According to doctors everywhere, you really shouldn’t give your child a bottle to take with him to bed for two reasons.
1. Milk will sit on his teeth and rot them.
2. He will never learn not to potty while he sleeps.
At least — that’s what the doctors everywhere told me.
So at his 12 month visit, they told me to cut it out.
And I said OK.
(But I lied.)
It was so easy. He loved it so much. I was so tired. I didn’t want to start it before we were going out of town. I didn’t want to start it when I had to wake up at 4:30 a.m. for work. I didn’t want to start it at all!
So I put it off, and put it off, and put it off (plus 5 more months) until now.
Last week, I decided I was ready.
I was really feeling like I needed to get him off of it because of those reasons the professionals told me. And I was feeling guilty that I hadn’t done it yet. And I felt like I had some time off work, and time off traveling so that it could be done.
So last week, I picked a day when I knew he’d fall asleep for his nap in the car because we were going to a playdate that wasn’t close.
Basically making it so I didn’t have to start with dropping the naptime bottle, because I thought that one would be worse.
So that night was the night we began.
He asked for his bottle and we explained that his bottle was “all gone.”
We read him more stories before bed because normally he hardly wanted a story because he just wanted his bottle.
He asked for his bottle again and we said again that the bottles were “all gone” and had gone “bye-bye.”
But we put him to bed, sang him a song, and walked out.
He cried for 5 minutes.
I went back in there, put him back down and said “night-night” and seriously guys — he went to sleep.
That was it. THAT was what I had been dreading for months.
Now, I will say that he was especially tired that night since his afternoon nap had been in the car and was short. That probably helped.
The next day was the afternoon nap test.
That time it took me 15 minutes to get him to sleep.
(I went in every 5 minutes to tell him again that the bottle was “all gone” and I put him back down, sang a song, and told him I loved him.)
Every day since then it’s gotten better and better.
We are now a week and a half into this, and he doesn’t ask for his bottle anymore.
He knows we’re going to read him his stories and put him to sleep.
He definitely plays in his crib a bit longer than he did when he had the bottle for sleep, but I’m so happy and proud that my baby is putting himself to sleep without it!
And I’m sorry for underestimating him.
I should’ve known he was ready!
It was his Mommy who wasn’t.