When should I stop giving my baby a bedtime bottle?

When should I stop giving my baby a bedtime bottle?

You can start weaning your baby off his bedtime bottle between the ages of 6 and 9 months. "Six months is when many babies stop needing that before-bed feeding. Certainly by 9 months it's not a necessity," says Bradley Bradford, a pediatrician in Delray Beach, Florida, and spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Babies are good at self-regulating their feedings, so your baby may "tell" you when he's ready to drop that last bottle of the day by turning his head away or consistently not finishing it.

If your baby was premature, though, or has other health considerations such as digestive problems or failure to thrive, be sure to discuss his feeding schedule with his doctor before making any changes.

If the bedtime bottle seems harmless to you, consider that 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.

And once your baby has teeth, bottles of milk that your baby takes to bed can lead to tooth decay. Milk tends to pool in the mouths of sleeping babies, creating ample time for the natural sugars in the milk to attack your baby's teeth.

Aim to get the bedtime bottle of milk completely out of your child's life by the time he's about 12 months old. It can be a tough habit to break, but rest easy knowing your baby doesn't need the calories in the milk.

By 12 months your child should be getting all his nutritional needs met with his daytime meals and snacks. Try giving your baby other comfort objects at night, such as a favorite blanket or stuffed toy.

Watch the video: How to Night Wean: Bottle fed u0026 Breastfed Baby (January 2022).

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