rush taking off her..she's still just a baby!

Lee - posted on 06/25/2010

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I weaned my daughter from the bedtime bottle just before she was 3 and i'll do the same with my son. They are only little for such a short time and if you both enjoy it why stop? The bottle fairy came and took her bottle and left her a present when the time was right and she loved the present asked about the bottle a couple of times and I reminded her about the fairy and she was fine never had any crying or problems.

Samantha - posted on 06/25/2010

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i took my son off of all bottles on his first birthday, 2 weeks before we took away 2 bottles and then on his birthday eliminated all of them. he had a few days of grouch but was fine, i started putting milk in a sippy and he liked it. never at bedtime tho thats a routine i dont want to break again. he gets 2 sippys of milk a day and the rest is juice or water. he is 14 months

Heather - posted on 06/25/2010

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i went back to school two weeks ago, and my husband watches our son at night four days a week. He told me that our son doesn't really use the bottle for sleep and now that he is 14 months old i glad he can just go to sleep. now i just need him to stop breastfeeding during the day.

Lacey - posted on 06/25/2010

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My daughter is 14 months old and I weaned her off of the bottle at 11 months. However, at night she still gets a cup of milk before bedtime. I also took it away cold turkey and she had no problems at all with it. I just made all of the bottles completely disappear. It doesn't matter if she is drinking more at night or throughout the day, just as long as she's getting the recommended ( I believe) 12-16 ounces a day. A cup that I believe helped my daughter get away from the bottle was a cup by Munchkin.. Here is the website http://www.amazon.com/Munchkin-Mighty-Sp... . It looks like a bottle but is actually a cup. It helped my daughter completely transition to a sippy cup then real cup. Hope this helps :)

Sue - posted on 06/24/2010

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I did it by slowly making the transition. I started him off with a sippy and then gave him the milk he didn't drink in a bottle. Eventually, he wouldn't take the bottle at all, so I ditched it. I managed this at 12 months. I wouldn't worry about her not having tons of milk, as long as she has it in other things like cheese or yogurt. In fact, too much milk can mean they have less room left for food, which is getting more important at this stage.

Louise - posted on 06/24/2010

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On my first I took the bottle away but replaced it with a sippy one of the nuby soft silicone spout ones. 2 days of fuss and then he was fine. That was at 14 months. My second in now 14 months and not ready. He was slower on the uptake with all sippies than my first. Were going on hols next week an I thunk we might conveniently forget to bring the bottles home.
I always gave my first a sippy with warm milk in it going to bed till he was 3 and a half even though it was the only time he used one. He'd lie on the couch drink his milk and then brush teeth and up to bed. At least then I knew he was getting the milk as he wouldn't drink it in the day!
Switch to sippy but do put/throw away bottles so you're not tempted to switch back. Once they realize you're not going to give in they will adapt.
I firmly believe in milk before bed for kids who are not potty trained. My son was 3 and a half an that's when he stopped getting evening drinks!

Jenique - posted on 06/24/2010

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My daughetr is almost 15 months old and never had a night bottle. She has been off the bottle since she was 9 mos! I feel blessed cause all I have to do is ask her if she is ready for night-night and she runs to my arms, I lay her down and she is out for the night (12 hrs)! Woo hoo!

Traci - posted on 06/22/2010

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Our daughter has about three milk bottles in the morning, during the day and at night overall. She has ready access to a water bottle and juice sippy cup throughout the day which she drinks from on her own. Meals are juice only. (the juice is diluted). We tried going full sippy at 12months but it didn't work so we went back. Her nutrition was more import. Good luck.

Natalie - posted on 06/22/2010

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If you are both enjoying the bedtime routine, I say go ahead! Also, 6-8 ounces in a whole heck of a lot all at once. If she only gets 2 of those plus a little extra throughout the day, that's enough.
Also, I started giving the night feeding a little early, so my daughter wasn't quite so tired, then brushing her teeth after she's done, and then rocking and snuggling until she falls asleep.
On sippy cups, try giving a different kind or color of the sippy cup with milk in it. Have you tried the kind with soft silicone chewy spouts? I think it's Nuby brand? She might like that better for milk.
Good luck!

Stephanie - posted on 06/22/2010

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My son gets 2 milk bottles during the day, plus one before his nap and before bed; otherwise he uses sippy caups iwth 'sport straws'. My older son was off the bottle and breast by 11 months, but this time around I'm not too worried and will work on getting rid of the bottle after the boys go back to school since my youngest will have mommy all to himself during the day again an I can focus on getting rid of the bottle and not have to have my attention or what I am trying to do altered and spread out.

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hey my son is 14 months old and he still drinks bottle in morning of milk and staw sippy during the day and i give him bottle before he goes to bed as ususal.. dont know if its ok... it doesnt bother me LOL

Melanie - posted on 06/21/2010

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I was really lucky with this!! I had my daughter godmother come to stay over the birthday. At night while I gave her the bottle her godmother would sit in the room with us (which I didn't really like as it too is our cuddle time.) anyway, she was more interesnted in staring at her godmother then drinking her bottle. When godmum went home i thought well i can either keep giving it to her as I new she would drink it again not having someone else in the room. OR i could try putting her down without one, tried it one night and no probs! went straight to sleep and hasnt had the bottle at night since! She still has a bottle every morning and im in no real rush to stop that, she really likes having her milk in the morning. she will wake at about 6am and have her bottle then go back to sleep till about 7 or 8, and being preg with No.2 that extra little sleep for me is great, especialy since im at hight risck of getting pre eclampsia again and need to get as much rest and stay off my feet as much as i can.

Stina - posted on 06/19/2010

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Offer the bottle before brushing her teeth and then after brushing teeth, if she still wants a bottle, offer one with water- that way she doesn't have the sugar from the milk in her mouth overnight.

With my son when I started offering him bottles of water, he stopped wanting the bottle.

You can do the same thing to encourage sippy cup use. Offer drinks she likes in sippy cups and water in the bottle.

COURTNEY - posted on 06/16/2010

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my daughter is fourteen monthes old and she gets three bottles a day of whole milk mornin gnap and bed and then she eats solids a;; day however i too am worried about the bedtime and naptime bottle because of the teeth i would say that by 18 monthes i would like to have my daughter off the bottle completley! Hoever my daughter also drinks from a sippy cup all day and can drink from a straw very well so i am not worrie about her rejecting anything else when i finally take the bottle!

[deleted account]

I, too, am in the same situations as you Meredith (bedtime bottle and sippy cup). My son takes little milk during the day before he eats, and only use the sippy cup for WATER. He sometimes takes up to 20 oz a night (he eats before he goes to sleep). When you are success with weaning and sippy cup, please give me some tips.

Aimee-Grace - posted on 06/16/2010

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Doctors say that by 15 months, no later than 18 months, children should be weaned from the bottle. This is because it can cause issues with the teeth and mouth during development. My daughter is 14 months old and I just took it away, cold-turkey, when she turned 12 months old. A couple of things about us: she was breastfed and so she took bottles but not often. The last 6 months though she got her milk at night through a bottle, she wasn't nursing long enough to get to the hindmilk. One night the routine, like yours, didn't change other than no bottle. I still rocked her but no bottle and she never even fussed.
If you're worried about her getting enough ounces in a day give her cheese, milk in her sippy cup instead of water (at meals), baby yogurt, and even ice cream will give her what she needs. She needs around 12-18 oz, some say no more than 24 oz a day. I add milk to her cereal in the morning, she gets yogurt and cheese everyday, and along with her milk she drinks during the day she is meeting her daily requirements. I don't know what foods your daughter is already eating but she may be getting the extra already that you are worried that she'll lose without the night feeding. I hope this post has been helpful to you, hang in there. :)

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