Bottle-feeding your toddler
There is often a lot of information out there to guide you through your baby’s first year of feeding but what happens once you enter the next phase of toddlerhood?
What milk can you give your toddler?
If you are already bottle-feeding your little one, feeds can now be made up from cow’s milk, a dairy alternative or a toddler milk drink.
Over the last few years, there has been a rise in toddler milk formulation, to help support parents in getting their toddlers to consume their required daily intake. Whilst we should support our little one on their solid food journey, a toddler milk drink may be used to help fill the gaps.
How much milk does my toddler need?
During your little one’s first year, there is a lot of focus on milk intake and ensuring they are getting what they need. But for toddler’s, they don’t necessarily need as much as you think!
Milk feeds generally start decreasing from around 14 months, as your toddler will now be getting the nutritional benefits from a balance diet. It is therefore important to find the right balance between solid meals and milk feeds – as seen in our suggested Daily Rhythms.
How to stop bottle-feeding a toddler at bedtime
Creating an evening ritual is a great way to get compliance at bedtime. This would usually consist of dinner, a bath, story time, bottle and bedtime. But as your little one reaches 18 months, they won’t necessarily need to have their milk from a bottle and will be able to take their milk from a cup.
By making story time and their cup of milk a new ritual, this is a really nice and easy way to help your little one make the transition. They will soon forget about the bottle they once had as a comforter for sending them off to sleep.
Mothercraft Nurse, Chris Minogue suggests making the transition with as little fuss as possible. Toddlers are more flexible than we realise and it is often us parents that make a bigger deal out of taking things away such as the dummy or bottle.
The biggest difference during this transition, is the amount of milk they all now require. Where you may once given a 180ml bottle before bed, they may now only require a small drink of milk in a cup before bed. This is due to the fact that they will be getting their daily intake of dairy from other sources during mealtimes.
There are many options for giving their nightly milk in a cup. You can now introduce cow’s milk or a toddler milk drink.
*Each child’s individual needs are unique and it’s advised to see a medical practitioner or paediatric nutritionist if you are unsure of your child’s dietary requirements or have concerns at any time.