Bottle

Updated on January 08, 2009
K.C. asks from Saint Charles, MO
32 answers

My son is 20 months old and still takes the "baba". I know that you're supposed to get them off the bottle at a year but my Motherly instincts tell me he's not ready yet...and I feel that I am not ready either...I am reading a book called "Real Boys" and it talks about how we push our boys away too young and tell them to "grow up" too fast...so they don't grow up to be "sissies" and "Mama's boys"...he gets a sippy at daycare but I still give him a baba at night (filled with water and a little bit of juice). I feel embarrased telling my babysitter that he still gets the bottle. She asked me one day if he still gets it because he'll say "baba" there. When I told her he still got it sometimes she was like, "Oh no...he still shouldn't be getting the bottle..." I felt ashamed which I think is kind of stupid...
I want to completely have him off the bottle no later than 2 years of age...is anyone else going through this and is it really such a horrible thing for him to be still taking the bottle?
Thanks, ladies

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A.W.

answers from St. Louis on

I let my girls have a bottle at night until they were two. I just switched to only water at 18 months. They still have a sippy cup with water in it (half full now) and they are 3, and 4. I am trying to get my oldest off of it, but the going is hard. I am going to keep putting less and less water in it until I can take it away.

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A.B.

answers from Kansas City on

It's not the end of the world, but you should get on it. I hope you are brushing his teeth after juice in a bottle. Any dentist will tell you never to let them have juice in a bottle. I think we push them away and make them grow up too young in other ways, like leaving them with sitters or at daycare instead of staying home with them and being their mommy. The bottle is not the issue.

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B.S.

answers from Kansas City on

The world weaning age is 4.2 (from breastfeeding) so I would assume artifically fed children would need a bottle or pacifer longer than 12 months. I think it's fine as long as you brush his teeth when he's done so he doesn't get caries.

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J.C.

answers from St. Louis on

Please do not feel stupid & do not be ashamed of letting your son have a bottle longer than most. My oldest took a cereal bottle through the night until he was four. He was also on some regular vitamins/herbs & he was so hungry I could put them in that bottle & he would suck it down so it worked out great. I am tired of the stigma us bottlefed babies mothers go through. If you were still breastfeeding people would say do it as long as you can, don't give up on your child, even in public. I say let him have the bottle, no child has ever went to school with a bottle & it's something he "needs"/wants. Don't sweat the small stuff save it for the bigger issues. Life's too stressful as it is (for the little ones & us) If people say something - say well if I as breastfeeding you woudn't be saying anything & shut them up. He's YOUR baby, do what makes things best/ easiest for you & him. For the people that are going to say, but their teeth of ear infections -Drs go on statistics & not all children in those statistic groups are the same & they don't know the outcome of that child if you would have done the opposite - the outcome may have been the same for that child either way you did things. Good luck & don't feel bad at all. (BTW I was a bottle baby ALOT longer than I should have been & I never had health issues or cavities!) Also, your sitter should respect what you choose to do with your child!

Sorry - Also, as far as the mama's boy thing goes - my oldest is aggressive on the soccer field & "sweetheart" in the home/at school. Just let him "be a boy" & he'll be fine!

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G.N.

answers from St. Louis on

I say you do what is right for your child, he will let you know when he is ready to be done with the "BABA". I breastfed my son until he was 16 1/2mths, I weened him slowly hoping to be done by the time he was one but he wasnt ready, he was great at weening the morning and afternoon and dinner time one but the nite one went on the longest and he finally stopped at 16 1/2mths, as your son will do the same. Once he turns 2 and still wanting the nite bottle you can ween him then. ONly you know your son.

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K.H.

answers from St. Louis on

My daughter turned 2 in November and we still give her a bottle of milk before bed. I've heard that it's a no-no too, but she's given up everything else on her own (formula, pacifier...) that I figure when she doesn't want it anymore she won't take it. Besides, she's not a big milk drinker during the day, so at least I know she's getting some before bed.

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K.B.

answers from Wichita on

Good Morning K., Never Ever feel Stupid. He is your Child and he will give it up when he is ready. Every child is different TY Jesus, and do things differently. Our first son gave up his bottle at 19 months our second son kept his until he was over 2. And Beleive me neither are Sissies. Our Youngest calls me daily to say hey mom what's up! That sure doesn't make him a mama's boy,makes him considerate and thoughtful.

Our 3 1/2 yr old gr son gets a warm milk sippy in the morning when he wakes up. Gen leave a small cup or water on his dresser at night now. He sure isn't a sissie boy either.

He is your son K., you know him alot better then anyone else. So never feel guilty, unless he wants to take it for show n tell in preschool......lol

God Bless little Mama
K. Nana of 5

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J.B.

answers from St. Louis on

Hey K.
You raise your child how you want. Don't let anyone make you feel like you should do something. You don't want to do. I have that problem with some people in my family.Just because my son isn't talking that much. They try to tell me I need to teach him words and work with him on talking. Which don't get me wrong I am working with him but I am not going to force my 2 year old son to talk if he don't want to.He just turned 2 on December 20. I just tell them he will talk when he wants to talk. Sorry about all that it just makes me mad when people try to tell you how to raise your kids.So you do what you want and feel you should do.Don't let anyone tell you how to raise your child.Let them be little as long as they can.Because they grow up so fast.I hope this helps

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A.H.

answers from St. Joseph on

You're right--this culture pushes "early" everything: get them off the bottle early, get them potty-trained early; get them reading early, etc., etc. Then we wonder why so many kids are trying to grow up too early and having sex too early! :-P

Listen to your instincts. If the sitter mentions it again, ask her simply, "Why?" Why does a child "need" to be off the bottle by 12 months? Where is THAT listed in Federal law? ;-)

Don't feel ashamed, especially since it's only a night-time bottle. Many other cultures breastfeed until 2 or even 3 years of age! How is bottle feeding that much different?

I wouldn't leave the bottle in his mouth once he starts falling asleep, because the sugars in the juice (even a small, diluted amount) can cause cavities. (Or you could just omit the juice and give him plain water.) But other than that, it shouldn't be a problem. It won't affect his teeth otherwise (will not cause an overbite because of sucking on the nipple, etc.), because his adult teeth won't be coming in for a few more years yet.

My three older kids all gave up the bottle on their own, and the bedtime bottle (of water) was always the last to go--when they were ready. Near their second birthday, I would test their readiness by just "forgetting" to fix one at bedtime, but when they asked for it, I gave it to them. Eventually, they stopped asking on their own and went to sleep without it.

For what it's worth, my four-year-old still drinks from a sippy cup at home. He is perfectly capable of drinking from a regular cup (and often does when we are out), but prefers the sippy cup. And every time it gets knocked over at the table, or he drops it on the carpet, I think, "Thank goodness that thing has a lid!" ;-)

HTH! --A.

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D.W.

answers from St. Louis on

K.,

You have gotten some excellent advice already. I just want to throw my "two cents worth" in there for what it is worth............YOU are his mother, and ONLY YOU decide what to do with your son. It is hard sometimes not "conforming to the norm", but you should not feel ashamed or embarassed about any of this. Our kids grow up too fast anyway, and there is nothing wrong with letting him have his "baba" for a little longer if that is what YOU think is best. It will not scar him for life........he will not even remember it! You sound like a good mom, and don't let anyone tell you differently!! Good luck!

D.

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A.D.

answers from Kansas City on

K.,
(tongue in cheek here in case you couldn't tell!)
Oh no!!! I'm almost 34 and I STILL drink from a bottle!
Water bottles with those little sippy tops "nipples", coke bottles, juice bottles, and I've even seen people using...shhh...those camel packs while exercising! What to do?????
Seriously, I think as moms we all try so hard to do everything "right" and "by the book" (which totally depends on which book!!LOL)and if our little ones aren't doing what others are, we feel like we've messed them up totally.
No...it's not so bad that your son gets a bottle at bedtime.
My daughter gets a sippy cup of milk at bedtime and honestly, it's really the same thing, just a different style "top". They get used to a routine, and if it helps him sleep happily, I don't see the big deal. I probably wouldn't put it in the bed with him (just because frequent sucking at night on a bottle with even a bit of juice or milk in can mess with tooth decay) but a bottle before bed...you do what works. My daughter still uses her pacifier at bedtime and I initially thought I'd get rid of it at 18 months, but it makes her so happy to relax and fall asleep with it (and I LOVE my sleep), I am no longer in a rush to get rid of it.
Enjoy your time snuggling before bed together, and trust yourself!
Cheers!

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T.O.

answers from Kansas City on

I let both my girls give up their bottle on their own, with some encouragement from me. My oldest was just over a year but my youngest was 26mo before she gave up her bottle. They are both fine my youngest who had the bottle the longest has no dental problems. My oldest has lots of dental problems but that has more to do with the fact that I gave her milk at bedtime (I was a very young mom and didn't know better). I think whenever you and he are ready to give up the bottle it will be fine and it isn't the babysitters responsibility to tell you how to raise your child.

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M.J.

answers from St. Louis on

Wow, another "failed" mother like me! ;-) Our son turns 2 in February and he still has a bottle at bedtime, plus he still wakes up in the middle of the night for one, so you're doing a lot better than me! We too have felt the scorn of other parents for letting him have the bottle, so we have tried numerous times to get him off, but you know what, is it that big of a deal really? His teeth are fine (we have a pacifier problem too, we're doubly awful parents) and he loves it. And I don't feel so strongly about it that I let him cry and cry until he throws up. The bottle is one of his favorite things, has been since he was a baby, so like you, I figure he'll give it up when he's ready. He's already showing signs of giving up the pacifier, so he'll get there. I'd love it to be for this 2nd birthday, but if not, it's not like he'll be drinking the bottle when he's 16! Don't stress, do what your heart tells you, don't let other people dictate what's right for you and your baby!

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L.B.

answers from Knoxville on

Hey girl! My daughter just turned 3 year old still gets a bottle before naptime and bedtime! Its the way she soothes herself and I just can't (won't) take it from her. She has had a very eventful year (new baby, dad's deployment, 2 moves), so while I'm sure there are people screaming at their computers while they are reading this, I still let her have the bottle!! Otherwise, she always drinks from a cup or straw cup. In my opinion don't feel guilty; we moms have enough else to feel guilty about!!

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C.H.

answers from Kansas City on

I don't think it matters that you give him a bottle. Everyone has their own way and sometimes what works some you doesn't work for other people. But if you really want to get rid of it just have the baba fairy come. The fairy comes to take the babas to babies who need them not big boys anymore... I think the real issue in your post is the juice at night. Are you brushing his teeth after he drinks it?

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L.S.

answers from Wichita on

Dear K.,
I laughed out loud with memories of my daughter many many years ago. She had a sad looking yellow plastic baby bottle. She took it to bed with her every night and drank water out of it. She ended up taking it to bed with her empty and holding it. Went right to sleep.

That was back before moms were judged on when their children did things. Its really crazy that people get so upset about other peoples children. Let him have his BaBa, he will give it up and I promise he won't take it to kindergarten with him. You sound like a great mom and just trust your instinces (spelling?) If hes is happy and contented thats what really matters.

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K.C.

answers from Wichita on

If it works for you I think it is okay, as long as his teeth are not moving. Do not put anything but water in his bottle. Even a little juice for flavor is bad sitting on his teeth at night.

God Bless!

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M.B.

answers from Topeka on

Hi K., just my two cents for ya, just let him have the bottle. My only advice would be to put either just water or milk in the bottle because of the sugar content, and don't let him sleep with it while sucking on it in bed, this will cause tooth decay. And don't worry about raising your son wrong or that he will be a "sissy", I have four boys-- two biological and two step, and they are all different but in good ways.Just make sure you raise them to have empathy for other people and be responsible young men, one of my stepsons does not have these qualities and it just kills me. So hang in there, you'll do great!
M. B.

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R.M.

answers from Topeka on

K....each child is different...and there are no right and wrong times for each milestone in their lives. I think that sometimes we listen to the so called "experts" too much and ignore our Motherly instincts. Some of the "experts" are crackpots with fancy degrees...you have to just let common sense be your guide.
I would suggest one thing...that I learned from painful experience. ONLY give your son water in his night time bottle...I would be afraid of even a little bit of juice in it because that sugar sitting on his teeth can lead to decay. My youngest daughter had awful baby teeth because of the night time bottle, she was the only one of my daughters to ever take a bottle to bed with her...and she paid the price.
So...go with your instincts...don't be embarrassed...and don't make excuses...believe me...he will NOT be heading off to kindergarten with a bottle in his back pack!!!!

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S.H.

answers from St. Louis on

wow, I find it interesting that no "nay-sayers" have posted yet!

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S.G.

answers from St. Louis on

My son was also born early, he was 31 weeks. (I know this doesn't have anything to do with the subject, but I thought it was interesting). Anyway, he is now 26 months and still gets 3 bottles a day with 7 oz. milk. His doctor knows, and said it's fine, he also drinks out of a cup with a straw at meals. I just feel like he needs the milk and he isn't addicted, per say, he just enjoys them and still lets me hold it and I guess, to be honest, I enjoy the bond. The doctor said as long as he isn't holding a bottle all day and drinking from it, it is fine for him. He said I may want to make sure he's off of it by maybe 2 1/2 or beginning potty training, but he didn't seem concerned, unhappy or insistant that I take away the bottle. I know others may think I'm nuts, I don't care. I am his mom, and I feel like he still needs it and that's it. My mom is all for it too, she always says don't take it away until you feel comfortable. I don't care what people think, I am more concerned (especially before they are two) that he gets the milk he needs. Once you take them off the bottle, often they don't drink enough. I say, do what you think is best. Don't worry about what others say, they try to take kids off bottles at 1 now, I think that is nuts! Kids need that milk fat til they are 2. Anyway, sorry for the rant. I just don't see the problem. Unless they are dragging it everywhere, ruining their teeth or something awful, then why take it away. What is the harm being done? Yes, it will have to in a couple of months, but until then, he's getting it and that's all there is to it, for me. You do what you feel is right.

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K.C.

answers from Kansas City on

As long as there aren't any problems developing, I always say follow your baby and yourself. You're doing well, no need to change things because of other people.

K.

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D.S.

answers from Kansas City on

You should do what you think is good for you and your son and not worry about what people think. I can tell you that getting him off the bottle won't affect your relationship. I still cuddle with my son, but he sucks on a sippy cup instead. Mostly try not to give him juice out of either unless it's diluted. It's really bad for thier teeth. Also, to wean him from the bottle, this will sound crazy, but get a farmer's almanac (you can get them in the book/magazine section at the grocery store) and look at when it says to wean. I have three kids and I tried to wean my first one and it was terrible. My mother told me this old wives tail of weaning during the "moon" sign. I thought she was nuts, but I tried it and it worked! I did it again with my other 2 kids and it works like a charm! They never asked for the "baba" ever again! Not once!

Good luck and follow your heart!

D.
WorkAtHomeUnited
www.wahu2day.com
[email protected]____.com

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D.R.

answers from Kansas City on

Hi...
My oldest who just turned four took the bottle until she was older that two. It was the only way I could get her to drink milk! To this day she still doesn't want much milk. I think you should do what feels right to you and your son. I don't think anyone should tell what is right or wrong about what you are doing. Suggestions are fine, but do what you feel is right.

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S.W.

answers from St. Louis on

My daughter is about the same age and until recently also still had a bottle at night before bed. Her daycare provider told me she was getting jealous of a new baby that just started getting a bottle. To help her get past that jealousy, I just made her cold "cold turkey" and only give her sippy cups now. I told her bottles were for babies and she is a big girl. She still asks but I remind her she is a big girl and can drink from a cup. It has really been fine but I also know that depends on the child.

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B.S.

answers from Kansas City on

Hi K. -
I am going through this too! My son is only 14 months right now.... but I am ALREADY feeling the pressure. His Dr said that he needed to be off of the bottle by 18 months. He uses cups all day - but would prefer a bottle anytime! I say that if you don't want to wein him then don't. Dr's and everyone put children on the strict timelines, which I think are rediculous! Have you ever met an adult that drank from a bottle? Probably not... he will be just fine!!

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K.S.

answers from Kansas City on

Hi K.,

First of all, don't put a time limit on when he "should" be off the bottle. You mentioned that you're supposed to get them off the bottle at 1 years old. I've always wondered why so many women think that is right. My goodness, they are still babies at one! Go with your motherly instinct and keep him on the bottle as long as he wants it and don't be ashamed at all of what others are saying or thinking. My son just turned 2yrs & 5 months old. He just stopped taking the bottle a couple of weeks ago. He quit on his own and it only took a couple of days for him to stop. One day he only took a couple of sips out of it and that was it. He wanted it at bedtime and would take 1 or 2 sips and then just hold on to it until he fell asleep. Now he is drinking out of cups with no lids on them. The bottle is security for children and I think when you take it away from them, then you're taking away something that is very important to them. It may only seem like a bottle to you, but it's very important to a child. I've never understood why so many people think the bottle is this horrible thing, but a sippy cup that has a top that is similar to a bottle nipple is ok. I say, keep him on the bottle as long as you want and forget what others are thinking. You'll have a happy and healthy child, as well as your sanity!! Good luck and enjoy the young years, they grow fast!!

Wow!! I didn't read the responses until after I posted mine. I'm glad to see so many mothers now in their right minds and doing what their child wants and not what the daycare provider or friends think is best!

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A.W.

answers from St. Louis on

You've gotten a lot of advice, most of it sounds reasonable to me. I have never paid too much attention to what 'research' and 'studies' have concluded, you just roll with what works for you and your little one.

I just wanted to share that it was not our pedi, but our dentist, who warned against staying on the bottle for too long, because of the damage it could do to teeth and gums. Maybe you can take your little guy in with you to your next check up and have your dentist take a look in there and see whats going on.

As a side note, with my son, who did pacifiers and a bottle at night, I made the transition (cold-turkey) with regular drinking straws and the sip cups that have straw-type functions. If he noticed the switch at all, I couldn't tell.

I'd say, go with your feelings on it. But if and when you make the switch, don't go back and forth!

Best wishes!

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L.E.

answers from Topeka on

I don't think there's a problem at all with giving your son a bottle still. If he knows how to drink from a sippy cup then he's doing well and might just need that bottle for comfort. If your insticts are telling you he's not ready then he probably isn't. All those timelines set out are just an average anyway. Some children go faster, some slower, and some will miss a step completely. If you're not harming your child then dont feel bad about the way you parent. I would skip the juice at bedtime though. The sugar sitting here isn't good for little teeth.

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D.Z.

answers from St. Louis on

Watch the juice bottle thing as your going to run into a nightmare with dentist as it will affect his teeth for caveties. The grandson is 2 an he had to have big dentistry work done for 3 cavities an that was from juice in a sippy cup. If he really doesn't take a bottle during the day why give him one at night? I know xavier mom broke him early from bottle but the nightmare of dentist was bad as got expensive for out of pocket for them from the insurance. Not trying to tell you what to do but just warn you about the consquencies of the juice bottle, The kids have about 2 grand in medical from the dentist as it was done at the hospital where they put him under ansthesia.

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B.C.

answers from Joplin on

K., If you look back through some different trends you will see that doctors/pediatricians change their minds about things all the time, so in the end...what do we have? We have our mothers instincts. Children are all different, and you can't ( in my opinion) say that xyz is best or right for ALL kids. In Denmark it is not uncommon for a woman to nurse her child until an age of 5 or older! Now I am not saying I would be comfortable going to that extreme but I will say that I have 3 children and each one was different. My first child was off a bottle by 12 months no problem and I nursed him until he was 9 and half months full time, he had a bottle during the day when I went back to work and I nursed at night until he was 12 months and he transitioned Easily to a sippy cup ( Yeah) my daughter weaned herself off the breat at 6 months went happily to a bottle...did Not want to give up the bottle for anything
( still had it at 2 and a half) then went straight to a Cup...no sippy! Now my youngest son is going to be 2 in June and he still has his bottle before he goes to sleep but he gives it back to me when he is done drinking it then lays down and goes to sleep...is it me that isn't ready to give up the bottle? I think so, but I am not stressed about it, he isn't sleeping with it in his mouth, he doesn't have fluid in constant contact with his teeth, I think we as moms stress way to much about these things...I am a firm believer in following our mommy instincts! If you think he is ready then take the bottle away, myself...I am content to let him be a baby a little while longer, in my opinion it isn't hurting anything. If we spent less time worrying about what other people thought of our parenting skills we would be much happier individuals = )
Lots of luck!
B.

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G.W.

answers from Kansas City on

K.,
Many may not agree with me but don't sweat the small stuff. If your baby boy wants a bottle let him have one. Just watch for tooth decay. I have five kids ages 7 to almost 20 and they all had their "thing" My oldest was the paci(he is now a pre-med major and happily away at college)
he was also very attached to me- my 16 year old had his bottle till almost four(just at night) He too is well adjusted and laughs and gets a little embarrassed if we tell people. The bottle man had to come at night after he put them in a box one night. The bottle man left him a new fun cup and a stuffed animal. He did not have a bottle after that. My other two were a little more average on times and my last would not have anything to do with bottles or pacis and I kind of felt like I missed some of that sweet baby time with her because she didn't need that comfort. I too feel boys grow up too fast. They need lots of hugs and kisses too and need to be able to cry. My boys were typical boys but I did girly things with them too-dollhouse, playing house. baked... they still came out very typical boy/men but I am still working on them. Ha.I was a single mother as well for sometime. My ex left me while I was pregnant with our second child. Remember they all grow up and I don't see any big kids having bottles, walking around with their shoes untied while riding with training wheels,they all do things at there time with the guidance of their parents. Goodluck to you!

Dana

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