When to wean the bedtime bottle:
You can start weaning your baby off his bedtime bottle between the ages of 6 and 9 months. But if your toddler is still taking a bedtime bottle at his first birthday, this would definitely be the time to get rid of it. Toddlers are more likely to get attached to things between 15 and 18 months.
Why to wean:
A bottle can be an unnecessary crutch at bedtime. Prolonging this habit can affect your baby’s ability to learn to fall asleep on his own. The longer you offer the bedtime bottle, the more attached your baby will become to it, and he won’t be able to fall asleep without it.
His teeth are at stake, especially if you let him have it at bedtime without brushing his teeth before he goes to sleep. Milk is full of sugars that can cling to budding teeth and cause decay. It’s even worse if he’s drinking juice from a bottle.
How to wean:
1. Introduce a cup, if you haven’t already. Let him pick out some he likes.
2. Eliminate one bottle a day bottle, starting with lunch, then dinner, then breakfast.
3. Let the bedtime bottle go. As long as your child has had a good dinner he does not need extra milk to make it through the night at this age. You can begin to reduce the amount of milk in the bedtime bottle by at least two ounces every two days. When you reach the three-ounce mark, offer a cup of water instead of a bottle during his bedtime routine.
4. Get rid of all the bottles in the house so there isn’t any chance for temptation.
5. Encourage other attachments, such as a lovey.