my seven year old son is BIG and healthy, can i start to give him cow's milk soon?

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Kelly - posted on 11/14/2009

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Everything I've ever been told and everything I've read suggests that all the major health authorities around the world suggest waiting till a child is 1 before introducing cows milk. Given that these recomendations are based on the findings of studies done by professionals, I would personally not be one to take a risk and go against them. Plus if your son is big and healthy as you say, then obviously you are doing something right and I therefore don't see how introducig cows milk early would be of any additional benefit.

If you want to increase his dairy intake you can give him cheese and yoghurt as the manufacturing process for this eliminates the proteins from the cows milk that causes the problems with their digestion.

Dena - posted on 11/11/2009

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I was told by my son's pediatrician that babies aren't able to properly digest cow's milk until bout 10 months to 1 year old, but this was over a year ago (my son is 2 now), and I didnt want to misquote her on something I didnt remember, so I found this instead:

"Why do experts recommend waiting to introduce cow's milk until a baby is 12 months old?
There are several reasons to delay the introduction of cow's milk until your baby reaches his first birthday. Most important, a baby's digestive system can't digest cow's milk proteins. Cow's milk also has too much sodium, potassium, and chloride, which can tax your baby's kidneys.

Even if his system could handle it, cow's milk doesn't have all the vitamins and minerals (especially vitamin E, zinc, and iron) that he needs for growth and development in his first year. Giving a baby cow's milk could even cause iron deficiency and internal bleeding. And it can increase his risk of an allergic reaction.

Once your baby's digestive system is ready to digest it, though, milk becomes a powerful ally. A great source of calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A, and magnesium, milk will build your toddler's bones and teeth and help his body regulate his blood coagulation and muscle control. Almost all milk is fortified with vitamin D, which helps the body absorb the calcium it needs.

Milk also provides protein for growth, as well as carbohydrates, which will give your child the energy he needs to toddle all day! And if your child gets enough calcium from the get-go, there's evidence that he'll have a lower risk of high blood pressure, stroke, colon cancer, and hip fractures later in life."

source: http://www.babycenter.com/0_cows-milk-wh...

Victoria - posted on 11/11/2009

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I agree with Kristin - I always ask the Doctor just to be on the safe side. We waited till after our son turned one. Here is some more info that comes from babycenter.com - I like most of their info:

It is recommended that you keep your baby on breastmilk, infant formula or follow-on formula for her first year. Once your baby has reached her first birthday, you can, if you want, start to give her full-fat cow's milk in a lidded beaker.

Why wait?
It is important to wait until your baby is one year old, as cow's milk doesn't contain sufficient iron to recommend its use before then, although small amounts of cow's milk can be used in cooking from six months. Infant formula milks and follow-on milks contain more iron and vitamins than cow's milk, and are the only alternative to breastfeeding for the first year. After the first six months of breastfeeding, breastmilk is not a good source of iron, so breastfeeding mums should make sure that weaning foods contain plenty of iron. This means using foods such as lean red meats, iron fortified breakfast cereals, purées of dried fruit, and tofu in your baby's diet.

How much?
From one year, milk should still play an important role in your baby's diet, as it provides essential protein, calcium, magnesium and vitamins B12 and B2 (riboflavin). Your baby needs to have a minimum of 350ml (two thirds of a pint) of full-fat cow's milk each day. If he or she becomes reluctant to drink milk, try offering two portions of calcium-rich foods a day. Yoghurt, cheese, tinned mashed sardines, tofu, white bread and chick peas all contain calcium.

Why full fat?
Full-fat or whole cow's milk is essential for your baby because she needs the energy that the fat in milk provides. Fat also carries essential vitamins A and D, so by skimming the fat off the milk, the vitamins are reduced, too. You should give your baby full-fat milk until she is at least two years old.

26 Comments

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Leanne - posted on 11/14/2009

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 I would just recommend that you look to the past. Back when I was a baby .....


Back when I was a baby there were not proper car seats. I didn't die in a car accident so does that mean it's ok not to put my kids in car seats??????



 

Katherine - posted on 11/14/2009

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Your 7 year old son??? You mean 7mo??? No they cannot have cow's milk until 1.

Tara - posted on 11/14/2009

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I am sure you meant 7 months- no-no-no- babies stomachs are not developed enough to process certain proteins found in cow's milk. wait until 1 year.

Kristi - posted on 11/11/2009

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I am thinking you meant to say that your son is 7 months old...not seven years old. I have 5 children of my own , and I gave them whole milk at that age...it never hurt any of them. I know the doctors say to keep them on formula for the first year, but if he is eating well and getting enough vitamins...I say there is nothing wrong with it. Good luck.

Stephanie - posted on 11/11/2009

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Ask your pediatrician, not a bunch of Mom's with varied opinions that could lead you to the wrong choice for your child's health. When it comes to health, speak to someone with a good knowledge of your child's health history and a degree in their field to boot. That's my advice. I think it's better safe than sorry when it comes to children.

Cindy - posted on 11/11/2009

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Adding to my post above, it's likely the antibiotics and hormones that cause allergic reactions to milk. In its raw state, nothing's added, so there's less likelihood of reactions. Being a bottle baby of the 50s, I'm convinced that drinking commercially-produced cows milk all my life, has a lot to do with some of my digestion problems, Candidiasis (caused by antibiotics), lots of sinus problems as a kid, etc.

Cindy - posted on 11/11/2009

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If at all possible, find a source for RAW MILK. There are a number of dairies around the country that produce healthy, approved raw milk. Regular "milk" that we get in the stores really shouldn't be called milk, it's been adulterated beyond nutritional value. It's pasteurized (the nutrients have been boiled out); then homogenized ( spun or shaken to break down all the particles so it doesn't settle and separate). The vast majority of commercial dairies give their cows BGH - bovine growth hormone (the main culprit in kids' developing too early, messing w/ our hormone levels from early in life..yikes). Also, loads of antibiotics which cause too many problems to list here. All these get broken down during homogenization, so our body's natural filtration system cannot filter them out; we are ingesting all of this! We recently started on raw milk, and voila, the "goop" in my throat went away, as did much of the bloating and gasiness from regular milk.And it was just as good as the most expensive 'natural' milk (sans the hormones and antibiotics, but still processed and not organic) we could get at the supermarket.

Renee - posted on 11/11/2009

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7 months old is fine for milk everyone says keeping kids for food till a certain age will detain them from allergies which i found is totally completly false if there gonna get it it really can be anytime in their life my 4 year old ate peanut butter 3 time before he was 2 1/2 and we found out he has a nut allergies so really u should do whats best for you and if hes had yogurt milk is a same product

Nancy - posted on 11/11/2009

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My Dr. had said that if he is already eating food he really doesn't need the formula because he is getting all the vitamins from the veggies and fruits. Check with your Dr but if you going to do so make sure you give him the whole milk and not the low fat.

[deleted account]

My daughter is 9 months old now. I have been replacing one of her 4 daily bottles with soy milk in her sippy. She loves it. Sometime this month I will try her on cow's milk (it's the same time I introduced it to my now 2 year-old). She already eats cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, and a whole lot of other dairy products and has not had an adverse reaction (plus, no one in may familly has ever been known to be lactose intolerant). I feel that my daughter is ready and I listen to myself.



Every child is different, and every parent feels differently about a whole slough of topics. I would just recommend that you look to the past. Back when I was a baby my mom breastfed me for 6 weeks and then I was on milk (mixed in with expressed breast milk for my 7th and 8th weeks of life to help the transition) becasue she had to go back to work. That's right, milk at 6 weeks. I am fine. I am an average, healthy person. My mom did this with all three of her kids and we are all perfectly healthy people.

Kitty - posted on 11/11/2009

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You know, my kids are all teens and it's just funny that I clicked this on, but my oldest who is now 18 had colic. The kind of colic that makes you understand why people throw their kids out four story windows..lol. (No, not really, but you get my agony, right?) Anyway, it was MANY MANY MOONS later that I read about how BAD real milk is for you. Now, I don't know how much of that is true, but do force yourself to do a few studies. (Skinny B* the book, also gives a lot of info) I was wondering to all those well-educated folks what their opinions are on soy milk? My kids love it! We got them on it past their formative years, I confess, but it just seems so healthy. Lord knows they get FAT from everything else they eat anyway...lol.

Brenda - posted on 11/11/2009

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You should have been drinking cows milk starting 6 years ago if he doesn't like cow milk try soy milk. The WIC Program gives milk at 1 year old as well as the Pediatrician says cow milk after 1 year old.

Chris - posted on 11/11/2009

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I feel at 7 months he has benefited from breast milk and if you are feeding him babyfood then he is also getting the vitamins and minerals he needs...vitamin D milk is very good for him, both of my children could not do formulas of any kind so we were on cow's milk at like 2 months old and they are both grown and very healthy. That's my experience.

[deleted account]

Regardless of your child's size and health, they don't usually recommend giving kids cows milk until around a year. He should still be having breastmilk or formula for the essential nutrients they provide for babies' growth. My son was in the 80-90th percentile most of his first year, and his pediatrician said he could start a little bit of cow's milk at 10-11 months to start getting used to it, but we didn't completely switch until after his first birthday.

Amanda - posted on 11/11/2009

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he's 7 and you don't give him milk yet????? I was giving my son milk at just a few months old cause he didnt take well to formula. I think your son is more than ready for milk

Kristin - posted on 11/11/2009

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I hope you mean your seven month old son. I'd follow doctor recommendations and wait til the year mark for most dairy products. Better to be safe with allergies than sorry!

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