Breast Milk & Toddler Formula

Submitted by Nick on February 1, 2012

Can you feed breast milk to a toddler?

It is a well known fact that breast milk is the best form of nutrition for babies. In fact, in several cultures and countries babies are fed nothing but breast milk, for the first six months of their lives. Mother’s milk is believed to contain all the essential vitamins and nutrients that are required by babies, for their growth and development. It is only after they complete 6 months of age, that formula milk and water are introduced into their diets.

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Therefore, such children are fed breast milk and toddler formula, along with other foods and beverages that are ideal for toddlers. However, not a lot of people are aware of the importance of breastfeeding toddler. This is probably why most mothers in the United States of America choose to wean their babies, by the age of six months.


This means that there are many moms who replace breast milk with toddler formula, soon after their babies complete 6 months. However, almost all doctors, as well as most health institutions tout the various benefits of breast milk for toddlers.

Importance of breast milk for a toddler

There are several health benefits that have been associated with breast milk, apart from building immunity. Breast milk is much easier to digest, not in the case of newborn babies, but in case of toddlers. Moreover, children who have been breastfed are less likely to develop gastrointestinal problems, as compared to those who been fed formula milk during the first few months. In addition to that, studies indicate that instances of allergies are much lower in babies who have been breast fed for a longer period of time. However, there are many women have wean their babies within the first few months, because of several factors. Some of the most common reasons for weaning babies are medical problems, work constraints, peer pressure, and so on. However, there is nothing better than breast milk for toddlers as well as babies, which is why the World Health Organization recommends that babies should be breastfed till they are around a year old.

There are several other advantages of feeding breast milk to a toddler. Given below are some of the reasons that mothers should continue feeding breast milk to toddlers, preferably till the age of 12 months:

  • Breast milk is easily available, at all times of the day and it neither needs to be purchased nor heated in advance
  • Breastfeeding is much better for the development of the teeth and jaw muscles, as compared to sucking a hard nipple.
  • It prevents dehydration, as breast milk contains the adequate amount of water required by babies
  • Women who breastfeed for longer tend to lose weight faster. Moreover, breastfeeding also helps delay the return of the menstrual cycle in women.
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