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Q&A Juice at Bedtime?

Dr. Christine Wood, M.D


Q: Is it bad to give your child a sippy cup of milk in bed before bedtime or in the middle of the night? I have heard it is, but am not sure why.

A: Milk or juice before bedtime can cause problems with the teeth. Milk, juice and even breastmilk have sugars in them. At night, saliva production decreases and puts us at risk for developing cavities if there are sugars in the mouth. After a year, it is a good idea to stop bottles or nursing right before bedtime. Change the bedtime routine and don't get into the habit of putting the baby down with the bottle or cup to fall asleep and never leave a bottle in the crib with the baby to suck on all night. Toothbrushing before bedtime should be the new routine and only offer water if they need something right before bed. In addition, sucking on the bottle lying down may cause problems with more ear infections. Recent research is also showing that a pacifier may increase the risks of ear infections.

Christine Wood, MD
KidsEatGreat, Inc

Dr. Christine Wood is a practicing pediatrician in Southern California. She attended the University of Detroit for her undergraduate degree in chemistry and received her medical degree from the University of Michigan. She completed her pediatric residency at Children's Hospital of Los Angeles. She was Chief Resident there and then worked in the emergency room at Children's Hospital of Los Angeles. After three years doing pediatric emergency room medicine she went into private practice. She received her lactation educator certification from the University of California, San Diego.

She is the author of "How to Get Kids to Eat Great and Love It," a book that addresses the issues of why and how to feed kids healthy. The book also covers information about environmental threats and the role of nutritional supplementation for children. She lives in Southern California with her husband and son.

Christine is also the cofounder of Call Your a website designed to give concerned parents with non-emergency medical questions, solid, no-nonsense information that can give them information in deciding when to call the doctor and some home treatment advice. You can visit her website at

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