Experts recommend you to introduce cow’s milk after your baby is 12 months old. Let’s see why.
There are several reasons to delay the introduction of cow’s milk before your baby reaches its first birthday.
It is very important to understand that babies can’t digest cow’s milk as easily or completely as breast milk or formula. Cow’s milk has a high concentration of minerals and proteins, which can tax your baby’s immature kidneys. Moreover, cow’s milk doesn’t have the right amounts of vitamin C, iron and other nutrients for infants. In some cases, it may even cause iron-deficiency anemia, since cow’s milk protein can irritate the lining of the digestive system, leading to blood in the stools. It is definitely that cow’s milk doesn’t provide the healthiest types of fat for growing babies.
Once your child’s ready to digest it, milk becomes an important part of its diet. Milk it’s a rich source of calcium, which builds strong bones and teeth and helps muscle control and regulate blood clotting. Milk is crucial for bone growth because it contains vitamin D. (Another source of vitamin D are ultraviolet rays, but they’re blocked by sunscreen.)
Milk is also a great source of proteins and carbohydrates. If your child gets the proper amount of calcium, he will be protected against high blood pressure, colon cancer, stroke and hip fractures later in life.
How much milk should my toddler drink?
According to different studies, most kids will get enough calcium if they drink 16 to 20 ounces (2 to 2 ½ cups) of cow’s milk a day.
Do not offer more than 3 cups of milk per day or your child may not have room for the other foods she needs to round out her diet. Offer water if your toddler’s still thirsty.
My toddler doesn’t want cow’s milk. Any tricks I can try?
Milk has a different taste, texture and even temperature than breast milk, this is why some kids are hesitant to make the switch.
If that is the case for your toddler, just try mixing some breast milk or formula – one part milk and three parts of her usual stuff. Along the way, slowly shift the ration until she’s drinking 100 percent milk.
Meeting the minimum requirement of 2 cups per day can be a true challenge if your child doesn’t care for milk. However, there are many ways to get milk into your child’s diet. Add it to cereal. Serve pudding, yogurt, cottage cheese, shakes for snacks or custard. Make soup with milk rather than water.