Whether you have chosen breastfeeding or formula, at some point you will ask the question “Should I,” or “when can I give my baby cow’s milk?” Most people begin their children on cow’s milk at about a year of age. But there are some things to consider before making the leap to dairy.
Milk has this funny way of bonding with the iron in the body and preventing it to absorb into the system. In fact, milk is the leading cause of iron-deficiency anemia in babies and young children. This is a big reason experts advise strongly against giving infants cow’s milk at all. But when they’re older? Let’s take a quick look at your baby’s digestion.
The digestive tract of a baby has little tiny gaps between the cells. These darling little gaps allow for important antibodies from mom’s milk to be able to seep into the bloodstream. Sometime before your baby’s second birthday, these spaces seal up, preparing junior for some more serious “big boy or girl” digestion. It’s plain to see, with such a wonderful example of how the body develops, how babies are perfectly built to accept human milk. Oddly, baby cows are perfectly designed to accept cow’s milk.
If your baby has reached one year of age and that’s when you plan to wean, consider soy milk. There are some great varieties of organic soy milk on the market that make a nice substitute. If you plan to give baby some cow’s milk eventually, waiting until two years of age may be the better route.