Formula to Whole Milk

Abbeys_momFebruary 12, 2002

When did everyone switch from Formula to Whole Milk? My baby is 6.5 months old. I've heard to do it at one year old. But, of course, I want to do it sooner. Did anyone do it around 10 or 11 months? I am so ready to quit buying Isomil ! Any advice?

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One year is recommended as a minimum. The main problem with much earlier introduction is that formula or breast milk is a much more complete source of nutrition for a baby human's first year.

You can ask your pediatrician if you want specifics and they have recommended waiting for one full year.

You can also ask if 10 or 11 months would be ok, and what kind of benefits there might be in waiting.

The nutrition aspects of baby formula and breastmilk are extremely important in the first year because of all the neurological development and growth and change occurring. I'd try to hang on for a full 12 months. You might try a different brand or something if he'll drink/eat it and it's the idea of isomil rather than formula in general that's problematic.

Subtle effects of brain development are not always going to be apparent for years, even up to two decades or more for some things which are known to be genetic from birth. The effect a full 12 months of breastmilk or formula might have as beneficial or protective of optimal development may never be known 'for sure.' But, it seems like there may be a good effect if there is any effect from waiting a full 12 months before introducing regular cow's milk.

give yourself a lot of pep talks about what a great mother you are for being able to tolerate some personal distaste for just several more months (you endured more for pregnancy and birth) for a probable longer term benefit for your baby and your family (and your baby's later family when they are grown, and so on down the line as beneficiaries of this gesture of yours increase in number); 'patience is a virtue' (repeat as necessary to be convincing)

    Bookmark   February 12, 2002 at 10:13AM
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Everything I've ever read about the subject stresses that you NOT give children under 1 milk. Basically, it's a big change on their body and the formula is something that is easier for them to digest. During the first year the main thing is to get nutrients into the child and get them growing. I would certainly wait until the child is eating more table foods because they need their food to grow and be healthy. Oh, and just try calling up the ped. once and asking about switching. If they ever found out you did it that early without talking to them, I wouldn't want to be you or at least our doctors aren't nice here about stuff like that.

Yes, it is expensive to buy formula but you're talking to a person who was shelling out $20 a can until her son was 9 months because he was on Nutramigen. At that time my fiance' was making very little money and it was hard to get by but we had to do it for DS. We've all gotten tired of buying formula and also diapers later but you have to. Later on it will be clothes and sprots and whatever. It's always something. Oh, and if you have a big milk drinker, it's not so cheap either. $3 a gallon can get pretty pricey when you have your toddler and husband drinkng it.

Good luck. Only 5 more months to go :-)


    Bookmark   February 12, 2002 at 10:23AM
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We did not use formula, DD was BF, but regardless our pediatrician said it was ok to start to *gradually* start the transition at 10 1/2 months for BF or formula babies. So when DD got bottles, I added some whole milk until gradually she was getting all whole milk. We also were cutting down on nursing sessions at the same time. We then stopped nursing at 1 year.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2002 at 4:59PM
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There are basically two reasons not to give whole milk until they hit a year old. The first one is that milk is not fortified with vitamins and minerals like formula is... Iron deficiency in infants can cause brain damage. The second reason is that an infant's GI tract is not mature enough to digest the large proteins of cow's milk, and the salt/protein content of it is too high and can possibly stress their kidneys. The irritation of the milk proteins to their digestive tract can sometimes cause microbleeding (not observable) and over time could cause anemia (see first comment).

It's not that long to wait for the switch. I know that formula is expensive, but the nutrition a baby receives is critical to their development. My advice is to bite the bullet and don't mess with it.

Below is a link to the AAP site with the full article on bottlefeeding infants. But here's a quote:

'You and your pediatrician should work together to select a formula that best suits your baby's needs. But be sure to give your baby formula, not cow's milk, for the first year of life. Young infants cannot fully digest regular cowÂs milk as completely or easily as formula. CowÂs milk contains high concentrations of protein and minerals, which can stress a newborn's immature kidneys and can cause severe illness at times of heat stress, fever, or diarrhea. Also, this feeding lacks the proper amounts of iron and vitamin C that infants need. It may even cause iron-deficiency anemia in some babies, since protein can irritate the lining of the stomach and intestine, leading to loss of blood into the stools. For these reasons your baby should not receive any regular cow's milk for the first twelve months of life.'

Here is a link that might be useful: AAP 'bottlefeeding'

    Bookmark   February 14, 2002 at 2:12AM
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with my 2yo dd i started switching her at 9 months, but i only did about an ounce a week so it accually took me till she was 11 months old to have her completely on milk. however she was an extremely good eater. she was eating table scraps and snacked quite a bit through out the day so i wasn't worried about her missing any nutrients. i think it depends on there eating habits as well. i can sympathize with you on the cost of formula but be warned i didn't find i saved any money buying milk every week either. hope this helps


    Bookmark   April 17, 2002 at 7:19PM
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My baby is already 1 year old but my mother-in-law does not want me to introduce whole milk to her till she's 18 months. I searched everywhere and all the topics are about why we should NOT introduce whole milk before 1 year. No one talks about why we need to introduce whole milk at 1 year. Can anyone back me up with some theory besides cow milk is cheaper than formula??? Please help!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2006 at 5:02PM
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Alice, the one thing I can tell you is's your baby, NOT your Mother in laws!!! If you want to switch your baby over to whole milk, do it!!!


    Bookmark   June 1, 2006 at 7:02PM
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Alice, I agree with Vickey. I wouldn't even discuss it with your MIL anymore.

There is a huge misconception that formula is a substitute for milk. Formula is a substitute for breastmilk, not all milk. The proper transition would be from breastmilk and formula to ALL food which includes, of course, cow's milk.

So once a baby hits about 6 months, they should continue with breast or bottle and start adding solid foods. At one, they can completely be off the breast or the bottle and just eat a wide variety of solids. They don't need a bottle at all and should be drinking out of a cup.

As for why the "magic" number seems to be "one" - I would like an answer to that as well.

On a personal level, I never gave my kids milk until they were old enough to eat cereal with a spoon. Even now, they don't have milk unless it's with cereal or cookies. With everything I have heard about hormones in milk, I just wanted to avoid it as much as possible. I looked into organic milk, but it's almost $6 a gallon - OUCH!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2006 at 5:34PM
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well my son is almost 9 months and lately hasn't fully stopped but has definetly slowed down on the formula,i guess he doesn't like the taste since he's eating more grown up foods,he doesn't have teeth so the food is mashed in case your child also doesn't have teeth and my pedio. said that it was totally fine to switch him to whole milk, i've also been adding whole milk to his formula for over a month now to see how he would react to it. So every child is different for some kids they need to wait longer if their nutition will suffer but otherwise if you want to switch but you have to follow your child if they're still fully enjoying the formula then keep giving it to them until you see the interest stops

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 2:35PM
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my son is 2 and a half week away from his first birthday and i have started him on whole milk. i wanted to get him used to the milk before he gets his birthday shots so that way he doesnt have to deal with everything at one time. i know everyone says its good to wait until 12 months to the dot but i was wondering how much of a difference in this short of a time?

    Bookmark   September 6, 2006 at 11:07PM
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I dont know,I waited a year. My mom says she started me on it at 8 months though because she couldnt afford formula anymore and I'm still alive and doing fine.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2007 at 3:22AM
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My question is does it have to be whole milk that they switch to? Can it be 2% or less???

    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 10:49PM
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My baby is 17 months old. I switched her from formula to whole milk when she was 1 year old, and have just switched her to skim milk. I think they reccommend whole milk for the calories, but my girl is a very good eater, and gets her calories. So, I switched her, it makes it easier, everyone else in the house drinks skim. My sister's kid on the other hand, is a skinny minny. I would definitely keep her on whole milk. Christy

    Bookmark   February 17, 2007 at 9:38AM
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I switched from formula to whole milk around 6 1/2 months. I only mixed in about 1 ounce per week with the formula so it took quite some time before she was completely on whole milk. She was also eating pureed foods very well, so she was getting plenty of nutrients. Now, she is 4 years old and is a bright happy child. I don't believe it effected her. At that time the doctor did tell us to wait until 12 months. We simply never told him she was drinking it. I think it is a personal preference that people decide through research and experience of others. Hope this helps someone.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2007 at 5:58PM
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Cow's milk is not a good idea for infants, and I believe most should wait until their child is at least one year of age before adding it to the diet. Even at that point, it should be given sparingly (along with any milk-containing products such as cheese). The proteins in cow's milk are not very digestable, and with all the junk in cow's milk today (growth hormones, antibiotics, etc.) it is a good idea for all children to have as little of it as possible. Milk is high on the allergy scale, it is implicated in ear infections, and is also implicated in juvenile diabetes. The protein called casein that is found in milk is a common culprit in allergies for children. Breast milk is a perfect food for children - the proteins are digestible, the fat to protein ratio is ideal, and children thrive on it. I, for one, am disappointed there are not more choices of formula out there when the breast feeding either slows down or stops. Soy formula can be a problem, as it also is somewhat high on the allergy scale. Why can't some company develop a rice-based formula, and use healthy, unprocessed oils in the formula? Rice is very low on the allergy scale, and digests more easily than soy or cow's milk. Here are some links to more info on infants and cow's milk. I hope this is helpful.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 7:21PM
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My first child was exactly 1 when we started her on milk, but my second child, who will be 10 months next week, has been doing EVERYTHING faster..... she is trying to eat food we prepare for dinner, standing, and even teething faster than her sister. She has been very uninterested in formula for a few weeks now, and we've had to throw so much out that I gave her whole milk this week, and she loved it. I think we as mothers try to research EVERYTHING and want to do what is best for our child.... but some bulletin or article can't tell us what we already know about how to make our kids happy and healthy!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2008 at 8:13PM
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i tryed my daughter on cows milk at 10 months ,she was terribly constipated i switched sraight back to formula

    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 5:11PM
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my son is 9 months..and u as a mother know when and whats right for ur child. a ped. only knows what she has seen of ur child what once a month until they are 6 months old. but we are with our kids everyday. they think bc they have a degree they know everything. and its not true ppl learn everyday from others. degree or no degree. anywho. my son is beginning to hate his formula. so im doing what some of the other mothers are doing..and doing the whole milk one ounce at a time..and they are going to get constipated..duh.. what did they do when u tried switching them to solid food..they spit up.. got constipated..but u stuck with it..obviously..bc they are eating the solid food now.. its all about trial and error when being a mother or a parent...obsticals will face u but u have to stick with it. they have baby sapositories..and prunes or apples.. there are lots of natural and other ways to cure the constipation..but anywho.. i am doing the ounce at a time..and i cant wait for that magic day on his birthday when i can toss all those darn bottles away!! lol. but my son is doing just fine..!!but other moms have good points too.. make sure ur child is eating plenty of solid foods before u transition though. my son gets about 17 oz of formula a day..he hates it..he would rather have i found vitamins that are 8 bucks from enfamil they smell nasty but if ur worried about them not getting good nutrition..get them those.. once bottle lasts forever..and if ur not getting ur fomula for free..and ur baby is on enfamil lipil ar.. i have tons of cans i will absoulutly GIVE U! lol click the link below. last name fagan

Here is a link that might be useful: webpage

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 3:52PM
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My son is 7 and half months and now i wouldnt dream of putting him on cows milk until he is 12 months,like i said i tryed my daughter at ten months and it made her constipated,it was so bad she sceamed in pain trying to pass a poo,it actually got stuck,yes kids get contipated when on solids but at least they are a little older and can cope with it better,and not just that after reading all other stuff about the health benifits and things im not willing for my child to suffer just because i dont want to buy formular anymore,when my daughter turned 12 months she didnt have any problems switching,anytime before that their bodys just arnt ready,it costs me a fortune in formular but my son is worth it

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 6:10AM
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No, no, no, do not do this... It's more than a personal preference. Your baby should be breastfed, if you cannot or it was your preference not to do so that is fine. However, cows milk straight up is not for babies. The formula is full of very important nutrients that is as close as they can get to breast milk. I breastfed and formula fed due to an autoimmune issue with my own body and lack of milk supply. That being said, I have done this 3 times. My oldest is 9. My youngest is 14 months. We started her on a gradual introduction of cows milk at 12 months. GUESS WHAT?!! she stopped talking. YES, you read right... She stopped talking. I noticed. We took the cows milk away and GUESS WHAT?? She started talking within 1 day.
I talked to a MD that is in specialized field of "Advanced Pathways" and she said: "The casein in cows milk causes a opiate like effect on your baby's brain." Therefore she was drugged and not only that she was horribly constipated and would throw-up just trying to get the poops out.
We have her on Enfamil Next Step which is only 18.99 a can and well worth it (many stores offer coupons for -5.00). We utilize those coupons.

Lastly, long term brain development will be effected. You think your spending a lot in formula. Just wait until you have to pay for special care of which is not covered by insurance companies.

Not to be mean. But you had your baby, be responsible and give her a good start at life with a brain that works properly. Here's a clue: I have found from my years working with children with LDs that most LDs are related to nutrition. There is not coincidence that children who have Autism improve when they are put on a Gluten/Casein(milk) free diet.

If you want to save money re-start lactation. Check for details on how to do this.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 9:40PM
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Her child is 8 years old now, this was posted in 2002.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 1:48PM
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i have had 3 kids my youngest is 9mths, my oldest is 9yrs. i wanted to see what the difference was from when my other 2 where lil babies cause the recommendations changes every year... i was told 9mths was the age you could START introducing whole milk n where i' m from its still the same but we still have to keep giving our baby formula & breast milk for the reason being that there isn't as much nutrition in whole milk. my baby has been on solids since she was 3mth cause she wasn't getting full enough w/ breast milk or formula... now some ppl would frown on that but i did what i had to, at that point she had 2 teeth she now has 8 teeth. the only reason they give age recommended milestones is because some babies don't get teeth till they r 6-12 mths old, she digested her food very well w/ out any problems, but i guess i was blessed w/ having a wonderful baby like her. she's been eating whatever it is that we eat for breakfast lunch & dinner n i save alot of money by not having to buy tasteless baby food she wouldn't like anyways, so if waiting till she was eating more table foods is what is recommended then i guess i' m in the clear (its different for different provinces/ state) plus my health nurse gave me a chart to look at as a guide line of when to introduce certain things n it says right on it 9mths for whole milk, but what it lacked was the amount.. i guess more research will help me w/ my question

    Bookmark   December 19, 2010 at 1:02PM
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What did people do before formula? Milk. I think the generations without formula turned out great, no brain damage and such.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2010 at 12:59PM
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Hi my daughter is 10 months 17 days old ,she is taking solid food nicely.But she is taking not even 5 ounces per day(formula).so i want to give whole milk for my daughter.
is it ok,or i have to wait until 12 months.
Plz give good suggestion.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2011 at 1:50PM
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A year is now recommended due to allergy's. As time has gone by much has been learned about nutrition and allergies. My husband was given a concoction of whole milk and caro syrup. No it didnt' hurt him, but does ANYONE think that sounds smart?! Whole milk isn't a given by the way. All three of my children went from nursing to 2% milk.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2011 at 8:53AM
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I think it up to the parents as to how soon they want to start giving their kids whole milk, as long as they keep an eye out on how the child reacts to the whole milk. My son is 10 months and I have been slowly introducing him to whole milk yes it's easy for people to sit and talk about running to others to borrow money to buy formula when you don't have the money but everyone is not the same. With me I am thinking about switching my son now because milk is high n everyone can't get wic it is a income based program.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 2:06PM
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If you can afford the luxery of a pc and the internet then im sure you can afford formula.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 6:30AM
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So my baby is 11 months and I'm getting ready for the big milk switch
Can anyone give me a idea how I should do it. Should I start by adding
Whole milk to formula giving her cups of milk and formula bottles?? What's the best way to do this and what worked best for you??? Help!!!!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 1:05PM
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My son is 9 months old...Here's my problem my son was put on Elecare formula when he was 8 weeks old (he was intolerant to all formulas) the formula binds him when mixed with the solids..we have tried everything possible to fix the problem but everything we do then cause diarreha which then causes severe diaper rash (its a nightmare) the GI dr says that constipation is normal with that formula. I want to switch him to milk so bad and hopefully end this craziness. Do you think he's to young ( I want him to get all the nutrients he needs)

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 10:03PM
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its really quite amazing how many of you have bought into the line of garbage about waiting till one year to make the switch. Just what the formula manufacturers want you to believe. The fact is every child is different, and while switching completely to whole milk might not be advisable until 12 mo. do to lack of iron mainly, cutting in milk at 7+ months is perfectly fine. My 9 month old drinks one 8 oz bottle of whole milk a day, the rest of his daily diet is formula and baby food, and he does fine. He really likes when daddy sneaks a couple ounces of chocolate milk in his cup when mommy isnt looking. The key is this, if they are eating baby food, milk is fine to cut in.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 2:28AM
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I had twins and their doctor took them off formula when they was a month old and put them on whole milk told me not to give the 2/% until after they was 2 years old my girls are fine and they handle the whole milk just fine sleep alot better and didn't spit up alot . All three of my grand babies were on whole milk before they was 3 months old and their in perfect health we just added baby vitamins in there bottle's twice a week . The grand babies doctors said they had no problems with my daughters wanting to take there babies off the formula just make sure that they got the vitamins added in their bottle's but if you use rice in their bottle then you don't have to give them the vitamins doctor said they would be getting to much Iron if we gave them both

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 11:35PM
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Your kids are obviously "special" I hope they end up with better sense than you currently have.

If you have these "twins" and got such advice, your doctor is in georgia.

Idiocy never dies here.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 2:55PM
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My son is almost 11 months old and is eatting pretty much everything we are eating. I am going to start introducing whole milk as well. My husband had whole milk mixed with water from the time he was 5 months old and is just fine.
In my opinion if you are just going to be rude to people you should just keep your mouth shut, You have heard the saying "If you can't say anything nice dont say anything at all!" And im not from Georgia.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 6:51PM
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I started switching my son at 9 months to whole milk--an 8 ounce bottle--i gave 7 ounces of formula and one ounce of whole milk and gradually changed him. He is currently one week shy of being 1 and is completely off of formula and doing fine. It's basically a preference and if your child can handle it...

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 7:32AM
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I cant believe how rude some people are. To the ignorant Dear dad. I hope YOUR children grow up with the manners that passed by ur generation. For everyone else, here in Canada 9-12 months is a safe introduction time. We have better milk and health standards here :)

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 5:01PM
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I love the post that asked the question of what people did before formula. I have read through each of these and it seems that every family has had different experiences with the switch. Even pediatricians have different oppinions on the topic so it only makes since that each family would as well. My son is 8 months old and while I am not ready to make the switch completely, I do believe I will start gradually adding milk into his bottle. I will probably go with 2% due to the fact that he eats regular table food including yogurt and cheese and therefor does not necessarily need all the fats from the whole milk. Thank you for everyone who took the time to share their stories, it really did help in my decision. And by the way Dear Dad, my husband is a twin and he and his brother were placed on solids and whole milk by the pediatrician LONG before their 1st birthday so the name calling may have been a bit excessive.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 3:08PM
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I have 9 month old baby boy it's my second son my older son it's almost 8 yrs old i startet him on whole milk when he was 10 months old i breastfeed till then and i will do the same with my younger son, i thing it's ok from 9 months my mom had three kids and to tell you the truth back in europe back then they did'nt have such a formula they all used whole milk and breastfeed ......

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 9:00PM
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WOW! It's amazing to me how innocent this post started and how hostile it quickly turned. I don't feel it's right to belittle and demean people because of their personal beliefs and choices. Just because you waited til 12 months doesn't mean everyone else does or has. Everyone raises their children differently and, I would think, to the best of their ability. Forums, such as this, are to help and support others, not bring them down. Comments like that are not meant for places like this. That being said, every child is different. Every pediatrician will tell you that. What works for one, won't work for the other. This is true of adults as well. Hence the fact, that we have so many medications that do the same thing. One doesn't work for EVERYONE. Anyway. Now that I've gotten off my soapbox..... My daughter is 6 months old and I've been giving her 1 bottle of whole milk a day for the past 2 weeks and she's doing great with it. I also still give her breastmilk daily as well because I feel that she still needs the antibodies in it. (Due to being diagnosed with reflux issues at 3 weeks of age, I had to start pumping.) I have no issues giving her whole milk at such a young age. She started on solid foods at 6 weeks of age because she was HUNGRY all the time. After starting her on solids she was no longer fussy all the time. As for the whole milk, she has LESS reflux issues on with the whole milk than she does the breastmilk (which I also have to add rice cereal to because of the reflux). I don't have to add rice cereal to the whole milk. Again, every child is different and you have to do what works best for your child, and you!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 7:13PM
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I guess I am confused and dont' really understand why everyone is assuming kids should have milk in the first place. Cows milk is not necessary for children or anyone to drink. A good book to read is "the China Study" or "Disease Proof your Children"

    Bookmark   December 30, 2011 at 12:28PM
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When making choices that impact the health and well being of a child it is best to avoid OPINIONS and go with Medical FACT.
FACT: Formula is not the best choice. Nursing is.
FACT: Milk before one year of age is dangerous due to allergy concerns.
This is a human being not an animal or a new toy. Do what is BEST not what is cheapest, least work, most fun for MOM.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 10:56AM
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I cant believe how RUDE some people can be. When a person is asking for advice on something as innocent as feeding milk to their baby. Whoever you are, you should be ashamed of yourself. Seriously... I dont know where you are from and honestly I dont care either but if you go back and read all the entries YOU are the one that looks like an IDIOT!

    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 11:23AM
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