Are you worried your little one has developed a habit of not sleeping without a bottle? And you are looking for ways to break the habit before it becomes a norm? Has your baby turned the bottle into a sleep prop? Without which they cannot sleep. Or are you scared this might derail your little one from having a good sleep every bedtime? Your baby’s sleep habit can improve if you do well to detach them from it before it gets too ingrained.
On the other hand, it can get worse if you do not stop this habit for them. For instance, If your little one is already teething and is still attached to a bottle overnight, they might develop bottle rot or tooth decay. So, with enough persistence and patience, you can help your baby learn a brand new sleeping routine and a bottle-free bedtime habit.
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Keep reading to know the methods you can follow that will help you put your baby to sleep with ease and without a bottle.
Breaking the habit of falling asleep with a bottle is a good idea, and it is really because you want the best thing for your little one, which is by preventing them from being dependent on having a bottle before bedtime. Another thing you would be avoiding them from is getting their mouth turned into a milk pool. Measures need to be taken concerning their milk intake if you want to reduce milk pool, and that is by reducing the amount of your baby’s milk intake by at least one ounce every night for one week. However, you should be ready to expect protests from them, which they will later get over with as time goes on.
Luckily, there are ways in which you can detach your baby from their bedtime dependency on a sleep prop (bottle) and make them fall asleep without it with ease. Join me as we embark on this journey into their transition to having a good night’s sleep without a bottle
Below is detailed information on the methods to help you stop your baby from getting too attached to the bottle before bedtime and wean them off bottles completely. They are:
WATCH HERE A VIDEO ON HOW TO GET BABY TO SLEEP WITHOUT BOTTLE
One of the many tricks that work for a baby already attached to bottling by bedtime is filling the bottle with water. So if your baby falls asleep in their crib and wakes up needing a bottle, feed them with the bottle filled with water. Although it does not happen so quickly this way, it follows a process till when they would become adapted to the taste of the water. But how is that done.?
This is done by adding little water to the normal bottle content for one week, then gradually increasing it to about 20 percent. So, when they ask for it, you can feed them the bottle containing diluted content till it eventually becomes only water. You will suddenly see them losing their interest in the bottle when you do this.
Replace it with a substitute
These sleep props (bottles) have become a comfort object for babies, so it will be difficult to withhold them; however, there is a little trick you can play on them, which will let them be able to let go of them. So what’s the next step? Look for an alternative or some substitute that also gives this comfort they seek.
Have you ever heard of white noise? It can produce comfort. It could be soft music, rain, or waterfall sounds. Another confirmed comfort material is night lights which aid in making your baby have a safe feel at night. Experts have made us know that the use of stuffed animals or blankets works best mostly for babies 18 months and more.
Make a quit notice to your older baby
By older babies, I mean the ones close to a year, like 18 months. Warn your baby if he does not stop using the bedtime bottle; then, you will be forced to have another baby who rightly needs it more and take possession of it. So remind them continuously so that they would not feel overwhelmed.
With time your baby will adhere and stop the habit.
Using these techniques will curb those habits of sleeping without a bottle that your baby cannot do without.
How can I train my baby to sleep without feeding
A quicker way to put your baby to sleep and ensure that the long sleep they are supposed to have does not get altered by hunger has always been feeding them to sleep. However, this has become a sleep association habit with many consequences in the future, due to the consequences such as availability to feed even when stressed or having your sleep altered. Because your baby wakes up in the middle of their naps or sleep, all this stress is enough to look for other ways to put them to sleep without feeding.
Below are the way you can train your baby to sleep without feeding:
Have a bedtime routine in check
Routines become an acquired habit that will later become part of a person’s life. So having a bedtime routine in check for your baby will help them to be able to deal with their sleep ordeal in the absence of a requirement, an example of which is feeding. These activities include reducing or dimming light intensities, warming baths at night, changing their wet diapers, lotion massaging their body after warm bathing, etc. However, do ensure that you feed them before putting the routine into action, and with this, they will not be able to get ingrained with it as a sleep association.
Do a feed-to-start-your-day technique
Have your baby eat only after having a nap or waking up from sleep, as this will leave them with an impression that food denotes the beginning of a new day.
Practice the use of pacifiers on them
Naturally, your go-to soothing mechanism for your baby is feeding with a breast or bottle; however, you can replace all these during nighttime by using a pacifier.
Keep them awake while they breastfeed
Things can go south if you do not quickly stop them from sleeping off or getting sleepy while breastfeeding. Doing this repeatedly will train them to be able to sleep without feeding.
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When should my baby go to bed without a bottle?
Ideally, babies are supposed to be totally off the bottle when they clock a year old. So, beginning early is not a bad thing but good timing. Depending on how much nourishment (calories and nutrients) your baby must have been taking by the age of 6 months, there will be no need for bottles, and since every baby is different, some may persist till about 10 months. However, the best time to get rid of nighttime bottles is when they are already 12 months old.
Note: It becomes difficult for your baby to do away with nighttime bottles if you give them a bedtime bottle for a long period. So the longer, the harder.
How do I get rid of the nighttime bottle?
The process involved in ditching nighttime bottles is simply easy on. It can take weeks, but when the decision has been made already, it will just be a boulder off your chest.
Here’s how to get rid of nighttime bottles, as listed below:
- First, introduce the use of cups to your baby, and finally, begin to oust bottles (both nighttime and daytime ones) one-by-one till they get completely out of their sight.
- Serve their milk in a cup so that your little one can eventually become familiar with it. However, if there is a protest, do well to succumb and serve in bottles.
- Ensure you become vast in sleep coaching for your little one to transition from bottle to cups easily.
- Lastly, completely do away with every bottle and do not make the mistake of leaving it for emergencies. Remember consistency is the key, and avoid confusing your baby by using bottles out of desperation.
Can I give my baby water at night instead of milk?
Babies getting enough adequate nutrition during the day can be bottle-fed with water at night. This is much safer than breast milk or formula. However, babies around six months should not be fed with water alongside breastmilk. An additional advantage of this practice is that it will make them go back to sleep, having been bottle-fed with water at night.
Can Baby Sleep 6 Hours Without Feeding?
Quite a number of babies from age of 6 months get to digest their food without interruption with feeding at night. According to Pediatrician, many infants can have a good sleep for 6 hours at least without waking.
Why do babies wake up when you put them down?
Putting babies down, whether quietly, slowly, or gently, does not assure that they will not wake up, which can be frustrating. Imagine how exhausting this endeavor is by making you think it is over now that their body has touched the bed, then suddenly they become wide awake. This is why many parents want to know the reason behind it.
This always occurs due to what is called vestibular changes, and your baby senses it when this is already matured in their uterus. Hence, making your baby become sensitive to movement.
What’s more? Their immature Proprioceptors, which are usually present at birth, get mature because of a load of information that is being received via your baby’s growth and movement. This is what then triggers them to wake up instantly.
Can I sleep while my baby is awake?
Ideally, this is not safe at all, so you have to train them to fall asleep in times like this on their own. There’s much to do if you are yet to instill these good sleeping habits in your baby, and it is not a good idea to leave them on their own while you go to sleep. However, it is understandable that you practically want to avoid being too tired, so the little trick you can do is to put your baby in his crib for up to like 10-15 minutes, and that way, if it last, then you are free to go to bed too.
How do I teach my baby to self soothe?
The steps involved in this concept will help your baby learn to cry herself out till she sleeps. It is somewhat a cry-it-out approach that can later appear quite harsh to your baby but will put them in gear.
Below are the steps involved in training your baby to self-soothe themselves. They are:
Respond to your crying baby only after some minutes because giving them immediate attention can derail the process. However, you can provide them quick attention unless it turns out to be an emergency. Then, you will know when you must provide them the attention they want.
Only soothe your baby while they are still inside the crib, but if an emergency arises, such as changing diapers, you might have to pick them up from the crib.
Regulate their emotions only when it escalates, seeing they do not calm down still.
Pretend to have left your baby’s room by taking a step back from their crib. However, it might be hard work if your baby is a very oversensitive sleeper.
Continue repeating the process by instilling it in your baby until it becomes a habit. Never forget that consistency is the key to learning.
How long should baby cry it out
The recommended period you allow your baby to keep crying is between 2 and 15 minutes. Anything after this, you are free to interfere and give your baby comfort, maybe by patting her or cradling them while in your hands till they sleep again.
The journey with your newly born gets better and easier if you can do your best as much as possible to follow the guidelines as instructed in this article. It will be a less stressful journey and help your baby grow and adapt to a good sleeping habit.