How do I nicely stop my very spoiled 2 year old to go to bed without a bottle?

Any advice on helping a toddler go to bed without a bottle, without causing a scene?

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36  Answers

2 3

You called it. Spoiled. As hard as it may sound, you gotta put your big girl pants on and be the mom he/she needs you to be. I'm sure you've heard it all. Just make the bottles vanish. You may have a hard time hearingthe crying but it wont last forever.And, in the end, youre doing your child a huge favor!

1 11

Perhaps posting your question on a specifically 'gentle parenting' forum would give you some more of the type of answers you are looking for. Try Gentle Christian Mothers or Little Hearts/Gentle Parenting Resources. I have six children from 24 yrs old down to 14 months old and have never let one of my little ones cry it out and I've never weaned without employing gentle parenting techniques, so I know there is help for you to wean your little person gently! Switching to water in the bottle for a bit, picking out a special new sippy, etc, are all good ideas. Remember, those baby teeth will eventually fall out and be replaced by adult teeth, but your relationship with your little one will impact their whole life!

15 9

i think it is easy for all of us to give advise but you know our child. M daughter would be spoilt rotten if she could be and we have to wrok really ahrd not to let her get her own way.
she is 2 and 5 months and has a bottle to go to bed with. we water the milk right down as it is more to do with the comfort of the bottle as opposed to the milk.
and rightly or wrongly if this soothes her then I am happy for her to have it. and its not lazy or bad parenting but I would rahter this than have a child who is totatlly distressed.
i think though that also you need to start seeing about the spolit bit and make some chagnes there. Not easy I know

0 8

I think that you need to read your child and see what's best for them, I am a big advocate of the natural progression and child lead acivities. For my son we let him pick out a special sippy that we put milk in and he got to sit with us and drink it before bed. My daughter is 18 months and currently only gets her bottle while she is sitting with us before bed, she's not allowed to take it to bed with her. Do whatever you feel most comfortable doing, because I you get tense so will they, if you make gentle transitions they will be more willing and able to make that transition with you! Hope this helped!!

42 12

You are not alone! My daughter just turned two and is hooked on the bottle. I don't think it makes us bad parents at all so dont think that. Children choose different things as their comfort items and ours just happens to be the bottle. We are going to go cold turkey, I have heard that works best and the worst will be over after a couple days. Good luck to you.

0 0

Don't forget to spend a little extra time reassuring the child calmly and develop a special night time routine involving cuddles and sippy cups and praise as well as lots of patience and tenderness.

2 12

I've faced the same dilemma!! What I did was have my daughter sit on my lap with her bottle and read a book before bed. There were no drama's or tears. We've now upgraded to a 'sippy' and she was reluctant to use that but after 2 days she understood she had the choice of milk in 'sippy' or no milk at all and we let her decide. Many 2yo are just 'rebelling' against being 'told' as typical behaviour. We give our children choice over their pjamas, book to read etc but bedtime is bedtime. Allowing them some choice and some ownership in the situation will hopefully fend off any resentment over the non-negotiable rules..

14 31

my 2 yr old still has a bottle before bed but not taking it to bed with her, after bottle she brushes her teeth. it is really up to you when to stop her bottle. is that the only bottle she has a day?? does she get enough vits and nutrients, calcium without the milk??? and what does ur husband think?? coz he also have to be consistent with watever routine ud like to do.

90 22

I am having an issues as well. What I started doing was putting less in his bottle. I used to put 8 ozs, now I put about 4. I let him have it while he is sitting in his high chair having snack. I have just started getting tough about it as I used to spoil him. So far he seems satisfied with the less amount and goes to bed ok. He still wakes up in the night for a bottle for comfort so I have just been giving less amounts then too.
In a couple weeks I am going to switch to a sippy cup before bed, then once he has adjusted I will give him a sippy cup if he wake sin the middle of the night.
When I wanted to start taking the bottle from him and realized I wasn't strong enough to be tough I tossed all but one in the garbage so that it makes it harder for me to give in. When I swith with the sippy cup I will throw out the bottle so I don't have a choice.

2 0

My baby didn't go to bed with her bottle, but she did have her pacifier that we recently had to break her of. She's 21 months. It took a few more back rubs and a few more stories. And we moved a basket beside her bed where we keep her books. There has been some tears but never for very long, I just have to collect books from under her before I go to bed when I check on her because she usually has pulled a few into bed with her.

7 2

Children need to learn to go to sleep without the bottle. SO finding a replacement, toy blankie, or even just giving a drink of water when its bedtime. Thats how we got our 2 year old to stay in his toddler bed was a sip of water. There will be alot of crying as they adjust, but be strong and focus on this as a growth. Its just another stage of learning and growing.

41 10

<<snip>> SO finding a replacement, <<snip>> The problem you have with "replacing" a bad habit is that you create another dependancy on an outside object. there have been studies that say this actually can reduce a childs ability to self-soothe as a child and on into adulthood. rather than replacing with a specific item - a blankie for instance, creating a reassurance using ANY clean blanket and associating all blankets with comfort gives both the parent a break when one needs to be washed, and later on into adulthood because as a child, the person has learned that its not a specific item that brings comfort, but many things that can bring comfort when we're not feeling well. (plus we then as parents NEVER have to do the dreaded search for the missing boo-boo that got left behind SOMEWHERE... that our 4 year old child can NOT sleep/eat/exist without)

5 31

wow , my son was baba free by 13 months... i didnt see the point in a bottle when he could get his milk perfectly fine from a sippy cup... also, didnt want the hassle of dragging bottles around all summer. luckily he never once looked for the baba or asked for it. only took maybe 2 or 3 days of giving him the sippy for him to accept it. hes been on homogonized milk since a little before he was 12 months, and LOVES it! i like the answer of letting your 2 year old pick out their own sippy... also, my friend gave her daughter a sippy that was kind of shaped like a bottle (tall and skinny) but had a sippy instead of a nipple, and it helped eased the transition! good luck, hope something works for you :)

311 26

The way we stopped the behavior with our son was about an hour before bed he got a cup of milk. He drank it, and then he went to bed. He was usually fine. If he needed something else he could have a drink of water. After a few nights the fighting ended and he knew that is how it will be. Hide the bottles she he/she does not really need them at two. We told our son bottles are for the babies and we need to give them to a baby who needed them. Most of the left the house, the rest were hidden.

22 3

My son depended on bottles for sleep and it was making our lives crazy! We finally decided it just needed to end. I was so nervous about how he would react, but he did beautifully. I decided to let him know it was going to happen...talking about it throughout the day (You are getting so big that we are going to stop using bottles pretty soon, later, we are going to throw the bottles away and be all done, etc.). Then, that evening, my husband and I had our toddler throw the bottles away himself. He did that part fine. Then came bedtime. But, we did our normal routine of washing up, pj's on and reading books. He asked for the bottle and I just reminded him that we were all done and he cried a little bit, but no wailing or screaming and he was over it in a few minutes. I just sang to him as usual and we never looked back.

10 36

I just had this happen with my 2 year old twins. We actually went on vacation and my Sis in law suggested we tell them Mommy "forgot" the bottles. And so the first night came and there was a little fuss but I subbed a sippy and told them that's all we had. after the 2nd night/morning, they were fine. They will fuss but it gets better. You have to do it sometime.

0 4

Here is one way, children who are full usually at night tend to sleep early without even drinking milk (bottle). Let them play, because children are hardworking in nature. They play as hard as they can and when they are tired they just doze off. every child is different,so there is no need to rush things because they will just outgrown them.

0 20

I broke my son of the bottle at 12 months. I put him to bed without it and let him cry himself to sleep and after the 3rd night he quit crying for it. It's hard to just let them cry but it worked for me. I made sure he had a drink from his sippy cup before i put him to bed.

115 22

I put a Dripless Sippy Cup Of WATER in my Sons Bed
this way if he gets Thirsty in the Night he can have a Drink and Its Water, It will not Rot his Teeth
He is 2 So Not a Tiny Baby where He could Choke
the Bottle at my House disappeared Ooops all Gone Now you are a BIG BOY
and I had no tantrums From any of my Kids bottles were Gone at 18 Months
and they NEVER Had Bottles in a Crib

5 4

I'm shelley and I have a 2 1/2 yr. old daughter. I started cutting down bottles just AT NIGHT and BEDTIME. Give your child a sippie and see how they do. It's a gradually and slow proses but, worth it. I stopped bottles at 10 months so i don't really kno how hard it will be. Usually it gets harder with kids the older they get. GOOD LUCK

Shelley N Adaijah

43 23

Hey there!! I recently got rid of the bottle from my son. Basically, he was crying for his bot bot which was getting so frustrating! He had been doing it up to 8 times a day, just comfort drinking. One day he was having a meltdown after finishing a 200ml bottle 'cos he wanted more! Uh no. So I walked into the kitchen, chopped the teat off and walked back into the sitting room where he was waiting. I said "OH NO! Bottle broken!" and gave him the teat ... he tried putting it together again and I just said "No darling, it's broken now .. go and put it in the rubbish" so he put it in the bin. We had a couple of tears on day three when he realized mummy wasn't buying another bottle and it wasn't coming back but since then he's been great! =) Good luck.

P.S. I never let my son SLEEP immediately after having his bottle. We ALWAYS brushed his teeth first.

10 2

I don't think there's a nice way to do it. I never let my daughter go to bed with a bottle, but she did have a pacifier until she was 1. We broke her of it, and it wasn't easy. The older they get, the harder it is. On the bright side, it only takes a few nights...

1 10

try water instead of milk!!! and let your baby cry! it's now or never! i've seen 5 year olds with bottles and their teeth are nasty rotten! its for their own good!!! :)

59 0

I think you have to be strict no matter what, that is the only way they will learn.

18 0

Earplugs and the word NO. Remember you are being a better mother by not letting your angel go to be sans bottle. More hugs and cuddling before bed time will help, but be prepared to feel guilty. The baby will forget about the bottle long before you forget the tears, but that is because you are a good mother

512 54

Well you can stop it, but there is nothing that is going to be "nice" about it, at first. Start giving water not milk, then start giving sippy cup not bottle. Then eventually they will not need the sippy cup either.

0 0

One method that worked well for me 37 years ago, was to intoduce the sippy cup with lots of praise throughout the day and right before bedtime. Part two for me, was to stretch the period of time between bottles in and out of bed. Pacifiers can help at night, but I disagree with putting one in their mouths all the time. This worked for me, but requires a great deal of patience and soothing, rewarding coaxing and praising even at 2 and again at 4 am. Always take the child out of bed to be fed. Fifteen minutes of nurturing reassurance can easily substitute a bottle. Last be consistent and develop a bedtime routine. Mine actually threw this bottles away one at a time once a day at 1.5 years of age. We only had 3 rough nights and I would remind him he threw all his bottles away all by himself and what a brave thing to do that was. After that he informed everyone that he was so brave he threw all of his bottles away. I wish you luck.

12 20

Just simply dont give it him/her. I put ALL my bottles away months and months ago, when i moved him on to his cups. He stopped having a bottle before bed about 8 months ago. I started giving him a cup before bed, and now some times he has a normal cup with a straw. I NEVER let him take them to bed. He drinks what he wants then leaves it and we out him to bed. xxxx

41 10

decide which is more cost effective for you -

a couple of nights of fighting to get her to go to bed,

or the sheer amount spent on dental and orthodontic appointments to correct the myriad number of issues that can result from a child going to bed with bottles. I am not just talking about the cavities and discoloration that can form on the adult teeth as they are forming and growing with your child even now at the age of 2, but teeth and jaw muscles and placements slowly moving from proper alignment that require months and years of braces, headgear and social humiliation during the formative adolescent years of middle and high schools.

Also, kids that are still drinking in the middle of the night, have harder times potty training over night and can have bed wetting issues long term (8 - 10 years of age) again, social humiliation among peers.

trust me, between dental and therapy bills - 2 weeks of screaming at 2 years of age is cheeper. (oh, and take all the binkies, pacifiers away - and try to establish a new bedtime routine - find a (quiet) noisy book with a bedtime theme, (I like LeapFrog's Goodnight Scout because there are two volume settings, I can read the book or my son can OR we can let the book read itself, PLUS when we're done it will play either 5 or 10 minutes of soft lullaby music)

At bedtime, Z gets a bath, his meds, we brush his teeth and he's put into his jam-jams. then my son & I snuggle into a chair with a blanket - different blankets every few days to avoid a "blankie" fixation, and we read the book, then snuggle while the music plays. then he gets into bed (if he didn't fall asleep before the 10 minutes of snuggle time is up) When we started this routine, it took 4 days to establish, and now we have gone a couple of days with out it - but it picks right back up where it left off if I have to be away at bedtime for a day or 10.

Starting a new routine, with a number of changes is actually easier than just removing something from the established routine. Give it a try and I wish you luck.

3 28

Have you tried the bottle fairies? I did this with my little boy. I let him have his last bottle before bed, we then put all his bottles into a gift bag with a note to the bottle fairies for them to give them to their babies. We did have a few tears during the night, but, when he got up the next morning, the bottle fairies had left him a present to say thank you. He did still ask about them for a short time but, we just told him the baby fairies had them now, and reminded him of his present. This also worked with his dummy. You have to make sure you get rid of them too, so you can't give in. Hope this has helped. :-)

0 0

My child is 2 & we also hve a one yr old... neither one use bottles or sippy cups for bed. But when we did get them to go to bed w/o one, it was crazy! They cried for at least an hr, but it only lasted about a week... it was annoying & stressful, but I'm so happy we're past that part.... good luck! :)

0 17

I agree with the sooner the better, i replAced my little boys bottle with a sippy cup when he was one, i let him drink it before he went to bed, and he took to it right away, no crying or nothing when he would ask for his ba ba i would give him some milk in his sippy. hes two now and still has his dummy, its not going to be that easy to take that away from him :(

0 15

My son is 18 months and he was only getting it at nap and bed time and we just took it away from him the other day and we give him a drink in his cup before he goes to bed now and he does fuss for a few minutes but then he stops and goes to sleep.. The worse thing you can do is go into his/her room after they had stopped fussing because they will only want to get back up and it makes it worse to get them back in bed without the bottle. So just give him/her a kiss and say goodnight to him/her and walk out of the room right away....

26 33

The bottle is so very dangerous in bed! She could chole on the milk,, or she could accidentaly choke on the nipple of the bottle (she does have teeth at two) my suggestion is, make a big deal about transitioning away from the bottle in bed, share some milk before bed, in a sippy (or real cup if she can do it) but you need to throw the bottles in the trash! Crying at bedtime for a little while is much better than finding your child has choked to death in the morning (it can happen I've seen it).

My daughter is almost 3 now (less than a month til her birthday :) ). And what I did was take the bottles away when she went to the big girl bed, and explained to her that she's a big girl and big girls don't need such things, there was some crying for the bottle for the first few days, and yes you're going to feel horrible doing it, no mother wants to hear her child cry for something, but its for her own good. The crying will end, and she will have a newfound independance. Going to have to break that habit sooner or later, and the sooner the better.

As for the crying, higs and kisses and soft sweet words work wonders, maybe take her shopping foe a new teddy that can replace the bottle? My thoughts and prayers are with you!

23 11

in my opinion the child should never have gone to bed with a bottle. there are many negative consequences that go along with it, and honestly i consider it to be lazy parenting to give them a bottle in the crib as babies just to get them to go down easily. sorry for the harshness, but it is an unhealthy habit.

6 23

Don't you think calling it lazy parenting is more than a bit harsh? Seriously, people parent in different ways and all children are different and have their own individual needs. She's asking for advice and suggestions not your criticism.

9 24

Thank you for saying that Tracey

23 11

Tracy... you are right it is a bit harsh. but in this world... i see a lot of things going on with children that shouldn't. and i know people who put their baby to bed with a bottle because they either dont want to get up at night or dont want a fussy baby. being a parent isnt about doing whats easier for ourselves. but i do realize that every situation is different and we all make mistakes myself definitely included! i try to soak in all the information i can and learn something everyday. ill take a little criticism if it helps me to see the light and possibly better myself. i apologize for offending.

3 0

Make it fun!!! I agree with the other moms that said to let them pick out the sippy,thats similar to what we did I started giving it to him on a sat morning n by sat night he didnt even want a bottle. Oh and he picked out and we purchased several sippys before trying the right one. Bottles are really easy to drink out of so test the sippy yourself and make sure it flows easily but not to fast ;) and jusy make sure their teeth are coming in ok thats whats importnant ;)

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119 10

Just stop giving your child the bottle, that's what I did with my daughter when she was one. It can be very bad for their teeth, and can cause ear infections. I would just give him/her something else instead of the bottle.

39 23

go to sleep or cry! going to bed with a bub is so dangerous and bad for them! they could choke and the milk laying on their gums can cause the teeth to rot even before they come in!
it sounds mean but think of the alternative

41 6

I hope the bottles don't have milk in them because the sugars in milk rot teeth very quickly; ditto with fruit juice or cordial. Only give a bottle with water in it at night and really, it's far better not to start a baby with a bottle in the crib. Propping bottles is very dangerous. I've seen pictures of baby bottle mouth (baby teeth rotted down or up to the gums, black and brown and sometimes the rot even goes into the second set of teeth) and water is the only drink I can think of that wouldn't cause decay.

27 6

My son has been off of the bottle since 14 months; and fortunately, we did not allow him to sleep with a bottle. I would try the "one night on, one night off" method first. What I'm saying is trying not giving your child the bottle for one night and then the next night give him a bottle...after that try not giving him a bottle for two nights in a row, then see if he wants a bottle on the third night. Unfortunately there may be a lot of crying and screaming at you, but you'll need to close the door and "grin and bare" it. You'll find, eventually, your child will learn that he/she does not need the bottle. If your child needs something to help soothe them, give them a teething ring, special blanket, stuffed animal, etc. Stick to your "guns". Your child will still love you no matter what.

I don't mean to offend anyone who reads this post. Showing a little "tough" love is good for you and your child. Plus, each child is different. Some children handle the "cold turkey" method better than others. I use both methods. I prefer the slower method for some things.

12 20

The bottom line is, there is not a NICE way...there will be a "scene" because as someone else said, she is older now and the older they are, the harder it is. My son hasn't taken a bottle in over a year now and he wasn't hard to break from that, but potty training and breaking him from his passy is going to be horrible. If you do it gradually sometimes it helps. If she likes to rock in the rocker with you, let her have it then and not be allowed to take it to bed. That way it isn't all at once. That is what I am doing with the passy. He only gets it if he's gonna go to sleep. Or if he gets hurt to comfort him. But I would stop letting her take the bottle to bed and then gradually replace it with a sippy cup. Honestly, 2 is a little old to be taking a bottle anyway. Does she drink from anything else? Use whatever else she drinks from instead. Or let her choose a special sippy cup and use that at bedtime, but not IN the bed.
GOOD LUCK, and happy parenting!

2 0

I did not have the strengh to do it but my ex got up one night took her down stairs with the bottle and had her watch him throw it in te garbage. She cried for 2 nights....and then it was over.

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