31 answers

Starting Milk at 11 Months

My daughter will be 11 months soon and I have to go back to work in September. I would like to cut down breastfeeding so I don't have to pump during the day at work anymore. Can I start giving her regular D milk? I won't be going back to the doctors until after her 1st birthday so I wanted some opinions. I was thinking of breastfeeding her in the morning and before bed. If so how much should I give her and should it be like two times a day. I work from 9 to 5 so she usually ate at 11 and 3 in the past when i was wokring. I'd rather not use formula, I haven't at all so far. She has totally been breastfed.

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You can try it... but you may be better off just doing the formula. The problem is that a baby's tummy can not break down regular milk very well, not to mention allergies. We started my son too early and it caused great gas pain and diarhea. My advice - go with the formula for a couple of months.

My dd is 9 moos now...n even though the doc says 12 mos to give her reg milk...she is my 3rd child n i think she will b ready to try milk next month since i am planning to send her to day care in Sept..n i will wean her off from breastfeeding.. she takes it in a sippy cup..so just little sips her n there for now..

I would not recommend cows milk until after her 1st b-day. I would rec infant formula for the 6-8 weeks you'll wean over to cows milk, the really good formula with DHEA like Enfamil with Lipil. Also at this age, formula has iron at levels cows milk does not. This is such a big foundational body growth time that I would give them as much nutritional support you can-don't cheat them of the right support for their growth by using cows milk too early. Also, even though you won't go to the doctor until after 1st b-day, put a call in and let them know what you are planning and get their recs on what formula to use, how many ozs, etc. and the switch to cows when.
Also with regard to pumping, I went to twice a day at about 7 mos with my 2nd and did that for a good 5-6 weeks and it was a great way to ease my body off the breast feeding and still provide the breast milk immune benes (not to mention the emotional adj of sadness of not breast feeding).

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My daughter was exclusively breastfed until 11 months and throughout the last few weeks of her last year we started introducing whole milk. My doctor recommended waiting until after her first birthday, but we chose to start earlier. She was a very healthy eater and seemed like she wanted more milk than I was producing at the very end. I pumped breast milk and started introducing whole milk (one ounce for every three ounces of breast milk) and gradually increased the amount over a few weeks. She has milk three times a day (then and still now at 17 months), once in the morning before breakfast, once in the late afternoon (around 4), and once before bed, each time she drinks around four/five ounces. She did very well with the switch and didn't seem to have any problems with the milk. Good Luck! I hope this helps :)

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T.,
I can't imagine that cow's milk would be easier for her to digest than formula. They always advise milk after they are 1. I don't think their tummies can handle it before then. But you only have a month til she's one. Personally, I would slowly introduce formula so you have maximum flexibility once you return to work. I would think that 24-32 oz of fluids total/day is a good amount--depending on her particular appetite. If you decide to go to whole cow's milk, kind of do it gradually so her tummy has time to adjust. You may also want to warm it up a bit. Hope this helps a little. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Usually the doctor will tell you that you can start using vit D milk around 11-12 months. If your daughter tolerates yogurt and other milk products well, and eats solids well you should have no worries with starting her on milk. I suggest you start it in a sippy cup and not a bottle. Keep in mind that she may not like it at first. All the experts say that you should offer a child a new food/drink at least 12 times before decideing that they really don't like it. Stay away from putting flavor in the milk like strawberry or chocolate to "trick" her into drinking it. That's just another bad habit you'll have to worry about later not to mention full of sugars that kids don't need. Good luck and best wishes!

If i remember correctly, the pediatrician recommended formula until my son was eating enough table food to account for he nutrition... There are so many good proponents to formulaa and breast milk (dha/ara) that I don't know if skipping it is a good idea, even for a month or so. Some baby foods are fortified with those, so if you daughter can eat those it may be different. I would defiantely ask the doctor before removing those nutrients from her diet while she isn't with you.

Call your doc first, but I was told to start her at 10 months and we continued to breastfeed until she was 12 months (and now at 16 months, we're down to 2% due to a recent change by the AAPediatrics). We also started yogurt at 9 months to help the transition (no lactose in yogurt, so lactose intolerance not a concern). If she develops a milk allergy, she'll have it from any milk product you give her. Good luck!

We were going to be going camping with our daughter when she was just under a year old. We decided to switch her to whole milk around 11 months and had no problems. I'm not sure that a month would make a really big difference. Just introduce it to her slowly.

I switched my daughter from nursing to regular milk at 10 and 1/2 months. My goal was to bypass formula too. I figured since she was almost 1, it would be OK. She had no problems at all with the switch.
You have done an awesome job nursing so long. At this point, it really doesn't matter how much you nurse her. Do what's right for you. There is no too much or too little.
If you can fit organic milk in your budget, I believe avoiding the hormones in normal milk is really important. A lot of girls these days are having early puberty etc from non organic dairy stuff.
Congrats on nursing, and enjoy weening!

Hi T.,
I really think this is a decision only you can make. I started giving my youngest daughter milk at 11 months and she did fine. The reason doctor's tell us to wait until a year is because of the possibility of food allergies later on. I would consult your doctor and then go with your gut instinct. Maybe give her just a little to start and see if you notice any problems. If she has been eating a variety of food thus far, she will probably be fine. I know,it's hard when you are a first time Mom but you know your daughter the best and I am sure you will make the right decision.

S.

I started transitioning all three of my boys to cows milk at around 10 months (eg. one ounce in an 8 ounce bottle for a week and then two ounces and so on). The big thing they need formula for is iron. I actually just made sure they were eating two servings of baby cereal a day so that they were getting all their vitamins/minerals and did that until they started not liking the cereal (which was around 13 months).

I would not introduce regular milk till year and a half. In the meantime you can uy organic milk or soy formula to feed her.
I.

My dd is 9 moos now...n even though the doc says 12 mos to give her reg milk...she is my 3rd child n i think she will b ready to try milk next month since i am planning to send her to day care in Sept..n i will wean her off from breastfeeding.. she takes it in a sippy cup..so just little sips her n there for now..

Hi T.,

Both of my kids were formula fed, but I started introducing whole milk a few weeks before their 1st birthday. Maybe you could pump your milk and slowly add the cow's milk to it to help her tummy adjust to it. I always started with 3/4 formula and 1/4 milk twice a day for a few days, then 1/2 and 1/2 and so forth until they were taking straight milk. My daughter got a little constipated from milk but that worked itself out pretty quickly. At my daughter's 1 year check up the pediatrician recommended 18 to 24 ounces of milk/day. Hope this helps.

I worked full time while breast feeding my daughter. I called my pedi and asked if I could start whole milk before her birthday (I'm a teacher too, she's a september baby). I was given the go ahead two weeks before she turned 1. I started off giving her half BM/whole milk for a week and then 1/4 bm 3/4 whole milk for the next week. After that it was whole milk. I gave her the milk at the times I would normally nurse. She would then nurse when I got home from work. It was soon after she was only nursing morning and night with thethree milks during the day (nursed at 7, bottle of milk at 9, bottle of milk at 1, and nursed at 4, bottle of milk at 7, bed at 9 with a nurse)

I would absolutely NOT start the cow's milk before 1 year (and I don't know that I would even start it then). My youngest is 18 months and I still don't have her totally on whole cow's milk yet. I still mix her bottles with 50% whole cow's milk and 50% goat's milk. Just a little background (and I'm sure there a lot of moms out there who will disagree): Because I couldn't produce enough milk to breastfeed, I was forced to find other "milk" alternatives. My father-in-law is a biomedical nutritionist and he suggested I start the goat's milk instead of formula. Can I tell you it was probably the best decision I ever made. Both of my girls have almost never been sick (my oldest has been sick 3 times and my youngest has never been sick yet!). My girls only visit the doctor for their well checks. And I truly believe it's because of the goat's milk (formula is so engineered, and full of un-natural stuff). Goat's milk is much more like breast milk, in that it is easier to digest for little tummies and the proteins and make-up of the milk is more like breastmilk. Cow's milk proteins are very difficult to digest, especially for little kids. So long story short, hold off on the cow's milk...give the goat's milk a try. :)

It is always best to double check with your pediatrician but I've heard some of the mother's on here say their pediatricians have recommended switching their children from formula to regular milk between 9 and 12 months.

Since you are breastfeeding and your child will still be breastfeeding just not as much, I don't see why it would be a problem. Of course, I'm not a pediatrician, I'm another mom who is on child 3. That is why I would say double check with your pediatrician to be sure. If there is a particular problem in your child's history or your family history that would indicate they shouldn't start whole milk yet, your pediatrician should be able to recognize and address this with you when you ask.

Also, if you do, remember that they should have whole milk for until they are 2 years old unless otherwise indicated by their pediatrician. (I've recently read where some pediatricians have put kids on skim or fat free milk earlier because of weight issues and other health issues).

Anyhow, hope this helps. Good luck with your little girl.

Try calling your pediatrician and asking. It may be a simple yes or no answer based on what he/she knows about your child's health. Enjoy the rest of your summer.

Its not just about the children getting calcium from milk but the fat content to when it comes to using whole milk. They need it for brain development and milk is a healthy easy way to get it. Otherwise it wouldnt matter what kind of milk you started her on. Also the proteins are different in cows milk than breast milk and are harder to digest which can cause upset tummy. If she is tolerating other dairy products well and there is no family history of milk allergies I would start her a little at a time. Children dont magically tolerate milk the day they turn one so if you take it slow and keep a close eye on her taking into account family history I would try it. If your worried about vitamins, as formula and breast milk hav ethe added benifit of that keep her on some kind of gerber cereal for breakfast or snacks.

try it watered down at first or do part breastmilk and part milk. you are supposed to not start milk until they are one. kids can have an allergic reaction to dairy or she may get some serious diarreha.i started my son about three weeks before he was one and he was fine. before that i was doing soy milk cause it has calcium and vitamins in it like milk.he likes the vanilla flavor.he did not like the formula after he was like seven months old so i had to make sure he had some kind of calcium. also give her yogurt.

Both of my children, now 4yrs and 2 yrs started milk about 2 weeks before their 1st birthdays. I had no problems at all. I did not want to spend the money for the formula and if your child is eating all varieties of foods including diary products like cheeses and yogurt then what is the problem with introducing milk. That is just my opinion and maybe everyone will disagree but it worked quite nicely for me.

Raw goat milk, which you can buy at many local goat farms, would be MUCH more similar to human breastmilk. Cow milk is VERY different in it's composition & can put a tremendous amount of stress on their kidney's. If you absolutely had to go w/ cow milk, again, I'd go w/ raw cow's milk since the protiens & antibodies are intact. The same as human breastmilk--if you heat it too much, the protiens & antibodies are destroyed.

On another note, as much of a pain as it is to pump, it is a priceless gift that you'd be giving to your child to keep you bonded while apart & keep your child's immunity built up.

Good luck!

Why not just give your pediatrician a quick call and ask what they think? They shouldn't have to see her to answer that question. I agree that when you switch to milk it should be whole milk, and organic if you can afford it.

I think the reason that they suggest sticking with formula until 1 year is that babies have an enormous need for iron the first year (which you could replace with cereal) and can't handle very much sodium. Milk has a (comparitively) high amount of sodium.

Just check with your doc and see what they say.

My 3 year old stopped nursing on her own when she was 9 months. She wouldn't take pumped breast milk in a cup or bottle and she wouldn't take formula either so I had no choice but to start her on whole milk. My other daughter turned one in June. I started her on whole milk around 11 months so I could start weening her. I give her a cup in the morning and a cup before bed. Now, two months later, she's fully weened.

I started both my children with whole milk at 10 1/2 months. They both did fine with it. I think your daughter should be fine.I suggest starting it in a sippy cup so that is one less thing to change over to later. Just watch for loose BMS or any tummy problems if that happens wait a couple weeks and try again her tummy may not be quite ready just yet.

First off, Congratulations on nursing your daughter this far! I know it's a challenge. I am going through the same thing as we speak. My son will be one on August 26th. He started on 1/2 whole milk, 1/2 breast milk last week. While he is at daycare they mix his sippy cup with 1/2 breast milk, 1/2 vitamin D and I feed him 1/2 breast milk and 1/2 vitamin D before bed and nurse him if he wakes up at night. I'm hoping to fade out the night nursing over the next week or so. I would like to transition him to strictly whole milk during the day and only nurse him if he wakes during the night. Our Ped said to transition him slowly over a few weeks to make sure he reacts well. They also suggested that I not give him whole milk the first two days before bed in case it upsets his stomach. If he did fine I could continue. So far,so good. He really likes it. Good luck.

My son just turned 1 on July 10. When I went for his nine month check up I asked the doctor - when is the soonest I can start him on milk. He said he is suppose to say 1 yr. But starting 6 - 8 weeks before (10 1/2 - 11 months old) is fine. I would suggest mixing with breast milk for atleast a couple of weeks - Apparently Breast milk is alot sweeter then regular milk - so mixing will get her used to it. Good Luck!

My doctor said it was fine to start my son on whole milk at 11 months. As soon as he turned 11 months I would give him one a cup a day for a few day and then increase it to two cups after a few days. He was on 100 percent whole milk not long after he tuned 11 months. I knew that if he had any issues with milk I would be able to talk about it with his doctor at his one year appointment instead of not starting it untill after he was a year. Good Luck

Hi T.,

How much table food does your daughter eat? I would recommend either giving her food with water or giving her formula. It really isn't recommended to give cows milk before age one. And to be honest, kids don't need cows milk at all. The only reason to give it at all is for the calcium - but if you eat foods rich in calcium (or take a supplement), then you don't need milk at all.

J.

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Our pediatrician said to wait until a year for cow's milk because the baby's system is unable to process straight cow's milk before then. I would recommend pumping extra breast milk now and freezing it so you have a supply built up when you go back to work. You can freeze breast milk for up to 3 months in the regular freezer. Good luck!

I would not recommend cows milk until after her 1st b-day. I would rec infant formula for the 6-8 weeks you'll wean over to cows milk, the really good formula with DHEA like Enfamil with Lipil. Also at this age, formula has iron at levels cows milk does not. This is such a big foundational body growth time that I would give them as much nutritional support you can-don't cheat them of the right support for their growth by using cows milk too early. Also, even though you won't go to the doctor until after 1st b-day, put a call in and let them know what you are planning and get their recs on what formula to use, how many ozs, etc. and the switch to cows when.
Also with regard to pumping, I went to twice a day at about 7 mos with my 2nd and did that for a good 5-6 weeks and it was a great way to ease my body off the breast feeding and still provide the breast milk immune benes (not to mention the emotional adj of sadness of not breast feeding).

I was in a very similar situation and did start whole milk after 11 months of exclusively nursing and my son did fine.

You can try it... but you may be better off just doing the formula. The problem is that a baby's tummy can not break down regular milk very well, not to mention allergies. We started my son too early and it caused great gas pain and diarhea. My advice - go with the formula for a couple of months.

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