17 answers

Need Help Getting 2 Year Old off the Bottle

My two year old is addicted to her bottle. The only way to get her to go to sleep is giving her one. I know she should have been off of it a year ago, but She is my second and probably my last so I was in no hurry to rush her to grow up. I know that sounds bad, But now I am paying for it. My son was off at 18 months and never asked for one, but he had a pacifier. I took the pacifier away from her at 3 months so I don't have anything to help her in the transition. Can someone help me on how to do this and still get some sleep.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Well first I want to say Thanks so very much for all of your reponses. They were all great. We have offically been off the bottle now for 2 weeks. She has done just fine. After the first 2 days she never even whined for one. She calls her cup a bottle. She is sleeping all night now. She doesn't even go to sleep with a cup. She just lays down and goes to sleep. So it was soo easy. She is such a good girl. Thanks again for all the great responses.

Featured Answers

One thing you could do is give a light snack before bedtime to fill her up and then hug or give her something she holds dear as a substitute to comfort her when it's closer to bed time, because she is using the bottle for comfort. A teddy bear, a blanket, a tight hug, etc and see how that works.

More Answers

Hi B. -

We just went for my daughters 15 month well visit and this is what her Dr. told me.

By her 18th month check up he wanted her off her bottle and going to bed all night long. UGH. She was still taking like 5 bottles a day and getting up throughout the night 3 times for 4oz. each time.

My schedule was: dinner in her highchair - bath - bottle and then bed (and sometimes I'd have to rock her to sleep).

The schedule he wanted me to have:
Eat in her highchair - bottle with dinner - bath and then book - and to be put in her crib STILL AWAKE and he said she'd be able to make it the entire night through.

This only took 3 nights to do (AMAZING!).

We feed her in her highchair - we give her a bath - then, we let her have a snack and try to get her to drink more milk for about 30 minutes. Then, we put on her music, tell her to give kisses night night and we put her in her crib awake.

Her Dr. said if she didn't eat enough the first night then that would teach her for the second night that she'd better eat. He said to put a sippy cup of water in her crib in case she got thirsty at night.

He didn't want her having milk before bed for two reasons: 1st. she'd associated going to sleep with having to have something to eat. 2nd. the milk isn't good before bed because it would sit on her teeth the entire night.

SHE DID AWESOME! She did cry a few times during the first couple nights BUT - we didn't go to her and it only lasted about 10 mins. Now - a week 1/2 past her visit she is doing exactly what he said to do! It is incredible to put her to bed at 8:30 pm and have peace until morning.

HE also said I could either go cold turkey with the bottle or only give her one in the morning and then one at night. We decided to go cold turkey and get it over with.

He also said babies associated flavor with their cup. SO -I needed a juice cup, a water cup and a milk cup. Which we have. She knows what is in each cup and knows what to excpect when she sips it.

This has worked great for us. Cold turkey seems cruel but it worked out great. Like I said -she was having like 5 bottles a day and we went cold turkey on a Friday. She never asks for her BUBBA at ALL!!!

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

I would try a new routine and talk about her being a big girl (new fancy toothbrush, special nighttime book for big girls, etc). But unfortunately you will most likely have to endure a few nights of crying (probably from both of you). Hang in there she will come around.

Well, since she is your last you could have a party with cake and icecream (or something less sugary if you want) and dive all the bottles to goodwill or throw them away as part of the party. Call it her big girl party and get her a few stuffed animals to sleep with or something.

My son had to have a bottle to go to sleep until he was nearly 3. Transitioning off of it was scarey, I knew it was going to be hard on all of us. First I bought special cuppies just for him, I bought a couple different styles so he could choose. Then I prepared him for it for about a month beforehand. NOw it is too late for how we did it, but maybe it can give you an idea. For a month before Christmas we talked about the big boy toys Santa was going to bring him and if he brought big boy toys then he had to take the baby bottles away because he was not a baby anymore. Of course he did not like the idea and argued about it each time I brought it up. Then Christmas eve we got rid of all the bottles while he was sleeping, made sure there were none left in the dishwasher or in his room, etc.. That night when it was bedtime we told him they were all gone and went through the whole santa story. He was a little upset, so we took him in and let him look in the cabinets and in the dishwasher. After a little while he accepted it and asked for one of his new Christmas cuppies. He only used those once or twice even. After 2 or 3 nights he never even asked for a cup anymore, and he would tell people he was a big boy and santa took the baby bottles away. I was surprised how easy it ended up being. I was sure I would not get any sleep for days!! Just make sure you stick to your guns, even when she asks for one you have to stick to it. It is hard when it would just be easier to give in and let them have it so you can sleep.

Take Care

One thing you could do is give a light snack before bedtime to fill her up and then hug or give her something she holds dear as a substitute to comfort her when it's closer to bed time, because she is using the bottle for comfort. A teddy bear, a blanket, a tight hug, etc and see how that works.


My son had the same problem and the thing that helped us is by taking him to the store and letting him pick out his very own "big boy cup". We started with one that had a soft mouth. It kind of resembled a nipple of the bottle and then transitioned to a regular cup. He will eventually put it down. Just use the big girl factor and play on that. I hope that this helps.

You may wish to consider Cranial Release technique. This is not the same thing as Cranio-sacral work and is extremely effective in righting the endocrine system very rapidly. It may not make sense to address a physiological issue, but this can correct hormone imbalances and deficiencies that create the need to fixate.

Another thing you might try is EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique. You can learn how to do it for free online, or you can go to someone who has been trained and is skilled at asking questions objectively.

There area therapists for both of these in Orlando and both produce effective results, particularly CRT.

I have to second what Rachael E. Said. That's a great way to do it. We told our kids that the bottle was going away and when and then all remnants of the bottles were gone one day and no more ever.
My 3rd never missed it, my first looked for it all over the house and my middle one we'll she's actually been the hardest at everything, but she took a pacifier and that helped, but boy when it was time to break her of that paci, that was a nightmare.
good luck

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