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Night Bottle Feeding 14.5 month old

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  • Night Bottle Feeding 14.5 month old

    Hi mamas,

    I've read all the threads I can find about this but I'm still not at peace. I didn't learn about AP until well into my daughter's first year. We were unsuccessful at breastfeeding for multiple reasons (which could have been overcome with the right support and help...) and I pumped for 8.5 months. My precious girl is a high-need, smart, funny, amazing child who walked at 9 months and is into everything. :-)

    She's a solid sleeper but still wants to eat 1x-2x per night. I have tried watering down (we got to 1/2 strength -- gradually -- and she started refusing the bottle), I have tried straight water in the bottle (which works but then she's up 30-60 mins later). I am currently down to 3 oz. bottles and trying to very slowly reduce the amount. But she's resistant when I go below that, starts waking more frequently, and crying.

    I don't let her sleep with the bottle, and I do brush her teeth first thing in and am and again at night. If it were up to my instincts I'd let her have bottles until she naturally weans - she sleeps so well and so easily when I let her eat. But everywhere I'm reading about her dental health and I'm torn up about it. It's all I think about now and I just want to honor her need for comfort and sucking and eating, but also provide for her health.

    If you have any suggestions, I would be forever grateful!


  • #2
    Hi Kim

    I don't know much about bottle feeding and the risk of cavities, but I do think it is normal to wake at night 1-2x at this age. It's great that you are recognizing this need of hers and trying to find effective ways to meet it!

    Hoping you find a peaceful solution for you both,


    • #3
      Night Bottle Feeding 14.5 month old

      Hi Kim,

      We've been through a bit of a journey with dental health and night-time nursing so I hope some of the info I picked up will be of use to you.

      My son nurses from the breast two-three times a night. We thought he had the beginnings of tooth decay so we took him to the dentist. It turns out he did not have tooth decay but some marks on his teeth that were either genetic or from lacking "something" in utero. The dentist was very adament that I should stop night-nursing despite the absence of decay but I chose to continue, based on the information I found through various sites including an evolutionary and biological explanation of why breastfeeding does not lead to tooth decay (wish I could remember the link for others).

      I did pick up the following tips from her and others: wipe your baby's teeth down with a cloth after nursing at night (I was surprised at how easy this was, even if my little one had fallen asleep) 2) try giving her water at the end of the feed 3) even a mini brush if she will take it.

      From what I could find out frequent and recurrent formula night-nursings can lead to dental carries but it sounds to me that you are very vigilent. It also sounds like your little one will not be giving up those night nursings any time soon but perhaps employing the ideas above, the lactose etc will be removed from her teeth? Visit your dentist regularly and inspect her teeth (I am sure you do this already but thought I would mention it for the sake of the thread).

      BTW - there are dentists out there who are sensitive to night-nursings. We were told again and again to drop the night-nursings even though we are breast-feeding. Just be prepared that a lot of dentists are not flexible in their view on this but you can get lots of information from them on ways to minimalize potential dental health issues.

      I hope some of this information helps.



      • #4
        Night Bottle Feeding 14.5 month old

        Another thing about dentists!

        Just had a thought: we had to call around a bit to find a dentist who would let us be present during the dental examination. During the examination, I laid my son on my lap (his head towards my knees) while the dentist conducted a gentle and relatively quick exam (perhaps three minutes). He didn't enjoy it but it was not traumatic and he was fine as soon as it was done -- and we had lots of cuddles afterwards. He was one year old when we went. Hope this info helps!


        • #5
          My aunt is a dental hygenist and she night nursed her daughter. I know breastmilk doesn't have any effect on carries, but the concern with formula is the milk sugars. My daughter now always wants a little milk (cow's milk) before she goes to sleep every night, so my aunt suggested let her have her milk, try and wash it down with water and don't worry about it. Their baby teeth are very resilient and as long as your are encouraging her to "brush" her teeth every day you should be fine. I will never understand why doctors and dentists think that refusing children food at night is a good idea. Their little stomachs are so tiny.


          • #6
            Thanks very much for all of your ideas. I have heard we have a wonderful, wonderful children's dentist in the area and I will look into making an appointment.

            In the meantime, I can definitely try wiping her teeth (a brush won't happen, it's a struggle as it is during the day) and I think an ounce of water after her bottle will definitely work as well. Have any of you heard of those little dental wipes they sell? I wonder if they'd be any more effective than a cloth?

            She seems to be sleeping a bit better now that she has broken her 4th molar -- we were only up once last night. I know more teething is ahead but maybe we'll get some new sleeping patterns set before that happens. We are also working on giving her more eating opportunities during the day so perhaps she won't be as hungry at night - and of course it's easier for her to eat when she's not in pain from teeth.

            Thanks again! I really appreciate you all for taking the time to respond.



            • #7
              Hi Kim,

              I have not heard of those wipes but will look out for them (thanks for the tip). We just use a wash cloth.

              So glad you have a great pediatric dentist to go see. We got a great tip on a night-nursing friendly dentist but she is one hour from our home...we might just make the trek to her!

              All the best.