Can I give my baby Goats milk?
As a parent, you are always looking for what is best for your baby. When it comes to making sure that your baby gets the right nutrition, you are faced with so many options. Goats milk is often touted as an incredible, healthy alternative to cow’s milk with more vitamins and nutrients. This sounds great, but should you be giving Goats milk to your baby? The answer is two-fold. Babies under six months should not be given Goats milk as a formula or cow milk substitute. After six months, Goats milk can be used to supplement other food sources, but a pediatrician should be consulted before you begin giving Goats milk, and it should not replace breast milk or formula as the main food source for your baby. Some pediatricians believe that Goats milk should not be given to any baby under one year.
1. Goats milk has the wrong nutrients
Goats milk has a lot of vitamins and nutrients, but they aren’t the one that your baby needs. Breast milk and baby formulas have all of the vitamins and nutrients that your baby needs. Goats milk has too much of a good thing. It has an excess of sodium, potassium, calcium, and phosphorous that are not good for your baby. A buildup of these minerals can cause issues like muscle spasms (https://intermountainhealthcare.org/blogs/topics/intermountain-moms/2016/06/mom-talk-Goats-milk/).
2. Goats milk lacks important vitamins
Goats milk lacks many of the vitamins that other milk provide. Goats milk is not a good source of vitamin D, which your baby needs for the production of red blood cells. Vitamin D deficiency can cause many health problems, including seizures, fatigue, internal bleeding, and breathing issues. This deficiency can also delay healthy tissue and can impact your baby’s brain development. Fortified Goats milk has more vitamin D and is a better choice if you are going to use Goats milk for a baby over six months. Goats milk also does not have sufficient folic acid, and even after six months, folic acid must be introduced from another source.
3. Goats milk has a lot of protein
Too much protein builds up in the body and can cause health issues. Any healthy body needs protein, but the amount of protein in Goats milk far exceeds what your baby needs. Excessive amounts of protein must be passed from the body in urine. This causes your baby to urinate excessively and can cause dehydration.
4. After six months milk substitutes can be introduced
With proper care, Goats milk can be used as a substitute. After six months of age, your baby can be given Goats milk as an alternative to cow’s milk, but it is difficult to get all of the nutrients they need, and you will likely need to give your baby supplements to compensate. Goats milk should not replace breast milk or formula as a primary food source unless directed by a pediatrician to do so.
5. Goats milk isn’t a perfect solution to dietary issues
Goats milk is not always a good alternative for a baby that has dietary issues. Babies that are allergic to cow’s milk are likely also to be allergic to Goats milk because the protein structure is almost identical. The main difference is that goats milk does not contain casein, which can be the source of a cow’s milk allergy. Goats milk does have less lactose than cow milk (4.1% instead of 4.7%), so in a baby that is not severely lactose intolerant, this might be a good alternative, but it is unlikely to be a solution for more severe intolerance (https://www.askdrsears.com/topics/feeding-eating/feeding-infants-toddlers/Goats-milk).
6. Goats milk formula is a better option than goats milk
Goats milk formula has been treated to have a better balance of nutrients and vitamins than regular Goats milk. Like cow’s milk formula, Goats milk formula has been treated to reduce the excessive protein and minerals and increase the vitamin content to be a better option. Goats milk formula might be easier for your baby to digest than other formulas, however. Goats milk formula is difficult to find, and you may have to make your own. This should only be done with your pediatrician’s approval so that you ensure that your baby is getting the nutrients that they need.
7. Goat milk is not a cure for common illnesses
Goat milk has been rumored to be a treatment for many illnesses in children, but these rumors are unfounded. Goats milk has been rumored to treat colic, eczema, constipation, allergic reactions, and other dietary issues, but there is no conclusive research to suggest that goats milk is an effective treatment for any of these problems.
8. Goats milk is not recommended for children under one year
The USDA does not recommend giving goats milk to a child under one year of age. Although it can be used as a substitute in some situations, goats milk is not recommended for children under one year old because of the potential for ill effects. Children over one year rarely have negative effects. It is worth noting that most pediatricians also recommend not giving cow’s milk to children under one year of age as well.
Goats milk is a healthy drink for adults, but it is not a recommended substitute for breast milk or formula for your baby. Babies under six months should not be given goats milk at all and should only be given goats milk and derivatives before one year of age at the recommendation of your pediatrician. There are enough differences in nutritional content between goats milk and cow’s milk that any substitution must be made only with research to understand what supplements might need to be added to your baby’s diet to compensate. Ultimately, breast milk or approved formulas are still the best food source for your baby for the first year of their life.