Whole Milk Vs. 2% Milk at Age 1 - Centreville,VA

Updated on March 21, 2008
L.G. asks from Centreville, VA
92 answers

My daughter is 10 1/2 months old and I am starting to look forward to her first birthday when I can say good-bye to formula. I know that at age 1 I will be able to starting feed her milk and from what I understand, the customary requirement is whole milk. I was talking to my mother about this over the weekend and she strongly suggested that I give my daughter 2% instead of whole milk since she feels there is too much fat in the whole milk which all is so hard to digest anyway. I have been trying to do some research on my own to make this decision and thought I would ask all the experienced mothers out there for some good advice. I would certainly prefer to put her on 2%, but if whole milk is that important than I would have no problem with it. Can anyone please shed some light as to what makes whole milk that much more important?

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So What Happened?

I just wanted to thank everyone for all their recommendations! I never thought I would get so many responses! My daughter just turned 1 over the weekend and she has transitioned very well onto whole milk. Thanks again!

Featured Answers

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J.T.

answers from Washington DC on

L. I used 2% with my boys and everything was fine they are now 22 and 20 and healthy as can be. Now my 20 year old would not take formula after 6 months and I tried making formula like my mom fed me he would not take that. My ped doc told my that until he was a year old I would have to give him whole milk with added vitamins to supplement what he would not receive by not drinking the formula. I hope this is helpful for you and I wish you luck.

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D.B.

answers from Washington DC on

The recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics is whole milk until age 2. If there are concerns about weight, I recommend changing to 2% after age 2 and limiting juices to no more than 4 ounces a day. FYI I am a family practice physician with approximately 40% pediatric population

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B.M.

answers from Washington DC on

Hello,

I have 2 girls, now 8 and 6 years old. When they were young I was told to feed them the whole milk because they needed the fat in the milk to help their developing brains. Not that I easily believe everything I was given this information by my pediatrician and in several articles I read. I believe it was when they were around 4 or 5 that I began to give them the 2% milk.

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B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

Hi L.,
I am a NICU RN and agree with Dana B. Research says that babies need whole milk until they are two. The fat in whole milk is essenial for development. I have not found that organic milk is worth the extra expense. But don't put all of your trust in other's advice. Do your own research, especially the American Academy of Pediatrics, and make an informed decision you are comfortable with.

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J.B.

answers from Washington DC on

Fat is essential to brain development. Since milk continues to be a staple of most children's diets during their second year, and it is full of other vitamins and nutrients, pediatricians usually recommend using whole milk through the second year while the brain is still doing a tremendous amount of developing. Basically, whole milk is a very nutritious way of getting the essential fat for the brain. Personally, I switched both of my daughters from breast milk to whole milk when they turned 1, and then from whole milk to 1% when they turned 2. Neither of my girls had a problem with either switch and both have developed beautifully, mentally and physically.

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T.H.

answers from Norfolk on

this is something you ca talk to your babies dr about at her next appointment. babies need the extra fat that's why they want them on whole milk.my children didnt drink milk often so i never really bothered buying a different container of milk for them and on the seldom occasion they wanted or would take milk i had to put ovultine in it for flavor (we drink fat free). but if your child does drink milk give her whole milk it is best. 2% wont hurt and she definetly wouldn't hurt to have it instead but there must be a reason most if no all dr.'s agree that whole is best.

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C.D.

answers from Washington DC on

Todlers are still maturing their brain as well as growing rapidly. The fat in whole milk is important for that. Stick to whole milk, breastmilk or todler formula until she is 2 years old.

A very good reference:
http://pediatrics.about.com/od/milk/i/05_milk_2.htm

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R.B.

answers from Washington DC on

We give our daughter 2% milk, which we started at 1 year. She has an issue with constipation and her doctors recommended 2%. I don't think there's any other benefit to whole milk other than the fact that babies need a certain amount of fat in their diets. Incidentally, when you switch from formula, make sure your child gets vitamins to replace what she was getting in the formula. We still give our daughter formula twice a day (the second step formula that you can give them until age 2), and milk once a day along with her solid meals. Good luck!

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W.T.

answers from Norfolk on

Hi Lindsey,
I am a mom of 2 and was happy to help you with your question. Toddlers need the calories from the fat in whole milk for growth and brain development. It is very important. Also, as we know, toddlers can be picky eaters and don't always eat as they should and whole milk can make up for the fat and calories that she may be lacking. Hope that helps. Enjoy this wonderful time with your toddler, they grow up fast. Take care.

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R.F.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi! I am a mom of 3-2 girls 10 & 4 & a 6month old boy...we started both girls on whole milk & eventually switched to 2%. But always check with your pediatrician first. They recommend whole milk for the fat & nutrients, but after a certain amount of time, then they say to switch. But again it will depend on your child-how she does eating, drinking, getting her nutrients/vitamens, etc. She may need to be on whole milk longer or shorter depending on how she does all around...have fun with her! The years fly by to fast...R. f.

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S.S.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi L.! As a medical professional (I am a Physician Assistant,) with two children of my own, I would strongly encourage you to have your daughter drink whole milk.

Children, unless they are overweight/obese, (which most are not,) actually need the extra calories and fat that is found in whole milk until age 2. The caveat to that is that they do not drink more than 16-20 oz. of milk a day because that can fill their bellies up with "empty" calories and prevent them from eating enough solid food.

If your daughter has had no problem on milk based formula, she should be fine with the milk. There is no difference in digesting 2% vs. whole. Both have lactose in them. If she has a hard time with the milk (gets gassy, uncomfortable) try Lactaid or the Enfamil Next Step Formula.

Hope this helps.

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L.S.

answers from Norfolk on

From what I have learned and read on the subject, until they are two they need the fat in whole milk for brain development. Horizon organics makes a great milk that has the DHA in it also which also supports healthy brain development. I gradually added the whole milk to his formula by adding about a half an ounce a week until it was all milk. Good luck.
L.

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S.S.

answers from Washington DC on

Definitely go with whole milk. When I switched from breast milk and formula to whole milk, my son did suddenly start spitting up again. Perhaps your mother is right and it is harder to digest. But my pediatrician wasn't at all concerned with it and it went away after about 2 weeks. Fat is so good for babies under 2 years of age. The previous mothers who have responded are right, fat helps brain development at this age. However, I'll admit that I've used 2% when I'm in a pinch and out and about and when that is all that is available, but at the grocery store I buy whole milk for him.

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T.P.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi, From what I recall the whole milk is better at that age because lots of fat in the diet is good for a developing brain. I'm sure you do an internet search to see what the common recommendation is, but my hunch is to that switching to 2 or 1% makes sense a little later, like at 18 or 24 months.

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R.H.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi L.,
The fat in whole milk is essential for brain development at this age. She shouldn't get reduced fat milk until age 2. It is very important that she get an adequate amount of the "good" fat from whole milk until then. You can give her reduced fat yogurts and cheeses, but she should drink (I think it's about 16-18 oz) of whole milk a day from 1-2. Your doctor should be able to explain better. That does not mean she should eat high fat foods, you can still choose lean proteins. The whole milk is very important!

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L.P.

answers from Norfolk on

Actually, I think the research says that children under 3 years of age should be given whole milk, because that fat is what helps their brains develop.
L.
mom to 6

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R.T.

answers from Dover on

definetly go with the whole milk they need the fat for brain development

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J.L.

answers from Washington DC on

Our pediatrician told us that those fatty acids in whole milk are very important in brain development in babies. If you are going to be switching to regular milk, I would definitely make it whole, that way you give your daughter the best working, healthiest brain she can have.

~J.

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M.D.

answers from Dover on

Hey! This is still somewhat of a controversial debate, but the new Amer Acad of Peds recommends NO more whole milk! At least not for "American" kids! They've done numerous studies and have realized that although kids birth-2 needs lots of fat for proper brain development, kids in this country get plenty of it (actually, too much)...and have actually found elevated cholesterol levels and atherosclerosis in 3 year olds because of the tendency to give them TOO much fat!
They now recommend 2% milk at age 1 and once they turn 2, assuming they have some other healthy sources of fat (avocado, nuts, fatty fish, etc.), they should be on non-fat milk thereafter.
If you'd like to read more about it-search at www.aap.org

Hope this helps!
-M. (mom of 2-year old little girl and a Registered Dietitian) ;)

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A.C.

answers from Washington DC on

Your daughter needs the higher fat and caloric content of whole milk for her growth and development right now. In fact, for children under 2 years old, fats should make up about half of the total caloric intake for the day.

The fat provided by whole milk is essential for her brain development.

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J.C.

answers from Norfolk on

This one I can help with. During my doctor visits with my girls (regular check ups) my Pediatrician has suggested 2% milk. He says it has plenty of fat in it for growing children. He also suggested that my girls do not have more than 16 ounces a day. My mother-in-law mentioned that my husband's Pediatrician when he was young also suggested the same thing. So, I hope that helps!

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L.H.

answers from Norfolk on

This is just to echo what you've heard - whole milk, whole milk, whole milk!! Great question!

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K.H.

answers from Washington DC on

I think all doctors agree that at age one (until at least age two) whole milk is really important because of the fat content. Those little brains need the fat and protein, especially when they have days where they eat little, which is common around 18 mos. old. I know my son ate like a bird most days around that age, and I felt better knowing he was having about 24 oz. of whole milk.

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S.S.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi there! First, and most importantly, definitely discuss this with your child's pediatrician. When it was time for my kids to switch (I have three, ages 17, 7 and 3), I took it slow. My last two did not get off of their formulas until a year and a half or a bit longer which was completely fine. They were on Alimentum and wanted to stay on it!! I slowly introduced whole milk into their formulas increasing the ratio bit by bit. That worked great. Also, a child's brain NEEDS the fat in milk which is why it is important you check with your pediatrician before using just 2%. Generally, whole milk the 12-24 months then switch to either skim or 1%. Good luck and don't rush!!!:) Oh! Also, be sure to give her plenty of fruits to avoid constipation during the switching process.

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C.K.

answers from Washington DC on

You should give her the whole milk. The Dr.'s suggest whole milk for brain development. Also after she starts walking she will be so active that she will need the fat not to waste away:)

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A.S.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi.

These questions should always be deferred to your pediatrician who will guide you through the feeding issues.

Our pediatrician told us that we should only give our babies whole milk from age 1 to 2. The fat in the whole milk aids in brain development. After 2, we went right to skim milk. So...unlike us "grown-ups", our babies need the whole milk!

Good Luck!

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L.F.

answers from Norfolk on

children i believe should have full cream milk till they are at least 2 years old. After that they can get some of their dairy requirments from other foods like cheese and green leafy vegetables. hope this helps L. Toowoomba Australia

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D.O.

answers from Washington DC on

All four of my children (currently 12, 10, 6 and 18 months) have had 2% milk. My husband and I drink 2% so we asked our pediatrician when our oldest was getting ready to make the switch from formula at 12 months. He said that we shouldn't go any lower than 2%, but that the kids would get everything they need from 2%. I would suggest you talk to your pediatrician, but I can assure you 2% has been fine for all of my kids. Good luck!

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L.H.

answers from Charlottesville on

I don't know about whole milk's fat being harder to digess unless you or your daughter have a lactose intolerance. We thought our DS was drinking too much milk and asked our Pedi if we could switch to 2%. He said that the fat in whole is good for the little ones, and unless our son was gaining too much weight (which he isn't) or was overweight or one of the high percentiles for weight, he recommends whole milk until age 2.

1 year olds are only supposed to get 20-22 oz of milk to meet the daily requirements. When DH and I actually sit down and think about it, while it seemed DS was drinking too much, he was only getting a 9 oz sippy cup with each meal, sometimes 2 in the morning so he was getting just what "they" recommend.

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T.D.

answers from Washington DC on

My pediatrician told me that it is very important for children to get the fat that is in whole milk. As soon as my boys turned two she told me I should switch them to 2% but for that 1st year she definitely wanted them on whole.

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M.W.

answers from Washington DC on

Just to echo what others have said, the cholesterol in whole milk is essential for forming the brain cells. Your mother may be remembering the past, when there was a trend to put children on low fat milk, but it was changed due to scientific studies. Don't worry about the baby fat years, my son's legs were so fat they rubbed together, and he was chubby until about 10, then he shot up and now is a bean pole at 24.

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F.S.

answers from Washington DC on

Don't touch the 2% just yet. Our pediatrician told us to keep our 17 mo twins on whole milk. To prevent them from filling up on milk instead of eating, they are only given milk at meal time with water or watered down juice for the grazing times. Whole milk contains the fat and other good stuff the babies need to replace breast milk or formula. At 1 yr, juice can be given up to 4 oz a day. Your daughter will need whole milk until she's 2. Also, don't skimp on the whole fat cheese or yogurt. Babies grow at such a fast pace, that they need the fat to balance the burned calories from all that growth.

If you're worried that your baby is over-weight or under, check with your pediatrician. They can always send you to a pediatric nutritionist or give you handouts as to what your sweetie needs to eat. You're coming up on your 1 yr check up anyhow, write a list of your concerns to take with your doctor. That way you don't get rushed thru the appointment.

GL

F.

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T.B.

answers from Norfolk on

If I am not mistaken, doctors recommend that you start with whole milk because your baby needs that extra milk fat. I can not remember right off the top of my head what it is that the milk fat helps with brain development and growth. During the first two years, your baby is going to change dramatically, and the fat and calories that the whole milk contains is very important in this development.

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L.S.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi,
I have an 18month old daughter who is now drinking 2%. We started her off on whole milk but since she has always been a great eater and off the charts in weight our pediatrician suggested that we switch her. I would probably start your daughter off on whole milk to give her all the calories and nutrients they need at this age but if you have any concerns ask your pediatrician. It may be that she doesn't even like milk and that is another challenge in it self.
Good Luck,
L.

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J.G.

answers from Washington DC on

I completely agree with the previous respose. You should not be worried about fat content of milk when you child is just turning one! Talk to your ped, but a baby needs fat for proper brain development and general health. As long as the child is eating a healthy diet (lots of fruits, veggies, healthy poteins) weight gain from whole milk should not be an issue. Unless your doctor said otherwise, go with the whole milk. :)

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H.D.

answers from Washington DC on

All the medical information says that you should give whole milk until 2 years old. Babies NEED the fat to thrive. Whole milk is very important until at least age 2. I would suggest talking to your pediatrician and let him/her advise you. Our pediatricians are great and I have trusted all the advice they have given us and it has always worked great. Our twin daughters just turned two and we just switched to the two percent. They had no weight problems and are beautiful healthy girls who love milk.

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N.L.

answers from Washington DC on

I started w/ whole milk but then switched to 2%. I had (have) a very large baby/toddler, so I figured that she didn't "need" the extra fat and would certainly pick it up elsewhere in her diet. As much as I avoid feeding her junk food, I know that her grandmother does it behind my back. That's where she gets the extra fat.

If your child is small, maybe she needs the extra fat.

N.

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W.S.

answers from Washington DC on

mommy 3 kids I think to start whole milk is best kids need the fat they burn it fast at age 2 then change over to 2% but always ask Doc first.W.

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T.T.

answers from Norfolk on

Whole milk is fatty, but also good for a child in moderation, but we started our son on 2% milk at a year and he did great with it, stayed in the normal bracket or his age and weight, and now he's on soy milk (lactose intolerant), but I would say from my own personal experience, 2% works just fine!

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M.G.

answers from Washington DC on

All milk is hard to digest. It wasn't meant for humans to consume. We don't need it. Skip the cows and try soy/rice/almond milk instead and/or oj that's fortified with calcium. My kids have never drunk milk and they are perfectly healthy. Do the research for yourself and read The Total Health Makeover by Marilou Henner.
ps. If you give her cow milk, make sure it is organic, and 2% is fine.

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L.C.

answers from Washington DC on

You should absolutely give your daughter whole milk until age 2, at which point you can change to 2% or 1%. The fat content in milk is extremely valuable to the growing brain of a toddler. Having your child eat foods with fat in them is not unhealthy when they need the additional calories for thier rapid growth and development. It would be more detramental for the child to have too few calories or learn that they need to eat giant portions of low fat food to meet thier calorie needs. This creates a basis for a child learning to overeat. I would also speak to you pediatrician who will likely recommend whole milk until age 2. This link talks about the difference between whole milk and 2%. http://pediatrics.about.com/od/milk/i/05_milk_2.htm

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J.T.

answers from Richmond on

I had been informed that babies/toddlers that age need fat in their diet for proper brain development. I believe its at least up to the age of 2. That is the reason fat is needed in their diet though, for brain development.

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B.S.

answers from Washington DC on

The reason why whole milk is so important is the fat- they need this fat for brain development (unless your pediatrician told you to use 2% for health reasons).

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H.N.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi L.,
I am a mom of three little girls, 2 years, 5 years and 7 years! I know there are a lot of questions a first time mom has and this was one of mine as well (why whole vs. 2% or other). My pediatrician said that whole milk provides more fat to the baby which is VERY important for their brain development. Unless your baby is severely overweight or cannot digest dairy, then I would recommend sticking to the whole milk until age 2. After that, it doesn't particularly matter (most folks I know switched over to 2%). Also, if you happen to run out of whole milk, don't worry, 2% or 1% will suffice until you can get to the store :)

Good luck with your little angel!
H.

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R.A.

answers from Washington DC on

My understanding is that the fat in whole milk is important for brain development - this is what our pediatrician told us; I would suggest asking your daughter's doctor about it. I have 2 daughters (5 and a half and 2 and a half) and neither had any trouble going from formula to whole milk. Good luck

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P.Y.

answers from Washington DC on

I also did not want my child getting all that fat, but the pediatrician told me that at least for that year (between 1 and 2 years old) the calories from the fat were necessary for brain development and growth. After that the fat is no longer good because it becomes a heart health issue. I gave my kids whole milk and then, at 2 years old, weaned them to 1%. They are now 4 and 3 years old. I plan on going to skim milk when they hit 5 years old.

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P.W.

answers from Washington DC on

I was told that the babies need the extra fat to increase brain function. My kids all drink skim now, so you shouldn't have a problem when you decide to switch to 2% or skim. I would ask your pediatrician, things could have changed in the last 3 years. That was the advice I got when I was in your situation.

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M.G.

answers from Danville on

Please keep young children away from soy milk if at all possible. It effects our hormones, especially estrogen production, which can lead to problems. Worse than with tradition, hormone laden milk.(there is plenty of info about this on reputable medical sites). If you need something for cereal, etc, use organic milk, or rice milk - much healthier (of course the high fat versions!

My son has never drank much milk after breastfeeding, and his brain developed fine! He is extrememly smart. I just made sure he ate lots of nuts and such to get the fat he needed!

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M.D.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi L.! I'm a Registered Dietitian and the guidelines are always recommended for 1 year olds to consume whole milk. The fat aids in brain development, so it is important to give them whole milk and whole yogurt. The newer guidelines are leaning towards giving 2% milk at age 2 or age 3 and then dropping to 1% milk at age 5. Hope this helps. If you have any more questions, let me know - [email protected]____.com

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C.W.

answers from Washington DC on

Alot of people are going to tell you what they think is best. I did give my daughter whole milk she had no trouble with it. Her doctor said she should be on 2% so she now drinking that. But The best way to find out what you should do is just try it. If your daughter can't digest it well or is gaining weight then I would go to 2%. Or you could just go to 2% because I think the only difference between the two is the fat. But I have read that fat at that age is good for them.

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K.K.

answers from Washington DC on

My son is about 17 months now, and when we first put him on milk they said whole, whole and whole because of the vitamins. Well, Dylans tummy didn't take to well to the whole milk, it gave him a very upset tummy. So, we switched to 2% and that fixed the problem. So, I'm not sure if your daughter has a sesitive stomach like my son, but either one gives them what they need. Actually, a lot of moms I've talked with about the subject use and recommend 2%. I do recommend mixing the formula with milk to get her used to it, ween her it if you wil.
I'm just throwing out things that we did with Dylan that were succesfull, I hope I helped in some way :)

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R.S.

answers from Washington DC on

I know we're all trained to worry about the fat content in food, but it's VERY different for children. The reason doctors recommend whole milk (and recommend it vrey strongly) is, in fact, because of the fat. Children need the fat for proper development, especially of their brains. I *believe* you can transition to 2% when they are 2 or 3, but your child needs the fat that is in whole milk in the meantime.
The fat in milk is not hard to digest. The protein can be hard to digest, the sugar can be hard to digest, but the fat is not an issue. Please ask your pediatrician before using 2%.

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M.C.

answers from Washington DC on

My kids are almost 17 and 14 years. I took the bottle from bo th of them @ 11 mos. They started 2% back then and are still drinking 2%. Also don't forget to give your baby water. Have fun. Life is short. May God bless your family.

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E.B.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi L.! When my daughter turned 1 I gave her whole milk (she was also a formula baby) but she didn't seem to drink it well so I gave her 2% which she drank more easily. So, with the same thinking as your mother, I gave her 2% assuming she didn't need the extra fat from whole milk. My pediatrician said it was fine as long as long as she had other whole-fat foods like baby yogurts and cheeses regularly. Then, we moved, and I asked our new pediatrician at her 15mos check up about the whole milk vs 2% milk and she said the whole milk is so much better at this age because of all the major brain developing that is going on. So, she's back on whole milk and drinks it with no problem! My daughter has always been 90-95th percentile for height/weight and they still want her on the whole milk for the extra fats. However, I believe by their 2nd birthday it's common to switch to 2% or 1%. I believe "babies" and "kids" are different breeds when it comes to the fat content of their diet. With all the brain developing going on in their first 2 years they need the extra fats.

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M.S.

answers from Washington DC on

Babies need fat in order to develop properly, the brain and a lot of vital organs. They should have whole milk, whole milk youghurt and whole milk cheeze if possible. And they can eat butter! This is only for the first I believe 2 years, not sure if it ends there or at 3. Anyhow it's very very important that they get enough with fat to develop properly. They will burn up the calories fast when they start to walk. Please ask your Pediatrican if you want more facts than I have given.

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J.T.

answers from Richmond on

I would say whole milk. Thats what pediatricians say. And at age 1 they still need the fat that whole milk provides. Ask your ped and see what they say. I would trust them!

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L.C.

answers from Washington DC on

First of all. Should you NOT give her the 2%milk since that is fortified with artificial nutrients. To get the 2%, they had to take away the fat, completely defat it to become 2% and then add artificial nutrients to make up for the once that was taken away when it was defatted.
Second, why don't you try to get raw milk. That is the only milk that has NOT been processed at all and is the very best you can get for your baby and your family.
Now, if you freak out for a unknown reason about raw milk, you should get the ORGANIC WHOLE MILK since the cows has been fed with food that has no herb/pesticides, no vacc. or been treated with RB.
The fat the children gets are ESSENTIAL for their brain development. Now, I know a lot of mom will say, Yes we gave our kids 2% when they were little and they turned out beautiful. The thing is, we have to think long term. If you still choose the artificial milk, I would suggest you to supplement with fishoil, like Carlson's fishoil for kids that has the highest potency.
Good Luck,
L.

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C.D.

answers from Washington DC on

I would ask your pediatrician to be sure but our pediatrician told us to give our son whole milk because whole milk has the fat that childrens brains need to develop properly. From what I've read at age 2 you can then start giving 2% milk if you choose. But again I would definitely ask you pediatrician. Good luck.

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D.G.

answers from Washington DC on

Stick with whole milk until about kindergarden. Your brain is made up completely of fat which is why it is so important at this age. Besides, sugar is the enemy not fat.

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A.F.

answers from Norfolk on

for a 1 year old, yes whole milk is much better. at that age children need all the nutrients they can get fat and all. remember her body is still developing and needs more nutrients than older children. i suggest giving her the whole milk for now and further down the road you could start her on the 2% milk.

i am the proud mother of three girls, ages 3, 6, 8.

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J.K.

answers from Norfolk on

WHOLE MILK!!!! Your baby needs it for brain development! Check out drsears.com

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T.C.

answers from Washington DC on

unless your mom is a pediatrician, i would check with yours. mine said whole milk for 1 year olds. honestly, there isn't that much fat in whole milk (i think it's like 4%) compared to breastmilk or formula. it is said that breastmilk which is super fatty is easier to digest than formula or milk. but i would check with your doc.

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D.C.

answers from Richmond on

If your daughter is on the lower end of the weight charts, definitely put her on the whole milk. When she goes to her one year well-baby check up see what her pediatrician says. He/she may tell you to put her on the 2% depending on where her weight is. If you do have concerns about the fat content the pediatrician should be able to answer your questions. At one year my now five year old son was on the higher end of the weight charts and his ped told me to put him on the lower fat milk. I wouldn't worry about it until you talk to your daughter's ped and see what he/she says about it.

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S.R.

answers from Charlottesville on

The fat in whole milk is what your child needs until the age of 2. The fat is what help brain development. That is what I was told when I ask the health dept and my doctor. But another thing I was told is not to give them to much milk, no more than 12 to 16 ounces a day. Good luck!

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L.D.

answers from Washington DC on

Whole milk is recommended for this age because it is one of the sole sources of fat, which your child needs very much for her development during this stage. If you look at what you will be feeding your child besides milk, she's not going to get much protein or fat, at least not in the first couple months after she's a year. Definitely stick with the whole milk. Once she turns 2, then you can switch to 2% - her diet will be much more diverse and she'll be getting fat from other sources.

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S.E.

answers from Lynchburg on

With both of our children we gave them whole milk for a couple of weeks, but noticed that they seemed to be filling in quickly during this short time span. We transitioned quickly to the 2% and both of them did fine. After about 6 months on the 2%, we simply let them drink the 1% my husband and I were drinking. They never seemed bothered by that.
Hope you find what is easiest for your family.

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S.C.

answers from Norfolk on

I had read the extra fat is good for their growing brains.

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R.M.

answers from Richmond on

Hello L.,
Here's a good article I found:
http://pediatrics.about.com/od/milk/i/05_milk_2.htm
Here's an excerpt:
According to the AAP, in their Guide To Your Child's Nutrition, these 'young children need calories from fat for growth and brain development,' and 'this is especially important in the first 2 years of life.'

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F.B.

answers from Charlottesville on

Hi, it's is crucial for you child to stay on whole milk until age 2, per the recommendations of the Pediatrics Assoc. That extra fat you're getting rid of is required for proper brain development, although, ask your pediatrician, several are now recommending children stay on whole milk until age 3! If you're worried about the fat, reduce it from other foods you give her, but not this necessary source!!

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H.M.

answers from Washington DC on

Hello, L.:
I am a mother to a 7-yr-old and a 5-yr-old. I kept them on whole milk until they were 2. The fats in whole milk are very important for brain development. She should be able to digest it. If not, you could try soy milk. The important thing is to keep her on whole milk until age 2.

H.

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A.T.

answers from Norfolk on

my reccomendation is whole milk but buy organic milk only. Organic whole milk has all the good fat a child needs without the antibiotics and other additives and hormones that are in regular milk that are also not necessary.

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L.L.

answers from Dover on

It is HIGHLY recommended that you give your daughter WHOLE milk until she is 2 years old!! The fat in WHOLE milk is absolutely necessary for her brain development!!!! I think people don't understand that adult diets arenn't always appropriate for infants when it comes to fat intake. Babies have lots of growing to do and that takes lots of calories from nutritious, healthy foods! I subscribe to just about every baby/child web site and magazine there is, and everyone (including my own pediatrician) will tell you the same thing. Save the low fat milk for after her 2nd birthday. Hopefully, you have a good, knowledgable pediatrician that I'm sure will tell you them same thing. Good luck!

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A.P.

answers from New York on

I have an 18 month old son and spent a lot of time talking this over with doctors and friends and researching it. Your daughter definitely still needs to be on whole milk. Her rapidly growing body needs the fat.
This is from kidshealth.org ( I love this site) "Milk is an important part of a toddler's diet because it provides calcium and vitamin D, which help build strong bones. Kids under age 2 should drink whole milk for the dietary fats needed for normal growth and brain development. When your child is 2, you can probably make the switch to low-fat or nonfat milk, but it's a good idea to talk with your child's doctor before doing so."

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T.R.

answers from Norfolk on

You need to give her the whole milk. The fat is needed for her development at this age....especially brain development. Whole milk isn't the evil that people think it is! I think it's only 3% milk, actually. Childhood obesity is a problem, to be sure, but now is not the time to withhold fat from your daughter! She needs it!

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S.P.

answers from Danville on

Lindsey I am a mother of two girls 11 and 5 and I started my girls on whole milk and mixed it with water, so try that. Alot of people say 2% milk is good which it is mixed with water also.

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T.M.

answers from Washington DC on

I'm a mother of four and grandmother of 11 and I breast feed my children. Then they were placed on whole milk due to the nutrients and fat contents. Which doctors said were best to help develop their teeth, bones, ect.

Enjoy your family, time passes very quickly!

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L.B.

answers from Dayton on

Doctors recommend whole milk because they extra milk fat helps build brain synapses that your child will be making and are very important from 1 yr to 2 yr span. The extra fat isn't going to make your child obese or anything like that. Children don't really start losing baby fat until after they already have reached age 2.

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K.M.

answers from Washington DC on

It is strongly recommended that children drink whole milk until the age of 2. They need the 'good' fats in the whole milk for brain and neurological development. They are growing so quickly at this age and the fat and calorie content of lower fat milk does not meet their nutritional requirements. It may seem like a lot of fat but "The recommendation that our daily intake of fat should compose less than 30 percent of our caloric intake does not apply to children under 2 years of age."

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K.K.

answers from Washington DC on

babies need the fat in whole milk until the age of about 2. that is when my ped told me to go ahead and use 2% and then use that until about the age of 3.

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K.F.

answers from Washington DC on

At the advice of friends and family, I put my daugher on 2% at age 1 also. I have an excellent pediatrician, who instructed me to keep her back on whole milk until 2. He explained that she thins out as she begins to move and, unless he's concerned about a severe weight issue (in which case the entire diet needs to be addressed) or lactose intolerence, whole milk is best for babies until 2. It's good for their bone strength, fatty tissues, and muscle development - - as well as hair, nails, eyes, and teeth. She's back on whole milk, has thinned out, and is very healthy.

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S.M.

answers from Washington DC on

Children up to age 2 need the extra fat in whole milk for brain development. An adult heart-healthy diet is not appropriate for infants and toddlers until after their 2nd birthday.

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M.A.

answers from Norfolk on

I thought the same thing and then I went to my Peditrician and he told me that little ones need the fat for brain development- needless to say I switched right back to whole milk- I do buy organic so it doesn't have all of the hormones-but that is just a personal preference

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M.P.

answers from Norfolk on

Hello L.,
I have a 14 month old and a 3 1/2 year old. My opinion is at the age of 1 they need the extra vitamins that whole milk provides and since I am on the wic program I have no choice but to get whole milk. They then say to take them off of whole milk only 1 year later so by the time your daughter is 2 she will be on 2%.
I will tell you that being on wic I had no choice as to what kind to give my son. But honestly I think the extra vitamin that is in whole milk would be worth it for a year. PLus you can always switch it up and that shouldn't hurt her either.
Hope it helps some.

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V.P.

answers from Washington DC on

The recommendation is whole milk till they are 2 years old because they still need the fat in the milk to keep growing. I would ask your pediatritian first before giving her 2%.

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L.B.

answers from Dover on

Hi L.! My mother said the same thing to me as well, but what I have read and been told by doctors is that extra fat in the milk is good for our children's development and that it is not recommended to put children on low fat milk until they are two. I actually went from whole milk to skim milk with my daughter because that is what my husband and I drink. At such a young age I wouldn't worry about the extra fat in milk being an issue. I ran a quick google search on the web and here is an article that might give you some ideas on transition, there is also a link to the American Pediatrics Association. http://pediatrics.about.com/od/weeklyquestion/a/04_change... I couldn't wait to make that change either and my daughter took it really well. I hope this helps!

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J.C.

answers from Washington DC on

I think this question belongs to your pediatrician and not your mother (I'm a grandmother of 4, ages 11-18) but little ones need fat in their diet for brain and nervous tissue development, so (IMHO, based on some years as a pediatric nurse, but a long time ago) giving her whole milk for a year, from 1-2, will not harm her at all. However, getting the word from her pediatrician will give you a defense position with your mother.

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A.S.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi L.!

I too was excited about changing my daughter from formula to milk. My pediatrician told me that I should give her whole milk. I know that as adults many of us would never think to drink whole milk because it has so much fat in it, but my pediatrician assured me that the fat is important for children at that age and that we can make the change from whole milk to 2% once they turn two. I am trusting my pediatrician on this one, and will change my daughter to 2% milk once my daughter turns two, which will be in 3 short months.

I had an aunt who thought that giving her children whole milk would make them fat and decided to give them 2% and even skim milk, which resulted in growth/development issues. I would trust whatever your pediatrician is suggesting because so much has changed since our mothers raised us.

If digestion is in fact a problem I would suggest possibly soy or lactose free. As an adult I can't digest any type of milk because I'm lactose intolerant. I drink lactose free milk and things are just fine.

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M.W.

answers from Washington DC on

My son is now 3yrs and I also started him on whole milk at age 1. My research came up with the fact that babies do need the fat at that age it won't harm them. I started him on the 2% once he turned 2. So if you are worried about the fat content in the milk, once you daughter turns 2 you can put her on 2%.

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M.S.

answers from Washington DC on

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends only whole milk for children under 2 (not to be introduced until 1 year old). My understanding is that the fat in the whole milk is needed for brain development. Remember that whole milk is 4% milkfat compared to 2% or 1% in other varities. The recommendation is between 16-24 ounces a day.

M.

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R.M.

answers from Washington DC on

Doctors will always tell you to use whole milk for growth. My niece who I have custody of would not gain enough weight using 2% so I had to go back to whole milk for her, but your mother is right whole milk is harder on the stomach. I've found that it may not be the fat that you should worry about, but the hormones. My suggestion would be organic whole milk. I use to get cramps drinking regular milk, but once I switched to organic the cramping stopped. I even had a friend's daughter who was lactose intolerant switch from Lactaid, which had stopped working for her to organic and she too had no more problems.

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S.C.

answers from Norfolk on

Recommendations are whole milk until age 2. After that consult your child's doctor so together you can make a decision based on your childs specific needs. As for your mother's suggestions let her know that the fat is ESSENTIAL for brain development (cells need fat to function properly and with the rapid brain development in infants they NEED whole milk). The digestion issues associated with milk are often the proteins NOT the fats. Also if you need a comparison to help with your mom look at the fat content in your baby's formula. Hope this helps.

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J.B.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi L. - we do whole milk until age 2. Our pediatrician prefers we use it - babies need that extra fat and iron that's in whole milk. It helps them grow and develop those big fat brain cells they need to learn. You shouldn't need to worry about fat content or digestion issues, unless you have a lactose intolerant baby. Also, just make sure that she only gets the recommended amount per day. Check with your doc on that (or any book, most likely). You don't want her walking around all day with a cup of milk - or she won't eat any real food. I'd go with your pediatrician's reccomendation over your mom's. She means well, but things have changed a lot since we were babies and she may not be up on the latest info.

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