Should I give cow’s milk to my baby under one year? To answer this question numerous studies have been conducted in many countries. Here are the results:
- The chemical composition of milk includes a large number of various macro- and microelements, which can’t be fully absorbed by the baby’s body. The surplus of these elements can be much more dangerous than their shortage. For example, excessive minerals and protein in cow’s milk can have a negative impact on baby’s kidneys.
- Cow’s milk is a source of casein, a protein that can damage the intestinal mucosa of the baby under 1 year. This provokes the formation in the bowel wall trauma, which may cause bleeding, low hemoglobin level and the development of iron deficiency anemia.
- Cow’s milk is often a cause of allergic reactions in kids under 1 year. According to many studies, 25% of kids who were given cow’s milk had an allergic reaction. Cow’s milk one of the most allergenic foods.
- Cow’s milk does not contain the necessary amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids which are required for brain development of the baby. It also contains very little iron, which is highly necessary at this age for reproduction of red blood cells.
So, the scientists’ conclusion is not to give milk to babies under 1 year.
When can I give cow’s milk to my baby?
Many pediatricians recommend to start introducing whole (raw) milk after 2 years. By this time the child’s body will be fully formed and will be able to digest milk without any consequences. You can also add cow’s milk when you cook porridge starting at 9 months.
A few tips on introducing cow’s milk.
You can start introducing cow’s milk for kids after one year following these rules:
- boil cow’s milk
Some diseases (tuberculosis, encephalitis, Lyme borreliosis, anthrax, gastroenteritis) can be transmitted to humans through unboiled milk. Therefore, the process of boiling is very important, especially when it comes to the health of your baby.
- introduce cow’s milk gradually
Many children suffer from intolerance to cow’s protein and sugar. First, give your baby about a teaspoon of milk and monitor the reaction. If there is no rash, diarrhea or other allergic reaction, then next time give the kid 2 tablespoons. In the case the child has an allergic reaction, postpone introducing cow’s milk for at least 3 month.
- mix boiled milk with boiled water
Gastroenterologists recommend to dilute milk with water in proportion 1:2. After 5−6 weeks you can change the proportion to 1:1;
- if you buy milk at a store, chose the one with the shortest shelf-life.
Milk products with long shelf-lives have many preservatives.