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Cow's milk from 9 months instead of formula?

(24 Posts)
Novia Sat 19-Oct-13 19:02:14

Hello - just looking for a bit of advice? We started my DD weaning at 5 months old. She is a BF baby and still having her usual feeds. She's doing really well with food and we are just moving up to 3 small meals a day.

I will be going back to work in January when she is 9 months old and so am beginning to think about how to stop BF'ing.

She is (and always has been) a bottle refuser and as I haven't expressed for the last few months I get very little out, even with the electric pump. I also don't want to keep feeding once I'm back to work. She does take a sippy cup (though not huge amounts of water).

I would like to skip formula if possible and put her straight onto full fat milk. She has milk with her cereal every day and hasn't had any problems. I know it doesn't have the same iron as formula, but I can get a supplement and make sure she gets this through her food, so is there any real reason she can't just miss out the formula?

We were all weaned straight onto milk at a similar age without any side-effects and I'm loathe to introduce formula for such a short period of time if I can avoid it.

Thanks in advance for your advice.

AmandaCooper Sat 19-Oct-13 19:08:41

What's wrong with formula out of interest? We're at a similar stage.

ilovepowerhoop Sat 19-Oct-13 19:10:22

I would use formula tbh as cows milk is too low in iron/vitamins to be the main drink at that age. Could you not continue with some breastfeeds alongside some cows milk rather than just giving cows milk. 3 months of formula is not a big ask really (and it is made from cows milk anyway)

Novia Sat 19-Oct-13 19:16:46

Hi Ilovepowerhoop - I think that's partly my point really, formula IS cow's milk, but with other stuff added in. So why not skip the middle-man?

I just don't see the point in introducing a new food to replace my milk, then doing it again 3 months later.

It's only the last 10 years or so that we've even had follow-on milk so presumably for 100s of years people just went straight to milk without any problems. If she gets her iron elsewhere (which is really the main issue) then is there actually any real problem with this? So long as she eats a fresh, balanced diet she should get all the other stuff that formula supplements too...

ilovepowerhoop Sat 19-Oct-13 19:26:55

its not just iron content. This is from online:

Whole cow's milk contains too little iron, retinol, vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin D, unsaturated fats or essential fatty acids for human babies.[48][49][50][51] Whole cow's milk also contains too much protein, sodium, potassium, phosphorus and chloride which may put a strain on an infant's immature kidneys. In addition, the proteins, fats and calcium in whole cow's milk are more difficult for an infant to digest and absorb than the ones in breast milk.

ilovepowerhoop Sat 19-Oct-13 19:27:47

p.s. you dont need to use follow on milk as first milk is fine for the whole of the first year

Clearlymisunderstood Sat 19-Oct-13 19:34:03

You don't have to stop breast feeding if you don't want to? I'm presuming you'd be able to feed your dd in the morning and the evening and then she could just have water with meals during the day? I know a few people who have done that with no problems?

Novia Sat 19-Oct-13 19:35:26

Thanks - that's very helpful.

Where did you find that information? I wonder if that refers to the stage we are at - ie: 9 months? I understand it would be correct if it was referring to giving cows milk from birth (which is obviously a bad idea). Also, does it takes into account that this would be combined with real food which will provide the saturated fats, vitamins, etc that the milk lacks?

Rowanred Sat 19-Oct-13 19:40:16

Can you keep bf when you are with her until she's one and just give cows milk when you're not? That's what we did eventually.. I went back to work at 7 months and we gave formula bottles when I wasn't there but they were so disgusting( the smell, taste, and dd wasn't too keen either) that by 9 months we just switched to bottles of whole milk. At least that is fresh! That was what disturbed me about formula, it was just so processed and fake tasting I didn't feel happy giving it to her. I think if you bf 1-2 times a day and give cows milk the rest of the time it's fine( IMO much better than the heavily processed formula!)

Rowanred Sat 19-Oct-13 19:43:18

Or actually, even if you stop bf, I think by 9 months, fresh cows milk is better than formula. I think some eu countries recommend cows milk from 9 months as well?

AnitaBlake Sat 19-Oct-13 19:46:34

Afaik the info above is spot on, 9m is too young to be having cows milk asa main drink. I feed my 11mo myself when I'm there and she gets supplimented with formula when I'm not. You can't rely on food to provide much at all really at that stage where they are really only learning to eat.

A9mo is still very small compared with a yearling, and I would expect has nutritional needs somewhere halfway between a fully milk reliant baby and a much more mature year old toddler or near toddler.

Fwiw we only use a few ready made cartons a week, so not a huge expense

ilovepowerhoop Sat 19-Oct-13 19:47:59

kellymom gives some info. The stuff I copied was from wikipedia

cows milk is apparently 4 times as salty as breast milk too according to the telegraph

hettienne Sat 19-Oct-13 19:49:08

Why would you want to give her cow's milk 3 months sooner than recommended? I don't understand - is it just the cost issue?

Cow's milk is good for calves, not babies. Formula has been modified to be more acceptable for humans.

FadBook Sat 19-Oct-13 19:51:14

OP - have a look in to goats milk formula, or goats milk in general. This could be an option for you. Obviously it is not without 'risks' in that it is advised 'off the shelf' formula up to 12 months, but it may be an option for you to research further.

It is believed (or may be evidenced, I don't know masses about it) that goats milk/formula is far more matched to human milk than cows milk - makes sense given that cows have 3 stomach and we have one hmm

Just another option.

At 9 months, personally I'd offer extra solid food during the day (say food every 2 hours in form of snacks or meals), as well as offering water, and then breastfeed before and after work.

Planning your return to work is always worse than what the reality is like. It will all fall in to place. I felt very similar to you and actually ended up bf'ing after work as she just ate more during the day and refused any milk other than mine straight from the source (we has same idea as you and offered goats and cows milk not formula).

Good luck in whatever you decide to do. It won't be so bad smile

AHardDaysWrite Sat 19-Oct-13 19:51:26

I would just bf when you're home and give water at other times. Your breasts will adapt and it'll be fine. I did this with dc1 and will be doing again with dc2 (also returning to work when she'll be 9m - I'm planning on feeding to at least 18m).

Stubbed Sat 19-Oct-13 20:24:57

I switched to cows milk around 10 and a half months for my son. He refused bottles and once I had stopped bf (wanted to conceive again quickly due to my age) at 9 months would hardly ever drink any formula out of a sippy cup though he could if he wanted to. I was throwing it down the sink day after day, and supplementing with vitamin / iron drops and calcium in food.

I decided there was little point in throwing away that money so I switched to cows milk to chuck down the sink instead. In fact he started drinking milk properly about 12 months and now is a real milk monster.

For my daughter (6 weeks) I'll probably just carry on bf. I lost so much weight last time.

KingRollo Sat 19-Oct-13 20:29:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KingRollo Sat 19-Oct-13 20:31:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BooItTooJulia Sat 19-Oct-13 20:37:57

It's what I did, at just shy of 10 months.

I just couldn't see the point at all of switching from bf to formula. Yes, cows milk is less nutritionally perfect than bf, and has less nutritional additions than plain cows milk, but not enough to make me worry.

My sons diet is very balanced and considered and I felt it could take the imperfections of plain cows milk. They are just guidelines after all, and a doctor friend said to me once that these kind of guidelines are aimed at the lowest common denominator. Take that as you will.

I just like the fact that it's my baby and I can do as I please.

I know there are people out there who would be horrified at the thought, but that's their perogative. OP, do what's best for you and your baby, being aware of the balance you need to strike if you do move to cows milk early.

Novia Sat 19-Oct-13 22:10:37

Thanks everyone - really appreciate your responses. I've a couple more months before I have to go back, so will see how she's doing a bit nearer to D-day then make a call on it!

BerstieSpotts Sat 19-Oct-13 22:21:39

They did used to put babies onto cow's milk at 6 months but advice changes for a reason.

I don't think I'd risk it at this stage. If I were you I would either send expressed milk, or leave her with solid foods and water, perhaps very dilute juice, and a carton of formula to be used if she does want milk. It might be that she's fine with solids during the day and happy to tank up on BM at night.

For some reason 10 months seems a lot closer to 1 year, if she was 10 months and it was maybe one feed in a day then I would say cow's milk wouldn't be an issue. But if you are planning to cut out breast milk all together, or significantly cut down, then I would strongly suggest switching to formula even if you do change to cow's milk in a couple of months.

Formula is just a food. It might be processed but it's processed in order to make it more easily digestible (and nutritionally valuable) than plain cow's milk. It's not like it's processed in order to save manufacturers money etc. Plus, you probably give her other processed foods without thinking about it - bread? Cereal? It can be an emotive issue but it shouldn't be really. It's more nutritionally appropriate than cow's milk under the age of 1 and that's all that there should be to it.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 20-Oct-13 13:26:53

I went back at 9 months with my dd and she was a bottle refuser too. I bf morning, on pick up, before bed and once in the night. She had 3 meals and cows milk or water whilst I was at work.

Could this work for you?

ribenaberri7 Tue 26-Nov-13 22:04:31

Hi Novia,

I have just found your thread and am in the same position and was wondering what you had decided to do. I am finding it very hard to find any information that isn't extremely one sided!


howaboutacuppa Sun 01-Dec-13 13:40:04

My DD was formula fed from 4 months, and at 10.5 months suddenly decided she would not drink it. No amount of coaxing or different formulas would convince her otherwise. I switched her to whole cows milk in a sippy and gave her daily vitamin drops to make up for any shortfalls. I wasn't worried as she's a great eater and had a varied daily diet.

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