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Remind me again please! Growth Concern and No Dairy

388 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  lisalou
Can someone please remind me that it is okay that my perfectly content, non-dairy, 20-month-old breastfeeding son is getting all of the calcium and nutrients he needs from BM and is growing just fine? He is such a petite guy -- 21.5 lbs. and just over 31 inches, I have no idea how much breastmilk he is taking in each day but he nurses a couple of times a day and lots overnight. I almost always feel a letdown and can hand express a few drops throughout the day. DS eats lots of fruits, veggies, meat, and grains and has flax, olive, or hemp oil every day. I'm feeling a lot of pressure to give him dairy and because of family allergies and a flaming diaper rash that peeled because of possible dairy or wheat consumption (while traveling), I'm scared to introduce either. Thanks!
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He's fine, and most likely growing at just the right rate for HIM.

There is not a single nutrient in cow's milk that children need that isn't also found in human milk (with the possible exception of vitamin D, which can be synthesized from sunlight exposure.)
There's a good book called Healthy Eating for Life for Children that is a resource for a non-dairy diet. It's published by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. There are so many health professionals these days who agree that there is no need to eat cow milk products at any age (unless you are a baby cow!).

If you're worried about calcium, you can find a non-dairy supplement.
My vegan son is a chunky boy, so I don't think the issue is dairy- kids just come in different sizes. My son is 30-something lbs. at 28 months and never eats dairy. He does have soymilk some (usually about 6 oz. a day, but I've been giving him more because pregnancy has made my supply dwindle).
My friend's son is 30 mos., is allergic to both dairy and soy but eats meat and lots of cookies and such (fatty foods my son isn't allowed), and is only 24 lbs.
Your son is fine
Why would your lovely human son need the milk made for a baby cow? He's got your good stuff made just for him

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Thank you all for your reassurance -- DS loves his mommy milk, that's for sure! I wish our society wasn't so dominated by the dairy industry. I hope that more Peds become educated on the benefits of extended breastfeeding and why breastmilk, not cow's milk, is best for growing bodies. I read on another thread somewhere that breastmilk is blamed for all kinds of growth concerns from too much weight to too little weight. Sometimes the pressure to supplement just gets to me and I love coming here for support.
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There was something on NPR this morning where the guy basically said 15-20 min exposure to sunlight generates as much vitamin d as 200 glasses of milk. So sunlight is a fine way to go for vitamin d and there are so many other ways of getting calcium. You are doing nothing wrong in not giving your child milk.
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