Giving cow's milk early

Hi ladies,

I am going back to work when DS is 11.5mnths old, and as I am still BFing he will miss his afternoon feed for the 3 days I am working. He currently only has 3 feeds (plus sometimes one at night if he wakes with teething pains etc.) & I will still be able to give him his wake-up/bedtime feeds. I really don't want to start expressing this feed & am reluctant to give him formula, so my question is, would it be OK to give him cow's milk from around 10.5mnths old for his afternoon feed? Also, he currently will only take water from a doidy cup, which is fine for the few mouthfuls that he has, but I am worried that he won't get enough milk from a doidy cup??

Thank you image


  • we started early with one feed of cows milk so he could get used to the different taste, by this time we were pretty much on just 2 formula feeds a day anyway and he was eating well so we used it as a snack in the afternoon x
  • I was hoping to do this for his mid morning feed when I go back to work , although I'm going to use goats milk as cows seems to have aggravated his skin. I think its fine, for me I'd rather do that and avoid formula, as long as he's getting the other two bf a day I would have though it would be fine (stands back and waits for missiles!)
  • I gave my DD cows milk from 10 months - she self weaned from the breast at 9 months and started refusing formula at 10 months. She was under the care of a neonatologist/paediatrician so I discussed it with him and he said that it was fine, as she had been having it in cooking/on cereals and had not demonstrated any reaction, and we didn't have any allergies in the family. She also had a good appetite and ate a healthy varied diet so he was confident that she would be getting all the nutrition she needed.

    As it will only be for a few feeds a week I really don't see that there'd be any problem with your DS having some cows milk.

    Maybe start experimenting with a few different beakers for his milk feed? The simple Tommee Timmee tippy-up cups with a hard spout were a winner with DD. DS is another story, still not found one he'll drink from!
  • Ah thanks ladies, that's great.

    Maenad, Benjamin can't work out the sucking of a TT cup - we take one out with us everywhere & I invariably end up taking the lid off so he can have a sup image
  • I've come to this a bit late, but the short answer is yes, cow's milk from 10 months is fine (my HV said any time from 10 months is fine, nothing magic happens the day they turn one!) - there's no point introducing formula for such a short time. I assume he's already had cows milk in cooking etc so you know he's ok with it? My son had dropped his daytime milk for a snack by 10.5 months though.

    It might be a pain now but longer term it's brilliant if Benjamin can drink from an open cup already!
  • I'm also a bit late to this but yesterday a HV advised me that it was fine to start on cows milk for daytime feeds at this age as long as they're still getting some boob or formula. I've been considering it as I don't really want to fork out for formula when I've worked so hard to bf successfully. Although I don't actually return to work until she's 12 months anyway.
  • Thanks ladies image

    You've got to love HV's - we've just come in from B's 32-week check (at 42 weeks) & got told that, despite the fact that it would be only 3 feeds a week, that he is on vitamin drops, eats like a horse & he would be 11 months, that he definitely can't have cow's milk till 12 months... Doh!!

  • Silly woman! My HV said it was fine so you could listen to her instead if you like!

    The way I see it, cows milk before 12 months in itself is not harmful, its fine to give it in food etc - but you shouldn't replace breast or formula milk with it until '12 months' (nothing magic happens on their birthday) - but a lot of babies will be down to two milk feeds a day before this age anyway, with no problems (or complaints from the HV), so if you're still giving breastfeeds morning and night, you're not replacing the breastmilk with cows milk, just giving the cows milk as a extra - does that make any sense? I really do think it's pointless introducing formula at this stage if he has a balanced diet.
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