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.