You’ve been feeding your baby just before bedtime since the day they were born. And it’s such a wonderful time of day. The snuggles you get when they’re in your warm arms. The anticipation of laying them down to sleep and enjoying some “me time”. But there comes a point when your baby doesn’t need that bedtime bottle anymore. The question of when to stop the bedtime bottle often comes up as your baby approaches their first birthday.  

But when exactly is the right time to stop that bedtime bottle? You may even be wondering how much milk they should be having now that they’re a little older and what their overall nutrition should be. But I think the biggest fear of parents ditching the bedtime bottle is how do you do it without affecting your child’s sleep? After all, if things are going well for you right now, it’s scary thinking about rocking the boat. As a seasoned pediatric sleep coach, I’ve got all the answers you’ve been looking for.

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When to Stop Bedtime Bottle

The question of when to stop the bedtime bottle is a crucial consideration for parents, marking a significant milestone in your baby’s development. Pediatric experts unanimously recommend discontinuing the bedtime bottle around the age of 12 months (adjusted). This means that if your baby was born before 40 weeks, you would use their due date to determine when they’re ready to give up that nightly bottle.

At this stage, babies typically transition from needing the extra calories before bedtime to being able to physically sleep through the night without the added nourishment.

Research consistently supports the notion that by the age of 12 months, infants have established solid eating patterns, which diminishes the necessity for a bedtime bottle. In fact, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), sustaining this practice beyond the first year may lead to unnecessary caloric intake and potential dental issues. The AAP emphasizes that understanding when to stop the bedtime bottle is really important for promoting healthy sleep habits and preventing dependency on nighttime feeds.

I have a lot of parents who express concern about disrupting their child’s sleep routine when they’re contemplating when to stop the bedtime bottle. However, it’s important to recognize that at 12 months, babies are capable of obtaining sufficient nutrition during waking hours.

This adjustment supports a gradual shift towards self-soothing and independent sleep, fostering better sleep hygiene for both the child and the parents. In essence, understanding when to stop the bedtime bottle is a key step in promoting a healthy sleep transition and supporting a child’s overall well-being.

12 Month Old Milk Schedule

A sample 12-month-old feeding schedule is crucial for nurturing healthy eating habits in babies and toddlers. By this age, babies should be consuming three solid meals a day along with nutritious snacks. The emphasis shifts from milk as the primary source of nutrition to a well-rounded diet rich in various food groups.

Babies over 12 months old should be encouraged to fill up on solid foods rather than relying on milk for sustenance. It’s recommended to offer milk as a complementary element with snacks rather than during meals. 

Sample 12 Month Old Feeding Schedule

This approach helps ensure that your baby is getting essential nutrients from diverse food sources.

Milk is a liquid that can fill up your baby’s tummy very quickly. And if they think they’re full from milk, they may not finish their meal.

Believe it not, this can actually lead to night wakings because your baby is actually hungry from not consuming enough of the right food source during the day.

So what would an example of a daytime feeding schedule look like? Here’s my sample 12 month old feeding schedule:

Is swaddling a newborn necessary

7:00 AM: Wake up

7:15 AM: Breakfast

9:00 AM: Mid-morning snack (include milk)

11:00 AM: Lunch

12:00 PM: Nap

2:00 PM: Wake from nap

2:15 PM: First afternoon snack (include milk)

4:00 PM: Second afternoon snack (can include milk)

6:00 PM: Dinner

7:00 PM: Begin bedtime routine (bath, pajamas, brushing teeth)

7:30 PM: Into bed

At 12 months old, the recommended milk intake is around 16-24 ounces per day. This amount aligns with the dietary guidelines for toddlers, providing the necessary calcium and vitamin D for their growing bones. Understanding when to stop the bedtime bottle is also crucial in this context, as it allows babies to transition to a more food-centric diet during the day.

By integrating a sample 12-month-old feeding schedule that includes balanced meals, snacks, and appropriate milk servings, you can support your child’s nutritional needs. This approach encourages healthy eating habits, ensures proper growth and development, and aligns with the evolving dietary requirements of toddlers as they move beyond reliance on milk for nourishment.

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12 Month Old Food

Exploring wholesome 12 month old food ideas is pivotal for promoting optimal health and supporting restful sleep. Prioritize nutrient-rich options that avoid added sugars, incorporating high-protein sources to meet the growing demands of your little one.

In the realm of 12 month old food ideas, consider offering lean protein choices such as diced poultry, beans, or tofu. These protein-packed selections contribute to muscle development and provide a sustained source of energy, essential for overall well-being and restful sleep.

Including a variety of fruits and vegetables in your 12 month old food ideas is crucial for supplying essential vitamins and minerals. Opt for colorful options like berries, avocados, and leafy greens, which not only contribute to a balanced diet but also support digestive health and aid in a good night’s sleep.

Steering clear of sugary snacks and desserts in your 12 month old food ideas is paramount. Excessive sugar intake may disrupt sleep patterns and lead to restlessness. 

12 Month Old Food Ideas

Emphasize whole, natural foods to instill healthy eating habits that positively impact both your child’s well-being and sleep quality.

Here are 25 of my top 12 month old food ideas:

  1. Diced chicken or turkey: Rich in protein for muscle development.
  2. Beans or lentils: Excellent plant-based protein sources.
  3. Tofu cubes: A versatile and protein-packed option.
  4. Avocado slices: Packed with healthy fats and nutrients.
  5. Steamed broccoli florets: A nutrient-dense green vegetable.
  6. Sweet potato wedges: Rich in vitamins and fiber.
  7. Blueberries: A delicious and antioxidant-rich fruit.
  8. Oatmeal: A whole grain option for a hearty breakfast.
  9. Whole-grain toast strips: Easy for little hands to hold.
  10. Greek yogurt: High in protein and calcium.
  11. Cottage cheese: Another protein-rich dairy option.
  12. Quinoa: A complete protein and gluten-free grain.
  13. Sliced strawberries: A sweet and vitamin C-packed fruit.
  14. Cooked and diced carrots: A colorful and nutritious veggie.
  15. Mashed peas: A source of protein and green goodness.
  16. Chopped pear: A juicy and fiber-rich fruit.
  17. Whole grain pasta: Offers energy and fiber.
  18. Cheddar cheese cubes: A tasty source of calcium.
  19. Apple slices: A crunchy and hydrating snack.
  20. Hummus: A flavorful dip with chickpea goodness.
  21. Watermelon chunks: Hydrating and refreshing.
  22. Brown rice: A wholesome grain for added energy.
  23. Cauliflower florets: A versatile and nutrient-packed veggie.
  24. Pumpkin puree: Packed with vitamins and fiber.
  25. Mango chunks: A tropical delight loaded with vitamins.

Ultimately, 12-month-old food ideas should align with the nutritional needs of a growing toddler, emphasizing protein, fruits, and vegetables while minimizing added sugars. This approach not only fosters physical health but also establishes a foundation for sound sleep, setting the stage for a well-rested and thriving little one.

How to Wean Bedtime Bottle

Now that you know how to feed your baby during the daytime hours, let’s walk about how to wean the bedtime bottle. Weaning the bedtime bottle is a gradual process that requires patience and a thoughtful approach.

Begin by gradually reducing the bottle’s contents over several nights to reduce its appeal. Introduce a comforting bedtime routine that doesn’t involve the bottle, emphasizing alternative soothing activities such as reading or some good cuddles.

Gradually shifting the bedtime bottle to an to just before the bedtime routine can help detach it from the sleep association. Replace the bedtime bottle with a comforting sippy cup filled with water to maintain the soothing aspect

Is swaddling a newborn necessary

while eliminating the need for extra calories. Consistency is key during this transition, so ensure that both parents and caregivers follow the same routine to provide a sense of security for the child.

By approaching the bedtime bottle weaning process with sensitivity and understanding, you can establish healthy sleep habits while maintaining a secure and comforting bedtime routine for your baby. This gradual shift ensures a smooth transition, allowing both you and your baby to adapt to the changes positively.

12 Month Old Bedtime Routine

Establishing a solid 12-month-old bedtime routine is pivotal for a child’s healthy sleep habits and weaning off the bedtime bottle. As a pediatric sleep expert, I recommend that you begin the routine with a calming bath. A bath creates a soothing transition from the day’s activities. Following the bath, guide your little one into cozy pajamas, signaling the start of the winding-down process.

A big change starting in the 12-month-old bedtime routine is to begin emphasizing the importance of dental hygiene by introducing tooth brushing. This step not only promotes oral health but also signals the approaching bedtime. Make the toothbrushing experience enjoyable, incorporating a gentle, positive atmosphere.

One of my favorite parts of the 12-month-old bedtime routine is to engage in the timeless tradition of a bedtime story. Reading together fosters a sense of connection and relaxation. And that sets the stage for a peaceful transition to sleep. Encourage this habit to become a cherished part of your nightly routine.

Remember that the bottle is no longer a part of the equation. So after you read your little one their bedtime story or sing them a song, it’s time to lay them down onto their mattress in their crib awake. 

12 Month Old Sleep Training

Embarking on 12-month-old sleep training can be a challenge, especially when breaking the association with the bedtime bottle. Many babies rely on this routine to drift into slumber, making the transition tough. In such cases, a gentle sleep training approach, like the Medina Method, proves beneficial.

My Medina Method approach for 12-month-old sleep training involves a gradual process where you can stay in the room to soothe your baby and be as involved as you want to be. This approach is designed to help babies learn to fall asleep independently without the crutch of the bedtime bottle. It keeps you as the parents actively involved, providing comfort and reassurance during this significant adjustment.

Navigating 12-month-old sleep training with the Medina Method will empower you to foster healthy sleep habits. This approach recognizes the individual needs of each child, creating a positive sleep environment and promoting self-soothing skills. As you as parents actively participate in the journey, the Medina Method serves as a gentle and effective tool for transitioning away from the bedtime bottle.

Stopping the bedtime bottle is a pivotal step in 12-month-old sleep training. It requires patience and understanding. The Medina Method prioritizes a gentle transition, ensuring that your baby feels secure and supported throughout the process. If you find yourself struggling with this change, schedule a free Discovery Call with me. Sometimes having the right guidance and support is what it takes.

About the Author

I’m Kaley Medina, the proud founder of Live Love Sleep®. I live in Texas with my husband and high school sweetheart, Zeke, along with our two wonderful children, Evalyn and Leo, and our furry companion, Louie.
My journey into the world of sleep consultancy began with the sleep struggles of my own daughter, Evalyn. From her early days, she proved to be a challenging sleeper, staying awake for waaaaaay too long and causing many sleepless nights. I tried everything I could think of, from feeding her to sleep to bouncing on a yoga ball until my legs ached to the delicate process of transitioning her to her crib without waking her. I even resorted to late-night vacuuming while wearing her in a baby carrier….needless to say, none of it work.

The constant sleep deprivation left me frazzled and unable to enjoy precious moments with my family. Desperate for a solution, I ventured into the world of sleep training when Evalyn turned six months. To my surprise,

gentler methods yielded incredible results, transforming our lives. Fueled by this success, I became a Certified Sleep Consultant and founded Live Love Sleep®. As your Pediatric Sleep Consultant, I understand that a child’s sleep is influenced by various factors, including diet, sleep environment, routines, schedules, developmental milestones, and so much more.

I craft personalized sleep plans that consider the bigger picture to solve your child’s sleep challenges comprehensively. What sets my services apart is the ongoing support I provide, ensuring your family reaches its sleep goals within weeks.

A former client described the experience as “utterly LIFE CHANGING.” I’m committed to helping parents like you and your child get the rest you need and deserve. Let’s work together to achieve better sleep and a happier, healthier family life.