Weaning Early

Is it ok to wean a little early to goats milk? or maybe even organic cow’s milk? I am 4 months pregnant and have a 9 month old. I make all of his baby food and I make sure he is hitting all of his nutritional ‘marks’ every day. I really just want to skip the formula all together. I guess it’s just the word ‘FORMULA” that sounds completely unnatural to me.

Since your child is doing well on solids and you are providing such great baby food for him, the answer is yes, he’ll do just fine if needing to wean prematurely. I do recommend formula in some such cases, when the mother is not nutritionally keen, or the baby is not ready for much of a solids diet. In such cases, the baby’s diet ends up heavily dependent on animal milks and simple carbohydrates, and this is not a well-balanced diet.

If your son is eating a healthy diet on solids, he doesn’t really need any kind of breastmilk substitute. The goat’s or cow’s milks are fine for him at this stage but I’d keep it limited to two 6-ounce servings per day (one would be my favorite). Just consider them another solid food. Neither of these comes anywhere near replacing the balance of nutrition offered by human milk or even formula. That’s OK. No other foods offer complete nutrition either. Just like a diet full of white flour can create certain nutritional shortfalls, a diet full of dairy products can lead to anemia and other nutritional deficits. A variety of foods offers balance. Your good knowledge of nutrition is just what your son needs.

I want you to feel free to make the choices that are best for you and your family but I just want to be sure that you are aware that there is no set reason you should need to wean with another baby on the way. Many a mother tandem nurses and finds great delight in the bonding it can create between siblings. Some mothers find nursing too uncomfortable during pregnancy and sometimes their babies will return to the breast after the birth.