Starting a breastfed baby on whole milk

Justine - posted on 01/08/2010 ( 8 moms have responded )

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Is it necessary to start a breastfed baby on whole milk at a year? I know with formula babies you want to switch them over to whole milk, but everything is different with bf babies. how would i even go about doing this with nothing to cut it with? if not at a year, when do i start giving it to him? i plan on letting him wean himself, which is not likly going to be anytime soon.

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Amy - posted on 01/08/2010

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Nope, they don't HAVE to have whole milk at a year. What I did with my son was offer him a couple oz. once a day, not mixed with anything, starting around 1y. It took several weeks before he did more than take a sip and spit it out. And when he was drinking the couple ounces better, I gave him a little more, and offered it a couple times a day instead. Then, I jut kept gradually increasing the amount (to about 4 oz per serving) and the number of times offered to with 3 meals and 1 snack per day, with another serving offered sometimes.

Celeste - posted on 10/20/2013

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Tiffany, if she is not a year old, she still needs breast milk. After a year, if you're nursing 3 times a day, she doesn't need cow's milk. Your milk IS whole milk.

Aideen - posted on 01/08/2010

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My situation:
I gave my breastfed daughter cows milk from a year. Didn't water it down or anything. She weaned herself at 13 months (I'd have loved to feed her longer but she lost interest). I let her drink too much milk from then on...over a pint a day is too much i think (at the time I was delighted that she liked milk so much!). Her iron levels were discovered to be low when she was 2. Apparently she was filling her belly with milk and not eating enough solids then to keep her iron up. Low iron decreases the appitite and then it's hard to get iron levels up when a child isn't hungry. It was a minor issue really and an iron supplement solved the problem. She's still not a great eater...but maybe that's just her personality!
I'm not going down that road with my son. I wouldn't object to him drinking milk while I'm at work but I hope to breastfeed him to 2 years and beyond so we won't be encouraging him to drink from a cup while I'm at home. We have also avoided fruit juice totally this time. (to avoid tooth decay...acid erosion can be quite a problem, and whole fruits provide a drink and fiber, so plenty of whole fruits). At 10 months now he drinks a little water from a cup and eats juicy fruits (like water melon, pears, orange) and seems to have enough to drink with this til I get home (he also has a breastfeed at my lunchtime). Of course we may have other problems yet to be seen...
Your situation:
I would say to do what suits your situation, you have to live and learn really! ... You seem to be doing a fantastic job, so trust your instincts! I would ask around about weaning ages...maybe others have weaned younger than planned when started on cows milk? good luck!

ME - posted on 01/08/2010

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Nope...not necessary...but it won't hurt, and if yours is starting to self-ween even a little or is low on the weight chart, it might be a good idea. My son wouldn't actually drink it at all, and we had to start him with soy milk, and then slowly cut in the milk...now, at almost two, he LOVES milk. Since he was forced to ween at 18 months due to a second pregnancy, I was glad we had gotten him going on the milk when we did...

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Tiffany Sade - posted on 10/19/2013

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well am a first time mom and don't know what to do my baby wont drink soy milk or regular milk she only wants to drink breast milk and she is almost a year I don't know what to do should just continue breast feeding or stop her

Justine - posted on 01/08/2010

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My son is 11 months old and almost 27 lbs, so weight gain is not an issue lol. He nurses less than before because he is in daycare, but he eats really well and will try ANYTHING (loves broccoli, asparagus, salmon, Chinese food, really any ethnic food, olives, you get the picture, anything that he CAN eat, he WILL eat). I dont want him to think that it means he should wean early, I really would like to keep going another year or more.

Justine - posted on 01/08/2010

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well he drinks water out of a sippy and the odd time (like once a week) i will give him sugar-free juice as a treat. he has been on solids since 6 months and eats really well, he was only on purees for about a month or two. now he just eats whatever im eating, and he eats EVERYTHING lol. do you just give them some in a sippy, just like that? or do you cut it with anything? i never give him formula so i dont know waht to cut it with. i cut his juice with water.

Shela - posted on 01/08/2010

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I started my daughter on Whole milk at a year, about once a day as she was still BFing. Just so she could use her sippy cup. I don't know that it is really necessary though. If you are still BFing quite a bit, I don't think that it would be necessary. Are you feeding your baby solids? That will help with calories going in. I would do whatever works for you, but don't substitute whole milk for one of your nursing sessions, just use it as an added drink!

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