Saturday, March 16, 2013

milk/ calcium

This post has been updated: 7/2015

The Milk transition.

If you are breast feeding and it works for you to continue to nurse beyond the first birthday, good for you. There will be times ahead when  you are grateful for that breast milk.

Many moms (myself included) wean sooner for any number of reasons.
The first birthday is often the time that the switch is made to whole milk.
If your baby is on formula and tolerating it well, there is no hurry to get off, except for the expense and the hassle.

Formula does have more iron than cow’s milk, so if your child is a fussy eater we often will do a blood test at this age that checks the iron level. Assuming the iron  levels are adequate, it is okay to make the switch.

We want to use whole milk (full fat). If you can afford it, buy organic if possible.

Most kids who were on a milk based formula have no trouble moving on to cow’s milk. It is fine to do it gradually so that they get used to the taste. (Add a few ounces to the formula and see how they do)

Trouble will likely show up as tummy aches, poop changes or rashes if they aren’t tolerating it.
My older daughter got a terrible flare up of eczema when we first got her on milk (it loves to flare up behind the knees and the insides of the elbows).
I put her back on her formula for a couple of months and when we retried the milk she was just fine with it.

Milk is a great source of calcium, protein, vitamin D and the fat that your child needs for brain development. If you have a hard time getting milk into them it is important to make sure they are getting those nutritional needs met by eating/ or drinking other things. If you choose to use a different kind of milk such as goat, soy, rice, almond, coconut…read the labels and see how they compare.

We want kids at this age to be getting at least 700 mg of calcium per day.
You can see from the chart below that this should be reasonable easy if they are eating cheese and yogurt.

I personally don’t feel the need to be completely done with a bottle at 12 months.
I NEVER want a bottle in bed (if they fall asleep and keep the bottle in their mouth it can rot their teeth),  but I am perfectly fine with a snuggle bottle when first waking up, or going to sleep for an extra couple of months.
Do try to transition most of the fluid intake to a cup.

The thing is, once you start moving away from the bottle and transitioning to sippy cup many kids significantly decrease their milk intake amount. They just don’t like to drink as much milk from a cup. I couldn’t tell you why. Some parents feel a little better assuring at least some milk by giving it in the bottle

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