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  • "Blessedin2011" started this thread

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Monday, May 7th 2012, 11:11am

Weaning off the bottle

Hi everyone

Well as you can see from my ticker my son isn't 1 years old yet but I am just after some advice from mums with older children. I have been reading my What to Expect book and it talks about weaning our babies off the bottle at around 1 years old. Currently my son has an 8 ounce bottle in the morning when he wakes and then another 8 ounce bottle at bedtime (he has always associated bedtime with a bottle and falls to sleep on this bottle - this is just something we have done since he was tiny and it has worked with getting him to bed without hassle). Some days he may have a bottle during the day if he is fighting his nap although I realise by doing this we're probablly not helping him to self soothe.

Anyway, what I want to know is at what age did you stop giving your LO bottles and how did you go about it? I am thinking I will drop the morning bottle first by giving him his formula in a sippy cup instead of a bottle. He isn't really that bothered now about a morning bottle, he just wants feeding so I'm sure he won't whinge about this one. The difficult one will be his bedtime bottle.

I am aware that after 12 months old they can have whole milk instead of formula. I am thinking of introducing a new bedtime routine where we give him a snack of say toast and some milk in a cup, brush his teeth (we do this anyway), and then up to bed and fingers crossed he goes to sleep without wanting a bottle. I am guessing there will be a few screaming fits to start with.

Does this sound the right way to go about it and at what age would you recommend I start as another thing my book says is that it gets more difficult the older they get to introduce a new routine.

I was chatting to my DH about it and he says I dwell too much on what books say and that we should do it when we feel our son is ready but how do you know? Surely it's us who have to guide / teach them?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks,

x

Oh and although he sleeps through the majority of the time on the nights he has woken up we have always changed his nappy and give him a bottle - do you think controlled cyring will be the way forward with this so he stops expecting a bottle? I saw a post in here from a lady called Debs I think regarding something similar so would be interested to know if it worked.

Thanks again.
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Monday, May 7th 2012, 12:50pm

hi,

this is only my opinion - but if it aint broke dont fix it.

ill give you couple of examples- when my eldest was about 12 months old my boyfriend at the time said its about time you got him off the dummy at night. for a whole week i had my ds not settling, screaming for his dummy. was not fun, i was ready to give in on the first night but my bf wouldnt let me. after a week he didnt need that dummy, but i felt so bad, so guilty, swore id never do it again. i split up with the bloke soon after.

time moves on and after 12 yrs and a round of icsi with my now dh my middle son was born. i believe firmly in dummies(i know im a wimp). when mid ds was 2 we introduced a @no dummy in the day' rule, which he accepted quite easily. however, he wasnt ready to relinquish it at night, so time moves and 6 wks before his fourth birthday, we started drilling it in that the night before his 4th birthday, he wasnt to have a dummy at night, if he wanted his birthday presents. so, he gave his stash of dummies up,(even quite excited at going on dummy hunt) handed them over to his youngest bro to 'look after' and went to sleep good as gold. hes not used 1 since. and when i accidently go to put it in his mouth instead of his youngest bro, hell go "eeuuurrggghhh, thats not mine, im not a baby"

i firmly believe in being 'babyled'. howeever, if you want to stop your little one associating bed with bottle, could you maybe give him his bottle downstairs, with the lights dimmed and tv not being too loud. wind him (if u still do) and then quietly take him upstairs and either read him a quick story or rub his back, whatever you do to settle him, apart from using the bottle.

my 1st born son died of cot death, so through all the other boys, i have not let them go to bed till i have. fair enough, theyve gone to sleep in their buggy, while my soaps are on and then at 10pm, the youngest gets carried up to bed, still fast asleep. my eldest two (when they were older, about to start nursery) got used to a new routine of bathtime, going into their room, having a bedtime story and then settling down to sleep. my mid son still creeps into my bed 3 nights out of 7 though, at about 2 am, but its ok, cos i can hear him and youngest breathing.

the point im trying to make, is if the routine works your lo and you as a family unit, then theres no need to change it yet. most children will adapt to a new routine, without too much fuss if it comes across that your confident and you know what youre doin (even if u dont not really :-)). your baby is still so young, just enjoy him and go with the flow.

sorry if ive been no help. maybe somebody will be along shortly, who can help

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Monday, May 7th 2012, 1:36pm

Hiya,

With us our LO became I'll and couldn't drink from a bottle. She was having to drink from a straw. Since then we've not looked back.

I didn't want to change the bottle until after age 1 so that I could do the milk but then I figured that if he wasn't ready she wasn't ready.

She sucks her fingers to sleep and never had a dummy so didn't have to go through the crying thing.

On nights where he wakes up, why don't you just not change his nappy or give him milk, just go in and try settle him and see what happens. It may be that he's absolutely fine and you're worrying about nothing. I do this a lot. I think something is going to be terrible but then she surprises me!

I would wait till he's 1 and you can get rid of the formula and then see what happens with the bottle.






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Monday, May 7th 2012, 2:14pm

Hi, I have been gradually weaning my baby off the bottle for a while now. He is also 11 months and Im sure he'll be finished with bottles by one. I used to let him fall asleep on his bottle when he was tiny, but as soon as he got a tooth (4.5 months) I started feeding him slightly earlier downstairs then taking him up, brushing his teeth, reading a story and at first he would be so tired he would fall asleep during his story, then as he got older he would go in his cot really sleepy and fall asleep and now he doesnt associate his milk with sleep at all its always teeyh, cuddle and story, into bed and goodnight. His morning bottle I stopped about 2 weeks ago as he was downing it then struggling with his breakfast, so I started giving him his breakfast first and now he just has breakfast with a cup of milk.

I would say start doing small changes gradually, I would start by feeding bedtime milk earlier downstairs and doing a proper bedtime routine. You will probably find he kicks up a bit of a fuss first as he is older now and this is a firm habit, but if you are calm, confident and consistent doing and even saying exactly the same things every night, he will soon get used to the new routine.

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Monday, May 7th 2012, 4:04pm

M still had an afternoon bottle until she was about 14 months. She had her bottle at nighttime until she was nearly two (we moved house twice in a short period so I didn;t feel ready to force her to give it up as she had been disrupted a lot). As long as teeth are cleaned and they aren;t 'hanging' on to it all day long my dentist didn;t see it as an issue.


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Monday, May 7th 2012, 5:22pm

I attempted to wean my LO off at just over a year but it was unsuccesful. We tried again a few months later and I found it much easier. I was confident that he was getting plenty of milk in his diet so I didn't worry so much if he didn't drink it all. For a few nights he refused the cup but eventually he realised that it was the only option! I think I started a thread about it at the time so you may be able to find it somewhere.

It may be worth only changing one thing at a time, introduce the whole milk first, then the cup, and then a change to routine. I usually take the recommendations in the book as a guide as all children are different!


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Monday, May 7th 2012, 5:24pm

I don't know how to add a link but the thread I started is in the Feeding Your Toddler section.


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  • "Blessedin2011" started this thread

Posts: 1,498

Reg: Apr 14th 2009

Children: A son and daughter - our family is complete :)

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Monday, May 7th 2012, 7:25pm

Thank you for your replies ladies.

I think we will start with trying him with a cup of milk in the morning, with his breakfast, instead of a bottle and look at tackling him not needing a bottle to nap in the day and during the night before we think about dropping his bedtime bottle. He can nap at home without a bottle but this is much easier in the morning, it's the afternoon nap he fights so if I don't want to take him out giving him a bottle has just made my life easier, if you know what I mean.

I guess once we teach him to self soothe then it will make dropping the bedtime bottle easier won't it? He has always been very good with a sippy cup and drinks plenty of water in the day so hopefully putting his miilk in it won't bother him too much. I think he likes the comfort of having a bottle to wind down for sleep. We already have a really good bedtime routine established and have never had any trouble putting him to bed so hopefully it won't be too much hassle. I like the idea of giving him a bottle downstairs instead of upstairs so think we will try that first and then take it from there.

Jade - I do understand your point of if it's not broke don't fix it. I am thinking why change a routine when what we do now works so well but I guess at some point we will have to tackle it won't we? Sorry to hear about losing your son to cot death :hugs:

Jensqui - how did you drop the bedtime bottle and how did she adapt? My book does say that one of the reasons for stopping the bottle is because as they get older they carry it around and pick up germs etc and it can not be good for their teeth but for his bedtime bottle we give it to him in a chair in his room with the lights dim so it won't be picking up germs will it?

Jasper - when would you give him the cup of milk? When they drop the formula at 1 years old how much whole milk are they expected to consume in a day? He already gets plenty of calcium in his diet from cheese etc and I use whole milk in his cereal.

I know all babies are different and do things at different times but I just wanted to get ideas from other mums who have been through it.

Thanks again ladies.

xx
An almost 4 year old son and a 21 month old daughter :)

  • "Blessedin2011" started this thread

Posts: 1,498

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Monday, May 7th 2012, 7:35pm

Jasper - I have just read your thread in feeding your toddler section, thank you. I'm thinking then if we struggle with him going to bed after having milk from a sippy cup then maybe look at getting him another cup for bedtime. He has the free flowing TT one that I think you mention in your thread. He drinks water from this fine so be interesting to see how he takes milk from it.
An almost 4 year old son and a 21 month old daughter :)

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Monday, May 7th 2012, 7:58pm

A few months on we still use a different cup for milk to the one he has for water which seems to work. I guess there is nothing worse than taking a swig of a drink and it not being what you expected! :snigger:

I think they are suposed to have 1 pint per day, but double check that. The reason I was keen to drop the bottles was purely for the health of his teeth, it just sticks in my mind from the post natal group I went to about prolonged use of bottles and dummies can affect their bite and speech, the teeth form a shape around the teet rather than straight. Like Jensqui says though this is more an issue if they have the bottle in their mouth all day! I am sure lots of children have bottles much later in life and don't have any problems but I admit that I am abit OTT when it comes to dental health!!!!


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  • "Blessedin2011" started this thread

Posts: 1,498

Reg: Apr 14th 2009

Children: A son and daughter - our family is complete :)

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Monday, May 7th 2012, 8:13pm

Which cups do you use then? Did you have to try a few first? I've tried offering him some water from a straw as I always drink with a straw because I find I consume more but he hasn't mastered sucking up yet LOL!

I can understand that about their teeth. I sucked my thumb from being a baby to a teenager and ended up with bucked teeth! Had braces and head gear. Was awful but I have lovely straight teeth now :cheese: I definitely wouldn't want my son to endure the pain I did though so will do what I can to prevent any problems with his teeth.

My son does like a dummy but only when he is tired, once he is asleep he spits it out, so it's not stuck in his mouth all the time. It's more of a toy for him now to be honest so I don't think he'll want it for much longer.

He has his 8 - 12 month check up next week so I will clarify the amount of whole milk although I'm sure they will tell me won't they? I'll also ask their opinion on dropping bottles.

Thanks x
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Monday, May 7th 2012, 10:12pm

:hello:

I've been reading through your thread and trying to remember what we did with F - he was weaned off daytime bottles pretty early, but I can't remember exactly when we stopped the bedtime bottle. I first introduced a sippy cup to him at 4 months - but just for water, he still had his milk in bottles until about 7-8 months, when we started using sippy cups for all but the bedtime milk. He took to it quite well, probably because he was already used to the cup for his water. I initially did try to give him a cup at night too, and he would drink it... but still want a bottle afterwards! So, I think he was probably around your LO's age when we tried him with the Tommee Tippee soft-spout lids on his bedtime bottle (we used TT bottles anyway). If you haven't seen them, they're a similar shape to a sippy cup spout, but more soft and flexible like a bottle teat. I think the idea is that they're a bit kinder to teeth than sucking on a teat, but still comforting like a bottle. That's maybe the one you already mentioned below. Anyway, after a few tries F was happy with them and I probably (this is where my memory gets really hazy!) used them at bedtime until he was around 17-18 months, when we changed to a cup. And that was fine - although, he's always had his bedtime milk downstairs before going up to bed, so that's maybe been a factor with us.

Of course, they're all different and you just need to go with what feels right for you and your LO :) I think your idea of starting to introduce the cup during the day first is spot-on. Especially if he already happily drinks water from one. I'm with Jasper on the different cups for different drinks - F has blue cups for milk and green ones for water/juice! The bedtime bottle always seems to be the last to go. I have a good few friends whose 3-year-olds still have a bottle at night, it's not uncommon, so don't worry, there's no rush!

Good luck xx


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Tuesday, May 8th 2012, 9:09am

As M's nighttime bottle was more of a comfort than anything else I bought a 'special big girl' cup for her. It wasn't the easiest to get her to drop it but by that time, being a bit older, of course, she was speaking so we could rationalise better with her. Other than that I never used a different cup for milk or water. As for the germs, well, the bottle and teat were always cleaned in the dishwasher and then went straight up to her room with her milk in. Again, when they start walking around you really have no choice but to become less precious about germs, etc. Personally I've never been desperately worried about germs and as M has only been to the GP once in her (short) life, has only vomited twice and has only ever had one day off nursery due to illness I don't think she has come to any harm!

She never had a dummy and, as I said from, 14 months was only having a nighttime bottle (and downing that in about 10 minutes!) with a teeth clean afterwards so I never worried about dental health or oral issues. It certainly hasn't damaged her speech!

From 12 months, at nursery she had a cup of milk and some toast at 9.30am as a morning snack so I followed this routine at home. Although she still has sometimes has a cup with a lid on it if we are out (for water and milk), once she was 2 she was really happy drinking from an open cup and now we use those IKEA beakers so, for her, all drinks come from the same kind of vessel regardless of what is in them!

I agree about just using books as a guide and don;t stress if it doesn't work at first. A few more months of drinking out of a bottle really isn't an issue at all.


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Tuesday, May 8th 2012, 11:08am

Blessed - when I got rid of the bottle, I didn't change my LO routine at all. She had/has a different sippy cup for milk, and a straw cup for water/juice during the day.

I gave her the sippy cup as if I was giving a bottle - ie held in my arms. It wasn't a free flowing one, but one with a valve. That way you can just carry on as normal and you're LO will still get the comfort that he got from a bottle. As he grows more independent, he will just move around with his cup and will learn to sleep without it.

I wouldn't go too mad at changing a routine that works, just change one of the tools (ie bottle to cup).

Oh and by the time I swapped to sippy cups, I was already on whole milk instead of forumla.

And I agree with Jensqui - have you tried not changing or feeding when he ocassionally wakes up? He might be happy just to drift back off to sleep.

  • "Blessedin2011" started this thread

Posts: 1,498

Reg: Apr 14th 2009

Children: A son and daughter - our family is complete :)

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Tuesday, May 8th 2012, 12:08pm

Thanks for your advice ladies, it is very much appreciated.

NH - that is what I hope to do, keep the same bedtime routine but just change how he has his milk so fingers crossed it won't unsettle him too much.

Moogle - I will have a look for that TT cup, thanks. He currently has a free flow TT cup so don't really want to use that to give him milk at night as the flow will be too fast for him.

Jensqui - yeah we still sterilise his bottles so I know his bedtime bottle will be fine but as you say it's more about the teat and their teeth isn't it? We currently brush his teeth before taking him up to bed and giving him a bottle so will look at swapping that around.

Like most of you have said though, it's probably not something I need to worry about just yet so for now I will keep his bedtime bottle and start with introducing milk in a new cup during the day and see how that goes. I guess part of me was hoping to nip it in the bud before I start back at work in 12 weeks in case it meant a few sleepless nights but that is probably a bit selfish of me so I will just do it when I think my LO is ready.

Anyway, thanks again for all your advice ladies.

x
An almost 4 year old son and a 21 month old daughter :)




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