Why should I wait until my baby is at least 12 months old to introduce cow's milk? Babies can't digest cow's milk as completely or easily as breast milk or formula. Cow's milk contains high concentrations of protein and minerals, which can tax your baby's immature kidneys. Cow's milk doesn't have the right amounts of iron, vitamin C, and other nutrients for infants. It may even cause iron-deficiency anemia in some babies, since cow's milk protein can irritate the lining of the digestive system, leading to blood in the stools.
Finally, cow's milk doesn't provide the healthiest types of fat for growing babies. However, once your child's ready to digest it, dairy milk can supplement a balanced diet of solid foods that include cereals, vegetables, fruits and meats. Why should my child start drinking cow's milk? Milk is a rich source of calcium, which builds strong bones and teeth and helps regulate blood clotting and muscle control.
It's also one of the few sources of vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium and is crucial for bone growth. (Almost all milk in the United States is fortified with vitamin D.) Milk also provides protein for growth, and carbohydrates to give your child the energy he needs all day. And if your child gets enough calcium from the get-go, there's evidence that he'll have a lower risk of high blood pressure, stroke, colon cancer, and hip fractures later in life.
Feeding timeline: Your child's development From solid food to sippy cups, spoons, and kids' ability to feed themselves, here are the major eating milestones and when to expect them. See all baby videos Do I need to stop breastfeeding when my child starts drinking cow's milk? There's no need to wean your child after you introduce cow's milk. As long as you both enjoy breastfeeding, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says it's fine to continue breastfeeding past your child's first birthday.
How much milk should my toddler drink? According to the AAP, your 1-year-old can get enough calcium and vitamin D from 8 to 12 ounces (1 to 1 1/2 cups) of cow's milk – or the equivalent amount of other milk products, like yogurt or cheese. By age 2, your child should get 16 ounces, or 2 cups, of cow's milk or other milk products each day. However, don't give your child more than 32 ounces (4 cups) of milk a day or she may not have room for the other foods she needs to round out her diet.
If your toddler's still thirsty, offer water.See Also: Brown Milk Cows
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There is no reason not to carry on with bedtime milk, breast, formula or cow. You don't have to switch from formula to cow's milk at all, it's just that from 12 months full fat cow's milk is suitable as a main drink, and it's a whole lot cheaper than formula! It's up to you whether you switch or not.Bottles are supposed to be phased out by 12 months because they are bad for a baby's teeth - the action of drinking from a bottle allows milk to pool at the front of the mouth and sit on the teeth - it's actually quite sweet so it can cause tooth decay.
This is more of a problem if a baby has a bottle which they sip on all day, or one they actually take to bed with them - it's best to clean teeth after the last feed but if that doesn't fit in with the routine (i.e. you're already all snuggled up in her bedroom) then you can give her teeth a wipe with a clean cloth after she finishes her bottle.Or you could try milk from a cup, it probably will be a bit messy but you'll have to do it some time.
.. How much? NHS reccommends 3 servings a day of dairy (which would include milk or formula) but I can't find anywhere where it says how much a serving is. I think I have seen 300ml or 350ml quoted (Seona will know!) - that's about 10-12 ounces, but cheese and yoghurt will count towards that too.HTH