My recently turned one year old will not go to bed without a bottle. It doesn't matter if its for a nap or going to bed at night. He will not sleep without one. I have been reading up on what it can do to his teeth and I really want to try and get him to sleep without one now but I dont know how.
I know this isn't what you want to hear but i've been there and you have to let them cry it out. Both of my daughters were off the bottle at 1 and on a sippy cup but they both cried every night and at nap time for the cup. I finally had to let them cry it out for 2 nights in a row. I can remember sitting on the couch, watching Nick at Nite for hours listening to them cry and bang on the crib, it was exhausting and I felt so bad for them but it's only going to get worse as they get older. Once the 3rd night came around, they were both still a little iffy about it but we haven't had a problem since.
Both of my girls are slightly autistic, which makes things a bit harder but just like they got used to sleeping with the bottle/cup, they'll get used to being without it. If you have weekends off, this is the best time to do it because you will be lacking sleep but it will be well worth it in the long run!
I've been in the same spot as you and I feel for you. With my son I started diluting the milk until it was eventually water. I think the first couple of days I did 3/4 milk and the rest water. Then it went to 1/2 milk and 1/2 water and so on. He still got his bottle and I got my part by not worrying about his teeth. Just make sure he is still getting the milk he needs during the day. I hope this helps.
Is it the bottle part or the milk part that is bringing him the comfort? If it's the bottle, switing to water in the bottle is a good way of transitioning. If it's the milk, switch to a sippy cup with milk and then begin diluting the milk. But by his 15 month appointment the Dr. will probably tell you that the bottle needs to go away completely at all times of the day. It's hard but these little ones are pretty good at adapting!
I think water in the bottle sounds like a good idea also. This is how I got my weened from the bottle although I never put either of my children to bed with a bottle (used a pacifier though) because I knew the damage it could do and I was also scared they would choke (either on the contents themselves or a chewed off nipple)!
The best advice would be to never start the habit. I have read numerous stories on here about women who had no idea it was bad for their children. Hopefully a new mother may come across these posts and be able to make a more educated decision because you have shared your stories.
Another bit of advice. If the water in the bottle doesn't work and the letting him cry it out isn't working and you feel you need to give him the bottle then you may want to try sneaking in after he falls alseep to take the bottle. Alot of the tooth decay can happen if he falls asleep with the bottle in his mouth for long periods as the milk pools in his mouth and just sits there allowing the sugars in the milk to be in direct contact with his teeth.
have you tried switching to a sippy cup? i had to wean my son off of the breast at bedtime (!!!), no easy feat, i can tell you! but i found that putting him down with a sippy cup of water worked just fine. he'll be six in april and he still goes to bed with a sippy cup of water, it still works nicely, keeps him hydrated, eliminates thirst as an excuse for delaying bedtime, doesn't spill, his teeth are perfectly straight with no cavities. but under no circumstances should you let him go to bed at night with milk, juice or anything other than water in his bottle or cup. not always easy, but you're the mother and you have to do what's best for him, whether he likes it or not.
try giving milk from his beaker as he settles into bed, I swapped the bottle for a beaker of warm choc milk for the first week, then milk after that, then to water now at 5 she has no problem with having a beaker of water on her nightstand and knows nothing but water will pass her lips once she has brushed her teeth.