ask an expert

My 18 month old daughter will only take breast milk

toddler doesn't like milkOther milks? I have tried them all!

I want to stop breast feeding but it is a challenge. She is small for her age, due to being a very busy girl, and I want to keep her on milk. The best option so far is sweetened goats milk with condensed milk. 

She also won't sleep through the night without a little snack. We are at a stalemate and I don't want to lose this war!

The situation is frustrating. I need to wean her to get medical work done and I getting short on time!

Rachel Stearnes | Family Medicine

Rachel Stearnes

First of all, congratulations and good job for breastfeeding your baby -- it is the best thing for her. Part of answering your question requires me to ask more questions:

  • What foods is she eating?  Baby food?  Table food?
  • Where is she falling on the growth curve at her check ups?
  • Will she eat other dairy such as cottage cheese, yogurt, ice cream or other cheese?

Fruits, vegetables and meat (or some other form of protein such as beans, eggs or peanut butter) are important for a well balanced meal.  

At this point, she has no restrictions to her diet from a medical standpoint and new nutritious food (as listed above) should be introduced and given at each meal.  A new food should be introduced only as often as every 3 days to watch for allergies.  

We recommend whole cow's milk between the ages of 1 and 2.  It has high fat content which is important for brain development.  Substituting other high fat dairy foods would be worth a try.  Pediasure would also be a reasonable milk replacement.  

As far as sleeping through the night, a bedtime snack is a smart idea (high fat, mixed protein and carb -- ex: peanut butter and crackers or yogurt and granola).  Even though it is hard, your daughter is old enough that you may have to let her cry it out at night -- trust me, it will only take a few nights.

You have done an amazing job providing breast milk for this long.  She has gotten nutrition and a great immune system from it -- but it's time to wean for your own health!  A little tough love and healthy table food will help with this transition.

Hope this helps

Read more answers by Dr. Stearnes