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Toddlers and giving up bottles in the night

Posted by Karen Faulkner on
Toddlers and giving up bottles in the night

A typical toddler sleep training problem

At 6-months I'd helped the parents take away the dummy causing Mila to wake every 30-60 minutes at night.

Now with developmental changes and the ability to ask for extra service, a bottle of milk had become a fixture in the night. At nearly 2 years, toddlers are super bright and are great at asking for extras. Because you wonder...are they hungry...are they thirsty? Doubt sets in and mothers guilt. What if they really were hungry or thirsty am I being a mean mummy for denying her a bottle of milk? Hmmmmmm....

Waking for milk at night

Hi Karen! Back for your advice again. Mila slept solidly through the night from your visit at 10-month until 23 months - when suddenly she began waking asking for all sorts of things but mainly her bottle (seemed to coincide with her learning to speak/communicate)

We had about 5 weeks of her just constantly waking so we gave in and gave her a bottle to keep in bed (big error I know). It worked for a couple of weeks but now she's waking about 4 times a night asking for her bottle. We left a small night light on as she suddenly became very scared of the dark when she turned 2!

So we hoped that she'd see her bottle herself, but she just loses it and starts crying and asking us to find it - several times! She's in a toddler bed now, we did that around 20 months and it was easy peasy, no issues at all.

Just wondering what your advice would be in, obviously, I know taking the bottle away entirely. Should we leave another type of drink/cup by her bed if she needs it through the night or just nothing at all? She eats well in the day, I don't think she is hungry at all. Is there anything we could say/ do to be consistent? We are so tired that we keep constantly changing our words/ reactions so think we need to really nail this now.

I read that it's quite common for sleep disturbances at this age but slightly worried that we're just undoing all the good work you did. Thanks!

This was my reply

"Ok Jade, as you guessed the bottle has to go

Don't replace the bottle with anything else. Summer, it's ok to put a cup on a side table but don't give it to her. She has to pick it up herself. Point to it, but say nothing.

On night one there will be drama, use the Magic Presence technique. I'll send you my instructions. Within 24 hours you will have peace again I promise. If need be, do a Skype consult with me ????

Hi Karen,

Thanks so much for that - will start following it tonight! We actually started last night (we're on UK time here) & completely removed her bottle. She did complain but hardly at all and went to sleep no problem at all. She then woke at 1 am asking for her bottle & I explained that we had thrown it away. She asked for some water from her straw cup which I made her get/drink herself & she slept again until 6:30.

My question is if she goes to sleep fine at the start of the night, do we still follow the Magic Presence method when she wakes to ask for the bottle (I'm quite sure she will as it's been ingrained for so long). We tried to put her down for a day nap today and she was having none of it of course, but then she's been on and off day naps since 18-months, to be honest. Do we start just focusing on nights, to begin with before we tackle day naps? Some days she doesn't seem like she needs one so I'm not quite sure whether it's something we should try really hard with!

Thanks :)

As always your genius advice works.

7-10 days later after doing the Magic Presence technique, Mila has gone from using a bottle all night & waking 5/6 times - to sleeping from 7 to 6:30 with no bottle or drink at all!

Your fab; thanks so much xxx

????????????????YAY Jade, I'm v happy for you xx and yes I know I'm irritatingly accurate with my advice ????????????

Sent by Karen Faulkner


You really are, but a godsend so I'm not jealous ????


Sent by Karen Faulkner

It was so funny as We thought Mila was actually beginning to get addicted to our presence, she began waking after night 3 asking for us to sit there.

But we kept going and sure as you say, she slept through a few nights after and never asked again! So odd, but your methods really work ???????? hurrah! X

I know many parents worry about that. I can see why but it never happens. It really de-escalates things and becomes really lovely ????

Sent by Karen Faulkner

toddler sleep

It's weird isn't it! We expected her to use it as a sleep aid, but it just seemed to make her confident in us and now she's fine. All bottles totally gone just using a straw or normal cup and she hasn't asked since.

Thank you!.

Pleasure Jade xx and here is the little cutie, Mila and even more cute because she's sleeping - HURRAH!!

Sent by Karen Faulkner

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