1 Year Old Weaning/Doesn't Want Milk

Updated on June 24, 2009
B.W. asks from Virginia Beach, VA
6 answers

I have a beautiful little girl who is almost 13 months. She like yogurt and cheese, but really doesn't want anything to do with milk. She loves to nurse and I have her down to two/three times a day. She loves water. She can sometimes be a picky eater so sometimes I feel like if I wean her, maybe she won't get the nutrition she needs in her diet. She is a petite little thing and by NO means eats all the amount of food that I see suggested for daily intake by books like "What to expect the first/toddler years" and on websites for baby nutrition. She is tiny little girl but chubby and healthy... like in the 9th % for height and 40% for weight. So, my questions are these...
1. Does she NEED to drink milk for hydration purposes and to get calcium?
2. What other foods are calcium rich. I know yogurt and cheese... any veggies or grains?
3. Is it wise to introduce formula at this age? Should I bother?
4. Bottle? Sippy? She sees inside either, sees that is is NOT water... and wants NOTHING to do with either.
5. Should I wait till cooler weather to stop nursing?

thank you so much for your help.

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for your great responses. I bought calcium enriched orange juice, which she loved yesterday. So hopefully that will continue. I am sneaking in milk into morning breakfast and in other ways into cooked foods. We'll see. Hopefully that will be enough for now. I think, since we are traveling a lot this summer, I may continue nursing just morning and night and see how it goes. I think it will be beneficial for her and will always give me a fallback if food becomes an issue wherever we are (we'll be in Europe and Africa). It is also a nice comforter when nothing else works. So, thank you all. I always wanted to be done nursing at a year, but this time around, I guess I will settle for a few months later when life returns to "normal" and we stop traveling.

More Answers



answers from Norfolk on

My daughter is and was the same way. Bring her home from the hospital she wouldn't even finish a 2oz. bottle even know she still won't eat what I think she should be eating.But her Dr. says she healthy. So who am I to say she's not. I have recently gotten to where i give her a vitamin even though I'm told she doesn't need one. But at that time what I did and was told was she doesn't have to have milk so much as calcium which yogurt, and cheese do provide. At each meal i only offered milk more so to get her familiar with milk being there and after a while she would at least accept it as her drink during meals and would drink some in a sippy cup. After meals i would offer her water in the sippy cup through out the day. Good luck



answers from Washington DC on

a friend of mine had the same problem and she would give her 1 year old cream of wheat made with milk and then would add a little more milk to it since her son liked to drink it out of the bowls but it worked for her maybe you can start there as well good luck



answers from Washington DC on

I just read your update; and wanted to give you some feedback about Items 1 and 2 in your posting. As a vegan for over 20 yrs. and having a vegan child I can speak to non dairy sources of calcium. Water is the best for hydration next to nursing. Dairy is not optimal for calcium. Green leafy veggies are loaded with calcium. Kale, dandelion, broccoli, beet greens, tofu, many grains. If you eat fish, salmon and trout.
Good luck,
L. M.



answers from Washington DC on

First, I think it's great she is a water drinker. It's a great habit to encourage. At 13 months, I think that's proabbaly fine for her to drink water to hydrate in the hot weather. It's little babies they don't want to have water ("water poisoning").

Second, I would just keep offering milk. As with many things, she may just need to be exposed to develop a liking for it.

My daughter (16 months) has had occasional formula bottles since she was about 6 months. She transitioned to milk no problem. And I am still nursing once per day. I don't see a probalem with giving formula and seeign if she likes it. If she does, then start mixing with milk until you get to all milk. I have heard thar some people believe that you should nurse more than a year, and that with this in mind, formla fed babies should get formula longer too. You could pump too and mix it with milk, but I know tha tcan be a pain in the neck, especially when you aren't nursing that much to begin with.

I assume you are giving whole milk right? Little babies need the fats and protein. If you give less than whole milk, it may not be fatty enough in taste for her compared ot breast milk.

Buy a metal sippy so she can't see inside. But that will only get her past the first sip :) I believe babies should be off the bottle by 1 year, so I wouldn't encourage the bottle. Just give sippys. If anything, I would think she is mad to get milk in a bottle, because she expects breastmilk.

If you are still nursing 2-3 times per day, I would think that it would take a month or two to wean fully anyway? But regardless, you might want to give her a few weeks to adjust to cow's milk before cutting off her main source of milk.

Last thought, don't offer milk for a full week or two. then buy a brand new "milk cup" - let her shop with you. And then try again. Break the habit of her rejecting the cup.



answers from Washington DC on

I had a similar experience with my son, now 20 months so perhaps sharing that you'll find helpful. He despised milk when it was first offered but now loves it. I nursed him until he was 18 months though from 16 mo on it was only about 3-4x a week. He was also tiny (not quite on the chart for weight, about 10% for height) but now has fattened up quite nicely. Kids sometimes grow at a very different rate than the chart allows.
1. From what I understand, milk is more about the fat than the calcium and hydration. There are a large percentage of people throughout the world who never give their children milk but only water after they are weaned.
2. Broccoli is also calcium rich. Cheese, whole milk yogurt and other food with good fats are probably more important than the calcium so if she eats them well, continue to encourage that. I believe most leafy green vegetables (kale, etc) are also calcium rich.
3. Personally, I think formula would be a waste a money and then you have to wean her from that to milk later only delaying the problem, not fixing it.
4. My son would only drink milk out of a pink Nuby cup of his friend's for the longest time. Try giving her milk when she is with other kids who enjoy it and she if the peer pressure will help. Try a variety of new cups to find a special milk cup and stick with it. Milk is an acquired taste for a kid who has only had breastmilk.
5. I was pregnant with my second child and so that impacted weaning my son. It's a very individual decision but I'd say let it happen gradually.
I hope this helps.



answers from Washington DC on


Don't stress over your child not drinking the milk. I have 3 kids - 2 who LOVE milk & 1 who will not touch it (cows, soy, rice, chocolate, strawberry or plain). She is now 5 1/2, has never drank milk and is perfectly healthy. She LOVES yogurt & cheese and I give her calcium fortified juices. You can also look for other ways to include milk that are not obvious - my daughter loves tomato soup which I make with milk instead of water.

I would not introduce formula at this point since that is just one more transition you need to worry about. AS for your weaning question - you should wean when it is comfortable for you and your baby. All 3 of mine weaned at different times ranging from as young as 16 months to as old as 24 months. One in the summer, one in the fall and one in the winter - cold vs warm weather had nothing to do with it.

Each child is different and you just need to find what works for your little one. As long as you provide a diet rich in calcium, you don't need to worry about the milk.

Also, someone (Teisa J) posted a similar request back in April (4/26/09) about a 14 month old who would not drink milk. She got a lot of responses, so you may want to search for that post to get some more ideas.

~ B.

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