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Cows' milk - the devil's work? And is one bf enough?

(9 Posts)
hightrees Wed 13-Jul-11 14:43:39

OK so have a 14 mth old who has started biting and essentially doesn't seem very interested in nursing any more (despite my 'plans' to bf for at least another 6 months, hur hur). Now having read about cows' milk and how it's not especially great for humans (of any age) I'm not madly keen to give it to him in any quantity.

Yet all the time I read how they sd get a minimum of 350 ml of milk a day. I am wondering what to do. Should I give him almond milk? Is it even available in shops?Soya milk? Coconut milk? A combination of these? Or focus on other calcium rich foods? This may be something vegan MNers can advise on?

FWIW he is still taking a good bf in the morning. But not sure if that's enough. Ug, confused and a leeetle worried. IN FACT, ANY BF experts out there know the answer to this last question? Is one feed enough at aged 1ish?

tiktok Wed 13-Jul-11 14:50:11

hightrees - no, one bf a day is not normally sufficient milk for a baby of this age. If he has no more milk than this, then he will need a lot of replacement produce to fill the gap (it won't just be calcium he misses out on).

None of the other milks you mention are suitable as a main drink for a baby of this age, sorry, unless there are special circumstances when soya might be used (there are drawbacks to this, though).

Think again about cows milk. Babies do need milk. If they are not breastfed often enough, then they need something else, and cows milk is the easiest, cheapest and most suitable for toddlers.

hightrees Thu 14-Jul-11 14:35:42

Thanks tiktok. Appreciate your feedback.
I suppose it's because I've tended to trust the baby and followed what he wants re milk and if he doesn't want to nurse am I to assume he doesn't need this extra milk?
In fact, I've since read that I sd cut down the amount of food I'm feeding him since perhaps this has taken the edge of his need to nurse. (He also seems to be cutting new teeth so this too may have dampened his interest.)

Don't know if you'd agree with this (reducing food idea) - and don't know if you've got any ideas about his lack of interest in bf'g (could it be teething?).

Am sure he is too young to be self-weaning. Realise benefits to bf until at least 2 years...

Thanks again.

eastendmummy Thu 14-Jul-11 14:39:33

How about goat's milk? Both mine have it as they can't tolerate cow's milk - it gives them both very bad stomachs. DS2 is 15 months and has about 300 mls per day, plus a bit of yogurt and cheese. Ds1 is 3.5 and now only has rice milk as he is on a cassein free diet for development delay but up until 2 he was on goat's milk. It's available in Tesco and seems much easier to digest than cow's milk. If your DS seems to be self weaning early, then perhaps that could be an option?

LieInsAreRarerThanTigers Thu 14-Jul-11 14:43:49

I used follow-on formula after 1, may be easier on the digestion than pure cow's milk. Don't think I started giving that til 2. Mine have never been great milk drinkers (since stopping bf, that is!)

hightrees Thu 14-Jul-11 15:10:15

Goat's milk - gd idea! Thanks. LieIns (ho ho) - yep, cracked open a pckt of formula yesterday. Thinking maybe of starting with mixed feeding (rather than cutting so far back re milk) - i.e. bf in the morning and formula rest of day. But have to say every time he eats cheesy stuff he gets a snotty nose - am just not convinced cow's milk (products) are good for him.

Rice milk also a good idea. Understand almond milk is fantastically rich in calcium too (much more than cow's milk - which seems to be one of the main reasons people go for cow's milk) BUT not sure if I can be arsed to cook up batches of it every couple of days... wonder if either of you have ever tried it/found it in health food shops?

LieInsAreRarerThanTigers Thu 14-Jul-11 15:13:35

I have seen almond milk in H & B I think - very expensive though. Rice Dream is reasonable and a friend of mine used it happily for her lactose-intolerant twins.

tiktok Thu 14-Jul-11 15:24:51

I think any of the replacement 'milks' have to be regarded sceptically, for use as a main drink - these products are often highly processed with vitamins added rather than as an integral part of the milk, and may have a lot of added sugar to make them palatable (this is the case with soya, for instance). Nut milks for a baby with an apparent tendency to allergy - use with caution, surely?

The evidence is that kids who cant tolerate cows milk are highly likely to be the same with goats - if they are sensitive to other animal protein, then goats milk is another animal protein smile

I mean any of this stuff is probably just fine as an occasional drink or mixer (except where there is a real prob with tolerance) but a 14 mth old will be having a large amount of it every day, and personally I would just go for ordinary cows milk unless I had a good reason not to. It is processed, of course, but there are no added bits and pieces, and the vitamins and minerals in it are part of the product, and I'd find that reassuring.

Disclaimer: I have no specialist quals in any of this.

hightrees Thu 14-Jul-11 19:16:42

thanks all - esp almond milk tip.

Tiktok - My qu: I see they need a min of 350ml milk. I imagine he won't be getting 350ml from one breastfeed. But who knows.

Find it's so confusing to mixed feed since I don't know how much extra milk I sd be aiming for. In fact, all I did today was to give milk where previously I'd have given water. So he prob had 200 ml of formula (will move on to cow's milk once I've used this box up). Trouble is, he used to have about 4 b/feeds a day (but only about 10ml of water - used to fail to drink much from cup.)

He looks healthy - weight steady and constant - perky, good skin, happy personality, just the snotty nose. but have no clue if I'm giving him enough of everything. And am slightly concerned that maybe I've generally been giving him too much food, and not enough milk, and now he's self weened. Argh. Any views on that. Maybe I'm over worrying. But as you say he ought to be drinking plenty of milk. Sorry to take up so much ofyour time with this - much appreciated!!

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