And I never thought I would ask this,
But how do I get my dd off of her nighttime bottles? My milk was dry at nine months so we switched her to a bottle. Now I don't want to give her formula anymore because I am paranoid about the "extras" that are in it.
So she doesn't need a bottle at all during the day. She hasn't been comfort nursing for two months now, and at night when I have tried, she screams and refuses, but the second we give her the bottle she falls back to sleep and is peaceful.
During the day I give her rice milk, or coconut milk. We tried cow's milk but I am afraid dairy hurts her GERD.
Why is this a taboo question? Moms are on here asking for advice on nightweaning all the time. In your case, it's just nightweaning from a bottle rather than the breast. It isn't as though you had much choice about introducing the bottle, after all, and now is probably a good time to take it away.
As for advice, I can't offer much as my own nightweaning journey has been up and down for over 6 months now, for a number of reasons. But there are a few things we've learned in that time. It sounds to me like your LO is waking up at night because she's still hungry. (If it was just sucking for comfort that she needed, she'd be OK with comfort-nursing, presumably.) Have you tried giving her a fat-and-protein-rich snack right before bed? Toast with some kind of nut butter, or eggs, or something? That might be enough to keep her from waking hungry. When we can convince my DD to eat right before bed, she frequently sleeps better and does not wake to nurse in the middle off the night. (It's getting the kid to eat that poses the more difficult problem...)
You could also try putting water in the bottle instead of milk. Don't know if she'd go for it or not, but it might be enough that she has the bottle in her hands, and would go back to sleep. Then she'd adjust her caloric needs to daytime on her own, and eventually stop waking at night at all. (That's the theory, anyway.) Switching to water wouldn't completely eliminate the bottle, but it would at least minimize the dental issues associated with toddlers having bottles at night. Especially if you're giving her sweetened milk substitutes like rice or coconut milk.
We used this method for night weaning from the breast but I think you could adapt it to bottles too. It worked really well for us and DD now sleeps through the night. There were some rough nights but it was well worth it and DD was never left alone to CIO which was important to me. I was always with her comforting her (just not in the way she wanted!- nursing!). I reread the article a few times for reassurance along the way.
Sue, Mama to Fiona Aileen (2/1/09) and Maeve Penelope (10/7/11)
You could try switching to a sippy cup with water. I tried that with my DD (almost 2) and she did fine for a while and pretty quickly she ended up just laying down with out anything at all and still does that now. Of course I lay beside her until she falls asleep though so I'm sure that helps quite a bit as well.
Single (divorced), self-employed working, college student MOM to:
17 yr old
11 yr old
4 yr old
Thanks for posting this article. http://drjaygordon.com/attachment/sleeppattern.html
We have tried a variation on his suggestions. I don't think it's a magic bullet, though. One major thing to consider is if your child is going through a major development leap or milestone at the time when s/he is waking several times a night. I remember my son would wake 2-3 times a night, which was tolerable and pat him down, maybe occasionally with a bottle. But once 9-month and 12-months hit (our present situation), all bets were off. There is a 9-month sleep regression, when they are working through developmental stuff, which means increased night wakings. This Mothering forum has several posts on 9-month sleep regression if you search. At 12-months, our son was cruising and quickly walking, and now we gets up every 1-2 hours. It has been this way the past week, but know it will pass.
After things settle with the developmental milestone, we will start up the "sleep training" again, similar to the article and see how things go.
Hi ya'll. Just wanted to point out that we did a high protein snack before bedtime (an egg) and she slept from 830-3. Which is pretty good for her.
Thanks for the suggestions and good luck to you all.
I am unclear how old your LO is? Is she an infant, then I think she should be fed formula in her bottles until a year. I don't think rice or coconut are adequate nutrition in infancy.
But personally, I wouldn't take a way a bottle at night before 18m. Many children at at that age need nutrition at night.
Assuming she is older than a year, and you are determined to do with milk at night, than I would switch to high protein snack before bed. My kids always have full fat yogurt in the bath. Usually plain yobaby with a few festive sprinkles but sometimes fruit yogurt as well. I've also heard of watering down night time bottles.