Is It Good To Give Cow's Milk To Your Baby?
Created by Ambili S Kartha Updated on Dec 02, 2018
It is one of the most frequently asked questions whether cow’s milk should be given to infants (less than 12 months of age) or not? This blog puts an end to all your queries regarding cow's milk as an alternative to breast milk. Read on...
Is Cow's Milk Good For My Baby?
The answer to this is quite simple - for infants, cow’s milk should be avoided at all costs. For some reason, if a supplement is to be given in addition to the breast milk, it should only be a formula feed. Reason? Well, there are a few. Let's take a look at them:
Your baby’s digestive tract is yet to mature to be able to digest the proteins that the cow's milk contains, hence, it could cause digestive issues. For instance, it contains elements like sodium, potassium, chloride that can affect your baby’s kidneys.
It lacks essential vitamins and nutrients that are needed for a baby’s growth in the first 12 months of life.
It lacks Vit E, Zinc, and iron which can manifest as iron-deficiency anaemia and even internal bleeding.
If by any reason, you are unable to breastfeed your baby, iron-fortified formula feed is advised.
Cow’s Milk After My Baby Has Turned One?
Yes, post your baby’s first birthday, you can gradually introduce cow’s milk provided your baby isn’t allergic to it or your pediatrician hasn’t advised otherwise.
Here’s the advantages that cow's milk provides to the baby:
It strengthens teeth, bone structure and helps in blood coagulation and muscle control.
It is a good source of vitamin A, phosphorus, and calcium.
It contains a good amount of vitamin D like most dairy products.
It provides the baby with enough energy that lasts the whole day.
However, skimmed cow’s milk should be avoided for babies under 2 years of age, and only full-fat cow’s milk should be given.
One more important thing - since most babies do not like the taste of cow’s milk, the transition should be gradual so that even the baby’s digestive tract gets adapted to it. It can be given alongside the regular formula feed or alternate with breast milk.
Why Is Breast Milk The Best Food Choice For An Infant?
Well, there is no substitute for the breast milk. Exclusive breastmilk is recommended for the first six months. It does not only provide all nutrients for the ideal growth of your baby but also helps your baby fight various infections. Did you know, your breastmilk is tummy-friendly and has growth-promoting nutrients i.e. right quality & amount of proteins and appropriate amounts of vitamins and minerals? In fact, whey protein (present in breastmilk) is gentle on your baby’s digestive tract. Moreover, higher whey content helps in faster gastric emptying. All the essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals present in breastmilk promote brain growth, vision growth & achieve the developmental milestones for babies.
Hope this blog was useful to you? Do share your thoughts with me in the comments section below or do leave any question you may have for me.
| Jun 16, 2018
my daughter is 48 days old... presently i am giving her breast milk and if her tummy does not get full then alternative i am giving her lactogen formula milk.... but now my family is telling me to start her a cow milk instead of lactogen... by diluting with equal ratio of water... please advice me..
| Jun 28, 2018
My daughter was allergic to formula milk. After trying 2 different brands as suggested by doctor and having seen adverse allergic reactions, I stopped immediately. I started diluted cow's milk 2 times a day at the age of 7 months. She could tolerate it well. Doctor just suggested to stop diluting milk as it reduces the nutrition. Cow's milk is started after 9 months usually because it may cause constipation or harden the stool. since my daughter tolerated it before, doctor also agreed to giving cow's milk. So just check what works with you kid and discuss with doctor.
| Jul 07, 2018
Yes it's always there that cow milk does not suit baby. But you are not supposed to give cow milk ever direct. U need to mix it in 60 -40 ratio and that to only 60 to 90 ml first to consume. And also start when baby is almost 8-9 months. Not before than that. It's always preferred to give baby formula always