I would love to hear your advice on this please:
Until 16 months DS went to bed happily with the following routine - milk, teeth, story, bed. No problem going to sleep.
Then DH went O/S for work for 15 nights. It coincided with some bad teething and a few horror nights. One night after both DD and DS (twins) screaming hysterically for well over an hour to go to sleep, with me desperately trying to settle them at the same time, I gave them bottles and both went straight to sleep. I was so exhausted and desperate for them to settle calmly and with me being the only one there to settle them I then got trapped and they were given a bottle to go to sleep every night until DH got home.
When DH returned, DD reverted to the old routine, no problem. But DS will not sleep without a bottle. I have tried everything - water, strict bedtime routine, reducing the amount of milk he goes to bed with over time, letting him have the bottle in bed then trying to brush his teeth afterwards in bed, milk in a sippy cup. None of it works.
I do not like the idea of leaving him to cry and prefer a gentle approach.
My other concern is that he is now refusing to eat much dinner (or much at all during the day), but he doesn't mind because there is always as much milk as he wants (aka screams for) at night. Tonight he ate almost nothing all day, then drank 500mL at bedtime - I had no idea until DH told me had refilled his bottle twice!! And when I say he screams, he cries hysterically, throws himself around the cot, won't be picked up and if we take too long to run downstairs and make a bottle he sometimes vomits. It's horrible!
So after two months, I now know we have a BIG problem. I think he needs to eat more food and drink less milk. I want him to be able to sleep without a milk crutch. I worry about the milk on his teeth all night (we do teeth clean twice a day as well). But we seemed to be trapped in this bedtime ritual, which I created and now feel terrible about taking away.
DS is currently well, not teething and I feel like now is the time to do something.