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How did you wean your toddler off the bedtime bottle?

(58 Posts)
Gateau Wed 07-Jan-09 08:45:27

My DS is 20 months and he seems to love his milk at bedtime. But we just can't wean him off the bottle. From time to time he will take a beaker, but more times than not he pushes it away. Any tips on how to transfer him from bottle to beaker at bedtime? He drinks throughout the day from a beaker.
Second question is, how much daily milk does he need at this age? I'm just wondering if he really needs this last drink or if he is just taking it out of habit and because it's there.

georgimama Wed 07-Jan-09 08:49:30

I don't know if this will really help but I have just weaned DS (22 months) off the boob and he used to nurse to sleep. It has been a week now and what worked was completely changing his bedtime routine. Just in little ways - so now I undress him in his bedroom and put his dressing gown on to go into bathroom, instead of undressing in bathroom. He brushes his teeth after his bath now instead of before.

I moved his bedroom furniture around so we sit in a different corner of the room for stories. Somehow it has broken the association between bed time and boob. I don't know why. It might work for you.

My ds is 17 onths, a few weeks ago, I just gave him a trainer cup - the avent magic cup in place of the bottle and that was that. He doesn't always drink it, I had to take the control valve out to make it free flow but he ends up tipping most of it on the floor so goes to bed without much milk. My ds has never been overly fond of milk and this is the only one he has and has had since about 10 months. Personally, if he wants it, I'd continue to let him have it. It won't do any harm. A friend of mine followed her hv advise and dropped bedtime milk at about 24 months and now her ds won't touch a drop of the stuff

purpleflower Wed 07-Jan-09 08:52:19

I'm a nasty mummy and just took it away and ut them in the bin. He threw a tantrum and started throwing the bottle at me, I told him one more time and it would go in the bin so it did.

The first couple of nights he had milk from a mug but now he's not bothered. I give him a big cup of milk in the morning, a very milky hot chocolate when we get in from a walk and yoghurt and cheese through the day.

purpleflower Wed 07-Jan-09 08:54:49

I forgot to add that DS was 25 months when the bottle went and 2 months on he still loves his milk

Picante Wed 07-Jan-09 08:55:01

I wouldn't worry too much tbh. DS is 2.9 and it's a godsend. It calms him down ready for bed and if it wakes him early he'll go back to sleep after another bottle.

I'm not bothered in the slightest - have a vague idea that I'd like him to be off it by the time he's 3 but I think he'll have to come to that decision himself.

Gateau Wed 07-Jan-09 09:13:04

Thanks everyone.
Picante, you could be right. DS has been very unsettled these last ciuple of nights, sometimes not going to bed until 10.30 or even midnight. We have given him another bottle and it puts him to sleep.
I think it's more my Mum who is pressurising me to get him off it. I might try to eliminate the bedtime milk when he is two because I think if it wasn't there he wouldn't ask for it.
Am just wondering how much milk they should be having in a day, at this age. Does anyone know?

LilRedWG Wed 07-Jan-09 09:17:36

DD is 2.8 and still has her bottle morning and evening. She will not take her milk in any other way and she won't even give it herself - we have to feed her. TBH, I think that both she and us are hanging onto babyhood and I don't mind.

I don't know the official amount that is recommended, as I said ds has never really wanted milk, but remember there is calcium etc in lots of the foods he's probably having anyway so don't think you need to be overly concerned like you might if he was younger iyswim.

KazzaL Wed 07-Jan-09 09:20:29

My DS is also 20/21 mths now and he still has lots of milk overnight. He's used the avent beaker spout on the bottle base for almost a year now. he has various health probs - reflux, asthma which means he's on lots of meds and not the greatest sleeper because of this.

he has a bottle as he goes to bed and then a friend mentioned she was putting a bottle in her DS's cot and it woudl be gone in the morning, but it meant she wasn't getting up in the night to him. This seems to have been a success on the whole apart from when all the "muck" runs out, like it did last night at 2.30 and we were awoken to screaming and "mummy" and "daddy" and lots of "muck"s. But last night including the bedtime and morning bottle neither of which he will go without, he had in the region of 30oz in 12 hrs.

I'm not worried about giving him milk to get him to sleep, as No2 is due in a few weeks, getting a good sleep is our priority and I'm sure he will eventually grow out of it.

Sorry Gateau just realised I haven't really answered your question. After being terried by the HV about wonky teeth at the 9mth check up, we just took the teats away and replaced with the spouts - it took a while and we made sure he knew what to do by using them in the day too and then just went for it. DS loves "muck" so much that he will do whatever he has to for it. We haven't progressed onto freeflow spouts at home although he does use them at nursery or even a cup - too terrified of the mess blush good luck with whatever you decide to do.

juuule Wed 07-Jan-09 09:21:09

My eldest ds more or less gave it up himself some time after he had turned 3.
If it settles him I wouldn't worry too much about it if I was you.

Ds is 21 months, and still has milk at bedtime, but from a sippy cup rather than a bottle. I weaned him off the bottle at 12 months, so not sure how easy it would be to do at this age.

I don't think there's any harm in them having a bedtime drink of milk though, I used to when I was about 8 or 9. I wouldn't leave milk in the cot overnight though, because I'd want to clean ds's teeth before he went to bed, and milk has natural sugars.

ByThePowerOfGreyskull Wed 07-Jan-09 09:36:09

DS1 had a bottle of milk at story time before bed until just before DS2 was born when he was 2years 6 months. we said that he could be the big boy and have a cup of warm milk with a story. whilst DS2 had boobie milk.

DS2 is now 2 years 3 months and he is having a bottle of milk at story time. DS1 still has his cup of milk and I don't have any thoughts of stopping the cup of milk.

DOn't know if that goes any way to answering your OP.

noonki Wed 07-Jan-09 09:42:26

I am going to wean my 20 month old (DS2) next week as I have just been given a scare by the HV about the problems bottles can cause with ears. We almost managed before xmas thenhe was really ill and it has escallated again.

DS1 had a bottle til he was 3, and he has re-current ear problems (including a burst eardrum - v painful sad0 also he has a lisp which is more likely with a bottle aparrently.

anyway, I think from previous experience that the best way is:

keep offering milk in tippee cups, play games with it with teddies, mummy drinking it etc

then stop milk upstairs; have a snuggly bottle downstairs before bed on sofa. then say repeatedly no milk in bed, when they cry for it, repeat and repeat, give lots of cuddles, and expect at least two nights with lots of waking - we just went in and head stroked (or if this made him more cross just sat with him)

then a couple of days later remove ALL bottles from house (a bit like giving up fags!)

I honestly think the biggest culprit to him still having one is me, as I always think but how else do I get him to sleep... but he will learn (noonki prays!)

goodluck (to us both!)

seeker Wed 07-Jan-09 09:47:55

I may be particularly dim, but I really don't see what harm one bottle a day is going to do them. I could understand if they were sucking on a bottle on and off all day and night, but one bottle that's gone in 5 minutes?

Am I missing something?

lulurose Wed 07-Jan-09 09:49:25

With some trouble, my DD2 has only just given up her bottle of milk at bedtime and she is 3 next week! We were reluctant to stop it because she has Type One Diabetes and the milk tends to hold her bloods steady overnight meaning we avoid hypos.

Anyway....we went shopping together to choose a special milk cup just for her, she chose a pink, glittery, all singing, all dancing princess one...really tacky but it has done the trick! previously we'd tried normal cups with no success.

Good luck

seeker Wed 07-Jan-09 09:49:48

Sorry - just read noonki's post. I have never heard of the link between bottles and ear problems - or of the lisp link. Surely if these are factors it has to be for real bottle addicts - not the one a night babies?

Gateau Wed 07-Jan-09 09:52:08

Thank you everyone; you've all been really helpful.
I probably didn't make myself clear in my initial post but I have no problem whatsoever with DS having milk whenever he wants it for how long he wants it.
It's the bottle I want to eliminate - and have trouble eliminating.

Gateau Wed 07-Jan-09 09:58:12

Agree lulurose. Finding the right cup could be key. I'm still searching. The Avent Magic cups just don't do the trick for my DS. Think I'll go shopping today for yet another.

seeker Wed 07-Jan-09 09:59:02

Can you tell me why you want to eliminate the bottle?

Gateau Wed 07-Jan-09 10:02:20

I don't think it's good for his teeth and he's too old for it - IMO.
I view toddlers with bottles in the same way as I view toddlers with dummies. I think it looks awful.

LaDiDaDi Wed 07-Jan-09 10:02:46

I'm happy for dd to still have one bottle per night and she's 2.7 now. Some nights she barely touches it, others she'll have about half.

I don't see the problem with one bottle/day tbh.

Picante Wed 07-Jan-09 10:03:35

But nobody sees him with it apart from you. It does no damage whatsoever to their teeth - unless they're sucking for hours at a time.

Gateau Wed 07-Jan-09 10:05:20

I know that. But I just don't like it. It's aiding his development, IMO.

compo Wed 07-Jan-09 10:05:23

same as LilRedWG , dd is 2.5 and has a bottle morning and before ed.
I tried a cup instead one morning and she was so upset I thought I'd leave it
i was thinking this time next year maybe FatherC can take it away with him grin

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