Generally speaking, children at the age of two years and above will start drinking their milk from a bottle once they got weaned. Whilst it seems very normal to do so, the habit actually leads to several disadvantages both to you and your child.
When they drink milk by the bottle at bedtime, it elevates the level of urination. Thus your child is likely to wet their beds if they are not wearing any diaper. Another disadvantage is it can cause a tooth decay if you do not stop it immediately.
Taking a way the bottle from your child’s bedtime is almost like a second weaning period. It is not easy but surely achievable. Here are 5 simple ways to help you stop the habit at soonest:
1. Feed you child well
Always ensure that your child has had enough dinner before he goes to bed. This means that his meal portion can get him through the night without feeling hungry. Empty stomach while sleeping can make him asking for milk.
2. Choose Your Battle
Normally your child will wake up several times at night to look or ask for his milk. Gradually, try to ignore this request eventhough he is crying outloud. The first try should go easier. If after the first attempt he goes back to sleep again try to do it again at the next time he asks. When his crying gets worsen then you can give him his milk. Choose your battle, do not give it to him everytime he asks for it.
3. Exchange with water
Besides being hungry, crying for some milk at night can also be a sign of thirst. When he is crying for it tell your child that you will not give him the bottle of milk but a glass of water instead. Believe or not he will finally aggree to you on this after several whinings.
4. A glass of milk before bedtime
Before he goes to bed give him a glass of milk. Ask him to finish it and tell him that it is his last milk for the day and the next milk he will get is only in the morning. You should be firm and consistent on this so your child will not get confused.
5. Brush teeth before sleeping
A fresh clean mouth from brushing your teeth sends signal to your brain that you have stopped eating or drinking. Therefore it will reduce the urge to consume any food nor to drink any milk during bedtime.
The most important thing of all is that we as the parent should be disciplined in applying any rule to our child. Always socialised new rules before being implemented and be flexible only during socialization time.
My two and a half years old son now has stopped asking for milk during bedtime. At first it was difficult. But when I applied the five simple ways above it only takes four days to finally get him stopped the bad habit completely.