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.

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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!

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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

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.

Why do you want to take him off the bottle? He's a bit young, typically you wean them off the bottle during the day, and the PM bottle is the last to go. Why not see if he'll take a water bottle at night if you're worried about his teetch. Frankly, I don't think I'd want to die on this hill, I'd wait.

Now adays those sippy cups are so darn cute they take to them very well. Let him pick out the sippy cup make an ENORMOUS deal about how special it is and how its only used for night time.hide the bottle in the afternoon or after the last time your going to use it befor bed so he doesnt see it. Get one that is basically like a bottle where he has to suck on it to come out. Then after awhile slowly change to the other ones. Good Luck

hi J., i would not worry about protest, you are the parent and he is not, at one year old my kids got a little drink of water in a cup and i rocked them to sleep, then layed them down, but i had introduced the cup to my babies t 6 months old, and then for 9 months to one year my babies only had one bottle a day and that was first thing in the morning while I was preparing their cereal. J.

I wouldn't worry.. it's still really early. But if you want.. try this...

Give him the milk while on the chair and read book s for him... and then go brush teeth... and then come back and read books again... that's what we do... my daughter is almost two and we just took the bottle from her and she's fine... no protests surprisingly. Good luck :-)

I ignored the pediatricians and let mine have the night time bottle till she was 18 months, by then she'd been using the sippy cup for so long that when I gave her a sippy cup the first night she gladly took it and there were no issues at all. I use the tall born free and they kind of have a bottle feel to them. So perhaps just try and if there's a protest and if so then continue on with bottle and try again in a few months and do the same thing. I really don't think there's any big deal to using a bottle at night. In sweden they use them still when they are 3!

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!

Hi J.,
I am in the exact same situation as you are in. I have an almost 14 month old and I still give her a bottle at night. I usually give her a bottle when she wake up in the early morning, but today I will give her breakfast instead. (breakfast is usually about and hour after her bottle)
Personally, I'm not ready to give up her bottle at night time. (how selfish of me huh?) Lately, she has not been drinking the full bottle ( I fill 5 ounces) she has been leaving about an ounce or so. I believe she is weaning herself off of it, so, I will continue giving it to her until she decides that she doesn't want it any longer.
She drinks out of a sippy cup just fine all day long, so I'm sure she will be fine when I switch to the cup for her night feeding.
I would start with his nap's first, and then in time, eliminate the bottle at night.
If you would like to talk more, or get together for a play date, my email is ____@____.com
I live in West Hills.
Take care!
M.

He's still a baby give him the bottle at night, and have that bond together. I didn't take away my sons bottle until 15 months. Good luck.

K.

I'm going throught the exact same thing right now except my son is 13 months old. I've been brushing his gums and now teeth since he was four months old but I still worry about totally weaning from his nighttime bottle. I'm trying to slowly take away the bottle altogether but it's hard when it's time for bed and you're tired too! I see that my son is already trying to be a "big boy" and feed himself (both with his hands and his spoon) and he tries to drink out of regular water bottle like we do and he's good with his sippy cup so I think as he becomes more independent and continues to try to mimic what we do, it will become easier. I try not to stress myself or my son too much because the bigger a deal I make of it, the more he wants it and is determined to keep it. So just go with the flow, try to stay relaxed and remember there's still time plus God made baby teeth for a reason. Good luck!

The people who are saying he is too young to take the bottle away are being misleading: in my experience the longer you let them have it the more attached they become to it. We made our bottles all disappear at 12 months and neither of my twins noticed in the least. They didn't see the bottle as a comfort object--it was only for food. The more they see it as comfort the harder it becomes to take it away from them at all. Then you have a serious problem and most people delay even more. I had a friend whose twins were at least 3 before she could get the bottle away at night. Take the advice of those who describe the slow wean to water in a bottle then a cup--but do this now--I promise it will be easier than if you wait.

I did the same thing with my son (now 21 months) until a little before a year and a half. My doctor told me to use a tissue to wipe his teeth off before bed or have him drink some water from a cup. Of course it's better to come off the bottle right before bed but we do what we can.

I first tried giving Luka a bottle before going to his room, brushing his teeth, then doing our normal bedtime routine but replacing the bottle with cuddling. I tried this at one year but he started waking up at night and I decided he just wasn't ready. About 4 months afterwards I just stopped with the bottle completely. Cold turkey stop. I gave him a snack before bed, brushed his teeth, and replaced bottle time with cuddles. I still do actually. We read a book and then he lays in my lap and I sort of rock him (as much as I can for such a big boy :) and I put him to bed. He barely fussed the first day and the next slept better than ever. I guess he was ready too.

Born Free makes a training sippy cup which is soft like a bottle nipple. This might help the transition. Good luck!

Aww he is still young, introduce this to him slowly, maybe just rocking him with out the bottle hand him a very small amount from the sippy cup, lay him down see what he does, if he protests then you can give in... But really mom he still has time
Blessings to you and your family !!

Hi J.,
My son brushes his teeth then goes to bed with a cup of milk or water. I've been doing this with him since he was a baby. We never brush his teeth again after he drinks the milk - we don't want to get a sleepy kid out of bed and risk waking him up. He is almost 6 and his teeth are fine. Never had a problem. I think the problems arise when the baby falls alseep with the bottle in his mouth and the milk just sits there. As long as you brush his teeth before bedtime you're probably fine. If you're really concerned try to transition to water at bedtime but a 12 month old may be too young for that - they need their milk.

I think the fact that he uses his sippy cup during the day is great. You can try to do the sippy at night and just keep trying until he takes it. If he really wants his bottle at night, then just let him have it - he'll transition when he's ready and it will be probably be soon - they grow up fast!

Good luck! I think you're doing fine!

I have an 18-year old daughter and am just starting to try to switch to the sippy cup. What I've been doing since she started getting her teeth in is brushing her teeth before I give her her bottle before bedtime. Her teeth seem fine.

I just did this! I have a 14 month old boy and we had the same routine as you. I gradually added more water to his bottle so it was less desirable. Then one day I tried no bottle and it worked. I was nervous for about a week but he never seemed to mind. It was harder for me then him. instead have sitting in our rocker I hold him and give him his paci and put a blanket on my shoulder. It has worked like a charm. I love not cleaning bottles all the time!!! Good luck.

Try a Nuby brand sippy only at night time...it has the bottle affect, but is not a bottle. It worked with my daughter to wean my night time feeding...but I never bottle fed her at night.

Hope this helps.

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