Taking the bottle away?

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by amber, May 28, 2004.

  1. amber

    amber Member

    My little boy is 2 and he still has to have his bottle to go to sleep. I know I probably need to be a bit more adament about not giving it to him but its such an easy fix when he won't sleep and I need to get to sleep. Otherwise he cries and refuses to lay down and just makes it hard not to give in. I was just wondering if anyone could give me some tips on how to get him to finally give it up.
  2. Hmm...I assume the bottle is filled with milk when you give it to him. This can be bad for his teeth, especially if he leaves it in his mouth while he's sleeping. Maybe you could try giving him a stuffed animal and try to get him attatched to that so he can have it instead of the bottle when he goes to bed. Or you could try the whole "Don't you want to be a big boy?" speech and try to use that to move him up to a toddler cup. Getting attatched to things like that is quite normal for a kid that age, that's why I suggest trying to get him attatched to a stuffed animal--something he can take to bed safely.

    Hope this helps.

  3. DecemberSun

    DecemberSun Member

    I'm in the same boat as you. I'm trying to wean both my co-sleeping breastfed 18 mo. old DS, and my bottle-fed 15 mo. old foster DD. They will only go to sleep if they are sucking on something (or in the car). Sometimes I can get DH to rock my DS to sleep if I'm gone or whatever, but my foster DD is way addicted to her bottle. We're afraid she'll never give it up! And, she still wakes up 2-6 times at night for more milk! It is getting OLD, to say the least... We're starting to think there is no good way to wean them without letting them cry a little bit. They are just so addicted to the comfort that the boob/ bottle provides.

    Maybe you can cuddle with your son until he falls asleep, with the bottle. After a few nights, take the bottle away and just cuddle. You can't quit a bad habit cold turkey, especially when you're two years old, you have to replace one habit with another one. Right now his comfort to get to sleep comes from a bottle. You have to replace it with another object of comfort so he can eventually get to sleep without the bottle.

    Good luck, and know that you are not alone!!! Peace, Leah
  4. sugrmag

    sugrmag Uber Nerd

    I have seen way too many kids with rotten little teeth because their moms put them to bed with a bottle. If you have to, it needs to be water. If it is juice or milk, the drink will just pool in the mouth and the sugar will rot your baby's teeth.

    My little sister was 3 before my mom finally took the bottle away. Just gradually do it. lay down with him until he falls asleep. Develop a new routine for bedtime.
  5. nimh

    nimh ~foodie~

    i'm an advocate of child led weaning, whether it's weaning from breast or bottle or whatever... little ones have a powerful need to suckle. why not just wait til he's ready to give it up on his own? if you take away his bottle before he's ready to give it up, he might have difficulty growing out of the oral fixation stage. oh, and there's a book called the 'no cry sleep solution' that deals with gentle ways of encouraging sleep. if your library has it, it's definitely worth skimming thru for ideas that might work for you.

    this is the LAST thing that i'd try with a 2 year old. a lot of toddlers are still halfway between being babies and children and they DONT WANT to be Big KIds. it would backfire. i really dont understand why you're giving out parenting advice when you're not a parent yet, strawberry. Theory is much different than what it's like when you actually have a child. if you havent been there and done it, i dont think you should be telling people what to do with their kids. i think it's great that you're interested, and i think you'll probably make well thought out decisions when you are a parent. you seem to have a lot of strong opinions about the right and wrong ways of doing things, but real life has a lot more grey areas.
  6. I said "you COULD try..." I wasn't telling her to do anything. Regardless of whether or not I have kids, as someone else said it is a FACT that kids who sleep with a bottle will ROT THEIR TEETH! For medical reasons (which have nothing to do with my opinions) she should wean her kid off the bottle at night. Whether or not she choses to wean him off it during the day is up to her.
  7. nimh

    nimh ~foodie~

    actually that's not a fact.

    there's a bacteria that causes tooth decay called strep mutans. it's passed along to kids thru normal activities like kissing, or sharing beverages, stuff like that. that's what causes tooth decay, not sugar. only about 20% of people carry the strep mutans bacteria, so those who dont carry it, are at a MUch reduced risk of developing tooth decay.

    if tooth decay is a concern, some people choose to wipe their childs teeth with a soft cloth after they've fallen asleep. if you're into natural ways of doing things, you might want to use a very dilute solution of tea tree oil on the cloth (about 2 or 3 drops of tto per cup of water).
  8. Sage-Phoenix

    Sage-Phoenix Imagine

    Disclaimer: No kids, no direct experience, whatever

    I honestly don't think two is too old for wanting something to suckle on. My brother was still sucking his thumb at six.
    If he is happy and it's not doing all harm physically or mentally then it's probably okay.
    It's probably just a phase he's grow out of when good and ready. If the whole concept of a bottle is a problem then maybe establishing some other comfort ritual might help.


  9. Dakota's Mom

    Dakota's Mom Senior Member

    I am not an advocate of putting a child to bed with a bottle. You didn't say weather you do this or not, but I am assuming. Forgive me if I'm wrong. I always held our son while he had his bottles. He was drinking less and less of his bedtime bottle. Finally one night we just didn't give it to him. There have been no problems. The bedtime bottle was the only one he was receiving at that point. He was already using a sippy during the day. I think he was about 18 months at the time. He's now almost 23 months. Another technique that I've heard other people use is to put more and more water in the bottle every night until you get to the point where it is all water and no milk. They say that the kids will give up the bottle when it has no more milk in it.

    I don't think I would take the bottle away from your foster daughter. Depending on the age she came to be with you, she has probably had a lot of trauma in her life. The bottle may be the only security she has had in some placements. As another poster said, let the child lead the way.

  10. DecemberSun

    DecemberSun Member

    Sorry to hi-jach this thread, but I had to add:Just FYI- I've had my foster daughter since she was 4 days old. She's never lived anywhere else. And while she did come into this world addicted to drugs, she hasn't had any further traumas to make her insecure. She just likes to suck on her bottle, it's as simple as that. I am worried about tooth decay. And my own sanity, seeing as she continues to wake every 2-4 hours expecting a bottle, like a newborn. We are not ones for CIO or any other form of punishment, so we're trying to gently cut out more bottles. We're trying to give her only water, but she just sucks it down and cries until we give in and give her milk. Physically she should be able to sleep through the night without eating/drinking, or at least only wake once or twice. But it's a mental thing for her- it's all about that comforting addiction to sucking babies have, and the need to pacify it. A lot of it has to do with her Sensory Integration Disorder, and her reflux problems in the past, as oral stimulation is very calming for her and she thinks she NEEDS something in her mouth at all times to be relaxed and comfortable. I understand that it's her only form of comfort- that's why we need to institute another one! Eventually she needs to find other ways to go to sleep, without the bottle. Thank you for your concern, but in my opinion, a 15 month old toddler needs to start sleeping through the night and get over the addiction to the bottle. I'm not saying she needs to wean totally from it, she can still use it for comfort if she needs it, but she doesn't need 4 8-oz. bottles throughout the night. I'm all about child-led weaning, with just a gentle push from mama to get them on the right path. (I'm still nursing my 18 mo. old son, but he sleeps through the night, and he can fall asleep by being rocked, in the sling, etc...)
  11. Dakota's Mom

    Dakota's Mom Senior Member

    See what happens when you make assumptions. I just assumed that she has been in multiple placements because the kids I work with are usually in several placements before they get settled. I work with kids who are all born addicted. They need all the love and nurturing they can get. Like I said, most of my kids have had no stability in their short lives. They thrive on attention. Not because they are spoiled, because they need attention. This is my OPINION. Babies can tell in the womb weather or not they are loved. Babies who do not receive the love from their mother's need lots of attention after they are born. I also believe that they know they are not with their birth mothers. They feel the abandonment and need to know that their needs will be met. Waking up in the night for a bottle is one way to test to see if their needs will be met. This is only my opinion and my 5 1/2 years experience as a social worker with drug addicted babies and their mothers. Sometimes you can give them the attention by rocking or singing or holding them without the bottle. Sometimes cosleeping works. You really have to find what works best for your child's needs. And your needs. I agree that 15 months is well past time for a toddler to be sleeping through the night. I hope you figure out how to help her soon so you both can get some sleep soon.

  12. I have read alot of the responses and agree with some and of course disagree with others.

    I am a self weaner myself. My son weaned himself from the breast right after my daughter was born. BUT he had weaned from 8nursings a day to 2. He needed something to replace those nursings. In other words wanted my attention more instead of the feedings.
    I would try hugging/cuddling him to sleep instead of giving him the bottle....it will be a little hard at first but it usually works. Replace the bottle with your love and understanding that he needs something to sooth him to sleep.
  13. Maggie Sugar

    Maggie Sugar Senior Member

    I think sucking and suckling are a VERY important part of infancy and early childhood. (Research and study certainly confirms this.) While breastfeeding in bed will not rot the teeth (breastfeeding causes automatic swallowing as well as makes the milk land far away from the teeth,at the back of the oral cavity, while bottles do not cause this swallowing and put the milk right ON the front teeth or on the molars if the baby is lying on her side) bottlefeeding, with anything sugary in the bottle might. STILL, the baby is demonstrating a NEED for sucking and it is up to him to decide when he no longer needs it. Perhaps switch to water in the bottle (you may need to water down the milk until you reach a low concentration to keep him from getting upset) but "taking the bottle (or breast) away" is not something I think enters into empathic parenting. A five year old is one thing, a two year old is something else.

    I know I had a bottle until I was three and a half. My mama took it away cold turkey, and I remember looking through the drawers in the kitchen until I found them. I wanted them SO badly and cried, and my mama said I was too old. I yearned for that sucking and 39 years later can still remember the pain. He will give them up. PLEASE don't force him. If he is still taking the bottle, he still needs it.


  14. Maggie Sugar

    Maggie Sugar Senior Member

    Dm, dear, I usually agree with you, but not on this. PLENTY of children are not sleeping "through the night" at 15 months. (Few of mine were and they turned into healthy awesome sleepers and VERY independent older children!) Taking away the bottle (or breast) is NOT going to cure a child of night waking! I know too many mamas who have taken away the sucking only to have a child who still wakes and NO WAY to calm him, except walking, and other time and sleep depriving activities. 15 months and still waking at night is not a big deal.(It is only if you get obsessed about it.) Most of the children in the world are still waking at 15 months. WHEN he is ready to sleep "through the night" he will do it. Forcing the issue will benefit no one in the long run.

    Respect the child, let him set his own patterns. Give him little more than cuddles and suckling at night (say, don't get up and play ect) and he will eventually sleep "through" when he is ready.
  15. DecemberSun

    DecemberSun Member

    Well, don't worry, we haven't taken our foster daughter's bottles away yet. And I haven't weaned my son yet. We are trying to distract them with other things (cuddles, tickling, toys, drinks of water, etc.) if they seem to just be asking for the breast/bottle out of boredom. I sucked my thumb until I was 12 (!!!) so I, of all people, definitely understand the need for suckling, and that desire to self-soothe. It is very addicting. I'm definitely not going to take their only comfort away cold-turkey, but I am going to cut down a little. We have no problems letting them have a bottle or nurse to get to sleep. I'm just ready to sleep more than 2 hours at a time, so if my foster DD can get into the habit of waking twice a night (as opposed to the 6+ times!), we'll all be happier!

    PS- we're sticking with the "water only" plan for DD and she is tolerating it well. After all, she doesn't need to EAT at night, she just wants to SUCK. We're hoping she'll naturally cut down on the frequency of nightwakings and the number of bottles on her own. (Soon :) )
  16. CrAzYStaRR

    CrAzYStaRR Member

    This might not help but,

    my daughter was the same way with her bottle. She needed it to sleep, and even at 2 she would still wake up for milk at night.
    I first gave her milk when she went to bed, then if she woke up at night, I would give her water. That worked for a while till she started getting smart.
    Then she went back to milk.
    So the next day I went out and got the coolest cup I could find, and gave that to her with milk in it. She has been off the bottle ever since.I also threw all her bottles in the trash right before the garbage men came so I wouldnt be tempted.And it only took one day!
    One thing that may help is that I gave her the cup at nap time instead of bed time.
    She still takes milk to go to bed, and wakes up at night, but at least the cup wont mess up her teeth like a bottle would.
  17. Applespark

    Applespark Ingredients:*Sugar*

    It will take a few days but after giving it to him less and less he will jsut have to deal without it and he will get use to it quicker then you think. You just have to stick to your guns. I got my son off teh bottle at like a year I think...I thought it was gonna be a bug mess but it wasn't as hard as I thought. I cried afew times and then forgot all about it. I just gave him a sippy cup instead
  18. JosieB

    JosieB Member

    Sorry it is being so tough for you!
    Was tough for me too.. But I just laid the law down! lol..
    No, it is a toughsituation but with both of mine I just had enough and threw all the bottles away, And that was it. They cried for them But they were gone, so i couldn't give in. Within a weeks time we were back on a reg schedule and I didn't have to hear them cry when they went to bed for 30 min.
    My suggestion would be to get all the bottles out of the house and start the day without them!
    Good luck!
  19. Terelda

    Terelda Member

    My dd went from being a big bottle fan (6-7 a day) down to 0 within 2 months...it was a process, but she didn't seem to mind too much because we took it slow....of course she takes a soother so maybe I'm not the best one to ask!! She was weaned to the sippy cup last month at 12 months old...

    My "process" mainly involved offering the sippy and a snack in place of the bottle...if she really cried for a bottle after her snack I would give her one....she quickly realized that she was ALWAYS offered the cup 1st. We left the bedtime bottle as her only bottle for about 2 weeks...then I started offering a snack before bed (she eats dinner at 5 so by 7:30 or 8 she's ready for one!) We continued the entire bedtime routine minus the bottle and she was fine...he may surprise you and be fine with it!!
    Good luck but I wouldn't stress too much about it....you'll know when he's ready!
  20. MamaTheLama

    MamaTheLama Too much coffee

    We do pacifiers at night..it saves on tooth decay anyway.

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