- 25 Posts. Joined 12/2012
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Bottle at bedtime
- 980 Posts. Joined 7/2010
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Just to clarify - does he take the bottle to bed with him and use it as a comfort thing to put himself to sleep, or do you put him to sleep by giving him a bottle in your arms (like nursing to sleep), and then put him in his bed fully asleep?
I don't have a lot of experience with the former, but for the latter, I think you will need to think of this as a slow process of transitioning to other ways of falling asleep. For the record, I still give my 2.75 year old a night-time bottle, but she doesn't fall asleep to it anymore, and doesn't need to. At some point in her second year she stopped falling asleep to the bottle, and by necessity we had to develop some other ways to help her sleep. At first this was lying next to her, singing and patting/rubbing her back. So, I guess for you I would suggest giving the bottle in a way that won't put him all the way to sleep and then....well, you'll have to see what works for you and for him, but if you can use this to help him learn to fall asleep in his bed, all the better, right?
Although my son quit breastfeeding at around one year, and lost interest in his pacifier around the same time, he was slow to give up his nighttime bottle (he didn't give it up fully until around 2 for the record).
I remember around that around the 12 month mark, it seemed like everyone was harping on how he needed to stop using bottles, but he was NOT ready, and would NOT drink out of any type of cup--it had to be a bottle, although he got to the point where it didn't have to be milk. It was so hard to get him to go to sleep at that age, I wasn't going to do anything that might make the process worse (I really needed that time in the evening to grade papers, so I couldn't embark on a lengthy extended bedtime project involving a battle of wills over a bottle).
For the record, the sky didn't fall in as predicted, he DID give that bottle up eventually without a lot of crying and drama, and his teeth did straighten out on their own (even if they hadn't, they all fall out anyway in a few years, so I would not lose sleep over that one). Needless to say, I didn't win the Parent of the Year Award, but I'm sure not crying about it.
These are the stages I went through to wean off it--gradually!
I never did bottles in the bedroom, but I was breastfeeding him to sleep for awhile. You might try giving that last bottle somewhere other than the bedroom, then go into the bedroom when done. (break the association between the room and the bottle). Towards the end there, we did milk, then I read him a couple of books, then it was off to bed.
Gradually reduce the amount of milk given at bedtime until it's negligible. Offer water instead (in the beginning you'll need to have a bottle of milk and a bottle of water).
Do an after dinner but before bedtime milk (a couple of hours before bedtime). If you can get him to take it from a cup instead of a bottle, so much the better. Offer only water at bedtime if needed.
Eventually the bottle of water loses it's appeal, and you can probably eliminate it, or switch to a sip of water from a cup.
Good luck, hope everything works out great!