How Much Milk for 2 Yr. Old?

Updated on January 12, 2009
G.B. asks from Oklahoma City, OK
20 answers

My husband thinks we should only give J 12 oz. of 2% milk a day. He likes most all food and eats well. He gets about 8 oz. of Juicy Juice, and about 8 oz. of water per day. I worry about dehydration and because J tends get constipated easily.

What other things do you let you 2 yr. old drink?

J is just above average weightand about average height, very solid but not fat by any means.

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So What Happened?

J currently drinks about 20 oz. milk per day and about 16oz. juice. He loves Colby Cheese and will choose yougurt over just about anything. I think he gets enough dairy. I do think the juice can be decreased since we usually have fresh fruit with breakfast and dinner, ie: half a small banana or 1/4 c. apple, peach, or orange chopped up. He loves water and I can increase that.

Thanks for the links, I had typed a question in my search engine and didn't get any results I liked. So, the links were very good.


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answers from Oklahoma City on

The milk intake you are giving him is about right 4oz is a serving for a 2 year old, I would cut back on the juice about 2-4oz and give that boy all the water he will drink. We have a water cooler and my 2 year old will drink water all day long he loves to fill his own big boy cup up! Water is the key to drinking fluids.



answers from Oklahoma City on

Well, I don't know about milk amounts, but he could always use more water. :) Most of us don't get enough water. I've heard it's good to pair juice and milk with meals and give water for between meals. If constipation is a big problem, try more whole grains (oatmeal, granola, whole-grain bread, raisin bran) or offering prune juice. Sunsweet sells six packs of tiny little cans of prune juice in the juice aisle, so you don't have to open a quart and throw most of it away. When my son (17 months) gets constipated, I give him some prune juice and things clear up within a day.

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answers from Fayetteville on

When my kids were toddlers they suggested giving whole milk until age 6 because the extra fat is needed for good brain developement, but I guess they have changed that.

Here is a link I found with some very good info (I do not agree with what it says about fluoride though). It does say that a 2 year old should be getting between 16 & 24 ounces of milk and dairy products a day and only 4 to 6 ounces of juice a day.

(Below is from another article I read)
As for fluid intake - toddlers/children should generally have 1-1/2 ounces of fluid for every pound of body weight. Ex: a child that weighs 25 pounds should be getting about 37.5 ounces of fluids a day. Beverages such as milk, juice, and water contribute to the fluid requirement, as does food with a high water content like yogurt, pudding, fruits, and vegetables. Some conditions that require increased fluid intake include hot weather, fever, or lots of drooling.

I personally never limited my children's liquid intake, if they were thirsty I gave them something to drink, and their choices were, milk, tea, water or juice. And if they were hungry I would give them something to eat and they are all happy, healthy and slim and trim. :)

Hope some of this is helpful to you.
Have a Great Day :)

PS. my kids are 20, 19, 17, 14 & 12 and they still eat and drink whenever they want... LOL

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

Hi we are the same age. I am very much against drinking cows milk. No other mammal on the planet drinks another mammal's milk- especially cooked milk. Think about it. It does not make sense.

There are many many books and articles published on this subject. Children also do not need juicy juice although mine do get it occasionally. For hydration they need water. The could also drink vegetable and fruit juices that you make- juiced in a juicer but not bottled and sold in a store. Those are all cooked and cooked juices are just like sugar water. Also cooked juices have no nutritional value. If you feed this stuff to zoo animals they all die shortly. has an article this week on milk. Also subscribe to and you can find mountains of information.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Huntsville on

Hi Gina,
My daughter will be 3 in March and drinks about 18 oz of milk/day and then probably about 12 oz of juice (1/2'd with water) plus any amount of water she wants-probably at least 8-10 oz.
I even put a little sippy with about 1 oz and several pieces of ice in her room during naptime so if she gets thirsty during naptime she can drink as she wants.
If your grandson is constipated he DEFINATELY needs more water (I'd put a little splash of juice in it to help 'get things going').
Have you called his Ped?? They usually can let you know if your child is getting enough to drink-since the boy is 2 they will have his weight/height on file at the Dr's and can guide you as to how much fluid he Needs.
I also give my little girl applesauce when she's constipated-she loves it and it really helps keep things from backing up-I ALSO give her extra Water that's the best most natural laxitive there is. A Dr once told me that if you ingest too little water you get constipated-too much you get diaharrea...
Obviously you have some questions about whether your husband is right about the fluid intake of this child otherwise you'd not be posting a question on this site.
I say go with your Gut and if you feel your boy needs more liquids, Give Them to Him! :-)
I hope this helps!



answers from Lawton on

My kids just saw the dentist who said they should be getting no more than 4 oz of juice a day and always with a meal. The health dept says they need several 8 oz servings of water a day. If you are worried about dehydration and constipation I would increase his water intake (a lot). Dairy products are a large contributor of constipation.



answers from Birmingham on

I let my kids drink as much as they want - of healthy drinks. They drink water, milk, limited juice and an occasional kool-aid or capri-sun. Generally they prefer milk or water. I went through periods with my 5 yr old and 3 yr old boy where I thought that they were drinking entirely too much milk - but a few months later - it solved itself without my intervention. I am guessing that they needed it? I don't worry too much about anything in moderation - and even milk in excess. Call me crazy - but I have bigger battles to fight. THey are healthy and way off the growth charts!


answers from Tulsa on

That doesn't seem like a lot of liquid to me. My 2 year old son drinks at least 10 oz of milk at each meal, not to mention what he drinks throughout the day, which could be another 3 cups of 10 oz of something. I give him milk, juice, decaf tea, sugar free flavored water, and plain water. He mainly drinks milk, also 2%, and eats well. He is also solid, but not fat, and is very tall for his age. I say, if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. More milk is not going to hurt him. Is there some reason why your husband is set on this number? He may have read something that said this amount of milk is optimal or something. It could just be that my son drinks a lot. His babysitter nicknamed him Mr. Moo if that tells you anything!



answers from Texarkana on

I would ask the his doctor cause I am like you I don't think thats enough milk either also there are things that you can feed him that well help correct the constipated problem which can cause problems later in life good luck



answers from New Orleans on

Please make sure that your child gets whole milk at this age and save the 2% for consumption after the age of five. Little ones need the fat in the whole milk to help their brains develop and make sure that they reach their full potential! Limit the amounts as you are, just make sure they get the whole.



answers from Huntsville on

I'm no expert but my son was drinking well over double that amount of 2% and still does drink about 20 ounces or more a day. He is a solid little fellow as well, but not an ounce of fat. He does drink a lot of juice but i have always served it half juice and half water. He also drinks water and now that he's older i allow some powerade especially in the summer. If your little guy is having some constipation trouble i would definately up the fluids!!
Have a great day and god bless!!



answers from Oklahoma City on

we give our just now three year old one sippy of OJ in the morning-about 8 oz, she doesn't usually finish-- full access to water during the day, i think i refill her sippy about twice a day, and we give her milk with her dinner at night in a big kid cup, and she usually drinks about 2-3 oz of 2% per day. milk is really not intended for people to drink, it's not usually harmful, but really, if you think about it, it's cow breastmilk. i make sure she gets yogurt and cheese everyday, and our OJ us fortified. she usually drinks most of a sippy of water in her bed during the night.

milk is constipating. i would up his water. and i would also make sure what dairy you are giving him is organic. the amount of hormones in cow's milk are crazy high.

ask your pediatrician if you are truly worried. ours says milk is not neccesary at all, and kind of hard on their system, but there are all kinds of opinions out there.



answers from Hattiesburg on

Cow's milk is not needed at all for children and is actually a detriment to them. It is full of chemicals, and even the organic milk is highly mucus forming and acidic which causes disease. The only milk a human needs is his mother's breast milk. The most important beverage is pure water. Half their weight in ounces is what is suggested. (ie 50 lbs = 25 ounces) Calcium can be obtained in many other foods, such as green vegetables like broccoli, almonds, almond milk, figs, etc. The calcium in milk is poorly absorbed also. The more alkaline foods a person ingests the better, as when the Ph is too acid, the body will actually pull calcium which is alkaline out of the bones to balance the ph. Therefore it is important to not drink soda pop which is highly acidic.
B. Smith RN.,CCM



answers from Texarkana on

I would give a little bit more milk. Also, I would increase the water and maybe another 4-6 ozs pear or apple juice, since J gets constipated. It's a good idea to limit fruit juices in most children, but with constipation you should give more 100 % fruit juice per day.



answers from Baton Rouge on

WOW... this is not enough fluids!
I do not mean to sound harsh but I am stunned by the very small amount of fluids allowed.. and even more concerned.
We had many issues with diet and reflux for my little one, so I have had the experience of what a little one's diet should be.
I have spoken to my pediatrician, dietician, and pediatric gastroenterologist on fluids intake.. and they all agree that a child should have no more than 24 oz. of whole milk a day as it will decrease their appetitie. Whole milk is better for children who are growing bones and developing teeth. Most kids have thier adult teeth by age 7, so I believe whole milk is encouraged until that age. And while I am not an Organic foods person.... I do strongly beleive in not using milk from Cows given rGBH. This causes obesity and early onset of puberty.
As for other fluids... I was told unlimited water and to try to decrease the amount of juice by watering it down. But the fluids are unlimited after milk.
My concerns are for your little ones constipation as all of the bowels need to have moisture to be able pass stool along and eventually out. And severe constipation can lead to an impaction.... which may require surgery and if the impaction is large enough to cut blood flow to the bowels... then you are talking about your little on loosing a part of either his large intestine but more often the small intestine.
I have never heard of limiting anyone's water intake as all of our bodies are different and require different amount of fluids to maintain.
Also... a 2 year old still has a developing bone structure and I would encourage whole milk over 2%.
We offer 20 - 24 oz of whole milk a day as long as we do not have a cold or mucous, she does not always drink all of her milk. And we give unlimited Welch's White Grape Juice(less acidic than apple juice) that we either cut in half with water or we fix it 1/4 juice and 3/4 water. We keep adding water to it as the day goes on... so that at night we take a sippy cup to bed but it is filled with only water and ice chips. We brush teeth and if she is thirty in the night she can drink water.... so that her teeth stay good. And we are turning 2 soon, so we are just a few months away from decreasing the amount of water in the sippy cup at night until we go to bed with no sippy cup. Of course we will still let her have a glass a water after teeth brushing... then make potty, but not take the water to bed. And if needed we will only give a small amount of water at bedtime as to decrease the incidence of bed wetting.
However during the day, I believe fluids should be unlimited as we all have different needs, daily intake will vary depending on the saltiness of foods, and intake of fluids should increase when ill. I suggest speaking to your pediatrician soon... as constipation and even bladder infections are likely in your little one's future.
Prayers are with you,



answers from Monroe on

I was told that a toddler or preschooler over one and under five should have no more than 4 servings of dairy a day...a serving of dairy is: 4oz of milk, 4oz of yogurt, 4oz of ice cream or 1oz of cheese. They should also have no more than 4oz of juice in a all reality the milk could contribute to constipation in many children. I would stick with water, crystal light, and diluted juice for most of the mom used to trick my daughter by putting just enough koolaide (powdered with no sugar) in her cup to make it colored (of course, if you have colored cups this doesn't work).

also you might try for more information.




answers from Birmingham on

You should consult with your pediatrician but your 2 yr old is not getting enough milk or any other liquids a day. I do hope that you are drinking more than you stated in you request.



answers from Mobile on

Hey Gina...

My pediatrician recommended around 17oz, but no more than 20oz of cow's milk per day when my son was two. He also said no more than 4-6oz of 100% juice per day. I still dilute my son's juice (no more than half and half, usually 1/4 juice, 3/4 water). The rest of the day he has water. He has 10oz sippy cups - so 2 sippy cups of milk, 2 sippy cups with 2-3oz of juice (fill the rest of the cup with ice and water) and the rest of the day he has water out of a big boy cup (makes it more exciting for him). If your son is use to drinking straight juice, you may have to slowly dilute it for him if you want to stretch it out that way and increase his water intake.

You can go to the AAP's website ( and search for juice and cow's milk for more info. I would talk to your pediatrician about it too if you are concerned.

Good luck!



answers from Lafayette on

I would still give a cup of milk with two of his meals and then diluted juice the rest of the time. I mean REALLY diluted....a splash of juice and the rest water. That is what I did with mine. They didn't have undiluted juice until they started school :) and then only one or two small cups a day. Water is healthy. The VERY diluted juice I would give often during the day. It doesn't sound as if he is getting enough liquids and that can lead to constipation.



answers from Oklahoma City on

I would make sure to give him water as well. If he is easily prone to constipation, it can be the juice causing it. I think that 12 oz. is great for milk and the juice is great, but as you know our bodies are water and he needs water too. My son is 5 and my daughter is 3 and I make sure that I only give them one juice (because they get fruits and veggies) but then after that it is water and milk is either in the morning or at night (because if they get hot while playing during the day and have milk they may get sick).

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