If your child is under 1 year old, you should not feed your baby cow's milk, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
Cow's milk doesn't provide enough:
Your baby's system can't handle the high levels of these nutrients in cow's milk:
It's also hard for your baby to digest the protein and fat in cow's milk.
To provide the best diet and nutrition for your infant, the AAP recommends that:
If breastfeeding is not possible, infant formulas provide a healthy diet for your infant
Whether you use breast milk or formula, your baby may have colic and be fussy. These are common problems in all babies. Most of the time, cow's milk formulas don't cause these symptoms, so it won't help if you switch to a different formula.
American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement: Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk. Pediatrics. March 1, 2012;12(3):e827-e841.
Updated by: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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