My daughter is just over 10 months old and I've been thinking of starting the weaning process. So I thought about substituting a feeding once a day for whole milk instead of breastmilk. I've been hearing mixed thoughts about what age is safe to do so. Some people have given their babies whole milk at 9 months old (even said their doctors recommended it) and others say you MUST wait until they're at least a year old. Do you have any thoughts on this?
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Welcome to EmpowHER. Thank you for reaching out to our community for our thoughts on this.
Consult your pediatrician first.
According to Dr. William Sears, on parentingcom, " Cow's milk has gotten an unfair rap lately. Realistically, cow's milk is a very rich source of nutrition in a small package. Milk is high in protein, a healthy carbohydrate called lactose, B-vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin D and zinc. A guide I give patients in my pediatric practice is: no cow's milk before age one, whole milk until age two and low fat or non-fat milk after that. Once baby is weaned from the breast, 24 ounces of cow's milk or goat's milk a day is plenty.
There are two reasons why the Committee on Nutrition of the American Academy of Pediatrics discourages the use of cow's milk under one year of age: allergies and iron- deficiency anemia. The intestinal lining is slower to mature in some babies than others. While lactose intolerance is rare in infants, some toddlers and older children can develop diarrhea, bloating and abdominal pain, because of their inability to digest the lactose sugar in milk. Also, the allergic proteins may seep through the irritated intestinal lining into the bloodstream and cause an allergic reaction, such as a runny nose, wheezing or a red, raised, sandpaper-like rash, especially on the cheeks. Some babies who are allergic to cow's milk can even get frequent ear infections.
Iron-deficiency anemia is another problem, as there is very little iron in cow's milk. If baby is allergic to the cow's milk protein, the irritated intestines may consistently lose a tiny bit of blood into baby's stools."
Regards,April 19, 2017 - 8:52am