Milk Transition-When, Why, and How (Pedcast)

 

 

Transcript: “Milk Transition, When, Why, and How”

 

Transcript:

Welcome to another edition of DocSmo.com

 

Thanks for joining me today, I am your host, Dr. Paul Smolen.

 

Frequently asked question by parents about the composition of milk and can they stop buying formula.

 

Parents anxious to change to whole milk because of convenience and cost.

 

To understand, need to know some immunology and chemistry.

 

While we are at it, let me give you some practical advice about making the change from baby milk to big people milk.

 

How do breast milk, cows milk based formula, and whole cow milk differ? To answer lets detour down science lane.

 

Compared with breast milk and formula, whole cows milk has less sugar…not as tasty…naturally some resistance by junior.

 

Compared with breast milk  and formula, whole cows milk has more protein and thicker, less soluble proteins…more curds…slower transit, more fermentation into cheese , therefore harder stools for little Janie or Johnny.

 

Compared with breast milk, whole cows milk has proteins that can frequently provoke allergic reactions, especially children under 6 months.  The allergic reaction in the gut can cause bleeding gut wall.  Subsequent anemia can develop and anemia in first year really bad associated with various serious health issues. That’s why we don’t give whole cow’s milk  to babies under 1 year!

 

Compared with breast milk and formula, whole cow’s milk has almost no iron, which as you know, is a vital nutrient for children.

 

Compared with breast milk and formula, whole cow’s milk is missing some fats and vitamins that others have but solids should make up for this.

 

When milk is the whole ballgame, early infancy, we need to get it right.

 

In the second year, not as important because of so many other nutrients and much of brain development has already occurred.

 

The bottom line is that whole cow’s milk is not appropriate food for infants( children in the first year).  I repeat, whole cow’s milk is not appropriate food for infants.

 

 

 

Time for a call in question from Boris: ”What do the experts recommend for my little comrades?”

 

Their recommendation is a strong one: breast milk or formula until at least one year.  Remember, those Doc Smo pearls, “Breast is best” and “Longer means stronger” and “Mom is de-bomb.”

But all good things come to an end. At some point must give up the breast.

 

When you do transition, make sure you go to whole milk, which is about 5% fat.  Nothing leaner; not 2%, not skim.  This is because your child’s brain is made of fat and consumption of fat is essential for proper brain development.

 

Most parents transition to whole cow’s milk at around 1 year but not all.  Many cultures breast feed long into childhood.  Nothing wrong with that. Cultures evolve and change.  50 years ago almost no one breastfed in the US. Science is overwhelming that breast milk is the best food for babies.  Maybe we are headed for a cultural change, longer breast-feeding with a delay in weaning?

 

What kind of problems do parents experience when transitioning to whole cow’s milk?

 

1. Not as sweet.  Baby may refuse since whole cow’s milk is not as sweet as breast milk or formula. I recommend you mix the whole cow’s milk with formula or breast milk and slowly wean your child away from the sweet taste.

 

2. More protein and different proteins can mean more constipation… The savvy parent is ready for this with more fruit, fiber, and water.

 

3. Less iron can also spell trouble. Again, the savvy parent is ready with iron rich foods. Meats (any are fine), infant cereals, green leafy veg, and dark purple fruits, raisins, plums, prunes.  These are foods all of which are rich in iron.

 

4. Whole cow’s milk like breast milk and formula may not supply your child with enough Vitamin D.  Vitamin D, 400 IU needs to be continued throughout childhood.

 

So let’s sum it all up.

 

Whole cow’s milk is not appropriate food first year, pure and simple.

 

Breast is preferred, but when it is not available, infant formula is the only substitue in the first year of life.

 

Most parents transition their children to whole cow’s milk at around 1 year to whole. Experts warn against using not leaner mil in the second year because babies at that age need a lot of fat in order to grow properly.  Whole cow’s milk is a good food for children in the second year of life but should be given along with a good variety of other nutrients given.  Milk alone is not a complete food.

 

Problems that parents may encounter when transitioning to cow’s milk are resistance to taste because not as sweet and constipation because of protein content and composition is different. To counter these problems, I recommend you reduce the sugar content slowly and make sure infant has high fiber intake during transition.

 

Many children are tired of milk from their first year. Be persistent with milk since for many children, this is an acquired taste. I feel that your child’s choices of drink during childhood should be either milk or water.  Stay away from juices and other sweetened beverages, even diluted.

 

Vitamin D supplement need to continue and limit milk intake to no more than 24 ounces per day.  And those bottles, they need to go at your child’s first birthday.

 

That’s it for this week from studio 1E, you know, the first child’s bedroom on the east side of the house.

 

Thanks for joining me.

 

Comments are welcome as always.

 

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Dr Paul Smolen, hoping your child’s transition to milk goes smooth as silk.

 

Until next time.

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2 Comments

  1. Charlotte Rouchouze says:

    Hey, Doc Smo, quick question: Is it ok to give babies over 6 months regular milk mixed into cereal or should it always be formula? I have done it myself since it’s just a small amount and since everything takes on that nauseating formula smell and taste when made with formula, but for my blog, I don’t want to make any bad recommendations. Also, what is the deal on buttermilk? I think it’s basically cultured milk/ i.e. yogurt so I’m assuming it’s good?

    • DocSmo says:

      You always have such great questions. There are a few reasons we don’t give unmodified cow’s milk to babies under a year of age. Firstly, many babies cannot digest the protein in the milk and develop an allergic colitis with bleeding, pain, diarrhea etc. This is bad! Unmodified cow’s milk also has very poor iron content, which is an essential nutrient for growing babies. Iron deficiency anemia is associated with many bad health outcomes and should be avoided at all cost. Finally, the calcium/phosphorus ratio in unmodified cow’s milk is not appropriate for babies which can lead to seizure in extreme cases. If an older baby (more than 6 months of age) is not cow’s milk protein allergic, has adequate iron intake from other nutrients, and is getting other sources of milk with the proper mineral content for baby humans, then I would say a few tablespoons of whole cow’s milk mixed with cereal or other solid food would probably be OK. The Academy of Pediatrics has a specific recommendation not to introduce cow’s milk until a child has reached their first birthday however, I have never seen any problems in people who do this with their older infants. Babies who are older than 9 months of age at introduction seem to do OK with cow’s milk especially in small quantities. I hope that helps.

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