25 answers

Transitioning from Bottle to Sippy Cup at Nightime

Hi, Need advice, My son is 12 months old and so far our nightt.ime routine includes going into his dim room sitting in a rocker and giving him a bottle. When he's done, he's still awake but very sleepy I lay him down and usually he talks and babbles for a few minutes and then goes off too sleep. I want to try and take away the bottle and start brushing his teeth before he goes off to sleep. I am anticipating a lot of protest from him because he is used to going off to bed so sleepy from the bottle. Does anyone have a similar situation or advice. Some mom's have said don't worry about taking away the bottle till 18 months. He uses a sippy cup all day except for nap time and bed time.

1 mom found this helpful

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Hi J.!

I can't make any promises, but this is what worked for us:

Once Jovie was down to only the nighttime bottle, we started decreasing the ounces every couple of days (i.e. 6 oz Sun, 5 oz Wed, 4 oz Sun...) until it was just 2 oz. There was some protests of "where's the rest of the milk?" but we just said "all gone" and continued with bedtime routine.

Then we switched the filling the bottle with a few oz of water instead of milk. That way we could brush her teeth before bedtime bottle-snuggles (very similar to the routine you have) and not worry about coating her teeth with milk post-brush. We only did water for a few days before she decided she was uninterested and we just dropped the bottle completely. Hopefully you will find out that he is sleepy for the comfort and familiarity of the bedtime routine as much as the milky-tummy.

I hope this slow-transition-method works for you and Madden...good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

Hi J., I have a son who's almost 27 months old and he likes to have a drink before he goes to bed so I brush his teeth first, read him a book and while I'm reading his book, he drinks water from his sippy cup and then he lays down and goes to sleep. I would suggest putting water in a sippy cup, that way you can brush his teeth first and then give him his drink. I hope this helps!!

My daughter is 21 mos old and still bottles at bed time... Still uses her pacifier too... Hope the weaning goes well and let me know what ends up working for you, I may try it myself!

More Answers

Hi J.!

I can't make any promises, but this is what worked for us:

Once Jovie was down to only the nighttime bottle, we started decreasing the ounces every couple of days (i.e. 6 oz Sun, 5 oz Wed, 4 oz Sun...) until it was just 2 oz. There was some protests of "where's the rest of the milk?" but we just said "all gone" and continued with bedtime routine.

Then we switched the filling the bottle with a few oz of water instead of milk. That way we could brush her teeth before bedtime bottle-snuggles (very similar to the routine you have) and not worry about coating her teeth with milk post-brush. We only did water for a few days before she decided she was uninterested and we just dropped the bottle completely. Hopefully you will find out that he is sleepy for the comfort and familiarity of the bedtime routine as much as the milky-tummy.

I hope this slow-transition-method works for you and Madden...good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

Your nightime routine sounds very much like ours was, only exception - we sat on the couch so mommy and daddy could both be a part of the bedtime routine. I have 2 boys, now 3 and 2 years old. I dropped the bottle with both of them right around 12 months and we had no trouble at all. I would suggest adding a book to your current bedtime routine. It may be hard to hold him with the bottle and the book, but if you can, I think it may help the transition when you decide to give up the bottle (just my opinion, I think earlier might be a little easier than later, the older my kids got, the harder it was to adjust to changes, especially with a "comfort" item). At 12 months, my boys did not have a huge attention span so we just read one small board book ("Mr Brown Can Moo" and "Hand Hand Fingers Thumb" were great at this age). We also pray and sing a song together before saying goodnight, if you want to consider something like that, too.
With my oldest, he refused the bottle completely shortly before his first birthday, so I didn't have to wean him from it (that's really not fair). With the second, he was very content with his bottle, but it was no loss to him when it was no longer part of the routine. He was used to sitting with us and drinking his bottle as we read a book with the eldest. We gradually reduced the amount in that last bottle then sometime shortly after his first birthday, we no longer offered it, and he just sat on my lap and looked at the book. Then pray, sing (both the boys sing with us now - it is so beautiful!), hugs and kisses all around, and "goodnight!"
If you want to include cleaning his teeth before the bottle is gone, I would suggest using a damp cloth and have it nearby so you don't have to disrupt the sleepy feeling to go brush teeth in the bathroom. Once the bottle is gone, teeth brushing can be the start of the routine, before book and cuddling, etc.
Whatever you decide to do, don't stress about it, it will be just fine. You don't sound terribly stressed, but I always stressed in advance of these adjustments, and it always worked out fine (until they got a litle older!:)

1 mom found this helpful

I found that I was the one with the anxiety over taking the bottle away. I didn't want to deal with my 12 month old being cranky and crying at bedtime. I took the bottle away, and by away I mean I got rid of them so there was no going back. It only took 2 days of fussing at bedtime for the bottle to only be a memory for either of us. I think we as parents hold our children back because of our own discomfort and fear. Be brave...

1 mom found this helpful

Hi J., I have a son who's almost 27 months old and he likes to have a drink before he goes to bed so I brush his teeth first, read him a book and while I'm reading his book, he drinks water from his sippy cup and then he lays down and goes to sleep. I would suggest putting water in a sippy cup, that way you can brush his teeth first and then give him his drink. I hope this helps!!

Try the sippy cups I think they're either Nuk or Nuby.. they have silicone straws and it's very similar to a bottle. I was able to toss out all of my sons bottles at 11 months using them!

Hi J.,

My son (who is now 14!) loved his bottle too. What we did was transition to the sippy cup with milk earlier in the evening, brush his teeth, and then he we gave him a bottle of water for bed. He just loved the sucking, didn't care what was in the bottle, and I didn't have to feel guilty about his teeth.

Good luck in finding what works for you!

M.

I had the same routine for my daughter, but incorporated reading a book to her while she drank her bottle. I first took away the bottle at nap time around 14 months then about a week, 2 weeks later took away the night time bottle. I had been brushing her teeth after her bath, but then gave her a sippy cup and since she was used to having milk in the sippy cup, during the day, it was fairly easy. Also the distraction of a book helps. Finally, I just gave her the sippy cup of milk with dinner (instead of water), and then after her bath (part of our nighttime ritual), brushed her teeth (then let her do it), and read her a few books and off to sleep. I hope it works as easily for you. I guess I should mention she never looked for or asked for her bottle either, so she wasn't super attached. Good luck!!

hee hee I know this may seem 'duh' to you.... but my lil sister was allowed to keep the bottle until 3 yrs... but not only with milk, with chocolate milk.. Yes, poor baby. She's now 12 and having root canals. It's horrible and your right to care, thats a mom's job! =) keep up the good work.

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