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January 26, 2012

Goodbye, Nighttime Bottle!

That’s a little over-dramatic…as our girls haven’t actually had a bottle since they were 15 or 16 months old…but we have been holding on to their nighttime milk routine until just recently.

When the girls were infants, countless people told us to “stuff them full” before we put them to bed for the night, to get them to sleep as long as possible. Of course there’s only so much “stuffing” you want to risk with the wee ones, but I appreciated the concept.

Once the girls were a few months old, we had worked up to a rather sizeable bottle of milk, particularly before bedtime. We were blessed with really good sleepers, but the idea of them staying full overnight still made sense to me, and that seemed like a bit of insurance, at least psychologically.

We proceeded in similar fashion until the girls were 18 or 20 months old, and we started to have MAJOR issues with leaky diapers. I tentatively cut back their 12-ounce sippy cups to six or eight ounces. That didn’t directly solve our diaper issues, but I learned that my almost-two-year olds didn’t wake up from hunger, either.

Fast-forward to Round 1 of potty training, when the girls were about 27 months old. Baby A was waking up at the CRACK of DAWN to use the potty.

At that point, I further reduced our end-of-day cups of milk, to about four ounces.

A quick poll of my mommy friends revealed that most had long ago abandoned a nighttime milk routine…but this mama just wasn’t quite ready.

I loved the idea of one last snuggle with our baby girls, just before bed…the same sweet snuggles we’d been enjoying since Day 1. The girls seemed attached to the routine, too.

A couple of weeks ago, though, one of the girls asked for milk with supper (as opposed to water). On a whim, I told her she could have milk at supper, but then she wouldn’t have any before bed.

Both girls agreed. They drank a big cup of milk (I felt safe giving them more than their four-ounce allotment), and there was no fussing before bed.

For the next couple of nights, I gave the girls the option of milk at supper or before bed, and they continued to choose supper. We’ve officially decided that’s our new M.O.

And while I do miss those extra snuggles, it gives us a little more time to “snuggle proper” over our bedtime story.

And – it may be a coincidence – but the girls are more consistently sleeping until 6:30 in the mornings…and I think that makes us all feel more snuggly.

11 comments:

cat said...

A great easy change of routine in my books. Ours still have milk with supper or at least juice and the yogurt. Calcium absorbs best when one sleeps so it makes total sense to me

cat said...

A great easy change of routine in my books. Ours still have milk with supper or at least juice and the yogurt. Calcium absorbs best when one sleeps so it makes total sense to me

Deanna said...

We get our snuggles in during storytime too. I usually have a cup of something available before bed, usually my cup of water. I have started taking it to the bedroom with us, to avoid those last minute "I need a drink!!" stalling tactics.

Glad you're getting a slightly later wake-up call...that's always a win! : )

Marcia (123 blog) said...

definitely a win-win. And YAYYYY for extra snuggles just for snuggles' sake.

I think Connor's asked twice for milk with supper and I give it to him then and then reduce his bedtime bottle (yes, real bottles) too.

I'm trying to get them off the bottles and onto milk sippy cups so I can toss all that paraphernalia on my counter!!! I'm going to have to throw a party the day I toss out the bottles :)

Mandy said...

Hooray. I'm all for easy change! Although our routine is still the same, bedtime itself is getting choppy and I really miss the days of bottle, book, bed!

Wiley said...

Sounds like a win-win to me! And makes dental hygiene easier than having to get up again!

Helene said...

We used to do the same thing and then one day one of the kids said he'd prefer milk with dinner instead of during story time. And then we just switched it up for all the kids at that point. I hadn't even realized it was part of our routine until he mentioned wanting his milk at dinner time.

Funny how some transitions go so well and others...well, not so well! Such is life!

Barbara Manatee said...

Its so hard to break out of routine sometimes but I'm so glad this transition went so smoothly!!

Sadly, I'm at the point that I might have to not even let Jacob have milk at dinner - he still has to wear a pull up to bed and wakes up SOAKED every single morning. He's always been one to wet a lot at night and he sleeps very soundly...not sure what else to do - he doesn't drink anything after dinner so his drink with dinner is his last liquid.

championm2000 said...

Good for you for doing it in your own time and when it felt right for you and the girls!

championm2000 said...

Good for you for doing it in your own time and when it felt right for you and the girls!

Rebecca @ Unexplained X2 said...

These babies are constantly changing our rhythms, huh? We never did the before bed bottle/sippy/drink. Recently, they've been asking for water, so I give them a miniscule amount b/c I hate leaky anything!

I do wonder if I missed anything with those nighttime bottles though...we had sleep issues pretty steadily through potty training, so maybe they were just hungry. I'll never know, but I'm glad you found something that works!

Question: Do they get water with every meal? We do water in between meals and milk with meals...just wondering how other people do it.