Is goat’s milk something babies should be given? Like adults, babies need essential vitamins and nutrients to successfully grow and develop.
Before your child’s first birthday, he or she receives these vitamins and minerals from formula or breast milk. After your child’s first birthday, they are ready to be weaned from formula or breast milk to regular milk. But with all the different types of milk out there, which is best for your baby?
While it is believed that whole (cow’s) milk is the most beneficial, soy and goat’s milk are also gaining popularity among many parents. Milk is a great source of calcium, phosphorus and vitamin A, which will help build your child’s bones and teeth. Most milk is also fortified with vitamin D, which helps the body absorb the calcium it needs. Milk provides protein for growth and carbohydrates that give your child the energy he or she needs to play all day long.
Can I Give My Baby Goat’s Milk? Answer: After One Year
While other members of your household may drink lower-fat versions of milk, it is extremely important your child starts with a more fatty milk. Your child needs the higher fat and caloric content for his or her growth and development. In fact, children under the age of two should consume half of their total caloric intake from fats. Once your child celebrates their third birthday, you can switch them to lower fat milks.
If you prefer, goat’s milk can also be given to your baby instead of cow’s milk. In fact, many parents who have children that find it hard to digest cow’s milk prefer goat’s milk. Unlike cow’s milk, goat’s milk doesn’t have the substance agglutinin. Because of this, the fat in goat’s milk doesn’t cluster around each other, making it easier for your baby to digest. Goat’s milk also contains slightly lower levels of lactose, which may help those who suffer from lactose intolerance.
Several Health Benefits
Goat’s milk is also known to provide benefits by treating things like eczema, asthma, stomach ulcers, migraines, and problems of the liver. Goat’s milk is also great for babies that have colic, or vomit on the regular, or those who are having trouble putting on weight.
Goat’s milk is also known to have a sweeter taste than cow’s milk, which may help your child make the transition. Some children have a hard time switching from formula or breast milk to milk because of the thicker texture and different taste; however, the sweetness of goat’s milk may encourage your child to switch without any hesitation.
Since cow’s milk is the most popular, you may have trouble finding goat’s milk at your local grocery store. Try contacting health food stores to see if they have goat’s milk in stock. If not, you may need to reach out to a local farm. Before giving your child goat’s milk from a farm, you need to make sure it has been pasteurized.
The Waiting Game
It is very important to wait until after your child’s first birthday to introduce milk into their diet. Before your child hits the one-year mark, his or her digestive system cannot properly digest the milk proteins. Milk also has a great amount of sodium, potassium and chloride, which can harm your baby’s kidneys.
Most importantly, though, is that milk does not have all the vitamins and minerals your baby needs for growth and development throughout their first year of life, especially vitamin E, iron and zinc. Giving your baby milk before his or her first birthday could cause an iron deficiency and internal bleeding.
Children between the ages of one and two should consume between 16 and 24 ounces of milk per day. Note that it is possible for your child to consume too much milk. More than two to three glasses of milk during the day can fill your child up, making him or her less likely to be hungry at dinner for other foods they need in their diet.
When it comes time for your baby to switch from formula or breast milk to milk, goat’s milk is a perfectly fine choice. It is healthy for your baby and is beneficial to those who have a hard time digesting cow’s milk. Just remember to make sure you give your child goat’s milk that has been pasteurized. If you have any questions, it is recommended to consult your child’s pediatrician to discuss your concerns.