cow's milk alternative for 1 year old - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 03-12-2008, 04:05 PM - Thread Starter
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For those moms who choose not to give their children cow's milk at 12 months (and are also no longer breastfeeding)...what do you give your children and why? I'm trying to weigh my options, as I will be weaning my baby soon. I'm considering maybe rice or almond milk. Any thoughts?
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#2 of 8 Old 03-12-2008, 04:51 PM
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One year is far too young to consider weaning without catastrophic medical reason.

IF I could not breastfeed a 1 yr old, I would give them formula.

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#3 of 8 Old 03-12-2008, 04:53 PM
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Rice milk is nutritionally equivilent to juice- fine in moderation, unlikely to trigger allergies, but in no way appropriate as a breast milk substitute. It's way too low in protein and fat.

Commercial almond milk isn't much better- the unsweetened variety is extremely low in calories, and the sweetened version is too high in sugar.

If breastmilk is truly unavailable, then toddlers need the milk of another mammal, or formula. If the baby is allergic to cow's milk, then goat or sheep milk is an option. Goat milk is easier to locate, at least in my area. Raw milk is generally better than pasturized milk, but is harder to obtain. There are plenty of recipes for homemade infant formula based on raw milk, and many parents use those formulas for toddlers as well as infants, or a mixture of formula and whole milk.

The absolute best milk for toddlers is fresh human milk. I don't know your whole situation, but you might want to reconsider weaning if possible.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 20, Hannah, 19, and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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#4 of 8 Old 03-12-2008, 07:37 PM
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My DD weaned herself at 10 months and she went straight to whole milk.
My DS weaned himself at 8 months and went on Neocate due to milk/soy intolerance (until 13 months, when they said he was fine, and to switch to whole milk - he got the intolerance back at 18 months, so maybe it wasn't fine).
My Dd#2 was weaned at 1 year (because I hadn't heard that I was supposed to breastfeed longer and I did it longer than anyone I knew!) and went to Enriched Rice Milk because of many food intolerances. The ped and the ped GI doc both said she didn't even need extra vitamins or anything because of her limited diet (I asked, believe me). Everyone told me that Enriched Rice Milk was fine, and she has never lacked for calories. The GI doc said that her diet was very balanced, and she was getting all the essential ingredients. I make sure she has plenty of fat and cholesterol to make up for the loss of it in a drink.

That's my experience. Take it for what it's worth.


Kathy, mother of 3, wife of 1. My new recipe blog: (no longer searchable by allergen, but at least it doesn't have a virus!)
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#5 of 8 Old 03-12-2008, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by kjbrown92 View Post
My DD weaned herself at 10 months and she went straight to whole milk.
My DS weaned himself at 8 months and went on Neocate due to milk/soy intolerance
FWIW infants don't truly self wean at those ages.

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#6 of 8 Old 03-13-2008, 04:03 AM
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I use hemp milk
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#7 of 8 Old 03-13-2008, 09:52 AM
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I'm another big advocate for mammalian milk until at the very least 2 years, if not up to 5 years or when they would typically self wean (between 2.5 and 5 years).

If breastmilk is not an option (and is the ideal and best options), then raw goat/sheep milk ~~> pasteurized fresh goat/sheep milk ~~>raw cow milk~~>pasteurized cow milk (with some added nutritional sumplimiting in diet)~~> coconut or hemp milk as a last option in that order.

If you can not find raw goat or sheep milk, the option of fresh from the dairy case is still there, although more expensive in general.

If mamilian milk is not an option, make a formula with either/or/both coconut milk and hemp seed milk, to ensure babe gets much needed nutrients.


Ahhh tea the essence of life.
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#8 of 8 Old 03-13-2008, 09:58 AM
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My DD 2 1/2 drinks Living Harvest Hemp Milk. I nursed her until she was two. I pumped for daycare until she was 18 months old because I couldn't find an alternative for her that I was happy with. She has an intolerance to milk. Before they came out with the hemp milk I was considering making my own "formula" for her. I was just not happy with soy or rice products and I did not want to give her those.

And FWIW I just found a water buffalo yogurt that she loves.
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