Dairy – Whole Milk – is not recommended for babies under 12 months of age. Learn why babies should not drink whole milk prior to 1 year of age. Babies should receive breast milk and/or formula as their main source of “drink” until they are 12 months of age.Introducing dairy products is often a source of confusion for parents. Many pediatricians will tell parents “no dairy until age 1 year” and neglect to go into further detail.
This “no dairy until 12 months” rule is really targeted to whole cow’s milk. You see whole cow milk does not contain enough nutrients, vitamins or minerals to adequately and properly sustain an infant’s growth. “Infants fed whole cow’s milk receive inadequate amounts of Vitamin E, iron, essential fatty acids, and excessive amounts of protein, sodium, and potassium. These levels may be too high for the infant’s system to handle.
” (AAP) Whole Cow’s Milk Is Not Recommended for Baby for the Following Reasons: Compared to breast milk and formula, whole cow’s milk is low in iron, lineoleic acid and Vitamin E Cow’s milk has too much sodium, potassium, chloride and protein for little kidneys to handle Early introduction to cows milk may cause microscopic gastrointestinal bleeding and blood loss in up to 40% of normal infants (this risk mostly disappears after 12 months) Cow’s milk may cause an allergic reaction, approximately 0.
3 to 7.5% of all children are affected Cows milk consumption before 1 years of age has been linked to iron deficiency anemia in children Cow’s milk and iron deficiency anemia Indeed, prior to the age of 1 year old, consumption of a lot of dairy products may put baby at risk for iron deficient anemia. Milk impedes the proper absorption of iron and iron is one thing that an infant can not afford to have cut down or cut out of the diet.
Additionally, whole cow’s milk protein and fat are more difficult for an infant to digest and absorb. This is why the American Academy of Pediatrics also does not recommend giving babies whole milk until at least one year of age. “The most dramatic effects are on iron levels in the body. Recent studies show infants often have depleted levels when started on cow’s milk at six months of age.” MerckSource Dairy Facts – Infants Did you know that Toddlers aged 1 year through 2 years do not need as much milk/dairy as you may think.
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that 16 ounces of whole milk per day is all your toddler will need. Calcium for Infants & Toddlers (AAP). It is thought that more than 16 ounces of milk per day may put an toddler at risk for anemia as well as nutrient displacement – a toddler who consumes too much milk will most likely not be eating all the whole foods that he needs. When can babies have skim milk? Children under the age of two should not be given low-fat (1%, 2% or skim) milk products.
Lucky babies, babies need all the fat they can get for proper brain development. Pediatricians recommend you switching your baby to low-fat, 1%, 2% and skim milk products at about 2 years of age. More Resources and Learning on Giving Milk to Babies Yogurt and Cheese – Did You Know? Yogurt and greek yogurt may be introduced to a baby as early as 6 months of age. Cheese is typically introduced around 8 months of age.
Transition Your Baby to Whole Milk Read about How to Transition Your Baby from Formula or Breast Milk to Whole MilkSee Also: Pictures Of Dairy Cows Being Milked
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I was told to start feeding my 6-month-old son three meals a day. My concern with doing this is should I also still be giving him 32 oz. of formula/breast milk? Right now he eats dinner and four 8 oz. bottles a day. Dr. Greene’s Answer: Many parents share your concern. By the time that you are juggling multiple feedings and formula or breast milk, an uneasy feeling often develops that something is getting lost in the mix.
When mealtime comes, which do you feed first, formula or solids? Or should the formula be given between meals, and how much? How much milk? How often? It all starts fairly simply: Most healthy formula-fed newborns take 2 or 3 ounces of formula per feeding, and eat every 3 or 4 hours. By one month of age, most have increased on their own to about 4 ounces every 4 hours. By six months, the amount at each feeding has increased to 6 or 8 ounces, but the frequency has dropped to 4 or 5 times a day.
By timing these larger feedings while you are awake, your baby often won’t need to eat in the middle of the night. Another way to express this rule of thumb is that the average baby takes 2 or 3 ounces of formula each day for every pound of body weight, up to a maximum of 32 ounces. A newborn weighing 7 lbs. will take an average of 14-21 ounces of formula in a day. A 4-month-old weighing 14 pounds needs 28-32 ounces.
Nevertheless, these are general guidelines. In real life, this may vary quite a bit from day to day and from baby to baby. It’s best to remain flexible and to let your baby’s appetite guide the amount. You don’t need to coax him to finish a bottle, or stop him if he still acts hungry. If your baby consistently chooses to take more or less than the expected amount, discuss this with your pediatrician.
What about breastfeeding? Moms who breastfeed are often worried because they can’t see or measure how much their babies are eating. Babies are born with a sophisticated mechanism that prompts them to nurse until they are full and to stop when their nutritional needs are satisfied. If a mother is not producing enough milk, a healthy baby will act hungry even after feeding and will not gain weight normally.
The pediatrician should be called if there is concern. What about starting solids? When a baby is still hungry after 32 ounces or nursing 8-10 times, it may be time to start solid foods. Typically, this occurs sometime between 4 to 6 months of age. There are several other indicators that your baby is ready to start solid foods. First, note that the AAP recommends breastfeeding as the sole source of nutrition for your baby for about 6 months.
In addition, they advise that most babies are ready to start solid foods when they reach the following milestones: They can sit in a high chair or feeding chair and hold their head upright. They can open their mouths as food comes their way. They can move food from their mouth to their throat. They are approximately double their birth weight and over 13 pounds. It’s usually best to start with solids once or twice a day, and to finish each meal with nursing or a bottle.
Some babies prefer a little formula first to take the edge off their hunger. Babies can have as much of the solids as they want. At this stage, most of the nutrition still comes from breast milk or formula. The solids provide wonderful experience with flavors, textures, and the mechanics of eating. As the amount of solids they take increases, most babies settle into a pattern of 3 meals of solids each day.
The amount of formula tends to drop off a bit, but typically still falls in the range of 6 to 8 ounce bottles given 3 to 5 times a day. Most commonly, a smaller bottle (or half a bottle) is given with each meal and a larger one at bedtime. Some babies also enjoy a bottle first thing in the morning. How much milk do older babies need? An older baby can have up to 32 ounces of formula per day. In addition, he can have as much in the way of solids or water as he wants to supplement this.
The mealtime formula is usually given at the end of the meals, to top off the solids in a comfortable and easy way. Even though the solids are now playing a larger role, the breast milk or formula still provides the core of the nutritional needs. If a baby begins to regularly take less than about 20 ounces per day, you might want to offer the bottle first and then solids. Thirst is an extremely strong drive.
As long as a baby’s own regulating mechanism isn’t tricked by getting too much juice or water, healthy babies will take enough formula or breast milk to meet their nutritional needs. This is one good reason not to put juice in the bottle. Relax Let your baby set the pace, but if he continues to consistently take more than 32 ounces or less than 20 ounces, run it by your pediatrician. Within these broad guidelines, there is plenty of room for different preferences and schedules.
Variety is part of life. Your baby and your own intuition are good guides through these exciting times. Photo credit: Christina Rutz InfantInfant & Baby FeedingNewbornNutritionTop Infant Nutrition Dr. Alan Greene Get Dr. Greene's Wellness Recommendations Sign up now for a delightful weekly email with insights for the whole family. Plus Dr. Greene's FREE Top 5 Wellness Tips For 2017.