How to Get My 8 Month Old to Sleep Without a Formula Bottle

Updated on August 13, 2009
J.L. asks from Kenton, OH
10 answers

I have a eight month old son and the only way I can get him to sleep at nite is if he has a formaula bottle (same with naps to). Ive tried to put water and even jucie and he wont take it when its bedtime. I have a routine at nite but its also hard cuz im a single working mother who sometimes dont get off till nine at nite. My routine is about 7:30pm I feed him his supper and then ill let him play while i clean up and then by 8:30pm he is in the bath and then right after that I get him ready and in bed i try to be no later then 9 9:30 but even tho he just ate an hour or two prior he still was a 6-8oz formula bottle. (Like i said its hard to keep in the groove of the routine cuz of my work scuhle)...Anyways he has four top teeth and two bottom teeth and I dont want him to have bad teeth cuz of this and I know that is one of the causes....Ive tried water and ive tried a sippy cup but he doesnt want anything to do with his sippy and ive tried a Binky (Pacifer) but he spit that out at the age of 2 months and doesnt want anything else to do with that im really out of optins and i do not know what more to do can i pease have some advice?? thanks so much!

I know I shouldnt worry bout him having a bottle and im not tryin to break him from the bottle completely but it just seems he needs a bottle when he goes to sleep and im not sure of how to get him from that when he is completely asleep i go and take it from him but i guess my biggest concern is him gettiing rotted teeth from this! Lol any adviccce will do and thanks for the advice that has been giving to me alreay!

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answers from Dayton on

As long as he isn't sleeping with it, then you should be fine. Baby bottle mouth is from teh kids actually sleeping with the bottle. A bottle before bed shouldn't be a problem.

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answers from Indianapolis on

This is a hard to job, one of the hardest on a mother. You need to start putting him to bed without a bottle. Don't take it away when you get him laid down, disassociate the bedroom with the bottle. Give it to him before the bath, take it away in the kitchen before you take him to his room/bed. Don't worry if he doesn't drink it all either, sounds like he is getting plenty of nutrient. Leave a pacifer in his bed with him (even if he doesn't use it). I will warn you now that he will cry and scream for a while. This could last for a few days, a week or maybe two at the most, after that, he will understand that he can't have the bottle in bed and he will adjust. Crying will not hurt him, it only hurts you BUT you MUST be consistent and let him cry, he will eventually go to sleep without it. It's very hard to listen to and even harder not to give in. That's the key, do not give in. This will not take long to accomplish if you stick to your guns every night. Now comes the test of strength, you can do this and you will be thrilled once the rough spot has passed.



answers from Fort Wayne on

Does he take the bottle to bed with him? You're right, that is a definite no no. You can try cutting the formula with water, a little bit at a time. Instead of 2 oz of water per scoop, make it 3 ozs of water. Just keep doing that until the bottle is all water. Start with his naptime bottle. Or you can just take it away cold turkey. It will be ROUGH for a bit, but he'll get used to life with out a bottle in the crib.

If he's just drinking it before bed, I wouldn't worry too much. My dd had a bottle before bed every night until she was 17 months old. She hasn't suffered any ill effects from it. After he's done with is bottle, providing he's still awake, brush his teeth with the toddler toothpaste that doesn't contain flouride. You can even use a toddler toothbrush with just water. And I think a wet washrag works too.



answers from Columbus on


Let him have the bottles, it is not that big a deal. As long as you are not giving it to him to have in the crib to soothe himself to sleep, he is fine to have a bottle before he goes to bed. Care for his teeth otherwise, and quit worrying about the bottle until he is 12 months.




answers from Indianapolis on

You are ok to still be giving bottles. It is at 12 mo. of age that pediatricians recommend stopping the bottle. I would relax a little. My son is 9 mo. and won't take a sippy cup yet either. I've tried almost every possible drink in it too! Keep tryin with the sippy cup, but I would just keep up with your routine. If you are super concerned, maybe just give a quick call to your pediatrician and double check that you are doing the right thing. Good luck!

A. V.



answers from Indianapolis on

I'm not going to be the best advice since I nurse to sleep, but I've heard others say that it's best to start decreasing the amount in the bottle. A 1/2 ounce less every couple nights.



answers from Cleveland on

He might be "demanding" the bottle at night because he needs it. My 15 month old still drinks milk most nights before bed, even though it is only a couple hours after dinnertime. I would ask your pediatrician to be sure, but most kids I know still have formula (until a year) then milk before bed. The worry about teeth rot is giving them the bottle in the crib and them falling asleep with a pool of formula, milk, or juice in their mouth. Also, most doctors believe it is okay to give bottles until at least a year. Don't worry about the sippy, especially with formula or milk, until then. I gave my son his last bottle on his first birthday and only sippy cups after that. Good luck with all the transitions that come at one year!



answers from Indianapolis on

IF he is falling asleep with the bottle in bed, it doesn't matter if it's formula or juice. Either one is bad for their teeth. IF you are rocking him, he takes the bottle,and then you lay him in bed and he falls asleep, no worries, while it is best if you clean his teeth, you don't want to wake him to do that. Just take care of the teeth every other time.
Congrats on being a good and caring mom. Doing it alone isn't easy, but you do the best you can.



answers from Cincinnati on

Hi J.,

I know that its a problem to get your kid out of such problem but whatever path you take to get rid of this problem you will have to stick to it and don't melt with your son's tears. Well i had taken my now 18 month old daughter out of the pacifier at about 10 months. Even my daughter would not go to sleep at that time without the pacifier and one night i decided to hide them and the next night she forgot about them. My advice for you is to stop giving his formula bottle even during the day and feeding him milk with other mediums such as a sippy cup or in a glass with a straw (if he is ready for it )and try doing these things during the weekend when your home and are able to devote 24 hrs for him. Or perhaps you should wait for another 2-3 months and by them he may give up this habit himself.......



answers from Indianapolis on

Hi J.,
I have 4 kids and I put them all to sleep with a bottle of formula, while I held them. They all have good teeth. It is drinks that have a lot of sugar that cause the teeth problem,like juice and koolaid. My sister in law put my niece and nephew in their bed every night with koolaid and never brushed their teeth. They had bad teeth. As long as you just give him formula and brush his teeth he should be fine. As for the sippy cup I have found that when I switched them over to milk at one year is a good time to switch to a sippy cup. That way they associate the milk with the sippy cup and formula with the bottle.

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