My 2.5 yr old has just recovered from gastroenteritis a few weeks ago. During that time he became milk intolerant, so when he woke in the night, we gave him water in his bottle instead of the usual cow's milk. Before that he had been drinking about 3 bottles of semi-skimmed milk a night watered down. When he recovered from the illness, we decided to continue with just water during the night. Now he will drink about 4 bottles of water a night, he won't stay asleep, is starting to look really tired and won't settle at all upstairs. After a few hours he wants to come downstairs and settle on the sofa, which is where he slept when he was poorly. Bearing in mind that he has always been a poor sleeper, and he is the same size as a 5/6yr old (he's extremely tall and well-built), should I be giving him milk because he is genuinely hungry?
Water or milk, for a two year old that is pretty excessive. Sounds more like a habit he's got into relying on a bottle to go to sleep. Hopefully now he is feeling better his appetite will increase in the day and he will learn to sleep. I wouldnt give back the bottle he doesn't need it and its clearly affecting how he sleeps so I'd give one cup of milk before bed as part of a bedtime routine but give nothing in the night. Just keep returning him to bed.
I don't think a 2 year old personally needs any liquid between going to bed and the morning ( unless sick or v v hot). I would say he is waking out of habit. Giving 4 bottles will keep him waking for them and also needing the toilet surely? You must be up all night