March 10, 2009,
K.D. asks from Lexington, TN on March 09, 2009
When to Stop Giving a Bottle at Bedtime?
I have a beautiful 8 month old little girl. We still give her a bottle before bedtime as part of her bedtime routine (bath, lotion, pj's,then bottle) She is sleepy but not asleep when I lay her down. She has learned to put herself to sleep and sleeps well most nights. I was just wondering at what age do you stop giving them that last night time bottle?
A.T. answers from Charlotte on March 10, 2009
My daughter stopped using a bottle just before her 1st birthday...her peditrician scared me with his no more bottles after 12 months old speech and she didn't have any trouble switching to a sippy cup (we'd been using both the bottle and the sippy cup since she was 7 months old) so I was lucky. Until very recently she would drink a cup of water with a splash of juice before bed as part of her night time routine. I stopped that only for potty training reasons. I hope this helped!
M.W. answers from Huntington on March 10, 2009
As soon as your baby has teeth, going to bed with anything but a pacifier or bottle of water can start to cause cavities.
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P.G. answers from Raleigh on March 10, 2009
You can start anytime. Try giving a sippie with her meals first. When that becomes successful, then try it at bedtime. Usually by the first birthday, doctors like to have children weaned from a bottle, but she may be ready before then. Try with water first and when that becomes successful, then do formula and then milk at her first birthday.
P.L. answers from Louisville on March 10, 2009
When kids start drinking from sippy cups and glasses, bottles should go bye-bye. First during the day, then at night. My son was between one and two years old when I finally weaned him off the bottle at night. But I think each kid is different, so you just have to play it by ear. Like I said, generally when a child is old enough to master the sippy cup and can drink out of a plastic cup or glass, it's time to start weaning from the bottle, which you've already done. The only way you're going to know is to try to not give that last bottle. She'll let you know if she's ready to give it up or not.
K.A. answers from Nashville on March 10, 2009
My name is K. Denise!!! We quit giving Christie a bottle when she was 10 months old, because the doctor asked me if I was giving her a bottle at night due to the fact she had a lot of ear infections. Turns out that when they lay flat and take a bottle the milk actually goes into their ear tubes because they are not slanted like an older persons tubes are. I had to admit that I had been giving her 4 bottles at night because she wouldn't sleep. We quit them, cold turkey, just stopped. She cried for three nights and then never cried again for the bottle.
E.M. answers from Louisville on March 10, 2009
If she's not falling asleep in your arms don't worry about it. Around 1 she should drop the bottle but I'm guilty of letting my oldest have it tip she was 2 1/2. I will say one is alot easier than two when it comes to getting rid of the bottle. You know her best she won't go to college with a bottle so don't sweat it!
A.J. answers from Memphis on March 10, 2009
Our little guy just turned one and he still gets a bottle at bedtime, usually an hour or so after dinner, even though it's actually part of his dinner. Try transitioning to sippy cups before you try to wean her off the bedtime bottle. Just make sure if she has any little teeth to use a finger brush and a tiny dot of tooth and gum cleanser to avoid sending her to bed with "milk mouth."
M.H. answers from Huntington on March 10, 2009
Hi, K.! For us, the bottle before bed was the last one to go. Our routine around 8 months was to give our daughter 3 small meals a day (at usual breakfast, lunch, & dinner times) to get her used to that, and we gave her a bottle in between breakfast & lunch and between lunch & dinner (at her nap times--9am & 1pm). Then, we also gave her a bottle at bedtime. Gradually, as she ate more table food at the meals, her appetite for the formula decreased, and she took less and less until eventually she didn't want the bottles during the day. Like I said, the bedtime bottle was the last to go, but it was probably phased out by 11 months. Pediatricians recommend formula/breastmilk for the first 12 months, so no need to rush her off the bottle until after that. Our daughter actually weaned herself--she just quit taking it!--around 11 months. She would turn her head away from it and refuse it, so it was easy for us. Take your cues from your baby. As long as she's at a healthy weight and you're offering her plenty of nutrients, she'll get what she needs. At 8 months, she most likely still gets a majority of her nutritional needs from formula/breastmilk.
So, to answer your specific question, I'd say to stop with that bedtime bottle around 12 months, give or take. Sounds like you have a good bedtime routine, so once the bottle is gone, just continue with what you've been doing and maybe add in storytime so you can still cuddle! Good luck!
K.M. answers from Jacksonville on March 10, 2009
We used to hold and cuddle are daughter while she drank the bottle then put her down. When she was about 8-9 months old we switched to a sippy cup. No bottles after 1 year old is what our peds recommended.