My 16 month old won't drink milk. I have tried everything. Any suggestions?

Veronica - posted on 01/07/2010 ( 165 moms have responded )

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My 16 month old won't drink milk. I have been giving her the next step formula in place of milk. I need any suggestions.

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Rachel - posted on 01/21/2010

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my daughter was the same way. she wouldnt drink milk from a sippy cup only from a bottle. my doc suggested to add a little chocolate or strawberry to it. if that doesnt work then try to substitute with string cheese and things with the calcium and fat they need. the best thing i found was not giving her anything but milk for a couple days and eventually shes gonna drink it!

Catherine - posted on 01/14/2010

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To follow up on my last post, there is a vegan children's protein shake mix called Animal Parade (by Source of Life, the folks who brought us Spirutein) that has a rice/pea/soy protein blend, as well as whole-food based nutrients and sweetened with fruit extracts. I mix it with almond, rice or coconut milk for my little guy and add a squeeze of flax oil-- he absolutely LOVES it! He also enjoys soy and coconut milk yogurt and ice cream, too.

[deleted account]

My 19 months old never drinks milk. We breastfed until a year, she actually was exclusively on breastmilk until 10 months because of a health issue, but from 10/12 months on she has been a very happy and enthusiastic eater.



At one year, when we weaned from the breastmilk, she did breifly drink cow's milk, but after a few weeks she wasn't having it at all. She even ditched the bottle all on her own.



I would ask your doctor, but ours said that babies don't actually "need" milk per se. As long as they eat a varied diet of whole foods, then they should be very healthy. Especially if they eat yogurt and cheese (easy sources of calcium), then all you need is vitamin D which you can get from the sun!



He also said that a big mistake people make is forget that milk counts as a food, meaning that if you always give your baby milk in place of water, along with their food, they will either eat less of their foods or gain excessive weight.



Hope that helps!



Oh, I would definitely NOT add sugar, especially chocolate which has caffeine, or syrup which may have HFCS.

Ashley - posted on 01/25/2010

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Great. I couldn't get my son to take milk at first either. I would give him a cup of milk, he'd take a sip, then throw it down. I gave him a cup of next step, and he drank it up. He wouldn't even drink milk if I added chocolate to it! So I would fix him a cup, with 4oz of next step and 2oz whole milk and when he got used to that I'd fix 2oz next step, 4oz whole milk, until it was nothing but milk. Just slowly decrease the amt of next step and increase the amt of milk. Now he drinks milk, no problem! Good luck!

Kerry - posted on 01/09/2010

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Hello Veronica,
The milk issue......as you have seen there are several ways to make milk look and tast better AND different so that your child will drink it. Also you have found that the dislike of milk could and can be the indication of something bigger and nastier then a simple dislike aka milk alergies.

Coming from the later, milk allergies, I can tell you if you were to set a glas of milk down in front of me I will out right refuse to drink it.

So, how can you tell which it is without all the expensive allergy testing and doctors bills that go along with it...... it is very simple actually.

Step 1 ~Take and get a brand new carton of milk, on that very same day sit our child down and take the carton and open it right there in front of them and pour a glass of milk the, take and lift it to their nose.....yes nose lol....really, if your child pushes it away and makes funny faces the problem just might be allergies.

Step 2~ take messures to descise the milk, best on is to make a smoothy of ice milk, and fruit. If after your child still dose not drinks this add some vanilla, almond, or pepermint extract that you would get for baking at the store. So, if after all this, the drink has hit the hatcha, left the glass, and slid down to the stomach. wait and watch and listen to your child and watch.

If they are telling you that they have to go to the bathroom after 1-2 hour, and I mean the poopies, take them and lay them down and place your ear on their stomach and listen, if it sounds like world war 3 has start then it is very possible they are allergic to the milk. The final sign and really the clencher is if after your child is done going to the bathroom take a peak, yes a peak into the toilet before you flush. If the poopies are.....well there is no delicate way to say this.....if the poopies are runny and not well formed into a "normal" looking turd then I am sorry to say your child is allergic to milk.

Now this is not the end of the world. They will still be able to eat yougart, because of the bacteria present in it (they break down the milkso your cild will be fine), they will more then likely be able to eat some cheese, sour cream is out but yougart is a great substitute for it, and beleive it or not broccoli is an excellent source of calcium, and if after all that and your child will not have anything to do with these foods I just listed, get the calcium enriched Orange Juice and be prepared to by it by the gallon, multiple gallons at a time.

Now If none of the above happens then your child is being picky about how they get their calcium. So do the same as abouve with the smooties, cheese, yougart, and OJ. Or it maybe like my kids Who by the grace of god are not allergic to milk, I put 2 caps full of vanilla, 2 good pinches of sugar or a good squeez of honey in, and then I heat it up.

Alot of time children will not take to drinking milk after they have been breast feed or even formula fed because when tey get them the liquid is warm and the milk we try to feed then is cold.

So try simply to warm the milk up and see what happens.

Good luck with this and I hope you find a solution that works for you.

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165 Comments

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Starr - posted on 10/26/2012

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We had the same problem. Our little one will not drink milk so we bought the strawberry Pedisure and called it Pink Milk, she loves it. Since it's a little pricey and sugary, at home we mix it with lactose free 2% milk, 1/4 pedisure 3/4 of the lactose free stuff. When were out she just drinks the pink milk straight.

Concerned - posted on 10/26/2012

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My son had the same problem. We mixed yogurt in with her milk and she drinks it fine. :)

Amy - posted on 01/25/2010

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My pediatrician suggested always giving my daughter milk first thing in the morning when she's most thirsty. It worked! She sucks it right down. Then that's what she got used to and actually wants.

Beth - posted on 01/23/2010

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My older boys both have always loved milk but when my baby was ready for the real stuff he wouldn't touch the creamy white stuff. So I tried mixing in some Carnation instant breakfast and now he'll pound down a gallon in a couple of days if I allowed him too. They have sugar free packets but I just get the big box from Costco. I only allow one to two cups a day depending on his regular food intake. He now gets white milk in his cereal too which is helpful in getting him to take it in a glass. If I really want him to have milk without anything to mask the taste I use a "big boy" cup and pour in just a small amount each time holding it for him to ease the risk of spilling. It is so exciting for him he doesn't even realize that he is drinking plain everyday milk.

Danielle - posted on 01/22/2010

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u can use karo syrup. i had to use it. a lil sweet isn't going to hurt them. breast milk is very sweet and then formula is nasty so think of milk like the middle man. try warming it and just use a little. not alot.

Ashley - posted on 01/22/2010

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A little sugar didn't make my son extra hyper or anything...and after about the first week he would drink it plain

[deleted account]

We use the vanilla soymilk, it has really mild flavor, but just enough for DD to like it. We get Silk and it has as much calcium and a bit more vitamin D than whole milk, and they have one that is not low fat.

Chasity - posted on 01/21/2010

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Milk isn't the only way to get calcium, actually milk isn't even really a good source of calcium due to the difficulty of absorption. Broccoli and other green leafy veggies are good to make up for that, aside from the obvious other dairy foods you can use. Ok now for the main reason I replied....you will probably think I'm nuts for suggesting it, and by all means, do some research and buy some of this and ask your dr first.....My daughter is 15 months and has severe eczema/allergic to everything. I started giving her rice milk (not good!!) not enough fat, or other nutrients not to mention the potential of VERY increased amounts of arsenic. That said, I went with ORGANIC HEMP MILK. She loves it!! If you go with a reputable brand you will see on the label they test it to be certain they are 100% sure there's no THC, of course the way they make the milk is totally different from the way marijuana is produced. Just be sure to research it a little and talk with your dr first. be sure you get ORGANIC, There's lots of vitamins, calcium Omega 3s and 6s All kinds of good stuff in there and there's fats which rice milk has none of. Almond milk is another decent alternative to regular milk. The hemp milk has a bit of a nutty flavor and some people like to use it as creamer in their coffee and make muffins with it. Just don't knock it til you try it, when I first heard about it I was like.... yeah right, don't think so! But then I researched it vs rice or soy (my daughter won't drink and is allergic to soy anyway) I was sold 100%.

Latisha - posted on 01/21/2010

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A friend of mine was having the same problem so she would have her daughter watch her make her milk (kind of) and she would put food coloring in it. And she really took to it then because she had a neat drink of any color that she wanted.

Shannon - posted on 01/21/2010

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My son hated milk.. I just kept offering it or just flat out refuse to give him anything else so eventually he would take it. He actually likes it a lot now. Also I have been switching to Soy Milk in my house... I thought that sounded gross but I figured I'd give it a try... Its strange at first but it definitely grows on you. You can get the "very vanilla" or just vanilla one. I think it takes like a milk shake... my kids... LOoovved it... I dont believe that adds sugar. Otherwise I have added vanilla extract to regular milk and that is yummy.

Amber - posted on 01/21/2010

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My toddler loves rice milk. If you breastfed this might work - it tastes very similar. It doesn't have as many calories or fat as cows milk, but it is fortified to have the same amount of vitamins. You could try waiting until your child is really hungry/thirsty, and then giving it in a non-see-through bottle or sippy cup, so s/he can't see that it's a white liquid.

Crystal - posted on 01/21/2010

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You should think of going with soy milk at the beginning. Soy is a little lighter and sweeter that normal milk and it's great for children!

Linda - posted on 01/20/2010

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my son would not drink milk it upset his stomach and I tried everything.we ended up on skim milk and it has to be chocolate. but we did get him off the formula.try it.

Kathryn - posted on 01/20/2010

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Some kids are just picky. I breastfed my son until my milk dried up at 6 months. He would not take the formula for anything. Luckily I had some breastmilk frozen. We used this to slowly introduce the formula. Gradually adding more formula and less breastmilk. We had the same problem swithching to whole milk when he was 1. We had to make a formula bottle, but substituting some of the water for milk. I started with only 1 ounce and gradually worked my way up. It only took a couple of weeks and he was drinking milk like a champ! Some kids just don't like the taste of milk at first, but being an adult who doesn't like milk I try to encourage him to drink it. I feel that if I had been encouraged to drink it as a kid, I might like it now.

Vicki - posted on 01/20/2010

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I just went through this with my daughter to and we found that v8 has alot of blends that have as much and some more calcium and the othervitamins to be equal to milk she really likes them and gets everything she needs alot of orange juices have calcium in them to. Their are numerous differt things we tried but this works for us. Pediasure is a good alternative too my Ally didn't go for it though she is like me we really just don't like milk period your child may just not go for it. so the juce blends work well.

Hayley - posted on 01/20/2010

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Do what i do with my son when he wont drink milk. I put 2-4 cups of milk in a blender add about 12-15 ice cubes 3/4 cup sugar 1 tablespoon vanilla extract and blend until the ice chunks are gone. Pour in a sippy cup or bottle and they love it. My son loves it.

Alison - posted on 01/20/2010

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My daughter was the same way. I couldn't get her to drink vitamin D milk at all, but when I gave her 2% , 1%, ect. she loved it and drank it non stop. I know they say Vitamin D is best until 2 but she got enough nutrients from everything else I didn't worry about it and my pediatrician didn't worry about it either. I understand you not wanting to add chocolate syrup or anything, I didn't want to either.

Mary - posted on 01/20/2010

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my daughter is now 2 and has only just started drinking milk as long as you are adding it into her food ie cereals, mashed tatties and soup ect its not something to worry about

i spoke to my health visitor about this because i was worried when i could'nt get her to drink milk and this was the advice she gave me not all children like the taste of cows milk and i would'nt bother with the next step formula it has'nt done christina any harm she was breast feed and now drinks plenty of water..My 11 year old mia has never drunk cows milk she does'nt like the taste of it and she is perfectly healthy so don't worry.

Courtney - posted on 01/19/2010

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give them only water! My peditrician told me not to add the flavors cuz it is not necessary for nutrition, but give only water (which they WILL drink if they are thirsty) then throughout the day give them milk...eventually he/she will get sick of only water, that they will welcome the milk as an alternative to the water!!

Rachele - posted on 01/19/2010

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add chocolate or strawberry mix to it, just enough to taste it. my second son didn't like the taste of plain milk at first, but he drinks it now. it just takes some time for them to get use to it.

Meredith - posted on 01/18/2010

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My younger son who is now 2 went from breast milk to just water, and is just now starting to drink milk, my pediatrician said it's ok as long as they are not super under weight, if she's eating other calcium rich products, then she should be fine. He does like milk with cereal, (same as his mother) so i just kept giving him milk that way instead, I think some people just don't like milk by itself.

Ashley - posted on 01/18/2010

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I had the same prob with my son i was giving him homo milk because of the fat which is good for there brain but he hated it i was thinking that he might not like it because he could be alergic but then i axedently bought 2 percent and he drinks that fine so now i give him that and yougert . also i did add chockolet syrup for a little while i addmit i dont like adding syrup but i decided that if i could get milk into him it would be better than not at all. that only lasted about a week though and i only added a tiny bit to make it sweet. Good luck

Abbie - posted on 01/18/2010

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My son did the same thing. Honestly, chocolate milk. And if you want it to be healthy, soy chocolate milk is a good alternative.

Angela - posted on 01/17/2010

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Start adding small amounts of milk to the formula, eventually using more and more milk. Try 2% milk instead of whole...Good luck!

Debbie - posted on 01/16/2010

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Have you had the baby checked to make sure that Milk is okay. I would not drink milk when I was suppose to and come to find out I am allergic to it. Not intolerant but allergic. There could be a medical reason for the baby not wanting it.

Odette - posted on 01/16/2010

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My boy showed me when he didnt want milk anymore. Replace the milk with more yogert or cheese, that is what the doctor told me. And try normal Full cream fresh milk. Ruwan is 19 months and does not want milk anymore

Elizabeth - posted on 01/16/2010

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Hi Veronica, I have a fourteen month old. I give him Rice milk fortified with calcium. He also has yoghurt and cheese and sheep's milk yoghurt. So he is still getting plenty of Calcium. Is that what you were worried about??

[deleted account]

Do you think your 16mth is lactose intolerant? It would pay to get a lactose test done, I guess through a referral from Dr. If your 16mth old is just being fussy remember who the boss is YOU. I've been lucky my 2 sons love milk and not having to buy formula anymore is fantastic. Good luck.

Kellie - posted on 01/16/2010

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What if you have a "special" cup just for milk. I did this for my son and he loves to drink milk now. The cup we use has a straw that he can't pull out. It works great?

Emma - posted on 01/16/2010

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hi veronica have you tried putting flavouring in the milk i had the same problem with my little boy i added strawberry nesquick to the milk and he loved it goodluck from emma

Tina - posted on 01/16/2010

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Have you tried soy milk?Although I also liked the idea of mixing in real fruit to flavor it.Good luck.My daughter is 10 and still hates milk unless it comes from the bottom of a cereal bowl.We just added more cheese and yogurt to her diet.

Danielle - posted on 01/15/2010

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have him drink oj if your worried about calcium or even vanilla soy milk kids love

Kristin - posted on 01/15/2010

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I have had to switch from breast milk to soy formula, then soy formula to milk formula, milk formula to follow-on formula and follow-on to milk. Each time, I have had a child who balks at the idea of changing the milk. However, I have found that making the change 1 ounce at a time, every 3-4 days has worked for me. On day one through 4, I use 1 ounce of the new substance and 7 ounces of the old. On day 5-8, I use 2 ounces of the new and 6 of the old. This is quite time consuming and tedious, but it did work with my son, many times. He was 16 months old when moving from breast milk to formula, so it was a difficult transition. I have always had to warm his milk, as well. He is VERY picky.

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my nephew is 14 months, won't drink milk...unless you have a straw. Straws are an amazing trick for kids....my girls, (3,4 and 8) when they don't want to take medicine when they are sick, i use a straw cut short in the med cup and they drink it. and my daughter would only drink milk in a bottle and juice in a sippy cup. Maybe try a different kind of cup. Some kids are picky like that.

Jen - posted on 01/15/2010

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My son was and still kind of is the same way. I started letting him have milk in a 'big boy cup' (one without a lid) and a straw. He thinks it's the greatest thing ever and will usually drink most of it.

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Shop-n-save now carries a fantastic almond milk - original or vanilla that we really like. Frankly, now that we've been off cow's milk, we've had less runny/stuffy noses too! Milk is not the "necessity" they say it is - it's a money-making industry...

Shannon - posted on 01/15/2010

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My almost 4 year has never liked milk. He was okay with formula but as soon as I started introducing milk into his bottle at the age of one, he refused it. I tried everything, soy milk, flavored milk, he wasn't having none of it. His doctor said as long as he is getting enough of the vitamins that are in milk, there is no reason for him to be forced to drink milk. A good source of Vitamin D is as simple as playing outside in the sun. Does your child like yogurt or cheese products? As long as he can get the vitamins that are in milk, your child will be fine :)

Kelsey - posted on 01/15/2010

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my son was the same and i ended up doing 1/2 and 1/2 and making it warm, when they get thirsty enough they will drink it!

Jennifer - posted on 01/15/2010

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My oldest didn't like milk either unless I put the choc or strawberry syrup in it...they do make sugar free! (I had to do this till she started kindergarten)

My little one likes the organic milk and it comes in juice-like boxes.

Tisha - posted on 01/15/2010

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My son is two and he hasn't really drank milk (not even chocolate milk) since he got off formula at age 1. I was concerned, as you probably are, so my husband and I asked his doctor. He said that as long as he is eating other foods with the same things that milk offers then he will be fine. Like yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, etc. My son loves all of those so that wasn't a problem at all. And I think the next step formula can be used until they are 36mons. I have seen some that say 9-36mons. Also, I have a friend that her son liked the formula and milk mixed then she slowly cut the formula out and that was the way she got him to drink milk. You may try that also. Good luck!!

Amber - posted on 01/15/2010

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Try soy milk. The milk might be making her little tummy hurt. My daughter and I have Celiac disease. Whole milk was causing her tons of problems, from constipation to vomiting. Cows milk can mess with a little tummy. My daughter loves the Eighth Continent brand,but wont drink Silk. No harm in trying even if she isnt having as extreme a reaction as my lil one.

THEO - posted on 01/14/2010

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DID YOU TRY A LITTLE CHOCOLATE SYRUP IN IT? I HAD TO DO THAT WITH MY 2 YEAR OLD AND GRADUALLY DECREASED THE AMOUNT OF SYRUP IN IT UNTIL SHE WOULD DRINK IT

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maybe she just doesn't like milk, that is how my nephew is...try giving her chocolate milk or strawberry...not alot, but just enough for some flavor. then she can atleast get the extra calcium she needs.

Catherine - posted on 01/14/2010

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Celeste, I used to get the Animal Parade shake mix from my local health food store but they d/c's it so now I order it from www.luckyvitamin.com. Great site, they offer volume discounts and free shipping on orders over $100.

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