How to Break the Bedtime Bottle Habit

One last bottle before bed is part of the nightly routine for many older babies and toddlers. Breaking this habit can be difficult, especially when our little ones find comfort and security in their bottles. A gradual approach to the process, giving your child (and yourself) grace when needed, and ensuring that adequate nutrients are provided well before bedtime can ease the discomfort of breaking your child’s bedtime bottle habit.

Why It’s Important to Stop Bedtime Bottles

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be weaned from bottles by 12 months. A big part of this is dental hygiene and preventing enamel erosion, caries, and decay from forming on your baby’s teeth.

Along with dental health, good sleep hygiene is essential for children’s normal growth and development. Breaking the bedtime bottle habit prevents kids from developing a dependency on their bottle to fall asleep. Older babies and toddlers should be able to self-soothe, fall asleep, and stay sleeping through the night.

Start Breaking the Bedtime Bottle Habit Today

Bedtime bottle weaning is a process, and it may not happen overnight. To get started, try following these tips to help stop the bottle at bedtime.

Don’t Quit Cold Turkey

Gradually decrease the milk in the bottle by 1-2 ounces per night. If this is too much, try doing it every other night. The idea is not to deprive your baby but to ease into the transition gently and patiently.

Ensure Nutrition and Hydration Needs are Met Before Bedtime

Try serving dinner 2-3 hours before bedtime to satisfy their hunger well before it’s time to say good night. Drinking enough fluids throughout the day to stave off thirst at bedtime will help too.

Supplement their Nutrition if Needed

As you decrease the milk in the bottle, you’ll want to take extra care that they receive sufficient nutrients during the day. Need help supplementing their diet? Micros For provides all the vitamins and minerals your baby needs to help build healthy bodies and minds.

Keep a Strict Bedtime Routine

Kids thrive on routine and predictability. Follow a simple nighttime ritual of bath time, brushing teeth, applying lotion, reading books, and singing songs.

Provide a Lovey or Comfort Object

Most kids will eventually have a favorite object they will bond with that makes them feel safe and secure. Consider using a lovey or transitional object that provides comfort, like a favorite toy or blanket, to help them through the bottle-weaning process.

One Major Change at a Time

Don’t overwhelm your child by changing too many things at once. When breaking the bedtime bottle habit, hold off on introducing a toddler bed, adding new steps to the bedtime ritual, or starting the process while your child is sick.

Say Bye-Bye to the Bedtime Bottle Habit for Good

Breaking your child’s bedtime bottle habit takes time and dedication, but it’s necessary for their dental health and sleep hygiene. Make the process as painless as possible by using a gentle approach, ensuring their nutritional needs are met during the day, and sticking to a relaxing and predictable bedtime routine.

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