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Thread: Overnight nursing & teeth

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Posts
    19

    Default Overnight nursing & teeth

    My 13.5 month old bedshares and nurses all night long pretty much. I am concerned about tooth decay and wondering how common it is for this age to still need so many nursing s at night (4-8)? He doesn't like solids yet, is often hostile when placed in the high chair so I don't push it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,268

    Default Re: Overnight nursing & teeth

    Hi peanutbutter7. Have you noticed any issues with your child's teeth?

    The current recommendation is to introduce good dental care (tooth brushing after meals and dental checkups) as early as there are teeth. Research also suggests that mothers and possibly baby eating xylitol reduces incidence of childhood cavities. But at this time, there is no solid evidence that nursing overnight causes more teeth decay. Some people are more prone to teeth decay for a variety of reasons than others, and that, or poor dental hygiene, is the most identified cause of childhood cavities. Of course some dentists will insist that you not night nurse, but they are basing this on assumptions or outdated studies.

    Bottles at night are of course linked to tooth decay. But this is different than a child nursing at night.

    It is entirely common and normal for a child this age to nurse several times a night. In my experience, how much food they eat is not relevant to the desire to nurse at night.

    If your child does not like the high chair, I suggest there are many ways a child this age can eat safely that does not involve being in a high chair. In practical use, they are convenient for a few reasons, but inconvenient for others. For my third child, we had learned the hard way to just use a travel booster seat attached to a dining room chair. The only danger was that the chair might tip, and we figured out how to keep that from happening. Many folks just use their lap, a child sized table and chair, or child can stand or sit on the floor. In fact a trick I used to make meals more fun was an inside picnic on a blanket in the living room. I think I also fed my third in the bathtub more than once as she was sooo messy. At 4 she still is!
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; March 17th, 2017 at 08:31 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,912

    Default Re: Overnight nursing & teeth

    with all the above.

    My kids picked up their intake of solids around 14-15 months. Prior to that they ate basically nothing, when it came to solids. But even after they started to eat more solids, they continued to need/want to nurse at night. I don't think they completely gave up night feedings until age 2.

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