Ask Judy: When Should I Introduce Cows Milk?

Dear Judy, I have a question for you. My daughter just turned one. What do other breastfeeding moms do? Should I introduce cow’s milk or just breastfeed before meals? From @Leslielu2 (on Twitter)

It is really up to you. Some mom’s introduce cows milk at age one and some don’t. If you are planning to continue nursing your baby, then there is no need to introduce cows milk. The main reason that milk is important is for the calcium. If your child drinks plenty of water and eats a diet that is rich in calcium (or takes a calcium supplement), then there really isn’t any need for cows milk at all.

When my son was about 15 months old, he started refusing to drink anything (other than water) from a cup or bottle. He no longer would even take breastmilk from a cup (only directly from the source). I tried cows milk (skim, 1%, 2%, whole), rice milk, soy milk – he didn’t want any of it. I even gave him my breastmilk in a cup and he wouldn’t drink that either. The only thing he wanted from his cup was water. So I let him continue to nurse whenever he wanted and made sure he was getting enough calcium from other sources (multivitamin and his meals) and we stopped offering ‘substitute’ milk. Today, my son is nearly 4 years old and still won’t drink cows milk (unless it is chocolate milk, of course!).

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