Can my baby have whole milk?
This depends on the age of your baby.
Whole milk is best given to babies after they turn one.
This is because whole milk, which is cow milk, comprises minerals, vitamins, and other nutritional compounds that your baby cannot digest before their 12th-month growth stage.
Unfortunately, babies who are given whole milk before the age of 1 are prone to microscopic blood loss and anemia, which results from irritation of their gut lining.
This shouldn’t discourage you from giving your baby whole milk after they turn 1. Babies who drink whole milk greatly benefit from the rich nutrients like protein, calcium, potassium, vitamins A, B, D. It helps your baby build stronger bones, teeth, and muscles.
Research has shown that babies given whole milk after the age of 1 are far healthier than those who do not receive it.
There are several ways and reasons to introduce whole milk into your baby’s diet successfully.
Benefits of whole milk
Whole milk is great for your growing baby’s needs. It contains fat that is essential for brain development. Fat stores are also essential to maintaining the growth of your baby. Fat also provides your baby with energy for their activities.
It is important to give your baby the correct type of whole milk free from hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides. Babies should be given organic whole milk that is fortified with vitamin D.
Introducing your baby to whole milk
Organic whole milk should be introduced to your baby after turning one and express a desire to eat a wide variety of age-appropriate solid foods.
It’s best to introduce your baby to whole milk by slowing it to their normal serving of breast milk or formula. This is an effective way to your baby a nutritionally beneficial food that will help your baby’s development.
Once your baby adapts to the taste of whole milk, you can serve them whole milk as you would breast milk. You can also warm the milk just enough to make it comfortable for your baby.
How much milk should you give your baby?
Ideally, you should offer your child what they can eat. Ellyn Satter created a division of responsibility plan where the caregiver’s role is to decide what, when, and where food is offered to the baby, and the baby decides whether they will eat it or not and how much they will eat. This means that you don’t set the limits for your baby, but they do according to their intuition and instincts.
This method allows your baby to grow up into a child who is well behaved at mealtimes. Your baby only eats what their body can handle, which means that they will grow at a rate appropriate for them, they develop a good mealtime routine and habits, only eat the amount of food they need, and learn to eat the food you eat in the household.
This method works for you, too, because it determines the proper meals to feed your baby. It makes mealtimes easy for both of you as you show your child how to behave at mealtime but also let them determine whether to eat not, which gives them freedom, confidence, and self-assurance.
Babies love whole milk.
Most babies love the taste of whole milk. Even if they may not like it at first, they soon grow to love it as you transition them to it. Breast milk tends to be sweeter than whole milk, so your baby might not like the taste of whole milk when they first try it. But they soon grow to love it when it is creatively served to them. Keep the whole milk pure, except adding it to breast milk or formula, and avoid adding sugar or other sweeteners. These could harm your baby and are especially bad for their teeth because they lead to decay. One of the worst things is to have a baby with cavities.
It’s extremely painful for your baby.
You can introduce them to chocolate or strawberry milk when they are three years old.
Remember that your baby is growing in stages, and they will get to the next stage where the correct things like food, activities will be appropriate for them. Be patient and enjoy each stage of your baby’s growth.
Dealing with intolerance
It is important to understand that an allergy differs from intolerance.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction appear almost immediately after exposing your baby to whole milk. These include hives, swelling of lips, blood in stools, and vomiting. Fortunately most babies outgrow this allergy by the time they are 2. This is because their body will have fully adjusted to the loaded nutrients present in milk and have the enzymes to digest them properly to benefit your baby’s body.
Intolerance will have a baby bloating, gassy with loose stools. The primary cause of lactose intolerance is the lack of the enzyme lactase responsible for digesting lactose in the small intestine into simple sugars that are easily absorbed by the body.
This can be a result of genetics, which is common in some populations whose lifestyle has not involved a close relationship with cattle and consuming milk from their cattle.
You can give your baby whole milk with conditions. First, your baby has to be one year old or older, which is the best time because their body has the appropriate enzymes to respond to the successful digestion of milk.
Select milk that is organic, free from hormones and antibiotics. The cows have to be grass-fed and free to roam the pasture to promote good, responsible care. Make sure to slowly introduce whole milk into your baby’s diet by mixing it into their breast milk or formula to make the transition easier. The last thing is to watch your baby for any allergic reactions and intolerance issues. If these occur, respond appropriately by taking your baby to see a doctor for treatment and recommendations.