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Bedtime bottles - when to stop?

(12 Posts)
Hadeda Sun 07-Nov-10 07:52:00

I know I am making something of a mountain out of a molehill but would still appreciate any thoughts....

DD2 is 16 months. She stopped bf at 14 months. She now has a bottle of half cows milk half water before she goes to bed. She sometimes has one in the middle of the night if she wakes and won't settle. She is v dependent on the bedtime bottle of milk, asks for it by name ("milk" was her third word!) and absolutely guzzles it back.

I am not very happy about the bottle, for two main reasons:
1. it's putting sugar on her teeth after we've brushed them and as she goes to bed
2. it's a fatty drink, and she is already is v large child. (91st centile).

I've been trying to slowly water down the bottle and reduce the amount (on 6oz at present). Have also thought of replacing it with herbal tea (redbush) if she really wants a warm drink at bedtime.

AIBU? What age do babies generally stop having a bed time bottle? Is there an age from which the sugar on teeth thing is a real worry? - I know I'm being a bit contradictory on the sugar thing, as if she was still bf at night I'd happily let her and that's also sugary.

Ineedsomesleep Sun 07-Nov-10 08:35:56

Firstly Hadeda, bfing has no effect on the teeth even though its sugary.

Secondly, why are you watering down the milk? Are you in the UK? Here full fat milk is advised until at least 5 years old.

Bumperlicious Sun 07-Nov-10 09:02:37

Dd still has a bedtime bottle at 3, but has it before teeth cleaning.

PrivetDancer Sun 07-Nov-10 09:07:24

Yeah, just clean her teeth after the bottle.

Also don't understand why you are watering it down. Dd is 2.3 and has a bottle of warm milk before bed (and before cleaning her teeth). I don't see the problem

PrivetDancer Sun 07-Nov-10 09:10:34

Just noticed you're reason for watering it down is that she is in 91st centile!! So you are effectively putting a 16month old on a diet?

The sugar on the teeth part is an issue, the weight is not at that age. I thought they were supposed to have full fat until 2 years old then can go to semi skimmed.

Ineedsomesleep Sun 07-Nov-10 09:12:34

Oh yeah Privet, I think full fat used to be 5 years and now its 2 years.

Hadeda Sun 07-Nov-10 18:39:52

Thanks for the replies.

Just to be clear - DD2 is very very far from being on a diet! She has full fat milk in her cereal, any other dishes using milk and has a mug full with her dinner. And eats extremely well. It is the bedtime bottle of full fat milk that bothers me. I have been watering it down to make it less sugary and in the hopes of reducing her dependence on it and yes, because having had a full mug of milk with dinner I do worry about giving her too much.

I'll try doing teeth after the bottle but I'm not sure it will work. At the moment she has the bottle, shoves her head in my armpit and falls asleep. Going from dark room, sleepy rocking chair back to bright bathroom to brush teeth would wake her right up again.

I know it's probably one of those Bad Sleep Associations, so maybe I should try to address that as it would probably sort out my bottle issues too.

RJandA Sun 07-Nov-10 19:55:58

Could she have bedtime milk from a cup? I think that's supposed to be better for the teeth than a bottle. But it does sound like a sleep association thing.

And could you give her less milk during the day, if you're worried she's having too much milk? Maybe water to drink with dinner instead of milk? Although I would check how much milk total she should be having each day as I'm not sure what the guidelines are at 16 months, sure someone on here knows!

NellyTheElephant Mon 08-Nov-10 14:36:07

I've never stopped with all 3 of mine, although swapped to a spouted cup around 16 months. I bring up a cup of warm milk for them all after bath and the 5 yr old and 3 yr old will finish it v quickly while I'm doing their hair then brush teeth. 19 month old has spouted cup and usually drinks about half initially, then I brush teeth and he'll finish it bit by bit after that while I read stories etc. I know it's not ideal for teeth, but a spouted cup is apparently less damaging to teeth than a bottle (not sure why exactly, I think it's about where teat vs spout delivers the milk to in the mouth) and also I'm fairly sure that within another month or so this won't happen any more and he will finish all of his milk in a flash as his sisters do.

Rather than watering it down I would start by letting her have most of it before brushing teeth and just the final bit after you have brushed teeth and you'll probably find that she soon starts to break the sleep association of bottle then straight into bed and gets used to going and brushing her teeth after her milk. I also agree that if she's having bedtime milk you might prefer to give water with her supper.

MumNWLondon Mon 08-Nov-10 16:05:16

I gave bedtime milk until age 3, but after age one gave it in a beaker and brushed teeth afterwards.

I wouldn't water it down, but maybe give semi skimmed (although under 2 supposed to have full fat). At least semi still has same amount of calcium as full fat etc etc unless watered down milk.

slimyak Mon 08-Nov-10 16:17:38

DD is 3.5 and has a spouted cup of warm milk before bed and will until she decides she doesn't want it. She down's it in seconds so I'm not really worried about the tooth contact. She does brush her teeth afterwards and it's been semi skimmed since she was 2. It's been a cup rather than a bottle from about 18 months.

I personally wouldn't worry, but if your DD having too much full fat milk worries you how about giving her water with meals and not watered down milk on a night. Watered down milk is horrid and a drink of warm milk before bed could well be something she would like to keep as part of her rountine for a few years yet.

Ineedsomesleep Tue 09-Nov-10 13:12:47

Hadeda personally I would stop giving her milk with her evening meal and swap to water.

Agree with the other posters that you could check how much milk she should be having.

Also think that you should only be giving watered down or semi-skimmed milk on the advice of a Paediatrician.

If you are worried about the teat causing tooth decay could you talk to your dentist or just swap the teat for a spout?

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