Seeking Nursing Moms of Toddlers

Updated on June 04, 2010
M.H. asks from Allen Park, MI
11 answers

My daughter is 15 months old and I'm still breastfeeding(solely) and haven't introduced any cow's milk. I work full time so I do pump at work to keep up my milk supply. I've been lucky enough that I never had to supplement any formula either. She is on solids but haven't tried any dairy products yet either. I am thinking about introducing cow's milk or maybe a toddler formula they now offer. I'm nervous about introducing milk since I had to cut dairy out of my diet early on due to it not agreeing with my daughter. Question is has anyone ever mixed breastmilk with the cow's milk or formula? If dairy didn't agree with your child, did he/she gradually start growing out of it? I'm not exactly sure if she is lactose intolerant either. Any suggestions/advice would be helpful. Thanks!!

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So What Happened?

Thanks for everyone's respones. I personally have been drinking rice milk since I cut dairy out of my diet and tried almond milk a couple of months ago which is quite yummy. I was even talking to my hubby last night about giving our daughter the almond milk as to the cow's milk in which he doesn't agree cause he says she needs the Vitamin D blah blah blah but all in all I'm sure I will win this one....LOL She eats plenty of vegetables too so like you all have mentioned there are many other ways to get those nutrients:)

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answers from Harrisburg on

Most babies outgrow their dairy allergy by 12 months old. My daughter just weaned herself at 31 months old. I've never given her formula & tried to introduce cow's milk to her @ 18 months old. My daughter never liked the cow's milk & still will not drink it. I now give her almond milk & she loves it! I believe that it's better for her anyway than drinking milk from a cow...but I won't get into that! Good luck!

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answers from Detroit on

I wouldn't worry about the milk...cow's milk is for cows. Not to say it doesn't have any human value, it does and always has BUT it isn't mandatory. There are alot of other foods where your daughter can get her calcium etc. My kids 31, 28 and 26 really never drank milk, just a bit on their cereal. One of them put cranberry juice on her cereal instead. Back then I did give them calcium supplements in the form of dolomite powder. Cow's milk causes alot of allergic reactions but its byproducts don't always give the same problem...yougurt and cheese. Be sure to read the labels on the toddler formulas, if you go that route. You might be getting some unwanted ingredients. Anyway, hope this helps. No worries!



answers from Detroit on

HI M.----Contrary to popular belief, cows milk is NOT the health food that some would have us believe. Cows milk is for baby cows. I say this as a reformed milk drinker. After taking a series of wellness classes offered by a Naturopath who has her PhD in Nutrition, my entire family has stopped drinking cows milk. Please go to to learn more.

Cows milk is implicated in a number of health issues, such as type 1 diabetes, allergies (most so subtle as to never be associated w/cows milk), hormone dependent cancers such as prostate and breast, acne, and these are just to name a few. Feel free to contact me and we can talk more about it. Another great resource is to read The China Study by T Colin Campbell. Dr. Campbell was raised on a dairy farm and based on his work reported in this book, is now a vegan. Explore the website as well.

As others have suggested, there are many alternatives to cows milk. My daughter prefers soy...and soy is a perfectly good thing to consume as long as it is organic...I like almond (it has fewer carbs than rice milk). A note on does contain plant based estrogens, and these estrogens are mild, actually offering health benefits. There is a lot of misinformation about soy out there so, again, please feel free to contact me for resources. The Naturopath I work with has numerous reports on long term studies. I can get copies of those to you. In fact, I work with oncologists who recommend that a small amount of non-GMO soy is actually beneficial for breast cancer patients. The weak estrogens in plants (in chick peas and flax seeds as well) actually fill the estrogen receptors in the breast to keep the stronger, cancer causing estrogen out.

There are so many healthier ways to get calcium into the diet. Most green leafy veggies contain much more ABSORBABLE calcium that what milk does, without the saturated fat. Those are broccoli, bok choy, spinach and kale. Plant milks are fortified. There is no need for cows milk. Water should be the beverage of choice.

I know that this post is a 'bit' off topic, but I am a huge advocate for knowing all that I can in order to make the best decision possible. I hope that this has helped and again, feel free to contact me if you'd like to explore this info in more detail. Good luck. D. ###-###-####



answers from Indianapolis on

Don't switch to toddler formula. It's totally unnecessary and just a ploy to get more money for the formula companies:( ESPECIALLY if you're going to continue breastfeeding!
We are the only species that weans from our own milk to another species' milk. When you look at it that way, you see it's a little odd and probably not needed with a balanced diet. Have you tried yogurt and cheese? They are usually tolerated better because for most, it's not an allergy, it's a protein issue. The proteins are broken down during fermentation and processing of dairy products (ice cream doesn't count, it's just frozen).

Really, soy isn't great. It's horribly over-processed and high in estrogens. Almond milk is a great alternative because it's naturally high in protein and calcium. Goat milk is also a good alternative. It's the closest there is to human milk when you look at the proteins, so many children who don't tolerate cow's milk can have goat's milk.

But, don't worry about supplementing too much if you are happy to continue breastfeeding. Here's info on the nutrition of breastmilk in the second year:
In the second year (12-23 months), 448 mL (15oz) of breastmilk provides:

* 29% of energy requirements
* 43% of protein requirements
* 36% of calcium requirements
* 75% of vitamin A requirements
* 76% of folate requirements
* 94% of vitamin B12 requirements
* 60% of vitamin C requirements

And here is info about places to get needed nutrients instead of milk:

There is no need to add cow's milk to your toddler's diet (or the equivalent nutrients from other milks or foods) as long as your baby is nursing at least 3-4 times per day. Cow's milk is really just a convenient source of calcium, protein, fats, vitamin D, etc. - it's not required. There are many people in many parts of the world who do not drink milk and still manage to get all the calcium, protein, fats, vitamin D, etc. that they need.

* Good non-dairy sources of protein include meats, fish, peas & beans (chick peas, lentils, baked beans, etc.), tofu and other soy products, boiled eggs, peanut and other nut butters (if your child is not allergic).
* Good non-dairy sources of fats include soy and safflower oils, flax seed and flax seed oil, walnuts, fish and fish oils, avocado. Adding fats to cooking and baking can work well, for example, stir fry in safflower oil or make mini-muffins with soy or rice milk, oil or butter, and eggs.
* Calcium may be derived from many nondairy sources.
* Vitamin D can be supplied by sunlight exposure and food sources.
* If your child is not nursing regularly and is not allergic to cow's milk products, but simply doesn't like cow's milk, you can incorporate milk into your child's diet in other ways. Many children like cheese, whole-fat yogurt or ice cream. You can also put milk into various food products: pancakes, waffles, muffins, French toast, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, and baked goods.
* Some moms wish to offer cow's milk to their toddler, but baby doesn't like it. Over the age of 12 months, milk becomes a more minor part of a child's diet. It is sometimes helpful to mix increasing amounts of cow's milk with your expressed milk to help baby get used to the taste. Many dietitians see nothing wrong with adding some flavor (such as strawberry or chocolate) to cow's milk.


answers from Dallas on

Around 12 months, breast milk doesn't have all of the nutrients a growing toddler needs. Definitely supplement it with the milk. If there is an allergy present, you can use soy or rice milk. Sometimes, children who cannot have milk, can still eat yogurt, cheese and other dairy products because they have a milk allergy to a protein and are not lactose intolerant. You will have to try and see what she is able to eat. Here is a list of milk allergy symptoms:

When you say you are soley breastfeeding, does that mean she is not eating any other foods either? Here is a good ideas of foods that she should be eating at this point. Just introduce things for a few days before doing another so that you can know if she has an allergy to them.

I also breastfed both of my boys until they were older as well, but I still gave them regular foods. Toddler formulas seem to have a lot of sugars in them and are expensive. Unless your child has a medical condition where she can't eat, it would be better to give a healthy diet instead of the formula as well as the breastfeeding to help introduce healthy eating habits and such.



answers from Detroit on

many kids outgrow milk sensitivitties.. you will never know until you try .. so give her some yogurt or cheese and see what happens. try a small amount and if there is not reaction .. give her more the next day. No one can tell you if she has a milk problem you just have to try.

most likely she will not love cows milk to start with.. it is not as sweet as breast milk.. but she iwll learn to like it..

i wouldnt use the toddler formula.. formula is for babies that are not eating solid foods.. if she is eating a good assortment of foods and nursing a bit ... there is no reason for toddler formulas.. just expensive milk.



answers from New York on

My son never wanted formula or cows milk but I do give him yogurt everyday. I also mix cereal fortified with calcium into his applesauce and make his breakfast oatmal with cream and he doesn't mind it. You can try a little at a time and absolutely you can mix the two and see how your daughter tolerates it. Yes, she can grow out of intolerance and often when nursing it is really hard to know exactly what is bothering your child. Unless she is underweight or a really picky eater, I think you can skip the toddler formula.


answers from Austin on

Not sure if this is helpful (I'm not currently nursing... my child is 4 yo!) My daughter has a cows milk protein allergy, which is not the same as a lactose intolerance. Those are two different allergies. Children tend to grow out of a cows milk protein allergy, while lactose intolerance is a lifelong concern (the body doesn't make the enzyme needed to digest lactose).

I mixed breast milk with formula when my daughter was young. She now drinks goat milk. If you suspect a cows milk allergy, you could mix breast milk with goat milk... Most grocery stores here (not just the fancy gourmet or organic ones) sell Meyenburg's goat milk (check your grocery stores). You might want to keep two things in mind: 1.) some children are allergic to both cows milk and goat milk since the two animals are closely related. But one does not necessarily mean the other--My daughter is very sensitive to cows milk protein, but not to goat... So keep an eye on any allergic reactions if you decide to introduce goat milk; 2.) There is a high correlation between children being allergic to cows milk protein and soy... so if you decide to mix breast milk with soy milk, you should again keep an eye out for any allergic reactions; 3.) and of course, if your daughter is lactose intolerant, you can mix with lactose free milk--however, milk that is lactose free still contains cows milk protein... so you kinda need to know which food allergy you're dealing with...



answers from Detroit on

I applaud your determination to breast feed this long. I was able to do it for about a year, and then just stopped (mainly because my daughter just wasn't interested anymore). Anyway... at this age, I wouldn't go to formula, but to milk... and I wouldn't do cow's milk either... my daughter has always had soy milk or rice milk, and our family favorite at the moment is Almond milk! She has never had cow's milk (she is almost 5 now)... the pediatrician was never concerned about it either. Then again, she has never had meat either... but she does eat dairy products, such as cheese without any problems. Good luck to you, but I would look into the milk alternatives :-)



answers from Washington DC on

I'm not a nursing mom of a toddler but I did have a child that had a milk/lactose issue as a baby and has outgrown it. She can drink cow's milk and eat dairy with no issues. When you say you are breastfeeding solely , do you mean she has no foods either?? Or just not cow's milk or formula milk yet? If she does eat foods has she had any dairy? Yogurts , cheese? Try giving a little and see how it goes , the only way you will find out is if you try her on it. Also I do think you can mix breast milk with some cow's or formula.



answers from Nashville on

I can't speak to the intolerance for dairy part from personal experience, other posters have addressed that anyway.

As for mixing, that is actually the easiest way to transition and will make it much smoother. I didn't know to do that and had trouble getting mine to like cows milk. He drank water from a sippy, so it wasn't that he didn't like to use a sippy, but milk was a no go. I kept nursing because I wanted to be sure he was getting enough nutrients.

But there are plenty of other ways to get the same nutrients as milk. I talked with my doc about that when my son wouldn't do milk. Broccoli is great. Fortified oj is the same as milk except for the protein. I did other dairy, so meeting his requirements was easier. Other dairy products are easier to digest because they lack the enzymes that are in milk, so that might be a good way to start out the dairy. Yogurt, cheese and cottage cheese are all ok for babies under one year.

Maybe you could start by reintroducing dairy into your own diet as you nurse? See if she has the same reactions that she did before. Then give her other dairy, and if that goes fine, start mixing b.milk with cows. I wouldn't bother with formula or toddler formula. Toddler formula is only necessary if your doctor says that your child isn't getting the nutrition they need.

I would ask your doctor's opinions on the intolerance/allergy issue and see what they say. But I do know that many kids who are intolerant as infants grow out of it. But also there are lots of babies that never have cows milk (although they usually have other dairy) and they do fine. You would want some good nutritional guidelines for that though. And one last thing to consider is that the AAP has changed its stance on early introduction of possible allergy foods, thinking now that the earlier they are introduced the less likely they are to have an allergy. All that would be good to discuss with your doctor too.

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