Regular cow’s milk is not the same as formula or breast milk, so there are special rules for parents when it comes to giving your baby milk.
When To Introduce Cow’s Milk Protein
We know that babies need training so that their bodies can learn how to tolerate proteins like casein and lactose in cow’s milk.
If your baby is drinking formula, congratulations. You’ve already introduced them to cow’s milk protein.
If your baby is exclusively nursing, you can introduce them to cow’s milk protein using 1/2 ounce of formula per day starting as early as one month old! A teensy serving of formula once a day starting at one month old cut the rate of a milk allergy by 88%.
This is probably earlier than you thought. But cow’s milk allergy is usually the first allergy to develop and can lead to horrible symptoms for babies, like recurrent ear infections, and even increase the risk of other food allergies.
A small bit of formula will not reduce the amount your baby nurses.
How To Safely Continue Regular Milk Exposure
After a baby is old enough for solids (typically between 4 and 6 months old), regular exposure to cow’s milk is even easier.
- Yogurt is a healthy, low sugar food that is safe for even the earliest eaters. It’s great to mix into other purees for a creamy texture, and is a great base to mix in Lil Mixins Powders.
- Soft cheeses like feta (cow’s or sheep’s milk), can be fun for babies to eat after they have a palmar grasp.
- Hard cheeses like cheddar should be given to babies after they have teeth and a good pincer grasp. Shaved versions of parmesan cheese can be sprinkled into sauces or onto other foods a baby can grab.
When Can Babies Drink Regular Milk
Babies should not drink a glass of pure cow’s milk until after their first birthday. Not because it is unsafe, but because pure cow’s milk does not have the vitamins and nutrients that a baby needs. Only breastmilk or formula can give a baby what they need.
After the first birthday, you can give your baby cow’s milk with meals, but it is not necessary. Children should be eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables along with whole grains, meat, eggs and cheese.