Help getting used to cow's milk?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-14-2007
Help getting used to cow's milk?
Mon, 02-01-2010 - 2:08pm

My LO turned one year old on 1/26, and we are trying to get her on to cow's milk.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2007
Mon, 02-01-2010 - 2:53pm

First of all for you as well as others I want to point out that it is NOT necessary for baby to drink cows milk - ever. Most societies around the world do not rely on it and get all the nutrients they need from other sources. So if baby is not interested in cow's milk (or other milks) don't sweat it. How many times total is baby nursing? Even it if it is after work that is NOT just comfort - baby gets milk as well as comfort. Any as long as you are consistent with that you will continue to have milk available even if you stop pumping in the day while at work. We have moms that HUTH at work, but continue to nurse at night and on the weekends for years or until child self weans.

If baby is getting 3+ nursings a day there is no need to be concerned about milk or it's equivalents at all. "There is no need for additional milk or (or the equivalent nutrients from other foods) as long as your baby is nursing 3-4 times per day."

If baby is not getting 3+ nursings a day and does not like milk other options are yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese etc. You can also add dry milk powder to things like mashed potatoes, pancakes etc when you make then. Some moms have success mixing BM with milk and slowly increasing milk. Others typ mixing with a flavoring but I am not a big fan of that since those are often LOADED with sugar. Instead I would concentrate on other food options rather than milk. more on milk and nutrition for the nursing toddler

Does she like fruits? If it is hydration you are concerned anout, offer fruits and veggies that have a high water content. Another
thing my kids like was water with a little cranberry juice in it. Or if she is a fan of Kiwi (or whatever fruit) slice up some kiwi and put it in her water cup.

When you offer new things sometimes it is helpful to offer in a fun new cup. A straw cup instead of a sippy. Or a sports style bottle etc.

FWIW, I have a 4 year old that maybe has at most 1 glass of milk a month and he is healthy and strong as a horse. My 11 year old occasionally has milk. But even when they have things like cereal they use yogurt instead of milk. :) They are both BIG water drinkers which is what we encourage at our home. One likes his water ICEY cold with LOTS of ice. The other prefers his room temp. - so be sure to offer at different temps too.

Do keep in mind that when you start weaning from pumping you need to do so SLOWLY,one session at a time not all in one or two weeks.

Follow up with additional questions.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-14-2007
Mon, 02-01-2010 - 3:19pm

Thanks for responding!

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2007
Mon, 02-01-2010 - 4:28pm

I have Never spoon fed my kids - seriously. That said evne the 9 month old gets a spoon - the dog cleans up any that falls or get flung. lol! Babies are messy creatures when they eat and they will grow out of it - maybe. Seriously most babies make a mess - it is part of being a baby. Spoon practice is messy but necessary. Some moms put down an old shower curtain under the high chair to contain the mess. ONce she grows out of the messy food stage there will be a mess with other things (lego, clothes, Barbie shoes, mud pies or whatever) - there is always something with kids. Just try to relax and let her make a mess.

To help though, Mix the yogurt with cereal. With my kids I used plain bran flakes. This will thicken it up so it "sticks" to the spoon she is using - or she may use her hands. :) You can also use ground flax seeds (more on that below since it is also a source of good fats and a natural laxative). You can do the same with cottage cheese. Pieces of fruit also make good "dippers" for cottage cheese.

Babies are messy creatures, when they eat and they will grow out of it - maybe. Seriously most babies make a mess - it is part of being a baby. Spoon practice is messy but necessary. Some moms put down an old shower curtain under the high chair to contain the mess.

"I would rather see some of it come from milk, since that might put a little more weight on her. " Do you realize that cow's milk has less fat and calories than BM? So giving her cows milk is not going to help put weight on her.

So with that concern I would focus more on things like Avocado - a great finger food as it is one of the few foods that is high calories AND fats (the good kind). You can also give pasta tossed in a bit of olive oil.

Definitly try some straw cups or sports style cups. My 9 month old did not do much with the sippy cup of water, but he likes a cup with a straw. My second DS would only use the avent brand sippy. My first would take anything you gave him. I know some moms have mentioned that bottle fed babies like the Nuby brand sippy. Have you tried that one?

Have you tried putting something she is familiar with EBM in the cup as well as water or diluted juice.

Covering the end of the straw to get baby used to drinking from a straw is one of the techniques we recommend when offering a cup. This has other tips on introducing cups:

As for the constipation, does she have hard dry stool? Or just skips days? Skipping days is not an issue, but hard dry pellet like stools is. P fruits chunks of plums, pears, peaches, prunes etc. are good. The bran flakes would also help move things along. Ground flax seeds are also good for laxative purposes as well as adding good fats to the diet. Dr. Sears has some good constipation info:

lastly for you as well as lurkers I want to mention that there are MANY benefits to continuing to BF after the first year.

" * "Human milk expressed by mothers who have been lactating for >1 year has significantly increased fat and energy contents, compared with milk expressed by women who have been lactating for shorter periods. During prolonged lactation, the fat energy contribution of breast milk to the infant diet might be significant."
-- Mandel 2005

* "Breast milk continues to provide substantial amounts of key nutrients well beyond the first year of life, especially protein, fat, and most vitamins."
-- Dewey 2001

* In the second year (12-23 months), 448 mL of breastmilk provides:
o 29% of energy requirements
o 43% of protein requirements
o 36% of calcium requirements
o 75% of vitamin A requirements
o 76% of folate requirements
o 94% of vitamin B12 requirements
o 60% of vitamin C requirements
-- Dewey 2001"

"Nursing toddlers are SICK LESS OFTEN

* The American Academy of Family Physicians notes that children weaned before two years of age are at increased risk of illness (AAFP 2001).

* Nursing toddlers between the ages of 16 and 30 months have been found to have fewer illnesses and illnesses of shorter duration than their non-nursing peers (Gulick 1986).

* "Antibodies are abundant in human milk throughout lactation" (Nutrition During Lactation 1991; p. 134). In fact, some of the immune factors in breastmilk increase in concentration during the second year and also during the weaning process. (Goldman 1983, Goldman & Goldblum 1983, Institute of Medicine 1991). "


Okay, I think I hit everything. I got interupted about 138 times when I was writing. Life with 3 boys - never a dull moment.

Hang in there.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-14-2007
Mon, 02-01-2010 - 5:01pm

Oh my... I don't want you to think I'm obsessed with preventing messes!

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2007
Mon, 02-01-2010 - 5:35pm

Keep in mind when we answer questions it is not only your question we are responding to but we also provide extra for lurkers. We do not mean to offend by pointing out the benefits of continued BF etc. but we don't know if you are familiar with that info (many health providers provide incorrect info even) and that way the info is also available to lurkers.

"What I mean by "messy" is that she grabs it and simply thrashes it everywhere and that's it. Well, she does put it in her mouth after flinging ALL of the food off of it.."

That sounds normal for a beginning eater. You can also let her eat it with her hands.

Have you tried the ground flax seeds? Again that can be added to yogurt, applesauce, sprinkled on pasta, sprinkled on veggies or fruit etc. and it works great as a laxative in addition to adding healthy fats and calories. ANd if you go through the link to Dr. Sear site he discussed flax as well as other methods to prevent and treat constipation.

I am not saying that you can not or should not HUTH, just do so slowly. I agree pumping is a DRAG - I avoid it when I can although right now I am pumping and donating in addition to nursing. I am sorry if you felt that I was pushing you to continue pumping but in your one post you did say you would like for her to wean and that is one reason I posted the info about the benefits of continued BF.

HTH clear things up for you.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-12-2006
Mon, 02-01-2010 - 6:29pm

Just wanted to chime in on the constipation...

both my girls have suffered from severe constipation that has lead to anal fissures, bleeding, etc.