I think I can slowly sigh a sigh of relief and a sigh of sadness.. as both my kids exit the toddler phase of their life. Toddlers are a great big bundle of energy, as soon as they start to walk (i.e. toddle) they are everywhere. They want to see everything, try everything, touch everything. They want explore and learn. They are growing both physically and mentally every day. Month on month you see huge changes. As a parent this is both a challenging and rewarding time. Toddlers are simply adorable and endearing, their characters really beginning to emerge and they are exhausting!
So, though it is tinged with sadness (my babies are growing up!), there is also an element of relief. I can now distance myself from chaotic life “then” and look back on how it went for us.
A key thing at this stage of their life, of course is a good balanced diet. Toddlers are increasingly eating “proper meals”, but are still dependent on much needed milk “top ups”. Though I breastfed whilst my children were very little, I switched to formula from around 4 months on wards – they were greedy and lazy babies – the bottle was much more satisfying for them. It also gave me a little freedom, as Daddy and family were able to help me out more!
(I do not want to make this a debate about whether breast or bottle is best. I believe in choice and doing what is right for each individual child and parent. I am simply telling you our story).
What I didn’t realise at the time, but know now, is that my son had a slight intolerance to cow’s milk. Which means, that he REALLY doesn’t like to drink it. I kept him on formula milk during his toddlerhood mainly out of convenience and the knowledge that it contained added vitamins and calcium.
Turns out, that if I hadn’t he would have pretty quickly given up drinking ANY milk. He actually drank formula up to about 3.5 years old – yes, ahem, quite long, but his sister came along and it was easy to continue. When she stopped drinking formula milk, my son stopped drinking milk ALL TOGETHER. Which meant that we were missing out on a great source of calcium and extra vitamins. By then he was good with eating processed milk items like cheese and yoghurt, so it wasn’t so bad.
For us formula milked work well and played a key part in my kid’s development and toddler growth stages. I do not regret a single minute of it (and we still use all the plastic lids as paint pallets during our kids craft sessions!!).
To find out more about the extraordinary growth and development that toddlers go through, visit Growing Up Milk Info. The website offers advice and opinions from experts and mums on toddler nutrition and the role Growing Up Milk can play to help support our Little Ones.