What should I do if I think my baby is intolerant to cows' milk?

Dr. Darria Long Gillespie, MD
Emergency Medicine
It depends on the age of your baby.
If your baby is under age 1, don’t give him cow’s milk at all! The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends waiting until your child is 1 year old before introducing cow’s milk. Little infants cannot digest cow’s milk easily, and it lacks the proper mix of nutrients that they need. In addition, it can irritate the lining of baby’s intestines, leading to bleeding and anemia if baby is allergic.
Once a child is over 1, he can drink whole cow’s milk, as long as it’s alongside his regular balanced diet (including a variety of solid foods). If your child is over 1 and seems not to tolerate cow's milk well, have a conversation with your pediatrician about his symptoms. The good news is that you have other options. The main benefits of cow’s milk are the calcium and fat, which you can get from yogurt, cheese and other calcium-rich foods.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.