We have (what feels like) a very serious dilemma we're facing right now and I need help!
We're trying to wean Benjamin from the bottle and nothing seems to be working. He only takes a bottle before his nap and before bedtime. Part of the problem is that his bottle has a three-fold purpose: 1) drinking milk, 2) sucking on it after the milk is gone, like he would a pacifier (except that he has never taken a pacifier), and 3) using it as a teether.
He uses a sippy cup during meal times and throughout the day just fine, which is mainly filled with water. So, our first attempt at bottle-weaning was to feed him milk out of his sippy cup, when it came time for nap and bed time. He hated it. Screamed. Threw it on the floor. We were firm at first and would just put him down without any milk for the first couple of naps (we didn't dare try it at bed-time until we (and he) felt comfortable with the change). But, after a couple of days of just miserable nap-times, we caved and went back to the bottle.
Our next attempt was to gradually water down the milk in his bottle until he would just flat-out refuse the bottle on his own. That backfired. Turns out that Ben likes his bottle, even if it's filled with plain, pure water.
Then I went to the store and bought different types of sippy cups, thinking he might take milk from a different kind of sippy cup than what he usually uses during the day for meals. Approximately eight different sippy cup styles later and still no luck.
We're at a point now where his bottle nipples have been chewed so much that they're cracked and falling apart. Buying new nipples is not an option. This is the perfect opportunity to finally cut off the attachment to the bottle and throw out the nipples.
BUT, I don't know what to do! Is this something we should be patient about and let him decide when he's done with the bottle? Or do we need to just throw them out and not worry about whatever trauma results? Has anyone else had a child so attached to the bottle like this? What did you do to wean your child from it? Does anybody have any genius ideas that worked?