"My question is, how did everyone get their babies off the bottle? My son is 18-months-old, and his doctor really wants him off the bottle, but I’m at a loss. He only takes a bottle at nap time and bedtime.
I have custody, but his father has 50/50 visitation, and he told me he wouldn’t go to sleep, so he just gave him his bottle. I’m struggling without help or support. I tried replacing the bottle with a sippy cup, but he doesn’t want it (he doesn’t associate it with bedtime, so he just throws it on the floor or plays with it).
I tried just no bottle, no sippy, just rocking him and laying him down in his crib, but he will get up and play or climb on his crib (it has a changing table connected to it that he climbs on).
I just don’t know what to do, and I’m a young first-time mom. I have a relaxing routine for bedtime. We eat dinner, then take a warm bath and relax, and then I rock him in a rocking chair for a while and lay him down, and he usually goes to sleep himself once I lay him down. Please, no judgment I don’t have any help or anything I just need some helpful advice. Thank you so much, it really means a lot."
RELATED QUESTION: When Did Your Child Get a Sippy Cup?
TOP ANSWERS (AS SELECTED BY MODERATOR):
“You’re supposed to take the bottle at a year for many reasons. The milk in the bottle will rot his teeth, especially when he’s drinking it then going to sleep. The earlier you take it the easier it is. You need to just take it and replace it with a sippy cup that has a soft nipple. He will eventually be thirsty enough that he will drink out of it. It will be hard but you have to stay consistent and make his father do the same thing. The baby’s health and teeth are more important.”
“My little boy still loved his bottle before bed at over 3 years old. He gave it up in the click of a finger when he was ready. My little girl is over 2 and she still enjoys hers. Not really sure what the issue is. They’re only little for such a short time and if it gives them comfort without causing them harm, so what?”
“Why does his doctor ‘really’ want to take him off the bottle? If you and bub are happy and comfortable with him taking it as comfort then don’t put pressure on yourself. Of course for the long term yes it’s good to try and wean him off, but what’s the big deal? Start with smaller amounts of milk. Then start stopping the daytime bottle then slowly hopefully it will work but please do not stress over it so much and don’t worry about others as you stressed you have not many people for help. I can’t imagine how stressed you may be.”
“Also it’s always a good idea to introduce a sippy cup around 5-6 months so when it’s time to take the bottle baby is already used to the sippy cup and it’s not a huge change.”
“I started to switch my daughter to a sippy cup when she turned 1. It took a little while, but she was completely switched after about a month. It just takes some time and dedication to get them used to it. I thought they really aren’t supposed to go to bed with a bottle too.”
“If the bottle works, why take it away, he’s not old enough to reason with yet, I say do what works for you and your boy.”
“I think at bedtime & nap time, really shouldn’t be a problem at this age, But your pediatrician knows best. Usually around this age is normal to take it away completely. I told my kids I needed to give their bottles to other babies & that seems to work.”
“I switched to the sippy cold turkey however the bed routine is a different issue. I had to put my son back in a pack n play with higher sides because he was climbing out of his crib. He gets a drink before he goes down but he, on his own, never falls asleep with it.”
“First, know you’re doing a great job. Second, it’s a habit so it takes a bit to get rid of the habit. Just stick to your plan and get ready for a few tears. It will happen.”
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