Originally Posted by tiggygal23
Goats milk is the way to go. Our bodies are not meant to handle cows milk, cow milk is for cows. You need to give your LO goats milk.
But... her LO is not a goat, either.
Cows milk and goat's milk are actually remarkably similar as far as protein digestibility goes. Only 5% of babies who cannot tolerate cow's milk because of milk protein sensitivity or allergy can
tolerate goat's milk. For 95% of babies who don't tolerate cow's milk, goat's milk is no better for them.
For the OP - at 8 months, your LO's digestive tract is probably mature enough that she will handle a regular cow's milk based formula with no problems, especially since she's eating a variety of other foods already. If she doesn't show any signs of reacting poorly to it, I personally would just use that to compensate for your lowered milk supply.
It's unlikely that you could get her to take it via SNS at this age, but you can always try. She will probably just pop off and stare at your breast suspiciously, then refuse to nurse with it.
That's been my experience with trying to introduce an SNS at 7 - 8 months, even in a baby who has used one months earlier successfully (and then discontinued it).
At 8 months, though, she can pretty easily learn to drink from an open cup. I would start with familiar liquids (expressed milk would be awesome if you can get some from a trusted friend?), and when she does well with it, then you can slowly introduce the formula (mix it 25/75, then 50/50, etc., until she's drinking just formula... unless of course you have a long term source of EBM!)
If she gets mucus in her stools, gets fussy/cranky, reflux-y, or shows other signs of not tolerating the milk-based formula, then you'd want to switch to a hydrolyzed milk protein formula like Alimentum or Nutramigen, which works for 80 - 95% of babies who can't tolerate standard milk-based formula. Soy formula would be less expensive but is less ideal, nutritionally.
You don't want to use rice or soy milk as her primary milk at this age, just FYI, because the nutritional profile isn't sufficient for young toddlers or older babies. They need more fat and more protein. Plus excessive soy intake has its own issues, and many kids who don't do well with cow's milk also are sensitive to soy in large quantities.
If she were much younger, I'd be more inclined to pay the extra for the hydrolyzed formulas even without any signs of reaction to standard milk-based formula, but at 8 months, her digestive system is much better equipped to handle things, and she's less likely to develop a cow's milk allergy by introducing it at this age.
You can also give her yogurt at this age (try to limit sugar, of course), and the probiotics in it would be helpful to her digestive tract. It wouldn't be sufficient to meet her nutritional needs in place of breastmilk, of course, but could be a great food to add to improve her overall nutrition.
Among the "standard" milk based formulas is Earth's Best Organic formula (it says "toddler" on the front because they don't market it for infants, but it's fine for babies as well), which you could try. We tried it early on, when we needed to supplement my son, and I found that it didn't mix up nearly as nicely as the mainstream brands, so we ended up switching to a non-organic type. (And ultimately he ended up on a prescription formula because of severe food allergies, which is why I know so much about the different types and alternatives!).
Hope that helps a bit. I know it can be a really emotional decision to make, when you didn't plan to use formula at all.