34 answers

Milk Drinker

I am not sure if I have any concern, I know some parents that can not get their children to drink milk. I have a 21 month old Son and he can not get enough milk. It has been getting to the point where he drank a gallon of milk in 24 hours and he wanted more...we just ran out. I am not sure if he can drink too much milk or if it could mean he is craving it because he is deficient in something. I appreciate any suggestions. Thank you.

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Children can become iron deficient if they drink too much milk (it can interfere with iron absorption). I would suggest limiting the milk to 24 ounces/day along with a good variety of other types of food.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi E., If his ped doesn't se a problem, I would not worry to much,I was always a milk drinker I still am, milk is healthy especially organic milk, but I see no problem, if he is healthy ad happy, and it may mean he needs more nutrition in other areas, that's easily rectified. J. L.

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Children can become iron deficient if they drink too much milk (it can interfere with iron absorption). I would suggest limiting the milk to 24 ounces/day along with a good variety of other types of food.

1 mom found this helpful

One of the problems with too much milk is that calcuim blocks the absorbtion of iron. Your child could end up anemic--it happened to my daughter at age 2.

1 mom found this helpful

Our pedi says kids that age should get no more than 24 oz. of milk, ideally around 18. He's normally a laid-back, pretty liberal doctor & not big on restrictions, but he says too much means they are filling up on milk & not getting enough solid foods & other nutrients. I've seen similar amount recommendations in books. You might want to check with your pedi about this...Also consider if your son is drinking milk out of a bottle, soft spout sippy or even a hard spout sippy that it might not be an interest in the milk but in the sucking. When we switched our daughter to a hard spout sippy her interest in milk declined, though the amount she drinks of other liquids from that type of cup did not.

Milk is high in calories, so after a certain amount of milk, maybe only a quart a day, have him drink water. Even at this young age, you have to think about calories because childhood obesity is so rampant. Not that you have to count calories, but a gallon of milk is waaaay too much for a 21 month old. Check with your doctor, but I'm sure he's not deficient in anything else, he just likes it! You wouldn't let your son eat all the candy he wants, so just say no to too much milk. Good luck!

I second Deborah, Tina, and Sarah on this. I would bet that your son is getting high off of milk (allergy response - dairy and wheat ingredients can turn into an opiate like effect in the brain which in turn causes behavioral issues (add/adhd, inabilty to focus, to prodcess information). Switch it to almond or rice milk or even hemp milk. Goat would be ok as well and start cutting back on the amount he is drinking overall.

If you are pouring a cup of milk, make it 3/4 milk and 1/4 of .... (other mentioned above) then do this for a few days then 1/2 and 1/2 for a few days, until you are not using the cow's milk. Best thing you could do for your child.


I don't think milk can really hurt him. I do know that one pediatrician I had took my daughter off milk because she was drinking it all the time and the sugars in it made her gain weight. (or so he said) That was when she was around 2. She's 5 now and has been back on milk for a couple years now. We tell ours kids milk is for meal time. They get a glass at each meal and that's it. I don't like the idea of it in sippy cups being carried around because my youngest (2) hides his cups and when I find them it is not a pretty site and the cups get tossed. Also, we taught our kids that between every glass of what they wanted, milk or juice, they have to have a glass of water. It works out really well.

Hi E.,
As a registered dietitian I can say that yes your son is drinking too much milk. My guess is that your son is still drinking from a bottle and can easily suck down 16 oz. of milk. The concern is that he probably is drinking instead of eating food and as mentioned by other responders, can become anemic and can be missing other nutrients.
By the time a child turns 1 year old, they should be transitioned to a variety of foods for their nutrition. When my daughter was being weaned from breastfeeding after she turned one, she would toddle over to me when she was hungry or thirsty (like I was the snack bar!). So instead I would find her a healthy snack or 4 oz. milk or juice in a cup.
As was suggested, you should speak to your pediatrician for recommended food amounts your son needs, which would include only 2 cups milk/day. I have a feeling that he is also feeling little left out with a new baby in the house and is relying on the milk for comfort. Good luck.

Hi E.:

Your son's growing - I would just let him drink his fill. It could be only a growth spurt thing. Or he could be like us. My son and I take a lot of milk, so I buy two large bags each week. I am not sure what a gallon is as I am used to the metric system, but my son and I go through 8 litres of milk every week. My son is three and a half.

Have a great milk-drinking week.


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