When to drop the bedtime milk feed for a baby or toddler

When to drop the bedtime milk feed for a baby or toddler

When to Drop the Bedtime Milk Feed?


For many families, the bedtime milk feed is a cherished routine that signifies comfort and closeness. However, as children grow, the question arises: when is the right time to make a change? While paediatricians often recommend dropping the bedtime milk feed after 12 months, the decision ultimately depends on individual circumstances, and many parents find their little ones still enjoy or require this comforting ritual for a bit longer.


But when the time does come to transition away from the bedtime milk feed, it's natural to wonder how to approach it gently and effectively. Cold turkey might seem like the quickest route, but it's not always the easiest for both parents and children. Here's a gentle approach to help ease the transition:


  • Gradually Reduce Volume: Instead of stopping the bedtime milk feed abruptly, consider gradually reducing the volume over a week or so. This allows your child to adjust at a comfortable pace without feeling deprived.


  • Shift Timing: Move the bedtime milk feed earlier in the night time routine. By doing so, it becomes less of a direct sleep association, making it easier to eventually phase out.


  • Transition to a Sippy Cup: If your child is still using a bottle, try transitioning to a sippy cup. This small change can help signal that the bedtime milk feed is evolving.


  • Change Temperature: If you usually warm the milk, try offering it at room temperature or even directly from the fridge. This subtle change can make the milk less enticing, empowering your child to decide when they're ready to move on.


It's important to be patient, observe your child's cues, and trust that you're making the best decision for your family. Every child is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. If you're unsure where to start or need additional support, consider booking a consultation with a paediatric expert who can provide personalised guidance.


Remember, every journey is different, and there's no one-size-fits-all approach to parenting.


Need help ditching the milk feed? Book a consult here. x

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