Bedtime Milk — The Bump
September 2015 Moms

Bedtime Milk

Hope everyone is doing well!

Question for you ladies.  How many of you still offer bedtime milk separate from dinner time?  Either in a bottle or sippy cup?

We are in the process of switching his last bottle to a sippy, but I am a little unsure how to plan out the end of his day.  Currently, he wakes up and has a sippy of milk, about 30 minutes later he has breakfast with water.  After his nap he has a sippy of milk, about 30 minutes later lunch with water.  Dinner is usually around 5:30ish with water, then we do his bedtime routine (bath, story, jammies), and lastly he has a bottle of milk, then off to bed.

I'm wondering should I give that last sippy of milk separate as a final send off to bed like we are doing now, or give it to him with dinner and let him drink and hope he drinks it. Problem is, when I offer the milk sippy with food he typically won't drink it.  I am also nervous that he senses that last "bottle" as his signal that it's time for bed and sleep.

Just curious how you have all handled it, thanks!

It would be really nice to just do jamimies, story and then off to bed (especially when we have a sitter because he will typically refuse the bottle completely from anyone but us!).


Re: Bedtime Milk

  • When we dropped our last bottle of milk (bedtime), we switched to a sippy of milk at first and gave it to him while reading books before bed, so he would just drink it while we read to him. Then we would brush teeth right after that before bed. After a month or so, he stopped wanting the milk at bedtime, so now we just give him a sippy of water during books before bed. We give him milk at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and at both snacks in a sippy (but then we also have water available to him throughout the day to drink whenever he wants, and if he finishes his milk at meals or snack, we'll give him water right after that ... he's kind of obsessed with water which makes me laugh!). I was a little nervous about him not being able to make it through the night without the milk right before bed, but we eat a later dinner (6:15/6:30 p.m.), so he's been doing just fine and has never woken up hungry (he goes to bed about 8:15/8:30 p.m. and sleeps until 6:30 on weekdays and 8 a.m. on weekends). 

    Hope that helps! It was a lot easier transition than I thought it was going to be, but he was also starting to refuse that last bottle, so I think he was just ready. 
  • We only offer water at bedtime because I worry about the milk sitting on the teeth and causing cavities. That's what we've always done with our kids.
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  • Curious about this also! We do sippies of milk with breakfast lunch and dinner and sippies of water with snacks and throughout the day. But he loves that bedtime bottle. It's the special time he gets with daddy where they wind down and snuggle for the night. I'm not sure how to break that habit. After he finishes the bottle, usually about 4 oz, he grabs his blanket waves and says bye bye and walks to the stairs to go to bed. It's literally like his cue for bedtime :(  he sleeps 7p to 7a so I imagine that bottle helps too. 

    we brush his teeth before the bottle and our dentist said that's perfectly fine. They worry about kids that take bottles to bed with them or drink laying down and leaving pooled milk in their mouths from that. But having him slam a bottle and then going to bed isn't an issue. 
  • @dmbfan46835, this sounds just like us!  By the time my husband gets home from work, he doesn't get much time with our son.  So he typically does most of the bedtime routine so they get some special time together.  He reads him his story, and then sits with him in the glider and gives him that last bottle.  Once he's done, you can totally see in his face that he's ready for bed. He usually sleeps then from 7ish-6:30.  So I have that fear in me that it's that last offering of milk that is helping him go all night!  But, on the other hand he has gone to bed when we've had a sitter where he completely refuses a sip of the bottle and sleeps just fine, and two nights ago he refused to take one bite of dinner, so went to bed only with the milk in his belly....and he still slept through!

    @jen83mn, I like this idea! That's kind of what my husband and I were thinking of trying.  Maybe putting that last offering of milk in a sippy, let him have that separate from dinner, just like it's a bottle, in the glider with dad.  And then slowly move that milk forward until it's paired with dinner.  So glad to hear it worked well for you!!
    jen83mn
  • @lmbrandt

    Worth a shot! My LO didn't seem too tied to the bottle, and he likes drinking milk out of his straw cup, so it really didn't seem to phase him. Apparently he was ready not to be a baby anymore (tear). I wasn't sure how he would take it and was worried of the same thing ... he had had a bottle before bed since he was born and it always seemed to put him in that "sleepy" mood, but I've found lately it doesn't really seem to matter. He's ready for bed as soon as that clock turns 8 p.m. and starts grabbing his sleep sack and blankie and heading to his room, so I think he just knows it's time. But that kid also loves his sleep ... bedtime and naps ... we got lucky there. Our next transition will be getting rid of the pacifier ... he rarely used to use it, but lately he's been wanting it more (not sure if it's a comfort thing or a getting his molars in thing), but our pediatrician recommended getting rid of it by 18 months. We haven't been letting him have it during the day, so he only gets it at naps and bedtime and usually sucks on it to fall asleep but then it falls out of his month and he ignores it the rest of the night unless he wakes up and needs reassurance, so I'm not too anxious to get rid of it. I guess we'll see how it goes! We have a few months left before 18 months yet ;)
  • @dmbfan46835

    I sent you a few PMs the other night, just a heads up :) I know I never check there!
  • jen83mn said:
    @dmbfan46835

    I sent you a few PMs the other night, just a heads up :) I know I never check there!
    Good looking out! I never check there! 

    And im with you on the pacifier weaning. I've been researching that too. He loves it at night and nap time. I'm scared to cold turkey but that may be our only option! 
    jen83mn
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