Our DD is almost 9 months, and for the past few weeks (as I posted earlier), she's started to refuse her supplemental formula more and more. It's gotten to the point now where she almost starts crying when she sees me coming with the bottle (she'll take water from the bottle, but if she sees it's formula she gets really mad). I talked to the nurse at our ped's today, and she said that since she's still nursing frequently, I shouldn't fight with her over the formula, but rather make sure she gets a reasonably balanced diet of solids. She also suggested that I could give her *small* amounts of whole milk in order to make sure she gets enough fluids and a little extra nutrition. I know the current recs in the US are no cows milk until 1 year, but I think the rec in Canada is 9 months, so it's not totally out there to start her with a little milk now. I was wondering if anyone else had given their baby cows milk early, and how they did with it. I am nervous about giving it to her, but the nurse said she's pretty unlikely to have milk allergies since she's been on a dairy formula for so long with no problems.
The use of cow's milk in the first year of infancy is strongly discouraged by professionals due to a higher incidence of anemia. There is no iron in cow's milk and it may cause a very tiny blood loss from the intestinal tract.
Not quite sure what to suggest other than she probably prefers your breast milk and the formula tastes "off" to her. Either that or she associates her "milk" with your breast and does not want a plastic "nipple". Possibly a psychological thing too - comfort and warmth from mommy!
Last edited by QueenDillyDally; 12-08-2005 at 01:00 PM.
We had the same problem with our oldest DS when he we around 9 months. Refusing formula that is. We talked to our ped that we had at the time and he suggested that we wean him onto cow's milk. When we started we put 3/4 formula or in your case BM. About a week later half and half. The last week 3/4 milk 1/4 formula. We had no problems, but I suggest that you do what you feel is more comfortable for you.
I can tell you how excited we were to finally not have to buy anymore formula, at least for a little while. DS was 13.5 months old when his little brother was born. We will probably wait with him till closer to 12 months. He has been a really gassy baby and I don't want to contribute to that with the cow's milk.
How many bottles does she get a day? If it's only a few ounces (like, less than 8) and she's otherwise eating a wide variety of foods, I wouldn't worry about it too much. The guidelines are geared to kids whose parents want to wean them from the breast or the bottle at an early age. You could give her a few ounces of milk (say 3-4 once a day). Or since other dairy is fine at 9 month , maybe you could see how she does with whole milk yoghurt and cheese, and then just give her water to drink? And then feed her lean ground meat and/or beans to make sure she's getting enough iron.
Well, the nurse just called back and said she spoke with the dr. who said NOT to giver her milk yet. She suggested we mix formula in with her food (which I've tried, and she won't eat the food if I do that). Not sure what to do now!
My dr. said that when you wean, it's a matter of replacing calories with food. So, if she's getting a lot of solids, a decrease in formula isn't the worst thing.
I breastfed, and I started weaning DS around 10.5 months. He was down to just one 4-oz bottle of BM and two nursings by 11 months. I started cow's milk sometime in the 12th month. Right now, he's completely weaned and on whole milk, and he's two weeks shy of his first birthday.
If you need to give her formula, could you try mixing it in her cereal?
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I view 12 months as the bare minimum for introducing cow's milk. A pp mentioned the risk of anemia, but incorrectly attributed this as the result of the absence of iron in cow milk. It's true there's no iron in cow's milk, but that's not what can cause iron deficiency anemia in babies who drink it. The bleed itself is what causes the anemia, because the baby is constantly losing blood in the stool although it's rarely in sufficient quantity to be seen with the naked eye. However, because the loss is all day, every day, with each bowel movement, the baby's bone marrow must "hurry" to make more red blood cells to replace those lost and making RBC's uses lots of iron. The reason cow milk makes human babies bleed through their intestines in these small amounts is because the proteins in cow milk are so large and indigestible they clump up and actually scrape the baby's intestinal villi microscopically, causing tiny capillary bleeds. When the bleeding has gone on long enough to begin to deplete iron stores, iron deficiency anemia in the infant is the result.
There's another good reason, besides allergy (which gets lots of the attention, but is the least important reason not to intro early) and besides iron deficiency anemia. The solute load in cow milk is great for calves, but is a signifcant stress on a human baby's kidneys. The nutritional composition of cow milk is not in line with what babies need, either - the absence of iron makes that point well, but one must also consider other vitamins, and minerals too.
So what's a mom to do? I'd try switching formulas first. Different brands do taste different due to slightly different fat and carb blends - nutritionally equivalent, but not identical in ingredients. Taste a few and see. Maybe your DD would prefer a change in flavor. Give it time, it takes multiple introductions for babies to accept a new food. If a new formula continues to fail, and she will take other drinks from the bottle (thus it's not the bottle itself that's the problem), try formula in a sippy cup, even if this would be her first exposure to sippies. Some babies think the cup is so cool, once they master it, that they're less picky about what's inside it. If that fails you could consider other supplemental delivery methods. If you have an IBCLC available, they may have some great suggestions for you. I know people think of them as "BFing experts" but they also have a lot of general information about baby feeding.
You could, as I think a pp mentioned, continue nursing her as much as you have been and have solids replace her formula. The amount of milk a baby needs in order to get enough fats for brain development does decrease as they near the year mark - not that breastmilk is any less good for them, just that they need less volume-wise. Not only does myelination slow, but more mature breast milk is actually more concentrated in it's fat content.
Last edited by BTB; 12-08-2005 at 04:00 PM.
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