Bottle-Feeding: When Baby Doesn't Want to Stop
Some babies grow attached to the bottle and do not want to give it up. Here are some common behaviors and suggestions on how to deal with them.
- Your baby always wants to have a bottle in his or her mouth.
Do not let your baby crawl, walk around, or go to bed with a bottle. This will make him or her more prone to dental cavities (caries). Also, a baby with a bottle or other object in his or her mouth is at risk for face and mouth injuries if he or she were to fall. Offer a stuffed toy or blanket for comfort instead of a bottle.
- Your baby does not want to give up the bedtime bottle.
Bottle-feeding at bedtime can often be part of your baby's regular routine. This feeding is usually the hardest to give up. Cuddle your baby often, and gradually replace the bedtime bottle ritual with a new one. For example, 1 to 2 hours before bedtime give your baby something to eat or drink. (Don't give your baby cow's milk until he or she is at least 1 year old.) Then at bedtime, brush your baby's teeth, give him or her a bath, or read a storybook instead of offering a bottle.
- Your 18-month-old still drinks from a bottle.
Start using a cup to feed your child if you have not already. Dilute the liquid in the bottle to make it less tasty.
- Your weaned baby wants to bottle-feed again.
Try giving your baby extra hugs and attention instead of going back to the old way of feeding.
Current as of: March 1, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:John Pope MD - Pediatrics & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine