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Thread: 10 month old transitioning to cows milk

  1. #1

    Default 10 month old transitioning to cows milk

    My pediatrician said at my sons last check up that we could start introducing cows milk to his diet in addition to breast milk (he is just shy of 5th percentile for weight). I figured ok no big deal cause I thought it would take a few months to wean anyways. My goals were to be able to nurse him a year if possible and not have to do formula to go straight from breast milk to cows milk. I am really close to this and not opposed to night nursing few months after the first bday. Most moms I spoke with said their babies had a hard time taking the cows milk after almost a year of breast milk. So I, of course, thought my son would do the same. I started with a 50/50 ratio and within a week he was taking cows milk no problem. Now it has been a month and cows milk is his main drink I am just nursing him at night. My concern is that since he is still less than a year (he's now 11 months) he is not getting enough breast milk for his iron levels. He eats pretty much everything we eat but he is really taking to the cows milk during the day so I am wondering what I should do here. Don't really wanna introduce formula just for 4 weeks if I can help it..yet I have that worry in the back of my mind about the iron deficiency,anemia, etc.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    middle of IA

    Default Re: 10 month old transitioning to cows milk

    hi mama,

    congrats on making it almost to a year!

    iron doesn't actually transfer well through breastmilk. this is why some pediatricians will recommend supplementing early, and worry about babies who aren't eating "enough" solids in their second 6 months, because of the concern they're not getting enough iron. these concerns are usually unfounded. in particular since you say he's eating what you eat - if he eats things with iron (leafy greens, meats, etc) then he's likely fine. babies generally are tested around 12 months for lead and anemia, anyway; if you're very concerned, you can ask your ped to put in the orders for that blood work right away.

    i think the issue at hand is actually not the iron deficiency, but about how you feel about the nursing situation. are you happy with nursing only at night? are you working or separated from DS during the day, or why aren't you nursing him during the day? what makes you think you should introduce formula for 4 weeks?

    and depending on what your nursing goals are ... there is no reason to wean your son at a year, if you (or he) don't want to. you can continue to nurse at night/whenever you're together, without pumping while you're away, and it's sure been an amazing parenting trick for me. if you do want to wean him, it sounds like you're on the way without much pain or tears, and that's great too.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: 10 month old transitioning to cows milk

    Welcome to the forum!

    Are you in Europe or the USA? The reason I ask is that American pediatricians generally recommend not introducing cow's milk until 12 months, while European ones often suggest starting it at 9-10 months. Since cow's milk has the potential to cause iron deficiency, and does not have the same balance of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates that breastmilk does, American docs generally recommend supplementing with formula until the first birthday, if a mom desires or needs to supplement.

    If your baby is currently drinking mainly cow's milk, I would suggest either a) taking the cow's milk away and nursing much more frequently or b) taking the cow's milk away and supplementing with formula. It's only another month or so before you can switch to using lots of cow's milk without any question of whether or not it's the right thing to do.

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