Questions about a preemie and whole milk

S - posted on 11/20/2010 ( 19 moms have responded )

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My daughter just turned one and one of the nurses at the pediatrician recommended that I start switching her over to whole milk. I am not sure if I should do this before she has reached 12 months at her adjusted age, currently her adjusted age is 8 months.



Second question, I intend to keep breastfeeding her for awhile yet so how do I transition without discouraging her from breastfeeding as well.



Third question, lol yea I have a lot. My daughter will not eat or drink anything cold. I can't get her to drink water and I doubt she will drink cold whole milk, how do I fix this?



***all suggestions are welcome but in regard to switching her to whole milk i'm especially looking for advice from other early or micropreemie moms who understand the extra caution needed for preemies

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Kimberly - posted on 11/20/2010

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I don't have a preemie, but I say if you're still breastfeeding and happy to continue then by all means continue to breastfeed! There's no rule that says all babies should be on cows milk once they hit a year. It's up to you and your daughter when to stop. Just a question...if you don't want to discourage her from breastfeeding then why transition her? If you want her to start drinking from a sippy or bottle then I'd pump my milk and start her with that first.

For your third question, my daughter is 15 months old and I still warm up her milk for her, there's no reason you have to give it to her cold. My daughter loves very cold water though, but you could always give your baby room temperature water, no reason it needs to be cold. Plus, don't be discouraged if she doesn't take to it at first, just keep trying! Good luck!

[deleted account]

If you are still breastfeeding 3-4 times/day whole milk is completely unnecessary and I would just continue breastfeeding for as long as you are both comfortable w/ and worry about your other questions at a later date.

[deleted account]

If you continue to breastfeed, there is no reason to put her on whole milk. That should solve all three questions. =)

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Sandy - posted on 11/23/2010

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My 12 year old was a premie. He weighed 5 lbs 10 oz when I had him, and he gained a pound a week for the first 13 weeks and all I did was breastfeed. He was eating thin oatmeal from a spoon at 3 to 4 months old, and after I switched him to whole milk, later, I always heated it up so that it would not be cold. You can heat whole milk in the microwave, just test it before you give it to the baby.
He was totally on his bottle at 6 months. He just weaned himself. That is when I went to whole milk and more solid foods, because he would not have anything to do with the baby formulas, and I tried several.
Whole milk will be good for her too. You may even want to go ahead and be feeding her baby foods and oatmeal. If she is still small in size, because she was a premie, then you may want to start a little at the time, but the extra foods may help her grow a little faster too. Just try the whole milk first, and then start trying some foods. She may wean herself and not want to breastfeed anymore because she is getting more out of what she is eating, but it will be good for her too. She may not. Very hard to tell as all babies are different.

Sara - posted on 11/23/2010

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My daughter was a preemie also and my dr said to not try her on hole milk till she is a year. If you think that waiting a couple of mths is best you are the mom. I agree! The warm milk and stuff my daughter is the same she wont do cold. To transition her from breastfeeding just try to pump and give it her in a bottle that way she is still getting the breast milk. You know whats best for your baby no matter what a nurse says. Try giving her a drink of water from a straw thats what I did with my daughter and she drinks it that way but she wont drink it on her own lol.

Theresa - posted on 11/22/2010

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I'm not a mom of a premie, but I would ask her doc, not a nurse.

For the cold liquids. I started by warming the milk, then move to cool, then just take the chill off, then cold. Do it gradually, she'll get used to it eventually.

Nicole - posted on 11/22/2010

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The push by a Dr for whole milk has something to do with the milk fat that comes from whole cow's milk being good for brain development. Its still not better for baby than breastmilk. If your dr suggested that you start whole milk, I would use it to supplement the breastmilk you are already giving her. warm up just a few ounces once or twice a day, the same way you would a bottle of breastmilk [which I am sure in the last year you have had to do at least once ;) ] I had a three strikes rule with my son (who was 7 weeks early, but thankfully very healthy) I tried it once, if he didnt like it I tried it again in a few days, if he STILL didnt like it I tried it again a few days later. after that I would wait a few months before trying again. you may find she is ready, or you may find she is not, only way to know is to try, but definitely dont give up the breastfeeding until you and she are both ready, if you are comfortable with it, then why take away that nutrition, and bonding? besides its a whole lot less expensive! :) Good Luck!

Dorothea - posted on 11/21/2010

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1st. Congratulations on your little girl. I'm sure she's the apple of your eye. I have a son, who was born preterm at 28 weeks, so I understand your concerns. I didn't do anything till we hit his adjusted age, for the first two yrs. (That means that I didn't expect him to do things till we hit his adjusted age.) Breast feeding is best for as long as you want, but don't feel pressured by anyone. (Including me.) My son is now 6 and healthy, and refuses to drink milk at all. We find different ways to get calcium into him. Talk with your paediatrician and see what they say. Does your daughter have texture issues? My son did, but we went to speech therapy and they helped us with that. Your therapists will become your best friends. Good luck :)

Lisa - posted on 11/21/2010

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as suggested above, try room temperature water. don't ever give her hot/warm tap water..something about stuff that can settle in your hot water tank. dont know how true that is but why risk it.

Katherine - posted on 11/21/2010

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You can give her food AND milk. If her diapers are wet, I wouldn't worry :) I think it's 12-20oz a day of liquid, but since you are BFing you obviously can't gauge that. So worry about the wet diapers.

Anisha - posted on 11/21/2010

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OK, I COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU MEAN, I HAD A PREMIE AND I BREAST FED HIM FIRST AND I WAS TOLD NOT TO SWITCH HIM UNTIL HE WAS A YEAR OLD BECAUSE OF THE PREMATURITY. TO WEEN, I MIXED THE BREAST MILK WITH 2% MILK (NOT WHOLE) TO SEE IF HE COULD HANDLE IT, THIS WAY ITS NOT COLD, ITS LUKEWARM, YOU CAN START THIS NOW AND AT 12MOS DO A COMPLETE SWITCH TO THE 2% MILK FIRST FOR A COUPLE OF MONTHS AND THEN TRY THE WHOLE MILK. I HOPE THIS HELPS.

Krista - posted on 11/21/2010

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One last thing.... give her warm water if she won't drink cold water. There's nothing wrong with it. My best friend is 30 and still doesn't like cold water. It's gotta be room temperature.

Krista - posted on 11/21/2010

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Why give her cold milk if she doesn't want it? Milk doesn't HAVE to be served cold. As for switching her... if you aren't comfortable with doing so, then don't. A lot of people breastfeed beyond the age of 1 and no one can really say what you should do. However, the introduction of new foods should be done before the age of 2 because it's at that age that children are set in their food ways and it's hard to get them to try new things.

S - posted on 11/21/2010

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Thanks ladies. I will continue to breastfeed but am concerned about how much she gets during the day. She nurses great first thing in the morning and at night but during the day she'll latch for 5 minutes if that and seems more interested in food. I don't want her to get dehydrated and we would supplement her occassionally so we've been giving her 2-4oz bottles with her food.

Iysha - posted on 11/21/2010

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I was told to continue giving formula until my daughter reached 12 months at her adjusted age. I didnt breastfeed but I'm sure you could call the doctor's office and ask to make an appointment just to talk with a doctor about breastfeeding past a year and/or giving whole milk. Nurses often just recommend the same things for every baby as a majority and forget that instructions for preemies can be a bit different. My nurse also said to switch after my daughter's 1st birthday but the doctor said to wait a month after my daughter's adjusted age was OVER 12 months. We started when she was 13 months.

Renae - posted on 11/21/2010

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Always go by your daughter's adjusted age, she is too young for whole milk.

Most babies will not drink anything cold because they are not used to it. Warm it for her.

Rachel - posted on 11/20/2010

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my son is 20 months and refuses milk, I never stopped breastfeeding. it is healthier to breastfeed than to give whole milk any way, there are tons of good things in your milk that are really good for your daughter especially with your concern over her having been a premi.

my son was 5 weeks early not nearly as early as yours.

Andrea - posted on 11/20/2010

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My son was a preemie and his pediatrician recommended switching him to whole milk at his corrected age so I'd give it another 4 months if you choose to do that.
I can't answer the other 2 questions because I didn't breastfeed and my son preferred cold drinks.

Jodi - posted on 11/20/2010

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If you are happy to continue breastfeeding her, there is absolutely no reason to transition her onto whole milk. The WHO actually recommend breastfeeding a baby until age 2. So if anything, it will be beneficial to continue to breastfeed anyway and your breastmilk is much better for her than cow's milk :).



My daughter wasn't premmie, but she was born quite small. I wasn't as successful as you with breastfeeding, so by 12 months, she was on formula, but because she was still very small for her age, I actually didn't transition her from formula to whole milk until she was about 18 months old.

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