When, Why and How to introduce Cow’s Milk to Babies

Introducing cow’s milk is often a source of confusion for many parents. Many pediatricians recommend parents not to introduce cow’s milk until age of 1 year. This article will give you an insight on when, why and how to introduce cow’s milk to babies.

When to introduce Cow’s milk

Infants should be exclusively breastfed till 6 months. Breast milk is the best for your baby. Cow’s milk should be introduced to your baby only after she is 1 year old. American Academy of Pediatrics also does not recommend giving babies cow’s milk until at least one year of age.

Why to give cow’s milk after 1 year?

An infant’s digestive system is not developed enough to digest cow’s milk till she is one year of age. Babies cant digest cows milk completely or easily as Breast milk or Formula.

Compared to breast milk and formula, whole cow’s milk is low in fat and iron and can lead to iron deficiency and anemia in children

Cow’s milk has too much sodium, potassium, chloride and protein and baby’s kidney is not matured enough to handle it till the age of 1.

Cow’s milk may cause an allergic reaction.

How to introduce cow’s milk to babies?

As any other new food that you introduce to your baby, cow’s milk also should be introduced following the 4 Day rule. The 4 Day rule is a really simple way to check for possible reactions to new food and allergies.

When you start giving cow’s milk, always begin by giving diluted milk. Slowly only increase the quantity of milk once your baby is fine with it. Some babies develop allergy to cow’s milk and also check if your baby is intolerant to lactose. Do check with your pediatrician if you find any of these symptoms -Rashes, blood in stool, stomach pain, vomiting or anything unusual after giving milk.

Some toddlers take to cow’s milk right away, but others are hesitant because it has a different texture, taste, and even temperature than breast milk. If that’s the case with your toddler, try mixing cow’s milk with breast milk or formula at first. You may also include milk in your child’s diet by adding it to her cereal or serve yogurt, cottage cheese, pudding, custard or milk shakes.

How much cow’s milk should your baby have?

Ideal quantity of milk in babies diet should be 2-3 glasses maximum daily. Not more than that. If too much of cow’s milk is given to your kid, it would affect her normal diet and she would be full without having any space to eat her other food. American Academy of Pediatrics recommends giving whole milk as at this age they need higher fat content which is essential for proper brain development.

Hope this information was useful to you all!

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