Milk. Don’t they say it does a body good? Well, it does. But, you don’t want your toddler to fill up on milk and not eat his food. Alternately, you don’t want a baby to fill up on food and not be hungry to nurse or take a bottle. So, what’s a mother to do? Well, it’s another one of those classic balancing acts. You have to be keen on what your little one needs at his stage in life. You also have to decide how much is best.
You can usually tell how much is best by letting your baby dictate the amount for you. You did this from day one, but once you start introducing solids things start to change a little bit. I found that when first introducing solids, my boys worked best getting about half of their milk first, then solids, then the rest of their milk. I soon learned that Wyatt would do just fine eating plenty of solids first, then taking all of his milk. Owen, on the other hand, needed to be offered his full amount of milk first and save the solids for last. This sounds really odd, but once I figured it out, it seemed clear to me how much you really have to follow your baby’s cues for feedings. As babies, breastmilk or formula is still the primary means for nutrition and you don’t want solids to be filling him up before he has a chance to drink his primary nutrients.
Then, that magic age hits. Your baby is now a year old. You’ve probably either started weaning or are considering it soon. For us, we started adding in whole milk around 11 months (consult with your physician when making this decision). By a year, my boys were both completely on milk from cups at the same time as meals with one afternoon snack including milk. With my doctor, we decided they only needed to be offered 16oz. throughout the day. I have also learned that they are better milk drinkers at certain times of the day. At breakfast, for instance, they want food. Once you get them started, they will enjoy some milk, but rarely a full serving. That afternoon snack, though, is all about the milk. They can drink it down. I am cautious, however, to not let the milk take over. I really want my boys learning and trying new foods and getting all of the good nutrition from those healthy foods. If I were to let them fill up on milk, this would not happen and I would probably have more picky eaters right now.
So, what’s the tip? The tip is to pay attention to your little one to learn when are the best times and order for milk and solids.
Please share your thoughts and ideas.