Breastmilk to Whole milk

Shannon - posted on 10/25/2009 ( 8 moms have responded )




Hi Everyone!

I am new here, and have a question that I cannot seem to find an answer too...

I am currently beginning the weaning process from breastfeeding to Whole Milk.

Will my baby drink the same amount of Whole Milk as he does Breastmilk in one feeding?

He will drink only about 2-3 ounces of whole milk at a time.

He is 8 months old, I intend to nurse until he is 12 months old, but am starting to wean now to make the transition easier, and not rushed.

Thank you!


User - posted on 10/26/2009




you should not be giving any whole milk at all until your baby is 12 months old. you need to hold off on that - their systems can't tolerate it yet.


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Jessica - posted on 10/26/2009




As other moms have stated, its probably best not to give your kid whole milk until after they are a year old.

However if you're wanting to know how best to wean your child from breastfeeding, well I'm not an expert because I'm not there yet, lol. BUT I think you have the right idea- to do it slowly. I think what you want to do is slowly increase the amount of bottle-feedings you do per day. Gradually replace a breastfeeding session with a bottle- of expressed breastmilk or formula. Breastmilk would probably be better nutritionally and because its more familiar to baby.

Also, as a side note, don't feel pressured to keep nursing beyond a year if you don't want to. Its no one else's business to tell you how long to nurse your child. Its great that you've done it this long. I also plan to wean my child by a year- for a variety of reasons- and will do it gradually so its easier on him!

Kiera - posted on 10/26/2009




I was told quite sternly by the child health nurse that there was no nutritional benefit in continuing breastfeeding after 12mths. I was really upset about giving up although thought under her advice that it was the best thing to do. After weaning my daughter off the boob she got a cold, that one would end then another and another, then an ear infection. At this point my daughter was on full cows milk and was given a dose of antibiotics for her ear infection was has totally ruined her immune system now. I now have my daughter back on Toddler formular. Should I be able to breastfeed my next child well I will not be weaning him off until he is around 18mths of age!

Minnie - posted on 10/26/2009




I agree- you are rushing it all the same. Beginning cow's milk at eight months just for the sake of your child being completely weaned the day he hits 12 months?

You should be aware that the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for at least two years.

Even if you were to be following the AAP, which recommends breastfeeding for at least one year, you would not begin the transition to cow's milk now, but at 12 months, with complete weaning ending sometime AFTER 12 months.

For your baby's well-being I think you should reconsider.

Cara - posted on 10/25/2009




Babies do not have the enzymes to digest the proteins in cows milk before 1 year. It can lead to all sorts of problems, internal bleeding, allergic reactions to milk and other foods, and a host of other less known problems. it wont be rushed if you wait!!! You are rushing it right NOW! My daughter didnt have cows milk until a week before she turned one... very easy transition ( and this is a stubborn girl who NEVER took a bottle) We nursed until her first birthday, and then POOF! she weaned herself... that cows milk was yummy! She drinks about 16-24 ounces a day.

Michelle - posted on 10/25/2009




WHY in the world would you be giving an 8 month old cows milk? you are in for causing baby all kinds of issues from internal bleeding to increasing his risk of a milk allergy....

Kathy - posted on 10/25/2009




Directly from the article,

"In general, only breastmilk or formula should be used if your baby is less than six months old.

Between six and twelve months, supplementing with solids (instead of formula) or very small amounts of cow, goat, soy or rice milk is less of a problem, as long as baby is still nursing for the majority of milk intake and baby is not allergic. However, babies under a year are more at risk for allergic reactions (see below) so it can be a good idea to wait.

After a year, other milks may be used, but are not needed (other sources provide the same nutrients). It's recommended that you limit the amount of cow's milk that your child receives (possibly other milks too, except breastmilk) to 2-3 cups (16-24 ounces) per day. Too much cow's milk in a child's diet can put him at risk for iron-deficiency anemia (because milk can interfere with the absorption of iron) and decrease the child's desire for other foods. More here on cow's milk after a year."

From me:

- Make sure your babies primary intake is breastmilk!

Is there a particular reason that you are choosing to wean at 1 year? I would just like to offer you a little bit of information on extended breastfeeding.


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Home > Breastfeeding > Nursing After the First Year

Extended Breastfeeding Fact Sheet

By Kelly Bonyata, BS, IBCLC

PDF version (great for printing) | Portuguese | Bulgarian | Russian

Breastfeeding benefits toddlers and young children...

nutritionally, immunilogically and psychologically.

* Nursing toddlers benefit NUTRITIONALLY

* Nursing toddlers are SICK LESS OFTEN

* Nursing toddlers have FEWER ALLERGIES

* Nursing toddlers are SMART

* Nursing toddlers are WELL ADJUSTED SOCIALLY

* Nursing a toddler is NORMAL

* MOTHERS also benefit from nursing past infancy

* Additional Resources

Nursing toddlers benefit NUTRITIONALLY

* Although there has been little research done on children who breastfeed beyond the age of two, the available information indicates that breastfeeding continues to be a valuable source of nutrition and disease protection for as long as breastfeeding continues.

* "Human milk expressed by mothers who have been lactating for >1 year has significantly increased fat and energy contents, compared with milk expressed by women who have been lactating for shorter periods. During prolonged lactation, the fat energy contribution of breast milk to the infant diet might be significant."

-- Mandel 2005

* "Breast milk continues to provide substantial amounts of key nutrients well beyond the first year of life, especially protein, fat, and most vitamins."

-- Dewey 2001

* In the second year (12-23 months), 448 mL of breastmilk provides:

o 29% of energy requirements

o 43% of protein requirements

o 36% of calcium requirements

o 75% of vitamin A requirements

o 76% of folate requirements

o 94% of vitamin B12 requirements

o 60% of vitamin C requirements

-- Dewey 2001

* Studies done in rural Bangladesh have shown that breastmilk continues to be an important source of vitamin A in the second and third year of life.

-- Persson 1998

* It's not uncommon for weaning to be recommended for toddlers who are eating few solids. However, this recommendation is not supported by research. According to Sally Kneidel in "Nursing Beyond One Year" (New Beginnings, Vol. 6 No. 4, July-August 1990, pp. 99-103.):

Some doctors may feel that nursing will interfere with a child's appetite for other foods. Yet there has been no documentation that nursing children are more likely than weaned children to refuse supplementary foods. In fact, most researchers in Third World countries, where a malnourished toddler's appetite may be of critical importance, recommend continued nursing for even the severely malnourished (Briend et al, 1988; Rhode, 1988; Shattock and Stephens, 1975; Whitehead, 1985). Most suggest helping the malnourished older nursing child not by weaning but by supplementing the mother's diet to improve the nutritional quality of her milk (Ahn and MacLean. 1980; Jelliffe and Jelliffe, 1978) and by offering the child more varied and more palatable foods to improve his or her appetite (Rohde, 1988; Tangermann, 1988; Underwood, 1985).


Nursing toddlers are SICK LESS OFTEN

* The American Academy of Family Physicians notes that children weaned before two years of age are at increased risk of illness (AAFP 2001).

* Nursing toddlers between the ages of 16 and 30 months have been found to have fewer illnesses and illnesses of shorter duration than their non-nursing peers (Gulick 1986).

* "Antibodies are abundant in human milk throughout lactation" (Nutrition During Lactation 1991; p. 134). In fact, some of the immune factors in breastmilk increase in concentration during the second year and also during the weaning process. (Goldman 1983, Goldman & Goldblum 1983, Institute of Medicine 1991).

* Per the World Health Organization, "a modest increase in breastfeeding rates could prevent up to 10% of all deaths of children under five: Breastfeeding plays an essential and sometimes underestimated role in the treatment and prevention of childhood illness." [emphasis added]


Nursing toddlers have FEWER ALLERGIES

* Many studies have shown that one of the best ways to prevent allergies and asthma is to breastfeed exclusively for at least 6 months and continue breastfeeding long-term after that point.

Breastfeeding can be helpful for preventing allergy by:

1. reducing exposure to potential allergens (the later baby is exposed, the less likely that there will be an allergic reaction),

2. speeding maturation of the protective intestinal barrier in baby's gut,

3. coating the gut and providing a barrier to potentially allergenic molecules,

4. providing anti-inflammatory properties that reduce the risk of infections (which can act as allergy triggers).


Nursing toddlers are SMART

* Extensive research on the relationship between cognitive achievement (IQ scores, grades in school) and breastfeeding has shown the greatest gains for those children breastfed the longest.


Nursing toddlers are WELL ADJUSTED SOCIALLY

* According to Sally Kneidel in "Nursing Beyond One Year" (New Beginnings, Vol. 6 No. 4, July-August 1990, pp. 99-103.):

"Research reports on the psychological aspects of nursing are scarce. One study that dealt specifically with babies nursed longer than a year showed a significant link between the duration of nursing and mothers' and teachers' ratings of social adjustment in six- to eight-year-old children (Ferguson et al, 1987). In the words of the researchers, 'There are statistically significant tendencies for conduct disorder scores to decline with increasing duration of breastfeeding.'"

* According to Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq. in "Extended Breastfeeding and the Law":

"Breastfeeding is a warm and loving way to meet the needs of toddlers and young children. It not only perks them up and energizes them; it also soothes the frustrations, bumps and bruises, and daily stresses of early childhood. In addition, nursing past infancy helps little ones make a gradual transition to childhood."

* Baldwin continues: "Meeting a child's dependency needs is the key to helping that child achieve independence. And children outgrow these needs according to their own unique timetable." Children who achieve independence at their own pace are more secure in that independence then children forced into independence prematurely.

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