Here's my current parenting dilemma that I'm hoping to get some insight on. DS is almost 14 months and had a very good sleep routine and healthy habits until a recent vacation. He was completely bottle-weaned and had never nursed or needed a bottle or other food to fall asleep.
On vacation we started using a bottle of cow's milk at bedtime to help him fall asleep because he was having a hard time when in the same hotel room with us with more stimulation then usual. We got back two weeks ago and started trying to break the new habit. Sometimes he went to sleep fine without, sometimes he didn't and we would cave and give him the bottle. It would probably be a somewhat quick fix to get him completely off the bottle BUT we noticed that he sleeps longer on bottle nights. He's consistently been waking up at 6:30am (previous regular wake up time) when he doesn't have the bottle, and 8am when he's had the bottle. It's glorious!!
So here's my question - I know a bottle of milk to fall asleep is a bad habit and is bad for their teeth. Any suggestions for remedies that might keep the extra sleep? My thoughts are maybe trying a bottle of water, or doing the bottle 10 min before bed and then brushing teeth. But he was completely bottle weaned before so both of these seem like not great solutions. He drinks well from a cup but definitely not the same quantities as he does from the bottle so I'm not sure a night time cup would have the same effect. Are there other solutions I'm missing?