Originally Posted by handsandfeet
Wow, I'm surprised at all the none answers. Maybe it's b/c I work, but 16 month old DS has gotten used to and now loves cow milk. He gets about 6 oz right before his nap and another 6 oz in early evening time. My supply dropped when I stopped pumping so I feel good that he's getting another source of milk. We call it "leche," and mine is "milk." He also eats about 4 oz of yogurt and a good amount of cheese in the day. But he is a good eater of solids so gets a well rounded diet.
We did not push it because both boys reacted to milk proteins when they were younger infants (I was completely dairy and soy free for about 8 months until they 'got over it'). I did not give either of them dairy until after a year, and then we started with cheese and yogurt (proteins are broken down more than in straight cow's milk). By about 18m they did try drinking milk, but I was cautious about it. Even now (at 2y3m) my DS2 will get a little rashy around his mouth/cheeks if he has too much dairy (like 2+ servings in a day).
It's not really *necessary* for toddlers to be getting so much dairy, but it tends to be *easier* since they do have specific needs and alternatives like rice milk/almond milk aren't as fatty. If you are relying on one of those alternatives and you're not breastfeeding as much/at all, you'd need to make sure that the rest of his diet had higher fat foods as appropriate (good stuff like avocado, nuts - if not allergic, adding flaxseed oil to a smoothie, etc.).