At 15 months, a baby/toddler will no longer want their bottle at night, right? Wrong! It is very common for a young toddler to wake up for feeding at night. If you are fine with it, it is fine. If not, there are ways to stop this behavior and wean your little toddler off the night feeding.

The baby in this Q&A wants her bottle day and night. Mom wants to both stop the night feedings and stop using the bottle completely and is trying to introduce a sippy cup instead. Not working!

Let’s break down the problem into two different ones – i) introducing a cup instead of the bottle, and ii) weaning your toddler from night feedings.

15-month-old baby wants bottle at nightPin

Mom’s Question:

My 15-month-old baby wants to have milk from a feeding bottle both day and night. I have tried a sippy cup and other options, but she refuses them all. I think she is now too old for a baby bottle, and I also want her to stop feeding at night.

Please provide tips on how to make her forget the baby bottle and start using a cup instead.


1. Weaning From Bottle To Sippy Cup For Toddler

At the age of around 15 months, many babies have quite a strong view of what they want, and they show it! While this is a natural development, knowing how to deal with it can be hard.

So, if your baby really likes her bottle, she won’t give it up without a big fight unless you do it gradually. There are no particular health or developmental reasons to take away the bottle yet so that you know. It is, however, more important to reduce the night feeding since it can lead to cavities.

The bottle in itself, e.g., filled with water, is not a threat to her teeth in any way. (But that doesn’t mean you are wrong to wean the bottle; of course, that is your decision.)

To wean a baby from the bottle and to a sippy cup, it will certainly be easier to start by introducing the sippy cup during the daytime.

Here are a few tricks you can use to make your baby want to try the cup:

  • Make sure the sippy cup is easy to drink from. Try it yourself to see how hard it is to get the liquid out. Some no-spill cups are quite hopeless, even for adults to drink from.
  • Consider giving her a regular mug (not a no-spill one), but still a baby cup with handles and a lid. They are often easier to drink from.
  • Let her use the cup as a toy to get used to it. You can play a game together, where she can feed her dolls, her loveys and even you (but not herself unless she wants to).
  • Put some tasty liquid in the cup that she really can’t resist, like breast milk, formula, or juice.
  • Use the cup yourself without offering it to her to make her curious.
  • Meet other babies that use sippy cups so that she can watch others using them.
  • If you have a fight over her current cup, buy a new one that doesn’t look the same and have a fresh start with all the tips above.
  • If your baby really hates a sippy cup anyway, consider a cup without a lid. She will spill more, but since it is easier to drink from, she might accept it easier. One of my kids was like that. She hated the sippy cup but gladly drank from a regular cup AND learned quite quickly how to drink from it.

Once she has started to accept the cup, take away the bottle at daytime first. When that works, try offering the cup at night too. It is possible that your baby will stop feeding at night if she is not offered her beloved bottle.

2. Weaning a Toddler from Night Feedings

It is actually very possible that once your toddler does not use a bottle anymore, she will stop waking up for night feeds. At her age, a baby does not need to feed at night, and chances are that she is waking up due to habits and that the bottle is a wonderful way to fall back to sleep.

Here are some things to try:

If she still drinks from a bottle when you want to get started with weaning the night feedings, start reducing the amount of formula you provide. You can also water it down a bit or even just offer water.

Before doing this, consider if you should offer her more food in the evening to reduce the risk of her actually waking up hungry at night.

If she does not use the bottle during the daytime anymore, you can simply offer it at night, too. Give her the sippy cup with water or watered don formula when she wakes up. If she refuses a sippy cup, you can help her drink a few sips from her regular cup.

You can, of course, also just go cold turkey and simply stop the night feedings. Your toddler will most likely put up a fight, but if you are lucky, she will adapt quickly over a few nights. However, I personally prefer a gradual transition since it is nicer and calmer for everyone, and you avoid the risk of disrupting her sleep schedule by spending parts of the night dealing with power struggles and tantrums rather than sleeping.

You can learn more ways to stop bottle feeding or nursing a baby at night here. (The article is mostly about breastfeeding at night, but many tips can also be used for bottle feeding.)

Paula

Who else has a toddler that wants their bottle at night? Share your situation or your tips by leaving a comment below.

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This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Laurie

    There are sippy cups that have soft silicone lids to make the cup similar to the bottle. Try those…My daughter took to the silicone lid quickly.

  2. Qaisy

    My 4-year-old daughter takes bottle feed all night. After every hour or two, she screams for her feed. I wake up all night, and my nights are sleepless. She does not eat any food in the daytime, nor does she drink milk in the daytime; someone pls help me.

    1. Paula @ easybabylife

      Hi Qaisy,
      You have a determined little 4-year-old; that is good and the way she is supposed to be considering the development phase she is in.

      But being so “old,” she can also change her behavior with a little help.

      I would suggest you create a “star trail” for her. The idea is to get away from the power struggle and reinforce good behavior instead of bad. It is actually very efficient!

      Here’s what to do:

      • First, draw a snake or a trail on a piece of paper and divide it into small steps so that you have 60-80 squares. In every 3rd to 7th square, you put a big question mark. Then go buy some gold stars or other small, pretty stickers.
      • What you then do is sit down with your daughter at some point when you are both content and in balance and explain to her that now, when she is such a big girl, the two of you are going to play a game.
      • Every time she wakes up at night and accepts to hug her lovie (or whatever) instead of demanding her bottle, she’ll get a sticker to put on her trail. Every question mark is a surprise gift.
      • At night, you might want to put small buttons in glass or something simple instead simply and then she can count them and get her stickers in the morning.
      • I don’t know how many times she demands a bottle every night. Try to construct the trail so that she’ll get her first reward after the second night (or even the first), and make that reward something she really enjoys, but not something big and expensive, since that will make her expect similar things in the future. The surprises can be small toys, going to a playground or movie of her choice, staying up late (if she really wants that), borrowing mom’s makeup and putting make-up on herself and you, and so on. Be creative and see this as an opportunity to have fun together, too.
      • Once she starts waking up less, you can add in another assignment so that she has enough possibilities to earn stickers to stay motivated, one at night and one during daytime. Maybe she lay out forks and knives for dinner, put away her shoes nicely when coming home, or something else.
      • If you want this work, focus on the times she succeeds and praise her for them. Never threaten with not getting a sticker. Remind her once in a nice way so she has a chance of succeeding.
      • When she gets to the end of the trail or to the snake’s head, make a big celebration of it. Give her a diploma, and get her a great surprise: something that she really, really wants, and preferably something you do together rather than a toy.

      I hope this can inspire you! I have done star trails with all my children, the youngest at four years old, and it was a very effective and positive way to change an undesired behavior.

      Good luck!

  3. Diana

    Hey, My baby boy is 14 months old, and lately, he wants to drink four bottles at night. If I give him water, he throws a tantrum and screams till he gets milk. He is on Nido. My mom-in-law stays in front of us, and even they can hear him scream.
    Please help.

  4. melody

    My daughter is a 4-year-old kid..and until now, she used to feed at night and day with her bottles..even when we’re in out time..nevertheless, she forgets it when she’s playing… I planned to stop her once, but she used to cry and scream, and tantrums would occur…I want to stop her, but it is stressing me..how can I do it..she’s older now and planning to go to school next year. How can I stop her?

  5. Amanda

    My son is 2 years old. He sleeps daily at 10:30 p.m. he has a very good dinner at 8:30 p.m. daily. If he goes to sleep without drinking milk, he wakes at 2 a.m. and demands for milk, screaming his head off. The worst is if he drinks milk while going to sleep, he wakes once in 2 hours screaming for milk… I really need help

  6. Salma

    Hi all, my name is Salma, I have a 2-year-old son, and I want to stop bottle feeding at night, but i don’t know how, so please help me

  7. Sam

    To follow up — My baby was a nightmare; as I said, I finally managed to make him stop feeding at night. I used to give him kids’ rooibos tea, but that night I decided not to make it for him. Hey, it wasn`t easy because he kept on waking up crying for it almost the whole night, but I just ignored him, and I am telling you it worked very well because the following night he slept the whole night, and till today, we sleep like angels with my baby boy, so I suggest that u give it a try even though it is not so easy, but it worked brilliantly for me.

  8. Sam

    Hi,

    Mine is a nightmare. I have a 2-year-old baby and have been trying to make him stop feeding a bottle at night, but all he does is cry, and I mean, he screams, and that is really not nice. I have also tried to use a cup, but it doesn`t work. I really need a plan for that PLEASE HELP!!!

  9. jessica

    Those sippy cups are really hard to drink from – use the ones that have straws that they can drink from without tipping over their head. A lot of times, the baby is just frustrated with trying to get liquid out, and they know the bottles work just fine, so they will be very fussy. My son was soooo fussy with sippy cups, then I saw somebody using the straw cups, and it was like the burden had been lifted. No more bottles.

  10. Sofia

    My baby was like that. What I did was offer her water in her bottle at night. I never thought that it would work, but it did. She stopped eating at night without being very sad or anything. Then you don’t really need to take the bottle away; just don’t offer milk or formula at night.

  11. Natalie Haddock

    Hi! My daughter will be 21 months in a couple weeks. I need to wean her off the bottle. She has one naptime bottle (ONLY WATER) and has one bedtime bottle (ONLY WATER). She doesn’t always drink the whole bottle. Just uses it to fall asleep. But other days she will drink the whole bedtime bottle and want more before being able to fall asleep. She drinks milk and water throughout the day in a variety of different cups. We have kept the bottle strictly to naptime and bedtime for quite some time. It seems like every time i go to begin weaning she either has been sick, teeth coming in (its been one after another, never seems like there’s a break!), or we moved. I want to kick this bottle but not sure how to do it. She already uses a favorite blanket and lovie. Please help!!