Q: Is follow up milk necessary?
WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of an infant’s life. Thereafter, local, nutritious foods should be introduced, while breastfeeding continues for up to two years or beyond. Followup formula is therefore unnecessary…
For the first 6 months of age, a baby’s digestive system is too immature to handle solid food hence breastmilk or a suitable substitute is essential for their growth. From 6 to 12 months, a baby begins his/ her foray into the assortment of food to transit themselves to a staple solid meal. Milk might still form bulk of their diet, depending on how well they transit to solid food. During this period, in the absence of breastmilk, it will be essential to choose a wholesome alternative to breastmilk to meet their needs. I have focused the subject of milk for babies beyond 12 months of age as this is the time when most babies are not very reliant on their milk and have solid food forming bulk of the main diet. Hence, beyond 12 months of age, our nutritional needs can be met by having a high quality diet that comprises at least 50% of fruits and vegetables, and all babies beyond 12 months do not need milk :)…
If only it was that straightforward.
I grew up in an era where formula milk is not only prevalent. It was also deemed essential. With modern lifestyle, sending our kids to Childcare Centers (“CC“) is common, and CC would often ask parents to provide milk for their child during nap time. The necessity of milk would also depend on how comfortable a child is with or without it. (E.g. my younger kid sleeps on the count of 3, without milk, while my older kid needs his milk for nap time).
In my opinion, the subject of milk necessity, is probably more dependent upon the environmental/ psychological circumstance, sometimes more than a scientific nutritive need.
As parents, it is then essential that we are well equipped to identify the “healthiest alternative milk“!
Read about how to identify a better alternative here.
Let me know your thoughts.
Cheers to a larger life!