Hi! I have a 16 month old daughter. She still nurses a ton (every few hours during day and night). She is pretty small weighs 20.5 lbs. Very active (walked at 10 months, climbs everything) has over 35 words in her vocabulary — so hitting developmental milestones wonderfully. She will eat a variety of food but only small amounts and simply prefers nursing. Is this a cause for concern? Should she be eating food for most of her calories at this age?
Congratulations on successfully nursing your daughter until after a year of age. You can continue as long as you both desire, although at this age she really doesn’t need to drink every few hours like when she was a baby. If you sipped calories 24/7, you probably wouldn’t be very hungry for meals either. A toddler schedule usually consists of three meals a day and two snacks. Breast milk or regular milk can be offered with meals or at snack time. Some children eat more at snack time than mealtime, so it’s important to offer healthy food options when your child is hungry. That said, she doesn’t need to feed (or drink) in the middle of the night–You both deserve to sleep at least 8 hours straight.
For more information on Feeding Your One Year Old, here is an excerpt from my book, Caring For Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5.