Does my toddler need to drink milk?

She is 14 months old and drinks nothing but water--hates milk & juice. She is still nursing (a LOT). I want to wean her so we can try for baby #2 but I feel guilty that she might not be getting the nutrition she needs unless she nurses due to not drinking milk (like calcium, etc.). Does she need to drink milk? Any tips to get her to like it?

20 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    No she doesn't need to drink cow's milk much of the world doesn't drink cow's milk. If she is nursing 3-4 times a day she definitly needs no cow's milk. Even if you wean her you cow's milk and cow's milk products are only a convenient source of fat, protein and calcium.

    Calcium is very easily obtained from green leafy veggies, where do you think cow's get it from? Also things like fish (with and without bones). Molasses. Tofu. Beans. Almonds. Sesame seeds.

    Dietary fats can come from many sources meat, eggs, seed oils, vegetable oils, fish oils, nuts, etc. Egg yolks are also a source of vitamin D, as is fish oil, and these are natural sources unlike the vitamin D in milk which is added.

    Protein from meats, nuts, beans and lentils. Actually many veggies have protein.

    So you can see it is easy to get calcium, fat and protein from non-milk sources. Vitamin D should primarily be created from sun exposure. Even in Canada in the winter 17 minutes a day head exposure is enough for vitamin D creation.

    Also if your periods have come back you probably do not need to wean to get pregnant, nor is there any reason to wean while you are pregnant.

    As for getting her to like milk try adding some vanilla extract to it. Breastmilk is vaguely vanilla-y so that may help and won't add extra sugar like chocolate or other syrups. Also don't forget cheese, yogurt, etc.

    Source(s): Cow's milk? [sorry this link just won't work for me, it's the same as the next one just scroll up] Many nursing moms are told that they must introduce cow's milk at a year. Your nursing toddler is already getting the best milk he can get - mother's milk! Breastmilk has a higher fat content than whole cow's milk (needed for baby's brain growth), and all the nutrients of human milk are significantly more bioavailable than those of cow's milk because it is species specific (not to mention all the components of mother's milk that are not present in cow's milk). There is no need for additional milk or (or the equivalent nutrients from other foods) as long as your baby is nursing 3-4 times per day. Cow's milk is really just a convenient source of calcium, protein, fats, vitamin D, etc. - it's not required. There are many people in many parts of the world who do not drink milk and still manage to get all the calcium, protein, fats, vitamin D, etc. that they need. * Good non-dairy sources of protein include meats, fish, peas & beans (chick peas, lentils, baked beans, etc.), tofu and other soy products, boiled eggs, peanut and other nut butters (if your child is not allergic). * Good non-dairy sources of fats include soy and safflower oils, flax seed and flax seed oil, walnuts, fish and fish oils, avocado. Adding fats to cooking and baking can work well, for example, stir fry in safflower oil or make mini-muffins with soy or rice milk, oil or butter, and eggs. * Calcium may be derived from many nondairy sources. * Vitamin D can be supplied by sunlight exposure and food sources. * If your child is not nursing regularly and is not allergic to cow's milk products, but simply doesn't like cow's milk, you can incorporate milk into your child's diet in other ways. Many children like cheese, whole-fat yogurt or ice cream. You can also put milk into various food products: pancakes, waffles, muffins, French toast, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, and baked goods. * Some moms wish to offer cow's milk to their toddler, but baby doesn't like it. Over the age of 12 months, milk becomes a more minor part of a child's diet. It is sometimes helpful to mix increasing amounts of cow's milk with your expressed milk to help baby get used to the taste. Many dietitians see nothing wrong with adding some flavor (such as strawberry or chocolate) to cow's milk. Pediatricians now recommend that any cow's milk be whole milk from a cup after the first year and until the child is at least 2 years of age. This ensures that your child receives enough fat, which is essential to proper brain development. After the age of two, if growth is good, you can switch to low-fat or nonfat milk. Note: If your child is nursing, then remember that mom's milk is "whole" milk - the more breastmilk your child gets, the less need to worry about your child getting additional fat from whole milk or other sources. It's best to limit the amount of cow's milk that your child receives to 2-3 cups (16-24 ounces) per day, since too much cow's milk in a child's diet can put him at risk for iron-deficiency anemia (because milk can interfere with the absorption of iron) and may decrease the child's desire for other foods. How much should my toddler be eating? Do I need to wean to get pregnant? American Academy of Family Physicians -Breastfeeding Statement: "Nursing Beyond Infancy Breastfeeding should ideally continue beyond infancy, but this is currently not the cultural norm and requires ongoing support and encouragement.85 Breastfeeding during a subsequent pregnancy is not unusual. If the pregnancy is normal and the mother is healthy, breastfeeding during pregnancy is the woman's personal decision. If the child is younger than two years of age, the child is at increased risk of illness if weaned. Breastfeeding the nursing child after delivery of the next child (tandem nursing) may help to provide a smooth transition psychologically for the older child.61" Nursing During Pregnancy and Tandem Nursing: The Official FAQ
  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, your toddler needs the calcium in milk, but contrary to what one may think, a toddler does not need more than 2 servings a day (2 cups). When giving milk don't forget that up to 2 years old, toddlers should drink whole milk as fat is very important for brain development. You can try adding fruits and making smoothies, or adding flavor (chocolate or strawberry). You can also cook using milk, such as adding to soup and rice instead of water. Cheese also counts, does your daughter like cheese? I guess a good excuse to give her Mac & Cheese :-)

    Another thing you could try is Soy milk. My son was lactose intolerant so I always gave him soy milk. As with cow milk, you should buy whole soy milk. And also make sure you buy fortified soy milk with vitamin A, vitamin D, and calcium.

  • 1 decade ago

    Your toddler does not need milk, however she does need 500mg of calcium per day.

    There are plenty of other food sorces to get nutriance from. Don't try adding flavouring to milk because all it does is add sugar. Toddlers really really dont need sweets. There are toddler formulas which offer good nutrition. Try introducing milk in other ways through cooking or on cereal. Offer other dairy products or alturnitives like soy or try goats milk. There are millions of children in the world who can not have Dairy Products due to allergies or intolerance and they still get their nutrition. I really suggest toddler formula even if you don't use it everyday you can still use it as a top up or even a treat if you think she may be lacking some vits and mins.


    Salmon or any fish




    Collard Greens


    Turnip Greens


    White Beans

    Baked Beans



    Brussel Sprouts

    Sesame Seeds

    Bok Choy


    Try this website

    Do not deprive your child from water that is very very neglectful! and can be dangerous for her health

    Source(s): Nanny
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    it may be that she will take to it more easily once she is not getting the nutritional benefit from your milk. There is no question that babies do not need to drink cow's milk. Nature intended that to be for baby calves. Our dairy industry would vehemently dispute that but, it is bascially true. Humans can get all the vitamins and minerals they need without eating animal products. However, most babies prefer milk products to spinach and kale and all those vegetable based sources of calcium. Will she eat cheese and yogurt? That's certainly a fine way of giving her calcium without her having to drink any milk. Juice is absolutely not necessary and many doctors think now that it is way too sugary and more useless calories than much nutritional value. Eating fruits is a much better way to get the benefits of fruits than is drinking the juice from them. Some people would even tell you to give her chocolate milk in order to get her to like milk but, I would really not recommend going that route.The other thing to keep in mind is that as long as she is not being offered lots of junk food (and eating lots of junk food) she is probably very good at choosing what her body needs all on her own. You may therefore very well notice that her nutritional needs change when she is not getting your milk and her tastes therefore change as well.

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  • Tanya
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    First... AWESOME for nursing this long !!!

    Why do you have to wean for baby #2, has it affected your fertility? Have you had a period yet? If so, you can try for baby #2 now. It is fineto nurse during pregnancy, unless you have a serious pregnancy condition like placenta previa. If you have not started ovulating again, maybe just cutting some of her feedings, adopt the "don't offer, don't refuse" philosophy, and try to distract with a special project when she does ask - if she's insistent, then nurse her.

    She can get all the calcium she needs from cheese, yogurt, broccoli... So drinking cow's milk is not mandatory.

  • 1 decade ago

    Although nursing is good...I don't think it has enough iron or vit D content...I think I remember my doctor telling me to give my child a vitamin once we reached the 6 month mark of nursing. I do know a toddler needs to be on whole milk until the age of 2 for brain development...they need the fat in the milk....but if I remember right breast milk is pretty fatty. You could mix the milk with chocolate or something sweet. If you cut back on nursing she might want more milk. I'll bet your Pedi can give you some good ideas.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    My youngest is a week off 5 & has never liked milk. Bottle fed for the start then no milk since, except in hot drinks.

    She is like any normal hypo 4-5year old

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    4 years ago

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  • 1 decade ago

    If she wont drink milk she can get calcium other ways- have her eat yogurt and cheese. If you decide to give her choco. milk DON'T buy the stuff that's already made! My daughters dentist says that's not good for younger children. Just buy plain milk and add a little choco. syrup or Ovaltine.

  • 1 decade ago

    every child should drink milk so they can get the nutrient and vitamins they need. have you tryed making it with Nequick strawberry, chocolate, vanilla flavor. or try mixing ovaltine with it. Nequick and Olvatine have vitamins in them too mix it with milk. Water is good for her hydration, but not giving her the vitamins she needs though.

    hoped i help


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