As a parent, it can be challenging to figure out how much milk to give your 18-month-old child. While breastmilk or formula remains essential for babies up to one year old, whole milk serves as the primary source of nutrition for babies over one year. However, how much milk an 18-month-old needs differs from child to child.
It can be overwhelming for parents to determine how much milk to give their 18-month-old, especially when there are different factors to consider, such as weight, height, and overall health. This article will explore what you need to know about how much milk for an 18-month-old and how to find the perfect amount for your little one.
The recommended amount of milk for an 18-month-old
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), toddlers between the ages of 12 to 24 months old require about 16-20 ounces of milk per day.
The recommended daily milk intake for an 18-month-old solely depends on various factors such as the child’s diet, growth, weight, and health status.
Factors that determine how much milk an 18-month-old should drink
One crucial factor that determines how much milk an 18-month-old should drink is their diet. A child who consumes more dairy products will consume less milk than a child who consumes fewer dairy products. A well-rounded diet should include plenty of nutrients and a variety of foods when looking to reduce milk intake.
Weight and height
The weight and height of a child plays a key role in determining the amount of milk they should consume. A child who weighs more than average or has a faster growth rate may require more milk than an 18-month-old who weighs less. Children with slower growth rates or those who are smaller than the average requires a lesser amount of milk.
An 18-month-old who is active and burns a lot of calories may require more milk than one who is less active. A child who is less active may require less milk or fewer calories.
Signs of too much milk
While it’s essential to provide your child with enough milk to meet their nutritional needs, it’s also crucial to watch out for signs of overfeeding. Too much milk can lead to various health problems, including obesity, lactose intolerance, and digestive problems. Keep an eye out for these common signs of overfeeding:
- Excessive weight gain
- Stomach cramps
- Nausea or vomiting
How to find the perfect amount of milk for your 18-month-old
It’s vital to work with a pediatrician or a licensed nutritionist to determine the perfect amount of milk for your 18-month-old. Below are tips to help you figure out how much milk your child requires:
Start by giving your child about 12 ounces of milk per day in three to four sippy cups or bottles. Watch for signs of overfeeding and adjust accordingly.
Track their progress
Keep a note of how much milk your child is drinking over time. This tracking can help you understand how much milk your child needs every day.
Stay consistent and make sure your child gets their milk as regularly as possible. Consistency can help children adapt to the amount of milk they receive eventually.
Offer water between meals
Offer water in between meals instead of milk if your toddler appears thirsty. This ensures that they stay hydrated throughout the day without overfeeding on milk.
When should you wean your 18-month-old?
Typically, weaning your child from milk doesn’t need to start until they are around two or three years old. However, if your 18-month-old is consuming more milk than they require and are showing signs of overfeeding, it’s best to start weaning them gradually. Reducing the amount of milk given to your child is crucial when you start weaning them.
The amount of milk an 18-month-old needs varies depending on several factors, including their diet, weight, height, and activity level. It’s essential to work with your pediatrician or licensed nutritionist to determine the perfect amount of milk for your child.
Track your child’s progress, start slowly, and stay consistent. By keeping an eye out for signs of overfeeding, you can ensure that your child is healthy, happy, and receiving the right amount of milk.
Common questions and answers:
- How much milk should an 18-month-old drink in a day? An 18-month-old should drink between 16-20 ounces of milk per day.
- Can an 18-month-old drink too much milk? Yes, overfeeding can lead to several health problems, including obesity and digestive problems.
- When should I start weaning my 18-month-old? Typically, weaning starts around two or three years old.
- What if my 18-month-old is not gaining enough weight? Speak with your pediatrician to determine if increasing the amount of milk is necessary or if other adjustments to their diet may be needed.
- How do I know if my 18-month-old is lactose-intolerant? Common signs of lactose intolerance include diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and nausea. Speak with a healthcare professional to confirm a diagnosis.
- American Academy of Pediatrics. (2014, February 28). From breastmilk to cow’s milk. HealthyChildren.org.
- How much milk should a toddler drink? (n.d.). Stanford Health Care.
- Milking It: How Much Milk Does Your Toddler Need? (n.d.). Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
- Neha C. Patel. (2020, March 9). Baby & Toddler Nutrition. Medscape.