When Is It Safe to Give Cow’s Milk to My Baby?

The Short Answer from a pediatrician

If your child is less than one year old, avoid giving her cow’s milk.

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Fresh cow’s milk has been associated with small micro-bleeds in the digestive tracts of infants younger than 1 year. It’s also low in iron, vitamin E and essential fatty acids, and it doesn’t have the ideal proportions of proteins and fats found in breast milk or formula. Besides cow’s milk, you should avoid giving goat’s milk, soy milk or almond milk to infants under age 1.

So what should babies drink?

Stick with breast milk and/or properly prepared iron-fortified infant formula. You can introduce small amounts of cheese or yogurt around 8 months of age.

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— Pediatrician Kimberly Churbock, MD

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