The daily intake of calcium required for toddlers is almost 700 mgs. Milk can be the best source to fulfil this daily need. It becomes problematic when the baby refuses to take milk or does not feel comfortable in the transitional stage from the breast milk or formula milk.
Parents are required to explore creative ideas to make their tot to drink milk and get his requirements of Calcium and Vitamin D fulfilled.
The Swop to the Cow’s Milk
You can plan to switch over to cow’s milk when your baby is almost 12 months old. Before this time his digestive system cannot absorb and digest it. Moreover, the nutrients required by your baby are also not present in cow’s milk. You need to add some solid foods to his diet for fulfilling his nutritional requirements.
Suggestions for This Transition
It is suggested that you should you should start giving healthy and nutritional foods to your baby before switching over to cow’s milk. As this milk does not have the essential nutrients that are present in the formula or breast milk.
If you have inculcated healthy eating patterns in your little one’s routine, your tot will be getting all the required nutrients. You would need to be slow in this transition if your baby does not like the taste of cow’s milk. It would not be a good option to stop his intake of formula or breast milk at once.
How To Get Toddler To Drink Milk
You can get your baby little familiar with the taste of cow’s milk by adding it to his mealtime or snack time. If your little one totally refuses to take this milk, you can mix it in little quantity to breast milk or with formula milk. Gradually you can change the proportions by adding more of the cow’s milk and lesser breast milk or formula in his mug.
Make Your Baby to Start Drinking Milk from his Mug
It’s perfect time that you switch over the milk consumption from feeders to mugs. If your baby has started taking the new type of milk, his style of drinking it should also be changed. Usually, babies are able to start holding and drinking from their mugs when they are twelve to eighteen months old.
If your baby is a little choosy one, you can offer him milk in different shapes and styles of sipping mugs. If he does not like one style; you can offer him milk in another one which he likes the more. Initially, you should give him mug only on mealtimes. In the beginning, you would be required to hold the mug for feeding him. Gradually, he will be able to hold it on his own. Slowly you can start giving him feedings only in these mugs and not the bottles.
Young babies at times refuse to take the feed in these mugs because they are not like their feeding bottles. If he does not like taking milk in these mugs, you can give them to him as new toys or tools. For babies who are accustomed to breast feed, you can pour some breast milk into his feeding mug to keep it appealing. These young babies love to copy their moms, you can pretend to sip from the mug and offer him as well, this way your baby can drink it too.
If Your Baby is Still Reluctant to Take Milk
You can utilize your creative skills in convincing your baby to start taking milk. Offer him milk at every meal time. He needs to be reinforced to finally accept taking milk. Continuous exposures to his milk will be helpful in convincing him.
It is better that your baby takes plain milk, in case he does not like it, you can add different flavors to it. You should add only healthy flavors to his milk to make him drink it easily. You can add some fruits or puree raspberries or strawberries in his plain milk.
He may drink it easily considering it to be a milkshake and not milk. Avoid adding sugar to these shakes to keep them healthy versions.
Some babies prefer to have warm milk, especially the ones who have been drinking warm milk in their feeders. These babies like to take warm cow milk as well. Gradually you can reduce the warmth of milk until he is able to drink milk taking it directly from the refrigerator.
These tricks and creative ideas do no prove to be fruitful with all babies, some still refuse taking milk. In such cases, it becomes very important that calcium is added to baby’s food. Dairy products, cheese or homemade yogurt can be added to your baby’s diet. Try to givehim almond milk or coconut milk as well.
Although orange juice contains calcium in high proportion, still, it is not good to give it in larger quantity; as it has a lot of sugar in it. Other foods like broccoli, kale, salmon and calcium-enriched cereals can also be a good source of calcium.
You can also be manipulative to add a small quantity of milk to your baby’s food. You can use milk in preparing hot cocoa, oatmeal or his creamy soups. You can make your baby enjoy his dairy intake by adding milk and yogurt in his fruit smoothies.
Your baby can give you a real tough time if he is not at all willing to drink milk. If he does not take milk he will be missing important ingredients like protein, calcium, fats and Vitamin D. You should not be much stressed if your baby keeps refusing milk, you can give foods that are rich in the mentioned nutrients. Still, you can keep offering him milkthis reinforcement may work at some moment.
Serving Alternatives of Milk to your Baby
If yourtoddler does not like milk or you prefer feeding him more vegetables, you can give him alternatives tomilk. Coconut, almonds and soy milk can be good substitutes. You can check the content of calcium present in these substitutes of milk products; by reading their labels. These products are rich in calcium and are expected to have same levels of calcium as found in the cow’s milk.
You cannot be sure that your baby is going to like this calcium enriched alternative products of milk; as their taste is different from that of breast milk, formula or cow’s milk. Here you can play the same tactic again by gradually adding the small quantities of substitute milk with the breast or formula milk until he starts taking it completely.
Suitable Time for Giving Milk to Babies
The most suitable time to give milk to your baby is the mealtime; with other foods. By now you have been offering milk to baby separately in feeders or mugs. Now there is a change in the routine and you have to make milk a part of his meals. This transition can also need some time to become a routine.
Moms can try some samples of feeding schedules for young babies. Making milk a part of meals can also confuse them because after taking milk with the meal the baby is expected to fill his tummy and cannot complete the rest of the meal. This can make babies fussy about finishing their food.
You can manage this dividing the quantity of milk with other meals and snacks for your baby. Ideally, you are required to feed your baby with the main meal or some snacks after every two to three hours. You can divide the milk serving according to these meal times approximately five to six ounces or three to four ounces per every snack time. This combination of food and milk is good for improving a baby’s healthy eating pattern.
What Quantity of Milk Should a Baby Drink?
Before determining the quantity of milk to be given to your toddler, you need to know the exact months of age that come under the heading of a toddler. As soon as your baby becomes 12 months of age he becomes a toddler and he is going to be a toddler till his second birthday.
The recommended quantity of milk is same for a toddler as that of a nine years old child. This quantity is sixteen ounces or a glass of milk in a day.
Before their 1st birthday, ten to eleven months old babies usually drink almost thirty ounces of milk in one day. After their first birthday, you should start focusing on other food products as well. Rememberthat milk plays a vital role in the development of a baby but other things also need to be added.
Once the toddlers start good intake, even 20 ounces of milk are also sufficient for them. If some babies want to have more, their growing babies can manage the extra quantity as well.
But this added quantity of milk is going to fill the requirement of other food products. You must inculcate the habit of eating in your toddler because these years are important in his physical growth. Make sure that your one to two-year-old is not feeding just on milk and he should also be eating other foods.
For toddlers who do not like drinking milk, you can feed them with alternatives likes yogurt and cheese. If the toddler avoids all dairy products, doctors recommend giving calcium and vitamin D supplements for his proper growth and development.