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That day when your baby begins to sleep without a fuss, is finally here, and your baby seems to sleep through the night pretty well. However, there is one issue that is coming into play. Your infant will only be willing to fall asleep independently as long as they have a bottle at night. The best thing to do is to begin weaning the bottle from your baby as soon as the pediatrician says that nighttime feeding is no longer necessary. That is the time when your infant begins taking in larger amounts of milk during the day because of getting larger.
Even if your baby isn’t eating solids yet, you can take the bottle away at night. As long as your baby is getting enough formula or breastmilk during the day, they do not need a nighttime feeding. Now you wonder how to put a baby to sleep without giving them the bottle. Let’s talk about that.
How To Put The Baby To Sleep Without A Bottle
the first thing to do is look for signs that your baby no longer requires a nighttime feeding and only enjoys having the bottle because it is a comfortable habit. You want to get your baby off that habit as soon as you know that they no longer require a nighttime feed. Infants usually start eating solids when they are approximately six months old. That is the age where you can begin weaning them off of the bottle. That is something you want to ask the pediatrician.
However, even if the pediatrician says the baby can still have nighttime feedings when your infant is nine months old, there is no need for a bottle anymore. If your infant legitimately seems hungry at night at six months, then you can continue. If your baby wants the bottle but is playing with the nipple and doesn’t seem interested, then your baby no longer needs nighttime feeds.
You can always cut your baby off of nighttime feedings cold turkey. However, be prepared to go through a lot of stress, and your baby will have a lot of stress that way too. That means you and your baby will have several sleepless nights, potentially if you take the bottle away cold turkey. Therefore, that is not a recommendation. Slowly weaning the baby off the bottle is the way to go.
How Do You Discourage The Baby From Taking The Bottle Before Sleep?
If your baby is in the habit of taking the bottle at night before bed, whether they are hungry or not, there is an easy way to help break the habit. You will want to give your baby the bottle straight from the fridge. The milk will be cold, and the baby won’t like that, and you may find that they will push the bottle away with their hands. You can also do the same by pouring water into the bottle. Your baby won’t like that too much either. Before you know it, the baby won’t be too keen on the bottle before bed if you continuously give your infant something from the bottle that they won’t like.
Then you can begin to switch up the baby’s bedtime routine, but not too drastically. The only difference is that you will no longer need to give your baby the bottle. Let’s now talk about a sample bedtime routine for your baby that excludes the nighttime bottle.
How Does The New Bedtime Routine Look?
You don’t have to change the nighttime routine too significantly. All you are doing is eliminating the bedtime bottle. You can keep the pattern as it is without the bottle. For instance, if you usually bathe your baby, then a bottle, and then read them a bedtime story, there is very little you need to change. All you do is remove the bottle.
Therefore, all your baby requires is a soothing bath as well as dressing them comfortably in their sleeper to get them ready for bed. Then go and read a bedtime story for your baby. And if you want to make your infant tired, you can rub some lavender baby lotion on them. Lavender is safe, and there are plenty of lavender lotions for infants to help them fall asleep as it soothes them.
If you weaned the bottle from your baby by giving them cold milk or water, then the change in routine will not throw your infant. You are still keeping the same bedtime routine. The only missing piece is the bottle, which your baby will likely not miss at all if you weaned them off from it.
If you are at a point where you wonder how to put the baby to sleep without a bottle, the good news is that there is an easy way to do that. Your baby does not need a nighttime bottle by the time they can take in more food and calories‘ during the day. When your infant begins solids, then the nighttime bottle is not necessary. The baby may only like the bottle at night because it is a comforting habit to them. Your baby doesn’t need it.
However, you do not want to cut your baby off from it cold turkey as that will only worsen their anxiety and increase their stress levels – and yours too. Wean the bottle from the baby and maintain the same bedtime routine. If you wean them off slowly, it will be easy to get the baby to sleep without a bottle.