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Cows milk before 12 mo?

(14 Posts)
Yesmynameis Tue 02-Aug-11 20:43:25

I am hoping for some advice and opinions.

Acknowledging that the DofH guidelines advise against giving cows milk as a drink before 12 mo, I have been considering whether or not to offer the occasional drink of cows milk to my 9mo on the basis that she still bf plenty and has a varied diet including iron rich foods.

Would this be very inadvisable?

I have found this article about salt content of cows milk which I take onboard.

Does anyone have any more information or experience of offering some cows milk before 12mo? Opinions yay or nay gratefully received.

Seona1973 Tue 02-Aug-11 20:52:57

I gave the odd drink of cows milk from around 9 months but the main drink remained formula. In the same way I dont think there would be a problem with giving your lo an occasional drink of cows milk as long as her main milk was breastmilk. Cows milk isnt recommended as the main drink as it is low in iron but should be ok from time to time.

RitaMorgan Tue 02-Aug-11 22:32:35

I think it's fine for an occasional drink, just so long as it isn't their "feed". My ds had a cup of cow's milk twice a week at nursery from 7 months (not sure he ever drank any!) and a cup of maybe 2oz every day from 10/11 months - with breastfeeding as his main drink.

GreenTeapot Tue 02-Aug-11 22:34:52

I'm about to jack in the formula (which DD hates) and give cows milk instead when she goes to the CM twice a week. She's 10 months. I don't feel that it's a problem when the main source of nutrition is still BF.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Tue 02-Aug-11 22:37:00

When did it become inadviasble to give cows milk before twelve months. I started both mine on it at 9 months.

ShowOfHands Tue 02-Aug-11 22:39:28

amother, it's okay to give cows milk in that it won't hurt them. You can cook with it, put it on cereal etc but their main drink should be formula or breastmilk as it contains requisite iron and other stuff which isn't available from cows milk.

Seona1973 Tue 02-Aug-11 22:39:50

cows milk isnt advised as the main drink before 12 months so I would give some alongside breast/formula milk but wouldnt use it as the sole milk drink. It has been advised for at least the last 8 years (dd nearly 8) and probably a lot more than that. I used it from 6 months in cereal, cooking, etc and for the odd milk drink but didnt switch fully over until 12 months.

ShowOfHands Tue 02-Aug-11 22:39:54

Not sure when they decided this btw. DD is 4 and that was the advice back then.

RitaMorgan Tue 02-Aug-11 22:40:45

Not sure, think the guideline has been breastmilk or formula til 12 months for a while though?

tiktok Wed 03-Aug-11 00:17:33

The guidance has been this* for ages and ages - it's probably 20 years. I will check in my collection of babycare books and leaflets (which go back 100 years or so) tomorrow.

* cows milk not as a main drink until 12 mths

Yesmynameis Wed 03-Aug-11 08:36:38

Thanks all.

I have seen the advice worded in the 'not as a main drink' way.

But I have also recently seen "Babies shouldn't drink cows milk before 12 months" on NHS Start for Life Website here (under 6 months onwards paragraph). Which seems a totally different slant on it, as it indicates none at all. So thanks all for clarifying.

notso Wed 03-Aug-11 08:57:17

DD is 11 and it was around then.

AFAIK a beaker here and there is fine as long as they are having a balanced diet and plenty of breast or formula milk otherwise.
I think I remember HV saying no dairy before 6 months this time, I don't remember that with DD and DS1, but dairy is fine as food after 6 months, and I don't see any difference between a bowl of cereal with a couple of ounces of CM on or a piece of toast with beaker of CM.

marilyntaylor Wed 03-Aug-11 09:39:15

Not sure when the guidance was changed, but DS1 is 12 and the advice was 12 months then. However when my DNiece and my best friends little girl were born 23 years ago, I remember they both started having cow's milk at 6 months, which confirms Tiktok's '20 years'..

tiktok Wed 03-Aug-11 10:08:09

I've looked through my 'Birth to Five' collection which always reflects current guidance - my collection has some gaps, but editions from 2001, 1998 and 1994 say 'whole milk' is ok in cooking and mixing but to give formula as a drink until 12 months...in 1989 the edition just says to avoid cows milk until 6 mths, with no distinction made between drinking and mixing. So some time between 1989 and 1994 the guidance changed.

I cannot think that an occasional beaker of cows milk would be harmful to a baby of 9 mths who is bf and has a varied diet....it's not that cows milk is harmful before 12 mths (but after 6 mths), but that you would not want a baby's main source of nutrients to come from it. This is where judgment and common sense come it, and treating individual babies as individuals. Guidance in the public health sense has to be one size fits all.

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