Q&A: Can I give cow's milk to my 11-month-old?
My 10-month-old is breastfed and gets solid food three times a day, along with one afternoon snack. I want to wean her before I take a trip next month, but she will only be 11 months. Is it OK to transition her from breast milk to cow's milk even though she is not quite 1 year old?
While it may be tempting to switch your baby to cow’s milk even before you celebrate her first birthday, the fact of the matter is that cow’s milk is not recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics for children under 1 year old. This is for several reasons, including the fact that cow’s milk provides infants with inadequate amounts of iron, vitamin C, and other nutrients, contains more protein, sodium, and potassium than an infant’s system may be able handle, and can be more difficult for an infant to absorb and digest.
That said, if you’re looking to wean your 11-month-old before your upcoming trip, you’d be advised to simply give her either iron-fortified formula or pumped breast milk until she reaches one year of age. Fortunately, it won’t be long before she turns 1 and you can then switch to giving her whole cow’s milk.