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Breast Feeding

Enough milk for a toddler

03/08/2002

Question:

I am breastfeeding my 17 month old about 3 to 4 times per day. He drinks water at other times. Is that enough "milk?" I have tried a little bit of cow`s milk but he doesn`t like it. He was eating yogurt but in typical toddler fashion ate it every day for several weeks and now doesn`t eat much of it. So is he still getting enough milk from me to not have to worry about adding in cow milk? His growth has been fine. We have a strong family history of food allergies so I have been somewhat hesitant about going gung-ho on dairy until he is more like two.

Answer:

Nursing a toddler can be a challenge. A toddler has a variety of nutritional needs. At this age most of his nutrients should be coming from table food. However, since your child is not drinking milk you do have a valid concern. Many toddlers are able to receive enough milk from nursing if they are concentrating on nursing, and not easily distracted. Since you are the one nursing him you will know if he is emptying the breast completely, and concentrating on nursing and not on what is going on around him. When you see your health care provider you should also discuss his eating habits fully and your concerns with her. You need to make sure that he continues his unique growth pattern.

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Response by:

Tina   Weitkamp, RNC, MSN Tina Weitkamp, RNC, MSN
Associate Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati