What can I do when my baby refuses cow milk?

Q: I've just weaned my 15-month-old baby from breastfeeding, and now she refuses milk. What can I do?

A: It's normal for recently weaned children to be reluctant to drink cow's milk because it tastes so different from the breast milk they loved (along with the bonding time that goes with nursing). Try making milk more tempting by offering it in a sippy cup (babies should stop using bottles after age 1 anyway) -- the novelty of trying a cup can sway some stubborn kids. Or you can try flavoring it with a tablespoon of fruit juice, a drop or two of an extract like vanilla, or even a squirt of chocolate syrup. Also, don't forget the power you have as a role model. Research shows that daughters of moms who drink milk end up having more themselves, so make sure your baby sees you sipping plenty of the white stuff too.
If you're worried about calcium intake, know that there are many good sources you can give your baby -- including green vegetables and calcium-enriched cereals and fruit juices -- as she warms up to drinking milk. Reduced-fat cheese and low-fat yogurt are two sources that kids tend to love.

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