My son is almost 2 years old and he still wakes in the night to drink. I know he is not alone.
As I would like to get a full night's sleep, I have been contemplating watering down his formula to get him to stop expecting food at nighttime.
But here is the thing: he gets a bottle at 8 (of which he usually only drinks 120ml - 4 ounces for you at the other side of the big water). If he wakes around 12 that is 4 hours since his bottle and 5.5 hours since his last solid meal. If he wakes between 2 and 4, it has been 6 to 8 hours since he last ate anything, and only a small bottle at that. Some nights he will wake twice to drink, around midnight and around 4 or 6.
Is it reasonable to expect a small child to go for 10 hours without food? I know that some kids do sleep through the night but how common or even healthy is it?
I am a grown up with plenty of reserves, for me it is no problem to sleep 10 hrs if I would get the chance or to skip a meal. But he is growing (fast), his metabolism is fast and he has little reserves.
Maybe instead of striving to cut out the night drinking altogether, I should try to make sure it is only one bottle somewhere between 2 and 4?
EDIT: From the answers I conclude that toddlers can sleep all night without extra milk and that the way to achieve this is to make the evening bottle into a small meal with extra solid food. This leads me to conclude the problem is in the daytime feeding schedule: evening meal is at 6:30 (on daycare days we are rarely at home before 6). Evening bottle is at 8, 8:30. At this point he is not very hungry yet so only drinks about 2/3. Breakfast is around 8. But with all the drinking, he is not very hungry in the morning.
Additional question: When toddlers sleep through the night, how are the following spaced:
- evening snack and/or bottle