McKenna Pre-Toddler Summary: 12 Months, 1 Week

A full summary of life for this 12.5 month old. Find out what daily life was like and find a 12.5 month old sample schedule to follow.

12.5 month old baby and her dad

I was torn on if I should post this now or wait a week and combine two weeks, but it is such a long post I thought I had better do it this week!


Things have much improved here. It is interesting to realize how few days were spent actually not drinking milk well.


I pulled out my Super Baby Food and have fallen in love with it all over again. The book says it is for baby to three years old. Well, it isn’t lying! There is so much great toddler info in there!

If you look into how much dairy a pre-toddler should get you will see a wide range, but most fall in 16-24 ounces. Super Baby Food says 24 is necessary.

This, of course, put me toward stress-case despite my best efforts, but I have spent the week talking to myself and we have agreed that we will live in the range of 16-24 ounces. I shoot for 24 each day, but if she doesn’t measure up to that, I know she is getting at least 16.

McKenna is definitely not getting all of her calcium (dairy) from milk. At the beginning of this week, she took in about 2-4 ounces per day. Yes, per day. Not meal. By the end of the week, she was up to 8 ounces per day. Big improvement.

In my trusty Super Baby Food book, there is a list of calcium equivalents on page 127. I saw that half a cup of yogurt is equivalent to 4 ounces of milk. She typically eats one half a cup of yogurt each morning. Sometimes one cup.

I must disrupt the flow here for a moment to tangent about yogurt and how amazing McKenna is. She is by far my best eater–and it all has to do with my expectations.

I credit that to Super Baby Food–I really do. The other two are good eaters. They get their necessary nutrients in. But they don’t eat as much of a variety of foods as McKenna.

Now, I must point out that both Brayden and Kaitlyn were quite amiable to eating about anything at 12 months old, also. It is a very compliant age–at least for me. The pickiness does come, and it is high around the age of Kaitlyn right now (2.5-3). Toddlers can be picky. I will be interested to see how she does over the years.

Anyway, because I am relying on yogurt for 4 ounces of her calcium each day, I made sure to get the plain, organic, made-from-cream yogurt. I don’t like yogurt, but this is the grossest yogurt ever.

It is a bit more sour than sour cream. Really ew. Great for my baked potato, not so great with my breakfast. I mix it with some fruit as suggested in Super Baby Food (did I mention I like that book?) and she eats it like a champ. Even with the fruit, it is sour. My husband doesn’t even like it, and he LOVES yogurt.

Okay, back to calcium equivalents. A one inch cube of cheddar cheese is also equal to 4 ounces of milk. I did the math and was way wrong. My husband did the math and says she eats about 3 of those, totaling 12 ounces from cheese each day.

Hurray for cheese!

So with cheese and yogurt alone, we are at 16 ounces each day. I put 3 ounces of milk in with her cereal each morning. Add in 8 ounces of milk and she is at 27! But she doesn’t usually get 27, which is good because I am going for 24.

An interesting thing is that as she has increased the amount of milk she will drink, she had decreased her amount of cheese in a day. The more cheese she eats, the less milk she drinks.

To me, this is a strong statement toward having some trust in your pre-toddler. Kids this age are far more inherently good at eating what they should than adults are. I give her the right food, and she eats what she needs.

I suppose if I always gave myself the right foods, I would do the same. But sometimes (and I use the word “some” loosely) I put things like cupcakes in front of me. I need to start mothering myself.

The best way to get her to drink milk is to hold the cup up, but not close to her face. If you put it close, she will push it away. Just hold it up and look the other way. Then she will drink. Also, mixing her oatmeal really thick gets her to drink milk at breakfast 🙂

Read: Adding Milk/Dairy to the Diet


We are still slowly moving toward no more purees. There have been some meals she has gone totally without the puree.

Read: When Do You Stop Babyfood and Move to “Real” Food

Food Amounts

At the beginning of this week, McKenna started eating less. She would actually initiate the end of a meal instead of me just calling it. She would eat, then sign all done. It is a strange sight to behold!


Everything is still going well in all of these areas. Blanket time is still going well, also.


All sleep is still going well and as usual.

One difference is that she fell asleep during independent play a couple of times this week. Since she plays in her playpen in her room, I just take all of her toys out and put her blanket over her and shut the door. She sleeps as usual. I am always surprised that she stays asleep as I move her toys out of her bed. She is a sound sleeper.


She has increased her vocabulary this week. She now attempts to say “dog” and “bark” and “balloon.” Yes, we have dogs who bark and we had balloons at her party. She also tries to say Kaitlyn and Brayden, but I can’t make out anything to be able to say how she says it, so I don’t count that at this point.

We are working on signing “drink.”

Read: How To Teach Your Baby Sign Language


McKenna got a new tooth in this week without me noticing it. I was watching for it, but it broke through without any fussiness on her part.


I thought it would be of interest for you to know how she handles strangers–and by stranger I mean adults other than mom and dad. She loves to talk to other people, look at them, and have them admire her, but she does not want to be held by other people. Absolutely not.

12.5 month old schedule and routine pinnable image


I have ended up changing the schedule of Brayden and Kaitlyn more than of McKenna to get all three together. Some days, I get her up at 8. Most, we stick to 8:30.

8:30 AM–wake, eat (prunes or peaches/apricots mixed with yogurt, oatmeal, milk). This is when we do a bath (four days a week) and independent playtime. We then do sibling playtime.
10:30 AM–nap.
12:30 PM–wake, nurse, solids (green veggie and applesauce. Sometimes mix with blueberries or cherries. Milk. Finger foods–including cheese). She then “helps” me put Brayden in rest time (which just means telling him to go) and Kaitlyn down for her nap. We then do blanket time followed by free play with me in the same room.
2:30 PM–nap
4:30-5:00 PM–wake, milk, solids (yellow veggie and bananas or pears). Then time with Daddy.
5:30ish PM–dinner with family. Finger foods and what we are having. Then time with family.
7:30 PM–PJs, story, prayers, bed.



21 thoughts on “McKenna Pre-Toddler Summary: 12 Months, 1 Week”

  1. I noticed the same connection between cheese and milk with my daughter at the same age. She used to be a total cheese head, and like you, I had a hard time getting her to like milk. She slowly started drinking more milk and eating less cheese. Now she loves milk but doesn't care to eat cheese by itself anymore. You're right. As long as they have healthy options, they'll get the vitamins they need. Too bad we moms stress over it anyway.

  2. My W also had a big decrease in his appetite this week. At our one year check-up the pediatrician told me it was the quality not the quantity of food. He said that as long as I continue to put the right stuff in front of him then he will get what he needs. So I'm trying my best not to stress out over it. He is still not drinking much milk (lactaid) but I am also giving him 2 ounces of yogurt twice a day as well as some rice cheese hoping that he will get a good amount of calcium daily. We are also battling seasonal allergies although I'm still hoping it's a cold and will leave us in a couple of days. W's first couple of weeks as a one year old have been a little stressful for everyone and we are hoping things will get back to normal soon!

  3. My 14mo daughter has been a "super baby food" baby since she began solids around 5 months and she does the exact same balancing act as you've described. I've especially noticed it with proteins and dairy. I LOVE it. I wish I could get myself to eat the same way she does. She loves all kinds of things that most adults marvel at including asparagus, cauliflower, and beans.I'm curious about the kind of yogurt you mentioned. My LO has yogurt almost daily as well and it's not sour at all. I purchase plain whole milk organic and it's mild enough for even me to eat plain and I'm not a huge yogurt fan. Perhaps if you tried a different brand? I like the Trader Joes brand and Nancy's. Those both seem pretty good.I do know that the older yogurt gets the more sour tasting it becomes. Maybe if you could find one that's farther from the sell by date?

  4. Ellie loves yogurt and cheese, but I have a feeling that it makes her spit up worse. (I also thought that MY drinking milk made it worse when she was a refluxy infant). says that milk protein could have something to do with it… but if I eliminate yogurt and cheese, where can I sneak in calcium?? Greens, I guess… On another note, we're having trouble with bedtime and I'm hoping you can help. Ellie wakes at 6:30, naps at 8:30, wakes around 10 and naps again at 1 & is up at 2:30 (I realize that this isn't a consistent waketime). The problem lies in the fact that she seems tired around 5. Should I put her down for the night then? It seems mighty early, but when I try to stretch her out she has a meltdown… it seems like 3 hours b/t waking from her last nap and bed is about right for her (although the book, Sleeping Through The Night advises no less than 4…). With all the conflicting info out there, I wanted check in with you. Thanks in advance!Liz

  5. Thank you Valerie for posting this week….I have been waiting to see how the milk drinking was going and how you were feeling since you dropped all feedings at the same time. Maybe next week you can tell us how you are feeling…maybe???Question, since Keagan will still not drink more than 1/2 oz of milk a day. When you say you hold it up what do you mean? Also when do you give it to McKenna? Sorry for all the questions…I just wish Keagan would drink milk although I know he is getting a lot of calcium through his yogurt and just started to like cheese (he eats at least 12 oz of yogurt and I sneak 3 oz of milk in his cereal). Thanks again for your posts!!Angelica

  6. Valerie,I wanted to encourage about the milk issue. When I talked to our Ped. about Avery not liking milk she had no concerns because our children can get the "good" of milk from other items. Make sure, as I know you are, that McKenna is getting plenty of calcium from the other sources listed in your Baby Foods book. I also made sure that I fed Avery lots of healthy fats to replace the fats she was loosing with not drinking whole milk, for example: fish and peanut butter. Avery still is not a huge milk lover, and we have discovered that she will drink it from a big girl cup much better that she will from a sippy cup. I also started putting whole milk in everything we ate: mac-n-cheese, mashed potatoes, oatmeal, cereal, etc. By your post, you are doing the same thing. You've got it, McKenna will be just fine.

  7. I always wonder if my DD is drinking TOO MUCH milk! She is almost 15 months, and still absolutely guzzles 4 sippy cups of milk a day and each are 7 oz.I am sure she would drink more if I let her, but I feel this is already ALOT!!!Anybody else heard of this?

  8. Redheads, I hear you! My LO would drink milk all day if I let her. I limit it to 16 ounces and then give her a cup of yogurt per day. I guess we shouldn't be complaining but I do hear your concern, which is how to make sure they don't overeat…

  9. Val-These last two pre-toddler summaries have been SO helpful! As I mentioned last week my 11 mo started refusing a bottle at 6mo. and I plan to start weaning him in a few weeks. A few questions – did you mix breastmilk with whole milk when you first weaned a few weeks ago or did you go straight to all whole milk in the sippy? What kind of sippy are you using? You said that you hold the sippy up to her.. does she take it and drink it herself, or do you hold it while she drinks? Also, did Mckenna get fussy when you first weaned her? I can see our toughtest time being when he wakes up in the morning b/c ALL he wants to do is nurse, even if my husband tries to play with him a little first. Thanks for all your help!!

  10. Jenn, thanks for mentioning that the yogurt shouldn't be sour. I changed brands since you said that and the new brand is much better 🙂

  11. Liz, lots of children have dairy issues and do just fine, so if you do suspect or confirm a milk protein issue, I am sure you can find a support group online for finding good nutritional subsititutes. You might even find some moms in the Chronicles Yahoo group. There are over 900 members, so someone is bound to have experience :)How old is she exactly? I think I would try to stretch her morning waketime to 7 AM. See the time change blog label for help in doing this. Most children need 10-12 hours at night, and if you put ehr to bed at 5, she would get 13.5. Now, McKennna usually gets 12.5-13, so if she needs it, go for it. You can always try it and see what happens, but if it were me, I would shoot for a later wake up time and also a longer afternoon nap if possible. I would take that waketime length down to two hours then she might take a better nap in the afternoon. The nap length isn't bad, it just ends quite early to make it to bedtime.

  12. Winnie, I was doing Stonyfield, but that was the sour one. I am now doing Brown Cow.I don't think Stonyfield is typically sour…a lot of people like it. They are the makers of Yo Baby. But I was doing a big tub of plain and adding my own fruit.

  13. Shawn (Angelica), by hold it up, I pick the cup up and tip it toward her mouth, but too far for her to actually drink it. It isn't in her face.I try to give her some milk before each meal starts. So I put her in her high chair and offer the milk. Then I feed her and she will drink off and on through the meal. Then I offer her some milk when the meal is over.With Brayden, I held him and he drank his milk before his meal even started. We sat on the couch.

  14. Redheads, of course watch growth patterns and consult with pedi about it. But Brayden and Kaitlyn each drank 24 ounces of milk plus ate yogurt and cheese at this age and thus far have had no issues. If you think she is getting too much, you could give her X number of ounces and follow up with water. She might just be thirsty and not necessarily wanting milk.

  15. jshrayber,I would put breastmilk in one sippy and whole milk in another sippy. I didn't want to mix them because I didn't want breastmilk wasted. However, it could be a good solution if the taste of whole milk is the issue for the child.I use playtex sippies. We have a few different types in the playtex, but they are all playtex. Last night, McKenna got ahold of Brayden's straw sippy (he doesn't drink from sippies unless in bed or in the car) and she loved that, so I might get some of those. I will link her favorite sippy next time…it has been the favorite of all three kids and I see it everywhere with kids, so I think it is a safe bet. It has a hard spout and no handles.McKenna holds it sometimes and doesn't others. Her favorite sippy doesn't have handles, but she does better holding the ones with handles. She holds the straw kind just fine. The tipping of a cup with 8 ounces in it can be heavy for a 12 month old. She wasn't fussy at all, but she was very ready. Of course, none of my kids were fussy at all.He might just be hungry right away, so he might be fine if he gets the sippy first thing. Good luck!

  16. Val,E is now 1 year and 3 weeks (born 4/15). Since my last post things have gotten a bit worse… Basically E just wakes up tired all the time and starts showing sleepy signs (yawning, thumb sucking, acting clingy/cranky) very soon after waking. I'm at a loss! Today she woke up crying at 5 so i finally got her at 5:30. She was so tired by 7 i put her down and she slept for almost 2 hours (a LONG nap for her). I tried putting her down an hour and a half after she woke and she finally fell asleep for 1+ hours after some fussing. Now, I just put her down for a THIRD nap (1.5 hours after she woke for her 2nd (she was acting cranky and clingy) but now she's "talking/crying" in her crib. What should i do? I know that i'm not being consistent, which is probably messing with her, but I'm just trying to read her cues/keep her from getting overtired… oh, and I saw your response about pushing her waketime to 700… however, my husband gets up at 630 and since our apt is small it wakes her up to hear him in the shower/making coffee/etc.thanks again in advance!Liz

  17. Liz, hmmm…She is getting up early in the afternoon to have a later bedtime…one thing, do try putting her to bed 12 hours before she gets up. So have her in bed at 6:30 since she wakes at 6:30. I guess you could try a 5 PM bedtime and see what happens. You could also try putting her down at 5 for a short 30 minute nap and then put her to bed for the night around 7. A third nap isn't common at this age, but it might do the trick for now.

  18. Valerie,I know that this post is old, but my DD is just now turning 1, so I'm always a bit behind McKenna. I just wanted to write to you about your Milk concern. (who knows, by now it might not be an issue!) I have never really liked milk, which lead me to do extensive research on it. Recently, I have been doing more and more research and have found that humans really don't need milk. Because cows have a different bone size/fat ratio than us, the type of calcium in the milk is not suitable for humans anyway. Also, there is some research that suggests that cows make a protein that blocks calcium consumption in humans. And the pasturization process kills the majority of the nutrients, which is why they add fortified vitamins (d)into the milk. It is better to rely on veggitbles and even a good calcium supplement (a sublingual or homeapathic being the best in terms of absorption). I was thinking of what kind of milk substitute I could give my daughter after she stops nursing (thinking about almond or rice milk), but after talking to a nutritionist she reassured me that my dd doesn't need it. Which makes sense if we're not getting any nutrients out of milk anyway. So, if you still want to drink milk that's totally fine, but I just thought I would share this information in case it was still a worry. By the way, I love your site! I had read BW when I was pregnant, but then somehow lost the book. The week she was born I found your blog and cannot tell you how many hours I've read posts trying to problem solve, or see if things were 'normal'! Thanks for all the hard work you do keeping track of things, and then posting them. I am jealous of McKenna's sleeping patterns! Such a good napper, and sleeps until 8:30 am! I'd be in heaven (her wake time is 7:00, but that's because I still work part time)Thanks again!Sarah


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