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Just curious on this one, but does anyone know when a 1yo should stop needing bottles through the night

Our first child was breastfed up to 16 months and when moved to bottles only needed 1 through the night for a short while before none at all.

For various reasons, our second has been weaned to bottles from 9 months and is still getting up 2-3 times a night for a bottle, even though he eats 3 good meals a day as well as having milks throughout.

Any suggestions?

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3 Answers

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A six month old can sleep up to eight hours without feeding.

We had the issue that I had to work (+ commute) while breastfeeding and was getting utterly exhausted by having to wake up for night-time feeds. A pediatrician told us that our then six-month-old son is asking for his night-time bottles because of the comfort and company and not out of hunger. We switched to holding him when he wakes up rather than feeding him. This would be about four hours after going to bed. He would then fall back asleep and sleep another four hours - a good sign that he wasn't really hungry. On the rare occasion that he woke earlier, we would give him milk. He did cry a lot when we stopped night time feeding, but after just one week he stopped crying altogether and would just roll over and go back to sleep.

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thanks. we'll give it a try –  fullybaked May 1 '13 at 14:04
    
I have read anywhere from 6-9 months if the child is also eating well during the day. Our daughter was a TERRIBLE eater and didn't start going all night without a bottle/sippy cup until very recently and she's 2 1/2 YEARS old! We figured out that it was all comfort associated and it didn't take long to break the comfort association. Our son, however, was very easy and broke himself of night-feedings with no help from us whatsoever. –  Meg Coates May 2 '13 at 15:12
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My 13-month-old is currently on cow's milk (whole, and hormone-free) and mashed/soft foods, and we try to give her a dinner at about 7:00, followed by a few more hours of playtime, and then a story and/or bath and a big bottle of warm milk just before bed at about 10. My wife, who loves to sleep in, then tries not to have her wake up before 9; if she succeeds, our daughter normally doesn't need a nap during the day unless there's a trip in the car on the schedule.

Our pediatrician said that by 6 months, our baby should have stopped waking us up in the middle of the night. However, even given this routine and her age, she will still infrequently (maybe once or twice a week AFAIK) want another bottle at 2-4 AM. I can't find a rhyme or reason to it. However, I'm not extremely worried; some of my very earliest memories are of calling for mommy from my crib, wanting a sippy cup of juice or water at a time my own parents probably didn't think appropriate for anything but REM cycles, and that would have been at three or four years old.

Each child is his or her own person from the moment they're born, and while there is a bell curve for various areas of growth, development and learning, no one child falls right down the middle on all of it. Extreme outliers may not be statistically "normal", and it may be something that needs to be addressed, but just as likely it's your child being who he is.

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According to Marc Weissbluth, a pediatrician who has written books on sleep in infants and children and fussiness in infants, most babies are able to sleep through the night without a feeding at 9 months of age. I have seen anecdotally from mothers that for some it may take as long as 12 months of age before a child is eating enough filling food during the day to be able to sleep all night. The average six month old should only need 1-2 feedings according to many guidelines I have seen. Other pediatricians and moms may have other guidelines. Families for whom more feedings work or whose children begin sleeping through the night without feedings very young may totally disregard these guidelines and everything turns out fine.

I would not force a child younger than 9 months or one who is not having at least 3 meals including all food groups (proteins, grains, vegetables, fruits, fats, etc.) daily to go through the night 11+ hours without a feeding. However even if you think your child is too young to go all night without a feeding, you can still implement feeding cut-offs based on what your child can do and treat other wake-ups by getting the child back to sleep in some other manner - rocking, holding, sleep training, whatever works for your family.

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"The average six month old should only need 1-2 feedings according to many guidelines I have seen." Interesting, the 'no feeding necessary' might be a guideline specific to my part of the world (The Netherlands). I never thought to question it. I also know that guidelines on introducing solid food vary, with European countries lately advising it to begin as early as four months. I can imagine that adding a solid food meal to the bottle before bed makes a difference. –  Ana May 2 '13 at 14:12
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