Avoiding Cow's Milk

Dr. Allan Greene answers the question, Could cow's milk lead to any long-term problems?

Question

My mother-in-law put regular 2-percent milk in my 4-month-old's cereal. Can that cause a problem?

Answer

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no cow's milk before 12 months old for a variety of reasons. It can cause anemia, tummy upset, eczema, allergies, and there is some evidence that it can even cause diabetes. Once is probably fine -- even a few times -- but it's not a good ongoing plan.

At 4 to 6 months of age, kids can still get all the nutrition they need from breast milk or formula. The solids are mostly for the experience of learning to eat. For kids who are getting 32 ounces a day of formula to drink, using water in the cereal can be fine, as an alternative.

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.

American Baby

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