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Do toddlers NEED to drink milk?

(10 Posts)
suchnonsense Thu 11-Oct-12 08:26:32

DS is 19 months old, moved onto cows milk at 12 months and shortly afterwards we started thinking about trying to move him from bottles to cups. We started with his post-nap bottle, which he gave up with a bit of a fight, but not for long. Recently we ditched the morning bottle and offered milk in a cup. He's happy enough without the bottle, but has absolutely no interest in drinking milk from any other receptacle - and we've tried about 10 different types of cup/beaker etc. He now asks for a banana first thing, and will usually drink a couple of gulps of milk at the same time, but that's it.
He still has around 9oz of cow's milk in a bottle before bed, but we're now working towards switching that for a cup as well. However, I think there's a very strong chance that he'll just choose not to drink milk at all, rather than drink milk out of a cup. Is this a problem?

He drinks a good amount of water and eats plenty of yoghurt and cheese etc, so I'm not worried about hydration or calcium. He also asks for loads of milk on his cereal at breakfast. For that reason I'm inclined to think that it isn't really an issue, but my husband has this ingrained belief that children MUST drink milk, and that its an essential part of their diet. Is that right? If so, should we just keep him on bottles at night for longer, or will he eventually start drinking milk out of a cup. I'm conscious that we should have dropped the bottles far earlier than this, so don't really want to drag it out much longer.

Does anyone else have a non-milk-drinking toddler?

PeggyCarter Thu 11-Oct-12 08:30:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

suchnonsense Thu 11-Oct-12 08:35:31

Thanks - that's reassuring, and a good idea about blending fruit into it for a milkshake.
Vegetables are another troublesome matter (although he'll eat bucket-loads of fruit), but I suspect that's just a matter of trying a bit harder..

MummyPig24 Thu 11-Oct-12 12:36:40

We switched dd to cows milk at 12mths and a few weeks later ditched the bottle. She hasn't really drunk milk since and she is 2.7. She won't drink milkshakes or hot chocolate, but will eat yogurts, cheese, custard, green veg so its not essential. I wouldn't worry, just keep offering milk in a cup and see how it goes.

TirednessKills Thu 11-Oct-12 17:17:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

YoullLaughAboutItOneDay Thu 11-Oct-12 17:19:48

No. Any baby old enough to not have breast milk/formula has no need of an alternative milk. Milk is just useful for certain nutrients, but if he's having cheese, yoghurt, etc then that's dealt with anyway.

Neither of mine have/do drink milk. DD1 is 3 and DD2 is one.

suchnonsense Thu 11-Oct-12 17:37:26

Thanks all. He isn't breastfed anymore, so I guess it could be argued that he needs the cows milk as alternative? I never drank milk as a child - my DH reckons that's why I'm so short!!

whatinthewhatnow Thu 11-Oct-12 17:54:12

dd stopped drinking milk when she stopped breastfeeding - she just doesn't like it, and won't even have it on cereal. She asks for looooooooooooads of yoghurts though, and eats cheese too as a snack and with meals, so I'm guessing she gets her calcium from that.

YoullLaughAboutItOneDay Thu 11-Oct-12 18:19:20

No, no that wasn't what I meant. Sorry if I was confusing. What I meant was that, under a certain age (generally considered to be one), children need milk. They need breast milk or they need an alternative to breast milk - formula. Cow's milk obviously isn't a safe alternative at that age. Once they are big enough not to need breast milk/formula, they don't need to drink milk of any sort.

sashh Thu 11-Oct-12 22:52:24

I'm 45, as soon as I was old enough to say 'no' I stopped drinking milk. I have survived so far.

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