do I have to introduce whole milk to a 17 month old breastfeeding toddler? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 12-05-2010, 01:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello mamas,


My babe is 17 months and breastfeeding pretty regularly. She is not a huge eater, but I have done lots of asking and reading around and have talked myself out of the anxiety I have having over that. My question is: is it necessary to introduce (cow) milk? I dont drink it so it is not around. I figured since she is getting mother's milk, the answer is no, but have just read some info to the contrary. She has recently started eating a bit of cheese here and there and rumor has it, had some yogurt at daycare. She rejects keifir so far, unfortunately.


thanks for your opinions and experiences!

Anne lesley 

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#2 of 13 Old 12-05-2010, 02:43 AM
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I say no way. My ds1 didn't have milk for a long time. We've always been yogurt eaters and cheese eaters so we do eat dairy. As far as alternate sources of calcium...lots and lots of cultures don't eat nearly the amount of dairy we consume, so there *must* be bio-available calcium elsewhere - leafy greens? I'm no expert...

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#3 of 13 Old 12-05-2010, 05:40 AM
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Your milk is perfect for her and her toddler antics!

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#4 of 13 Old 12-05-2010, 06:20 AM
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We introduce enriched ricemilk around 1ish and just give it occasionally. We do not do dairy at our house much. We introduce dairy products around 4yrs and the one child that waited that long does not have a dairy allergy so we decided to do that with the others. Still waiting to introduce dairy to ds3. Ds 2 will get milk occasionally, pre-school, school, etc. but he drinks rice milk at home. He thinks "cows breastmilk" tastes funny. lol If you are nursing then there is no reason at all to introduce a milk substitute of any kind. In my opinion I don't think cows milk is a necessity and ever needs introduced. Make sure that your child is getting all of the nurtrition that they need from other sources. Cows milk can be difficult to digest as it is made for 300lb calfs not 20lb humans. Just my opinion.

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#5 of 13 Old 12-05-2010, 06:48 AM
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IMO the reason doctors push cows milk around 1 is because it is cheaper than formula and they know babies still need milk past a year old. If you are breastfeeding, just keep doing it. *Your* breastmilk for *your* baby is always better than a substitute.

That said, I don't think there is anything wrong with giving dairy products to a child on solids unless they show signs of an allergy and/or you have a family history of an allergy. My youngest dd, who turns 2 this week, has major food intolerances and dairy is one of the few foods she can actually tolerate. She still nurses tons, but she loves milk, yogurt, cheese, sour cream, butter, etc..

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#6 of 13 Old 12-05-2010, 07:13 AM
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I waited until around 3 1/2 or so to give DS1 cow milk.  He had it before then, but not on a regular basis at all.  He was nursing and the rest of the family doesn't drink it so it wasn't convenient.


DS1 was born outside the US and lived in Europe until he was 2.  At his 1 year pediatrician appointment I mentioned cow milk and the pediatrician told me it's much too difficult for most toddlers to digest.  He said breast milk, cheese and yogurt were his ideal dairy choices for kids under 5.   Of course we moved back to the US when DS as 2.  The first time I took him to the doctor here they were like, "What, he doesn't drink milk?jaw2.gif"  It's so funny the way different cultures have such different thoughts on parenting.  lol.gif 

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#7 of 13 Old 12-05-2010, 11:37 AM
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absolutely not necessary. DD is 18 months and I don't plan on introducing it any time soon. we're not milk drinkers in our family, and she showed a sensitivity to it in my milk early on. she does have some cheese and yogurt. The US consumes more dairy than any other culture, thanks to a very effective campaign by the Dairy farmers association. cows milk is not really suitable for humans, that's why so many people have dairy allergies and lactose intolerance. 

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#8 of 13 Old 12-05-2010, 11:43 AM
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DS is 15 months and still has not had cow's milk. He drinks almond milk at the recommendation of his pediatrician (he also recommended coconut milk). The pediatrician said "cow's milk is only necessary for baby cows". One of the many reasons I love DS's pediatrician orngbiggrin.gif

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#9 of 13 Old 12-05-2010, 12:37 PM
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No not at all!  My nearly 4 year old dd didn't drink milk until recently and that's only b/c she asked for it.  Dh and I don't drink it.  Yogurt, however, is great- easy to digest (b/c it's cooked) and packed full of probiotics.  I just tarted making my own yogurt in the crockpot- so easy!!!

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#10 of 13 Old 12-08-2010, 08:09 PM
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DD who is the same age does not drink cow milk, except a few tablespoons here and there in kefir. 

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#11 of 13 Old 12-09-2010, 09:51 AM
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No. My oldest was 18mos before daycare started giving him small amounts of cow's milk. He is now almost 4 and just doesn't like it unless it's chocolate milk. He also doesn't like cheese. He will eat yogurt and drink kefir. My youngest is 15mos and I've been giving him small amounts mixed with breastmilk (I'm just not pumping as much as I used to and he wants milk like the other kids--oh the joys of peer pressure in the toddler room!!!)) while at daycare and he drinks 1 cup kefir at home with me. I just don't see where cow's milk is all that necessary, especially for a child who is still getting mama's milk.

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#12 of 13 Old 12-09-2010, 09:13 PM
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Nope. DD is 23 months and doesn't drink cow milk. She drinks almond milk or hemp milk and has some yogurt and cheese. Our pediatrician said he was fine with that. She's still nursing and isn't that into eating in general.

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#13 of 13 Old 12-13-2010, 01:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for all your responses. No cows milk for us! 

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