For 12-month old: Raw milk, NT baby formula, or coconut milk? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 01-29-2009, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm weighing my options about what to ween my 12-month onto. I have this never-ending flu and I've been sick more times this winter than any other winter I can remember. He sleeps terribly at night and I am really don't have the drive to figure out if it's what I'm eating. Yes, I am rather ambivalent about bfing. I think I've given it a good run. I want to start him on either raw cow's milk, or maybe NT baby formula, or maybe a vegan version. I know, none of these are as good as breast milk, but I'm done. I definitely am not going to give him commercial formula. So I think the NT formula is closest to breast milk, but it looks so time intensive, especially making the whey. I could just give him whole raw milk, I think in NT it says babies after 8-months do not need to be given formula, but I'm afraid of it lacking the right nutrients, and then I've heard about making vegan formulas, but not sure if there are reliable recipes on the net.

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#2 of 13 Old 01-29-2009, 07:26 PM
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My first choice (besides BF) would be NT formula. If I hadn't been able to nurse DS this long (he's 19 mo now) I'd have done the NT formula in addition to solid food. I think the added nutrients are worth the additional effort. If for some reason that wasn't possible, I'd do raw milk. I definitely wouldn't do a vegan option. Babies desperately need fat and and cholesterol. It's necessary for proper brain development. Your breast milk has both in perfect proportions but NT formula would at least have both in good quantities.

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#3 of 13 Old 01-29-2009, 07:57 PM
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I'd go with an NT formula, or possibly a mixture of NT formula and whole milk. You could possibly alter the formula recipe from NT, skip the whey but include some of the other ingredients that provide more nutrition to the milk.

I'd also give serious thought to NOT completely weaning. If you add in formula to the baby's diet, and he or she cuts way back on breastmilk consumption, you may feel much less "drained" and be able to continue to BF at least once a day for a while longer.

Adding in nutrient dense foods to your own diet (including the raw milk that's the staple of the baby formula) will help you to heal, no matter what you decide about weaning.

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#4 of 13 Old 01-29-2009, 10:16 PM
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You know, for all the trouble that is involved in making the NT formula, I would just keep BFing, if I was in that situation. If I already didn't feel good, the time and effort required to make the homemade formula would be so overwhelming it wouldn't happen. It would be less work for me to just get over my BFing issues. I don't know how it is with you, so take that for what it's worth. I have 4 children, and things requiring that much extra effort (without good cause) are not in my plan.

Having said that, lots of kids wean from formula straight to cow milk (the commercial kind no less) with no apparent problem. I wouldn't think that a gentle transition from BFing to raw cow milk would be that hard on your child. Again, JMO, so take it for what it's worth.

ETA: I meant to say that I agree with Ruthla, in that simply increasing the nutrient-dense foods in your own diet (such as the raw milk) would help both you and the baby.

I hope that you are able to figure out the best solution for your family, regardless of everyone else's opinions. And, I hope that you can kick the sickness to the curb soon!

My personal opinion is that I would stay far away from vegan formula, because I think that babies need lots of fats and protein, and both are readily available in cow milk and cow milk-based formulas. Plus, you know he's getting plenty of both in those sources, and generally, it's not too hard to get children to drink that.
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#5 of 13 Old 01-30-2009, 12:58 AM
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coconut milk is really nothing akin to milk of human or animal type, i think it is called "milk" because of its texture and relatively sweet creamy taste but nutritionally it isnt much like human or cow milk. i would do some sort of modified NT raw milk formula if i couldnt breastfeed and my baby was over age 1. but also make sure baby is eating a nutrient rich diet in addition. with my son he was seriously almost still exclusively breastfed at age 1 so if i had needed to quit then he would have needed formula.
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#6 of 13 Old 01-30-2009, 01:00 AM
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I don't know what NT formula is, but I do know that Goats milk is less allergenic than cow's milk. Cows milk is also too high in protein for a 12 month old (my doctor even told me that). Coconut is a nut, and so it is also a potential allergen. If you can continue nursing even once or twice a day it will be so good for your little one and may help prevent allergies too. Good luck with your decision!
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#7 of 13 Old 01-30-2009, 02:00 AM
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If breastmilk were not an option I would keep a baby under 2yrs on a formula of some sort. If formula were not available, I would use a full-fat animal milk- goat or cow.

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#8 of 13 Old 01-30-2009, 04:26 AM
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I posted a similar question a few months ago; I was trying to figure out what to give my 14 month old, as my milk supply was considerably reduced due to pregnancy. In the end, we kept on giving her the Baby's Only formula. It wasn't my first choice, but I wasn't up to dealing with the homemade liver formula during morning sickness, and raw milk consistently gave DD a bleeding diaper rash. I suspect that the enzymes were too much for her sensitive skin. She's evidently not dairy intolerant in general, as she does fine with the cow's milk formula, as well as with pasteurized 2% milk (which we've given her a few times as an experiment). So it's hard to predict what will agree best with a given baby.

In addition, keep in mind that weaning doesn't necessarily make mothers healthier. The shift in hormones can actually make you more prone to illness and stress, even if you were feeling pretty much bottomed out to begin with. (I experienced this with my DS; if I'd known beforehand, I never would have stopped nursing him.) ITA with those who suggest improving your own nutrition as the first step. You might also look into classical homeopathy. There are several remedies that are commonly prescribed to help with exhaustion and a sense of depletion in nursing mothers. Carbo Veg was helpful for me, but it would depend on your individual symptoms.

Hope things work out okay, and that you all start getting some sleep soon.
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#9 of 13 Old 01-30-2009, 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by alegna View Post
If breastmilk were not an option I would keep a baby under 2yrs on a formula of some sort. If formula were not available, I would use a full-fat animal milk- goat or cow.

I agree. This can be very rough. I would go to the ends of the earth to keep breastfeeding but if there were some absolute extremem medical/physical reason that it was more dangerous for baby to BF than to NOT bf, I would find fresh goat's milk.

It can be tough
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#10 of 13 Old 01-30-2009, 09:38 AM
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I would breastfeed when you can, along with donor milk. Otherwise a combo of coconut milk, hemp milk, almond milk would work provided he already eats a decent solid food diet (however if you're son is eating a vegan diet he needs dietary cholesterol for the first 2 years, hence the need for some breastmilk, but if he's getting cholesterol from animal foods then weaning would probably not cause him problems).

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#11 of 13 Old 01-30-2009, 12:41 PM
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I'm sort of going to answer your question in a roundabout way. If you're baby isn't sleeping and you're up all the time, then your resistance is low and that's why YOU are getting sick. If he's not sleeping well, it's most likely a food intolerance and if you could figure it out, then he'd get sleep (and heal), you'd get to sleep, and you'd both be doing better. You're in a vicious cycle, you don't have the energy to figure out the food issues because he has food issues. Start with milk and soy (most likely culprits). If that doesn't get him sleeping, take out gluten too. It's not as difficult as many people say. Crockpots make it easier. There are lots of recipes out there on websites and the allergy forum (there's a sticky at the top with lots of allergy-friendly recipes).

When DS was 7 months old and I didn't realize at the time that he was intolerant to soy (I knew he was intolerant to milk but didn't know there was a connection) and he was up 12-14 times a night. I was sick all the time, pneumonia, bronchitis etc. My immune system was shot. I know THAT exhaustion, believe me. And he ended up on an elemental formula at 8 months when he abruptly weaned and wouldn't even take my pumped milk in a bottle, bit me, screamed at me, etc. And he slept through the night the first night. This is not to say to go get yourself an elemental formula and give up breastfeeding. This is to say, that if you figure out the trigger food and eliminate it, they sleep. If you wean him to something he's intolerant to, he's still going to wake up all night, and you're still going to be up all night and you're immune system (and his) will still be depleted.

So my vote is for eliminating foods from your diet (it may help you at the same time) and continuing to breastfeed for all the nutritional benefits.

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#12 of 13 Old 02-01-2009, 09:55 PM
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My son did very well on goat's milk after I weaned him at 11 months. I was very uncomfortable with the weaning (it was for breast surgery), but the way he thrived on the goat's milk has made me an advocate of it from then on. The fact that it comes in powdered form for travel was a huge benefit for us.

Knowing what I know now, I would use raw goat's milk if I were in the position again. And watch out for the low-calorie high-bulk foods on a baby that's weaning off the breast - too much of that leaves not enough room in the tummy for the nutrient-dense foods they need!
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#13 of 13 Old 02-02-2009, 03:34 PM
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I was feeling how you are feeling and I night weaned her. Dh sleeps with dd at night and puts her back to sleep. I'm on the couch. I know it might sound odd, but I didn't want to completely wean her, but needed sleep!!!!
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