Author Topic: Anyone weaned your baby to goat milk?  (Read 2470 times)

Chrissy

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Anyone weaned your baby to goat milk?
« on: January 26, 2017, 01:45:40 PM »
DD is 11.5 mo.  We're starting Week 2 of a ~6wk process of weaning to goat milk, because my father/her grandfather FREAKED OUT that we were going to start her on moo juice.  Apparently, my mother breastfed each of us until 2 years (omg, that poor woman), and he's stuck on 2yrs as the standard.  His reaction did prompt me to do some research, and I discovered goat milk is more nutritious, fattier, easier to digest, etc.  They sell Meyenburg whole goat milk in our supermarket dairy case, so it's easy for us to do make this choice. 

However, soon I'll have to supplement with folate/folic acid (I guess?), and that's not so simple.  Has anyone else gone goat?  How did you do the supplementation?  How long was your kid on goat before you switched to cow?  If you did switch to cow eventually, did you do it because of availability/cost or some other reason?

FYI, my kid had some sensitivity to cow protein at 4mo, so I went dairy-free until she was 9mo.  She'd outgrown it by then.  She eats cow cheese and butter without problem.

brycedoula

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Re: Anyone weaned your baby to goat milk?
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2017, 03:40:28 PM »
I guess I'd ask you: why wean to milk at all? If she's eating other dairy (cheese, butter, yogurt, etc) and eats a reasonably balanced diet otherwise, it may not be necessary. Anecdotally, I have a few mum friends whose kids flat-out refused to drink any milk at all. Their doctors were fine with that, because the kids were eating other higher-fat dairy products.

My daughter is about the same age as yours, and doesn't drink much milk at home. Her morning oatmeal is made with 1/3 cup whole milk, and she gets some milk at daycare, but otherwise drinks water. We are still nursing ~2x/day, though.

frugalparagon

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Re: Anyone weaned your baby to goat milk?
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2017, 03:44:53 PM »
My children, who had each been on formula for several months, also did not drink much, if any, milk--it gave them eczema. I think it's part of why they were such good eaters as toddlers--they were't filling up on milk. (They could tolerate cheese and yogurt and have always been BIG fans.) Little Brother is a big milk drinker as a preschooler but Big Brother won't touch plain milk at all (chocolate on occasion).
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ketchup

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Re: Anyone weaned your baby to goat milk?
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2017, 03:58:25 PM »
No babies, but I've weaned puppies onto raw goat's milk successfully.  I know part of the big appeal is that it's easier to digest.

gipsygrrl

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Re: Anyone weaned your baby to goat milk?
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2017, 04:03:16 PM »
We did the Meyenburg whole goat milk as well. I had not read or heard anything about the folate supplement, however - nor did our pediatrician ever bring that up. Is that something that's lacking in goat milk?

My decision to go goat (ha) was because goat milk had all of the protein/calcium of cow's milk, whereas some of the other non-dairy options (like hemp, soy and almond) did not. Plus I wasn't totally sure what was IN some of those other milks. Our doc said that protein was the important part of milk, and as someone else mentioned, if he was getting enough protein from food he wouldn't really need any kind of milk at all.

Anyway, the kiddo liked the goat milk, which was great. I weaned him to it around 11-12 months and we gave him goat milk for about 9 months after that. He stopped drinking as much of it on his own pretty naturally, especially the more he started eating regular solid food. I started working in yogurt and cottage cheese made with cow's milk, just to make sure he was getting his protein since he wasn't drinking as much. Now he drinks cow's milk with lunch at daycare and another small cup sometimes with dinner, and that's it.

Secret Agent Mom

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Re: Anyone weaned your baby to goat milk?
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2017, 08:42:15 PM »
Yes, my second was sensitive to dairy in my diet- I had to go dairy free for the 2 years I nursed her.  At the 2 year mark, I found that she could tolerate small amounts of goat milk, and we slowly transitioned.  I don't think you need to wean at age 1, and agree with your father that 2 is much more... natural.  All of mine has self-weaned around 18m-2years.  If your child is sensitive to cows milk in your diet, try goats milk.   I also find that even if sensitive to cow milk, things like yogurt or cheese are easier to digest.

MayDay

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Re: Anyone weaned your baby to goat milk?
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2017, 11:05:19 AM »
My son did goat milk, as cow dairy gave him excema. He eventually outgrew it and transitioned to cow diary.

I was also nursing until ~21 months. The goat milk was for daycare as I had stopped pumping.

I do think 95% of toddlers need some kind of milk until about 2 years. Human babies really aren't meant to be eating all their calories from table food at 12 months. Obviously there is the occasional kid who can. But most need to either be nursed, or given cow milk, goat milk, etc for awhile longer.

Of course another option is toddler formula. I know people with underweight kids who use it. It would have all the iron, folate, etc added in. But it's probably way cheaper to give regular milk from a mammal of your choice and give a multivitamin.

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little_brown_dog

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Re: Anyone weaned your baby to goat milk?
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2017, 12:21:16 PM »
Yes, my second was sensitive to dairy in my diet- I had to go dairy free for the 2 years I nursed her.  At the 2 year mark, I found that she could tolerate small amounts of goat milk, and we slowly transitioned.  I don't think you need to wean at age 1, and agree with your father that 2 is much more... natural.  All of mine has self-weaned around 18m-2years.  If your child is sensitive to cows milk in your diet, try goats milk.   I also find that even if sensitive to cow milk, things like yogurt or cheese are easier to digest.

There is no natural time to wean…weaning occurs at all later infant/early toddler ages and is influenced by when mother or baby desire it, or circumstances demand it. I know you didn’t mean it this way, but by stating that weaning at a year is not as natural, the implication is that she is doing something abnormal, or inadequate, or biologically wrong. Babies have been weaning around a year for centuries for various reasons and mom’s personal preference is among them! Mother nature never made a rule book stating an age at which mothers should wean. We need to be careful about implying that women and babies are weird or unnatural if they don't use breasts a certain way.

The standard of care today is that most babies can wean at one year from a nutritional perspective.

OP – my understanding regarding pediatric nutritional guidelines is that whole milk is recommended due to the fat and calories. I don’t see why pasteurized full fat goat milk would be a problem. Just tell your ped you want to try it instead of cow milk and get their okay. To my knowledge there is absolutely no research showing that kids who get goat milk are any healthier or happier than kids who get cow milk. It’s all about your baby’s circumstances and preferences. Do what you think is best.

Chrissy

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Re: Anyone weaned your baby to goat milk?
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2017, 09:19:59 AM »
Thank you to everyone who replied!  In answer to some of your questions:

We're not weaning completely off of milk because she's an erratic eater, but she LOVES milk.  We always do solids before milk, but sometimes she just won't eat.  We're going to stick with goat milk until age 2, and then reevaluate. 

For clarification:

This goat milk is pasteurized, not raw.  It's whole fat and has Vit D3 added.

It's not that I feel like I HAVE to wean, it's that I'm pumping 5x/day for 25min/ea to keep up, and I just can't continue.  I feel victorious crawling over the 1 year finish line... there's no way I can get back up and run the whole race again!  FYI, she dropped the breast cold turkey at 8mo, and never looked back.

DD outgrew her cow's milk sensitivity, which was really very slight.  This choice is about placating her grandfather, who is still married to some of the old wisdom.  I recently sent her grandparents an email describing the benefits of goat milk over cow, how we would address the deficiencies, the timeline for slowly making the transition, and they're happier.  They see the babies daily (first grandchildren--nephew is 3wks younger than DD and we share a nanny), so I'm sure Grandpa feels a great sense of responsibility for them, and his reaction may have been more the shock of not being consulted.

I'll bring up goat milk with her doctor at the 12mo appt in a couple weeks, and see what she says about folate/folic acid.

« Last Edit: February 01, 2017, 11:11:37 AM by Chrissy »

cats

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Re: Anyone weaned your baby to goat milk?
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2017, 09:40:31 AM »
I have no thought on cow vs. goat, but wow...your father is way overstepping the bounds, IMHO, unless he is a pediatrician or certified infant/toddler nutrition expert.  Great for your mother for nursing for 2 years, but I presume your circumstances and hers are not the same?  Does your mother (the one who actually did the nursing) have any thoughts on the matter?

It sounds like you are resolving the situation to your satisfaction, but from what you've described he owes you an apology and a promise to back off in future (though my dad is also something of a meddler, so my sympathies and understanding if you can't get/choose not to pursue either).

little_brown_dog

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Re: Anyone weaned your baby to goat milk?
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2017, 11:24:02 AM »
It's not that I feel like I HAVE to wean, it's that I'm pumping 5x/day for 25min/ea to keep up, and I just can't continue.  I feel victorious crawling over the 1 year finish line... there's no way I can get back up and run the whole race again!  FYI, she dropped the breast cold turkey at 8mo, and never looked back.

Making it to 1 year is extremely difficult to do, especially if you need to pump for whatever reason. I do not blame you in the least for wanting to wean now – you need to prioritize yourself 100% especially after a year of being so dedicated to breastfeeding. Your toddler needs you to be energized and engaged way more than she needs breastmilk anyway. Being chained to a pump 5x a day should not be prioritized over your desires and needs. Good job mama!

Chrissy

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Re: Anyone weaned your baby to goat milk?
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2017, 11:28:28 AM »
Actually, cats, my folks are the GREATEST.  They treat us like adults and equals.  I just happened to mention that we were about to start weaning to milk, and he said, "But babies can't process milk!  I'd ask her doctor before giving her anything.  You know, your mother breastfed both of you until 24mo."  My father is SO mild-mannered that this is a huge freak-out for him. 

They haven't questioned any of my other decisions, like to follow the Finnish vacation schedule, or to cloth diaper for the first 4 months, even though they are by-the-book types.  And, they were nothing but sympathetic to my sister when she absolutely couldn't produce ANY milk (even after 8wks of pumping/fenugreek/oatmeal/consultants/crazy drugs), and had to do formula.  This is their first year being grandparents, so I'm inclined to cut him some slack.

My mother worked more than I do, so she had it tougher!

NeonPegasus

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Re: Anyone weaned your baby to goat milk?
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2017, 11:33:21 AM »
It sounds like you have some great folks.

I disagree with the statement about processing cow milk at that age, though there is some validity that babies/young toddlers are more prone to a cows milk allergy. But, if you've been eating cows milk the whole time, your baby has been exposed to the cow's milk protein through your breastmilk.

There is no nutritional necessity to continue breastfeeding at this age. Yes, breastmilk is superior to cow/goat milk. Yes, it still has lots of benefits. But it is not a necessity especially when continuing it is at the expense of mom pumping 5 times/day. And this is coming from someone who nursed her 3 kids an average of 2 years each, and who pumped for 2 of them until they were ~18 mo.

My only warning is to drop only one pumping session/week until you've stopped completely. You don't want to wind up with mastitis.

Sibley

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Re: Anyone weaned your baby to goat milk?
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2017, 12:46:53 PM »
I have heard that before 1 yr non-breastmilk or formula isn't digested properly, but I don't know if that's scientifically accurate.

I do know that the human race has survived for millions of years, regardless of how we've fed babies (and some methods were really bad).

cats

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Re: Anyone weaned your baby to goat milk?
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2017, 12:56:50 PM »
Actually, cats, my folks are the GREATEST.  They treat us like adults and equals.  I just happened to mention that we were about to start weaning to milk, and he said, "But babies can't process milk!  I'd ask her doctor before giving her anything.  You know, your mother breastfed both of you until 24mo."  My father is SO mild-mannered that this is a huge freak-out for him. 

They haven't questioned any of my other decisions, like to follow the Finnish vacation schedule, or to cloth diaper for the first 4 months, even though they are by-the-book types.  And, they were nothing but sympathetic to my sister when she absolutely couldn't produce ANY milk (even after 8wks of pumping/fenugreek/oatmeal/consultants/crazy drugs), and had to do formula.  This is their first year being grandparents, so I'm inclined to cut him some slack.

My mother worked more than I do, so she had it tougher!

Awesome, my apologies for reading too much into the first post then :)  Good luck with the weaning.

RelaxedGal

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Re: Anyone weaned your baby to goat milk?
« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2017, 09:19:07 AM »
It's not that I feel like I HAVE to wean, it's that I'm pumping 5x/day for 25min/ea to keep up, and I just can't continue.  I feel victorious crawling over the 1 year finish line... there's no way I can get back up and run the whole race again!  FYI, she dropped the breast cold turkey at 8mo, and never looked back.

My sympathies!  I only pumped 3x/day and still was going crazy by the end of the year when I switched her over to (cow) milk.

No advice on goat milk, just lots and lots of commiseration.

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Re: Anyone weaned your baby to goat milk?
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2017, 02:48:57 PM »
We supplemented with goat milk from 3 months on because I worked part-time and it was easier than pumping.  Also we had our own goats...so it was an easy choice.

My mother-in-law taught me to dilute it half and half with water.  Now that your son is older, probably not as important to dilute.
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Chrissy

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Re: Anyone weaned your baby to goat milk?
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2017, 10:04:23 PM »
Update:  the doc was fine with goat milk.  Just asked me if it had more or less fat than bovine milk, because she wanted to make sure the baby is NOT getting reduced fat.  Made no mention of folate or folic acid, so I'm not going to supplement because DD is doing very well with her solids.