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18 month old settling to sleep with bottle
I've created a monster - HELP!

8 replies to this topic

#1 Threelittleducks

Posted 30 December 2012 - 09:38 PM

I would love to hear your advice on this please:

Until 16 months DS went to bed happily with the following routine - milk, teeth, story, bed. No problem going to sleep.

Then DH went O/S for work for 15 nights. It coincided with some bad teething and a few horror nights. One night after both DD and DS (twins) screaming hysterically for well over an hour to go to sleep, with me desperately trying to settle them at the same time, I gave them bottles and both went straight to sleep. I was so exhausted and desperate for them to settle calmly and with me being the only one there to settle them I then got trapped and they were given a bottle to go to sleep every night until DH got home.

When DH returned, DD reverted to the old routine, no problem. But DS will not sleep without a bottle. I have tried everything - water, strict bedtime routine, reducing the amount of milk he goes to bed with over time, letting him have the bottle in bed then trying to brush his teeth afterwards in bed, milk in a sippy cup. None of it works.

I do not like the idea of leaving him to cry and prefer a gentle approach.

My other concern is that he is now refusing to eat much dinner (or much at all during the day), but he doesn't mind because there is always as much milk as he wants (aka screams for) at night. Tonight he ate almost nothing all day, then drank 500mL at bedtime - I had no idea until DH told me had refilled his bottle twice!! And when I say he screams, he cries hysterically, throws himself around the cot, won't be picked up and if we take too long to run downstairs and make a bottle he sometimes vomits. It's horrible!

So after two months, I now know we have a BIG problem. I think he needs to eat more food and drink less milk. I want him to be able to sleep without a milk crutch. I worry about the milk on his teeth all night (we do teeth clean twice a day as well). But we seemed to be trapped in this bedtime ritual, which I created and now feel terrible about taking away.

DS is currently well, not teething and I feel like now is the time to do something.

Please help.


#2 Lifesgood

Posted 30 December 2012 - 09:48 PM

Why can't you just go back to your old routine with DS? What happens if you put him to bed without a bottle? I assume he cries. In which case you just need to stay with him and comfort him until he stops (assuming you won't leave him to cry). He won't cry all night, guarantee you that. He will go to sleep eventually, you will just have to comfort him. Try using a dummy.

Anything will be preferable to letting him suck on a bottle as he goes to sleep.

You may need to do this for a few nights, so set aside some time and energy for it.

#3 ~ppp~

Posted 30 December 2012 - 09:51 PM


Edited by knowsnotmuch, 01 March 2013 - 04:25 PM.

#4 Marchioness Flea

Posted 30 December 2012 - 09:55 PM

Tell him that there won't be anymore milk at bedtime. be strong and offer WATER in a sippy cup if he;s demanding.
It'll be rough for a few days, but he'll survive.
Does he like yoghurt? I give my daughter yoghurt after dinner(about an hour or so after) to make sure she;'s not hungry during the night.

#5 lizzzard

Posted 30 December 2012 - 09:55 PM

Sorry, this probably won't be much consolation but we had a very similar thing happen and at 4 yrs old, my DS still has two bottles to go to bed  ph34r.gif  DD was the same and gave hers up with no real fuss when she started school. To be honest, I'm not *that* worried - he throws the empty bottle across the room when he's done (ie, doesn't fall asleep with it in his mouth), and there are bigger battles to fight with him, so I plan to draw the line in FYOS now we've set this precedent with DD.

#6 SnazzyFeral

Posted 30 December 2012 - 09:58 PM

I would start by giving him food he really likes during the day so his tummy is trained to need food earlier. Maybe milky things like yogurt anything you know he will eat. Give him a late snack of something he likes say an hour before dinner and over time make it later untill it becomes dinner again. At the same time start makeing the milk a bit yuck. We diluted it with water gradually untill it was all water. Others I know have added peppermint oil to it untill the peppermint was really strong. Both babies eventually chose not to drink the milk in the end. I know what it is like to have a baby cry untill they are sick, it is not as simple as not giving in to it. bbighug.gif

#7 Loz07

Posted 30 December 2012 - 10:24 PM

until he is back to eating dinner properly, could you try 1 bottle, then a dummy?

#8 Threelittleducks

Posted 31 December 2012 - 09:58 PM

Thank you for your feedback. I really appreciate you taking the time to read my post / vent!

#9 No girls here

Posted 31 December 2012 - 10:20 PM

I am having exactly the same problem with my 18 month old.  I've tried watering down the bottle which he is OK with so far (he's at half strength at the moment) and was hoping I might be able to get it down to just water, so then it's not really any different from having a dummy.

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