Weaning without using cow's milk

Our daughter reacted to cow's based formula when we tried to wean her at 10 months. For her 10th and 11th month she was sick with runny nose, ear infections, reaction to antibiotics (to treat ear infection), and even a urinary tract infections. After we took her off the formula and put her back on the breast milk, all symptoms disappeared. In fact the urinary tract infection was never treated with antibiotics and she is fine today.

She is now 14 months and we would like to start the weaning process without using cow's milk products. Can you suggest a course of action for us.

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Sue Gilbert

Sue Gilbert works as a consulting nutritionist. For many years she worked with Earth's Best Organic Baby Food, integrating nutrition and... Read more

Dear Gilbert,

If your daughter is well established on solid foods, and is getting much of her nutrition from them, then you may want to wean your daughter to a fortified soy milk. There are many available in natural food stores or in some grocery stores. Be sure to choose the ones that are calcium and vitamin fortified. If your daughter has never had soy before, you will want to start by introducing a little at a time to look for a reaction. Sometime children who are allergic to cow's milk protein are also allergic to soy protein.

There are a couple of places where you can order soy milk, or other dairy alternatives if you cannot find any in your area. One is Harvest Direct. Call them at 1-800-835-2867 for a catalog, or visit their online store.

Thank you for writing.

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