Q: It is safe to give my 11-month-old baby regular milk instead of formula?
A: You should play it safe and wait another month until your baby turns 1. While it wasn't too long ago that 9 months, or even 6 months, was considered a safe age to start giving babies milk, the American Academy of Pediatrics currently recommends that babies get breast milk or formula for the whole first year. This is due to a few reasons: Some studies suggest that starting cow's milk too early can increase the chances of food allergies and perhaps even of diabetes (especially when diabetes already runs in the family). Also, formula is richer than cow's milk in nutrients that growing babies need. Babies who start drinking cow's milk early are more likely to develop anemia, for example.
Copyright 2009 Meredith Corporation.