Is it Ok to Give My Baby Cow’s Milk or Dairy in the First Year?
Is cow’s milk or dairy okay for babies in the first year of life? The answer is, sometimes. Human milk is designed exactly right for human babies. The right levels of proteins, the right levels of different fats, the right levels of carbohydrates. Formulas designed for babies have their levels modeled after breast milk.
But, cow’s milk is different. They’ve got different levels. If cow’s milk were to substitute for breastfeeding or substitute for formula, that wouldn’t be a good choice. Beyond that, some kids are actually allergic to cow’s milk protein. More than 90 percent of kids aren’t, but some are.
Beyond that, there’s the concern about lactose intolerance. It makes sense; a lot of us are lactose intolerant. But it turns out that the number one carbohydrate in breast milk is lactose. So, real lactose intolerance in babies is pretty uncommon.
What does all that mean? It means if you’ve got a healthy baby who’s not allergic and who is getting the centerpiece of their diet from breast milk or from formula, then adding in some dairy can be a great thing. Adding in some yogurt or cheese can be fine in the first year of life.