Switching from Breastmilk to Whole Milk

Updated on March 05, 2008
J.S. asks from Lehi, UT
17 answers

I have a Baby boy that will be one in March. I am not producing as much as I have been in the past. At what time frame can his system handle being switched from breast milk to whole milk? He was born a few weeks early and has had numerous surgeries. All the healing time has made him slightly behind other one year olds. He is not crawling yet and he can't swallow anything more solid than bread and baby food. Though there is a possibility that there is something wrong with his soft pallet. So will he still be ok giving him cow milk at one year old.

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So What Happened?

I would like to thank everybody for the overwhelming responses. I will definitely be talking to his ped. on his next visit about the best option for my little guy. I pumped an extra few times to build my supply back up, so for now we are doing good. I had not thought of goats milk, and if we went the cows milk, it would be organic! Thanks for the support.

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P.G.

answers from Denver on

My Pediatrician had both of my kids go to whole milk at age 1, so should be okay to start introducing him to it. Try giving it to him in a sippy cup, it will help introduce him to the sippy cup and break him of a bottle.

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S.H.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Try easing him onto the cows milk by offering him other dairy foods such as yogurt or cheese. This will let you see how his tummy will handle the milk products, then after a few days offer him an ounce or two of the whole milk. He will either like it or hate it because the taste is so different than what he's used to but eventually he will take it. They (the dr.'s) say that it's ok to start them on cows milk at age one. All 6 of my kids switched from breast to cows with no problem, I just introduced it slowly. Good luck!

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M.D.

answers from Denver on

Honestly, I'd avoid cow's milk like the plague. It has a VERY high rate of allergic reaction and it is linked to causing other food sensitivities. Not to mention that if it's not organic, it's one of the most polluted food sources we have.

If you absolutely must give him a milk sub, goat's milk is much closer to human milk and so has a lower rate of allergic reaction. Goat yogurt, thinned with a little purified water would be even better because it has natural enzymes that support intestinal health and aide in digestion.

The real question is, why do you think your son needs milk?

Blessings,

M.

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K.V.

answers from Great Falls on

Hi J.,

My opinion is probably different than others you have heard, but it's only an opinion. :)

IF you give him milk, I would recommend goats milk. It's more similar to human milk and more digestible for him. Also, I saw a report on Youtube about what they are doing to the cows milk that you buy in the store. It was done by Fox TV if you want to look it up, use the words milk and Fox TV.

I have friends with cows, so after watching that video, if we drink milk I would only drink milk from their cows. (I've also ready similar things in books)

Our family drinks goats milk. I get that fresh too. I haven't heard about anyone messing with goats milk when you buy it in the store, but maybe they do.

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D.K.

answers from Denver on

To get him used to milk give him breast milk that is cooled off as milk doesn't need to be heated after the year mark, then mix half breast milk and whole milk so he can still smell some breast milk. Heating milk can cause burns and can spoil quickly, so I never went to heating it.
To be honest I just switched my kids and it wasn't a problem for either. I weaned them off of breast milk early, my son at 5 mos and daughter at 2 mos (due to stomach issues) and then I had to rewean them from formula to milk. It is usually harder on us moms then the babies! :) Give him a taste of milk now and see how he likes it.

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T.M.

answers from Denver on

Hi J.~
I think I would consult with your pediatrician. They should go over this with you at your son's well child check up at 1 year. But, we have a 3 year old little boy and he started on whole milk at about 15 months (but I did not breast feed, we used similac formula). I think it's different for every child, but since your son was born premature and has had surgeries, I would ask your doctor just to make sure you are switching your son over at the right time...best to be safe to make sure that your son is getting all the nutrients and vitamins that he needs. :)
Good luck to you! :)
T.

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S.L.

answers from Colorado Springs on

J.,

I actually started giving my little guy goat's milk in a cup at around 10 months or so (a taste), in addition to breast feeding. My doctor had actually recommended doing it with cow's milk, but I was not comfortable with that. Goat's milk is closer to human milk and is far gentler on our little ones. I slowly transitioned to cow's milk shortly after his first birthday, and it went without a hitch.

I don't know if that would change due to your special circumstances, though. I'd talk to the doctor first, just to be sure.

S. L.

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L.B.

answers from Washington DC on

I would switch to goats milk or formula- I know formula is expensive also, but some of the generic brands are not as expensive and they are the same as Enfamil and Other popular brands nutrition wise. Walmart brand, Kirkland (costco) brand, fres meyer brand.... Really better prices for the same thing. Our little ones will continue to get most of there nutrition from milk until they get a little older, especially if he has trouble eating anyway.... Remember almost all formula is milk based... If there is a question of allergies. They do have soy based also.

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S.W.

answers from Denver on

My mother advised me to switch my oldest daughter to whole milk when she was 9 months old. I did this and reported so to the pediatrician at her next visit only to find out I should have waited until she was at least 1. He didn't have me try to switch her back, but had me supplement wtih an infant iron liquid vitamin. I can't remember the name of it, but it has a bunny on the box and can be found at any grocery or drug store. Anyway, I waited with my other two children and did not have to give them this supplement. The supplement smells terrible and from her reaction, I know it didn't taste any good, either. I would talk to his pediatrician before changing anything.

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K.G.

answers from Pocatello on

Another thing you might try is giving him formula for the first little bit... I think it's lactose based so it might ease him into it. Maybe try mixing it with your breastmilk and then do straight formula. Maybe then gradually switch over to whole milk. Check with your doctor to be sure! Hope everything goes ok!

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D.M.

answers from Denver on

Stay away from cows milk. Look for organic goat milk.

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M.C.

answers from Denver on

Rarely do i post, but today seems to be the day to speak up for breastfeeding. i successfully breastfed two children, first one to 2.5 years and second for 18 months and then forced to stop because of an intense infection unrelated to breastfeeding. As a doc's wife i also supported many, many moms over the years with breastfeeding.
Firstly, trust that your body is providing plenty of milk for your son, and if you are inclined to continue breastfeeding him, that is the best for both of you. Nutrition and relationship are the best for him. May seem that he is not nursing as long, trust that he is getting more faster. With the drawbacks to cows milk-allergenic and high hormones, chemicals, etc. Why move away from nursing?
i am 60+ grandmother.

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J.F.

answers from Denver on

J.,

Consider goats milk instead of cows milk. Goats milk is much easier on the body than cow. Unfortunately here in the states we have been brain washed to think cows milk is better. So goats milk is a bit more expensive but well worth it. Your little one will not have as much of a chance to allergies from goats milk. Remember 2/3 of the world drink goats milk.

Also for food have you tried avacados mashed up for him? There is a lot of good vitamins and such in there to help his immune system.

He is old enough to drink milk now, congrats on being able to breast feed for so long my three lasted to about six months until the teeth came in and i could not stand the pain anymore.

Take care,

J.

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D.W.

answers from Billings on

Hi J.,

My little man cam e a little over 5 weeks early, he was very healthy adn didn't need the surgeries yours did. My ped pushed me to give him whole milk at one year. I slowly added that from a sippy cup while continueing to brestfeed. Jack weaned himself at around 13 1/2 months. I would definately consult your ped. I couldn't drink milk due to issues with Jack's digestion. It just seemed to make him so colicey. I never really started drinking it again until after he was weaned even though I probably could have. If you drink milk and he doesn't have any reaction it will give you a clue as to how he can handle it.

Good luck!

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P.G.

answers from Denver on

My Pediatrician had both of my kids go to whole milk at age 1, so should be okay to start introducing him to it. Try giving it to him in a sippy cup, it will help introduce him to the sippy cup and break him of a bottle.

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N.P.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I would ask your doctor. The thing that I have heard is that you can introduce milk one year from their due date. And then you just introdue a little bit at a time. But I'm not sure about babies with allergies. That's why a call to the dr would be helpful. Good luck.

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S.M.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Jen,
I would talk to your doctor before going to just cows milk. He may want your son to stay with formula, or maybe not. Since your son has had surgeries I would make sure about allergies to milk and if milk has as much nutrition as formula at his age.
S.

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P.S.

answers from Denver on

the best thing for him at his current stage (what you have described) is to continue to breast. the nursing will help him to develop good mouth and neck muscles. to increase your milk, pump after he eats for about 5-10 minutes. pump at night if he is sleeping all night get up every 4-6 hours to pump. eat a good diet and lots of liquids. encourage him to eat well. hope this helps.

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