Part of Malik's nighttime rituals is to drink a bottle of milk before going to bed. To summarize, the recipe for getting Malik to sleep has always been: change diapers + turn off lights + give bottle of milk + wait 15 minutes and then Bam! He's off to DreamLand.
Milk for Malik basically works like a sedative, so at least for us the habit has become shamefully convenient. Personally, I give Malik milk before bedtime also because I'm afraid he'd get hungry before dawn. That means I'd have to wake up too and I really, really miss sleeping. : (
However, I know that milk and all the lactose in it should not be spending the night in my child's mouth. Milk at bedtime causes tooth decay. Uh-huh. So while we can still break the habit (or at least while we think we still can) we're going to have to reschedule Malik's nighttime routine. From now on, brushing will come immediately before bed time and not after dinner. I will also try to wean him off nighttime feedings by giving him water instead. Parenting sites say I should slowly try to water down nighttime milk. Sneaky and yet, possibly effective. Wish us luck!