I do not know if you receive the messages when people post their questions as well or if you just read them when you can, but last week I posted almost this same problem. The difference was mine is 19 months and from a bottle.
here is what my help request said just incase : Hi, I have two sons and read everything possible to help with different aspects of my children and I thought I would just ask other mothers this time and see if that helps. My 19 month old drinks more a night then my 13 week old. He barely eats during the day no matter what I try and feed him so I thought he was trying to fill his stomach with liquids to fill him up so he would feel full, but the Dr. said that it was not him trying to compensate for food but a "comfort" instead. He usually goes to bed around 7-7:30 and he drinks 2 bottles 8 oz each of milk to go to sleep, then every few hours he wakes up in the middle of the night and asks for another bottle 8 oz (6 oz of water, 2 oz of juice) then will finish that bottle and go back to sleep. Since I have a 13 week old it is hard to manage this because I am sleeping with him in a queen size bed (we put on the floor so he cant fall out of it) so when he wakes up I can quickly give him a bottle to go back to sleep before he wakes up the baby or gets so awake himself that he does not want to go back to sleep. Because he drinks so much you can image I have to change his diaper about 5 or so times a night, which also wakes him up when he is wet and makes him want another bottle. Help! any suggestions, ideas, what should I do to help him get off the bottles and sleep through the night. We have had sleep issues since day one of his life so this has been a very very long ongoing issue and very hard to deal with. I also want to change anything I need to do make sure my second son does not pick up on the bad habits I am doing for my first son.
A little about me:
A stay at home mother of two boys, 19 months and 13 weeks. Married 2 years. Love being a wife and mother!
I only breast fed for 2 weeks, but I am assuming it is the same as far as the need to feed every few hours in the middle of the night :) I got allot of responses, I can copy and send them if you like but pretty much what they said was "stop feeding him at night" mine was a little worse cause I was feeding him milk and watered down juice. You at least are feeding him good breast milk, so I'm sure that helps that aspect.
but as far as the waking up every few hours to feed him I completely understood.
well I took the plunge and just jumped right in and stopped the bottle all together. My first day was this last friday and I can tell you day 3 was yesterday and I am very very happy with the results.
Does you son eat good during the day? Have you tried soy milk instead of regular cows milk? maybe he would like the taste of that instead of regular milk cause its more like breast milk (I think) Because that was a big issue with me. My son did not eat allot, and once I stopped the bottle, on friday, he ate his first 3 meals in one day! It was amazing. He drank from a sippy cup his drinks during the day with his meals, and when it came to nap time when he usually drank 2 bottles then, I had to lay with him and litterly hold him and sing to him and comfort him while he screamed for 30 minutes, then fell asleep. Then during the night, the big test each day got easier. He cried for 15 min, then woke up his normal every few hours to get a bottle and I had to hold him again and let him cry for a few minutes then back to sleep he went. I expected a month of complete torture and sleepless nights again for all of us, but I was wrong.
wow, and last night was the best night ever. He went to bed at 8:00 and woke up at 2:00am and called my name, I told him go back to sleep and he rolled over till 7:00 this am. No middle of the night feeding, crying, nothing, that was amazing! So we might be on a roll! I hope :)
so it was very much worth a few days of being upset and working through it and hopefully by the end of the week we will be on a good routine and he can sleep through the whole night and I can concentrate on my new little one and get him into a good routine as well :)
I hope that helped. If you wanna chat some more about it send me a message. I am no expert but since I am going through the exact same thing maybe I can help and give some support while you go through it.
Hope all goes well.