Pre-Toddler Milk Intake Totals to Expect

Find out how many ounces of milk a day you should expect a pre-toddler to have. This is for the 12-18 month age range.

Pretoddler drinking milk from sippy

A common concern with the pre-toddler age group is the child’s milk intake, especially if mom has previously been breastfeeding and unused to knowing the exact number of ounces going into baby.

The pre-toddler age range covers ages 12-18 months old. Read more at All About the Pre-Toddler Age Range.

How Many Ounces a Day Should a Pre-Toddler Get

The exact number of ounces recommended that a pre-toddler should get per day varies from pediatrician to pediatrician.

Some suggest as few as 16 ounces and some are closer to 30. Mine said 24, so that is what I shot for. That is also the recommended number in On Becoming Pre-Toddlerwise (see page 45). 

Brayden was perfection at meeting that each day. We gave him 6 ounces, four times a day. 

Kaitlyn sometimes drank more–I had no problem with that. But typically, she was right at 24 ounces. She had 8 ounces three times a day.

McKenna drank maybe 8 ounces a day. Yes, a day.

Let me say that had she been my oldest, I would have spent much time stressing about that. Very much.

It still worried me some, but I had told enough of you to not worry about it that I was able to get that in my head for the most part. 

I put some effort into looking into dairy substitutes, and do have a post on that: Adding Milk/Dairy to the Diet.

With Brinley, my youngest, I don’t even remember anything remarkable about what she ate.

Pre-Toddlers Decrease Appetite

It is very normal for a pretoddler to eat less food during the day than he did as a baby. Growth significantly slows down, so your little one will eat less.

If your pre-toddler seems to be eating less each day than he used to be, do not stress out unless you also have fussiness, clinginess, and/or poor sleep.

Is it Okay to Drink from a Bottle

You may wonder if it is okay for your 12-18 month old to still be drinking from a bottle.

Most pediatricians at this age will tell you to drop the bottle and move to a sippy cup.

I will say it is okay to have a bottle at this age if you need it for your mental health, but it is wise to work toward dropping the bottle if you can.

You might be pregnant, moving, or just slammed in life and really need to hold on to the bottle for now.

Read all about how to ditch the bottle in this post: How to Wean Baby From a Bottle

Should Pretoddler have Milk or Formula

Once your baby hits 12 months old, you no longer need formula. Milk is great at that point.


So, with the pre-toddler, you are wanting to get about 24 ounce of milk in per day.

But remember back that nutrition is about averages. Some might want 30 ounces one day and 18 the next. No problem. And if you get one like McKenna, I assure you that you can have a normal, healthy child and that you can get the necessary dairy into the diet quite easily. No need to stress.

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Pretoddler milk totals