All babies drink either formula or breast milk. Just because it’s called milk doesn’t mean it is the same as the milk that we drink. Breastmilk and formula are specially formulated so that the baby is able to digest it easily. Breastmilk digests very easily. If you asked your mom she probably gave you a bottle of cows milk around 7-8 months. That has all changed. Infants under the age of 1 are not supposed to consume cows milk.
Milk does not contain enough nutrients, vitamins or minerals for it to adequately sustain a growing infant. We are told to NOT give baby milk until after 1 year of age mostly because milk is NOT enough to meet all of baby’s specific nutritional requirements during the first year of life. Babies should be on breast milk or formula or a combo of both until after 1 yr old. wholesomebabyfoods.com
The other reason given for not introducing dairy before 1 is that babies are not able to digest it and it could cause an irritation in their intestines. In January we noticed blood in our son’s stool so we brought him to the hospital. After many tests the doctors told us that he was getting undigested milk proteins from my breast milk and it was causing an irritation in his intestines. I was not able to have any dairy for 4 months, which was tough – but worth it. The formula we used as a supplement also had to be dairy and soy free.
Recently, our doctor told us that we could give the baby yogurt. I am confused isn’t yogurt dairy? Lactose is already broken down with the culturing of the yogurt or cheese and milk proteins are either removed or limited thus it is typically easier to digest; people with lactose intolerance often are able to handle cheese and/or yogurt without trouble.
At 1 year the baby should be ready for homogenized milk. Fat and fatty acids are essential for brain development. If you are breastfeeding and enjoying your time with your baby, you don’t need to switch over. Introducing cow’s milk is not necessary if your baby is doing well on the breast. A lot of parents like cow’s milk because it is easier than mixing formula. I’m holding off as long as possible, my son still prefers breast milk to anything else which is great for me because I have lots of it.