As your baby grows, you might be considering moving them onto cow’s milk. It is certainly cheaper than formula and is less hassle to prepare. Before making the switch, you need to learn more about if it is the right decision for your baby, and when you can introduce your baby to cow’s milk.
Read on to find out when and how you can introduce your baby to cow’s milk, and the safest way to do so.
When To Transition To Cow’s Milk
You should only introduce cow’s milk to your baby’s diet when they reach 12 months old. Before this, their digestive system is not developed enough, and would not cope with the cow’s milk too well, as the milk contains a high concentration of protein.
You can use a small amount of cow’s milk to prepare baby food before 12 months, but it should not be offered on its own to them before this.
How Much Cow’s Milk Your Baby Can Have
Don’t be tempted to switch out every one of your baby’s feeds to cow’s milk when they turn 12 months old. You need to avoid giving them too much cow’s milk at first. They might react badly to the milk, or they might love it and begin rejecting their other food.
Start with around 400ml or less of cow’s milk a day. This works out to just less than 2 cups of milk. This does not have to be just cow’s milk; it can be made up of milk, yogurt, cheese, and other dairy products.
You should also consider giving your baby milk in a suitable cup, rather than a bottle so that they can get used to drinking out of a cup, and begin weaning off of a bottle.
Should I Stop Breastfeeding When Introducing Cow’s Milk?
There is no reason to stop breastfeeding once you introduce cow’s milk to your baby’s diet. There is still so much good that breastfeeding can do for your little one, and it is recommended that you continue breastfeeding until at least two years of age.
What Type Of Milk Can My Baby Have?
There are many types of cow’s milk on the market. It might be confusing deciding which type you can give your baby.
Skimmed milk should not be given to your child until they reach 5 years of age. It contains very little fat and does not contain all the nutrients they need.
Semi-skinned milk can be given to your child from 2 years and onwards. It contains more fat and can see to their dietary needs more.
Full fat or whole milk is best for babies. It contains enough fats to keep them full and help them grow.
You could also look at introducing almond milk to your baby at 12 months old. It can be introduced to their diet from early and contains many great nutrients.
Soy milk is a great option from the age of 12 months if your little one battles with lactose.