When I was pregnant with Aiden, I knew I wanted to breastfeed because off all the great health benefits. The Alpha Parent’s timeline really shed light for me on all the milestones reached through breastfeeding up until 1 year.
When Aiden was 1 week old and my nipples felt shredded and I was using pranic breathing to get through the first 15 seconds of his latch, I thought 1 year sounded like an eternity, but at 14 months, I’m here to say they went pretty fast and we are still breastfeeding 3-4 times per day depending on varying factors such as night time sleep and if he needs extra comfort from teething or being under the weather.
It has recently crossed my mind that weaning could happen in the next few months and honestly, I feel a little unprepared. David and I do not consume dairy in our diets due to the health benefits of skipping it. If you’re interested in why you should potentially skip dairy, click here. Anyways, I feel like in our society, most families wean their children off of formula or breastmilk around the time their baby turns one and then they switch over to cow’s milk.
I don’t think that cow’s milk is the best option for Aiden, so I’m trying to figure out some other options, including if any milk is actually necessary. I think that Aiden gets enough nutrients from his diet and when we stop breastfeeding, I’ll be honed into making sure of that even more. We do feed him a little bit of greek yogurt right now and he absolutely loves it. I like the strains of probiotics, calcium, protein, and fat he gets from it.
I’m wondering how many times Aiden would need to drink some form of milk once we wean. Right now, he’s only drinking breastmilk when he wakes up, before his nap, before bed and if he wakes in the night, so basically for comfort only. However, I know it’s providing good nutrients.
I think I need to start offering him some form of milk if I plan on incorporating that into his diet at some point, so here is my research on different types of milk.
An Overview of the Different Types of Milk
The issue with cow’s milk points to the composition of the casein (milk protein) in it. This is the component that causes the health problems with cow’s milk. Goat’s milk casein is molecularly different and not as harmful as the casein in cow’s milk. I might try this with Aiden because the nutritional profile is still very good.
Almond, Coconut and Rice Milk
David and I use coconut and almond milk as a great substitute for cow’s milk. Almond milk still has lots of nutrients, but the calories are a lot lower, which is nice for an adult. A child, however, needs those calories that a high in fat milk provides for the significant brain and body development they are undergoing. I think Aiden would be missing some of the fat if I were to fully use these types of milk – although we do give him cod liver oil for DHA and other essential fatty acids.
Hemp milk has a great nutritional profile and I would use this milk if it wasn’t for one thing – carrageenan. This is an additive in many health foods now and new research is now coming out about it that it causes intestinal inflammation, ulcerations and even malignant tumors. Had it not been for that, I would have ordered the Living Harvest Tempt Hemp Milk today.
Many other cultures practice extended breastfeeding until the age of 2-3 for these nutrients, so there is no need for them to incorporate another form of milk. Breastmilk is definitely the healthiest option for babies, but I do not feel like I am cut out to breastfeed Aiden until he is 3 years old – mad props to those mamas who do!
What Do We Do?
I’m honestly still trying to figure this out. The process of weaning looks a little different for every family and situation. I don’t think there is a right way to do it.
I think I am going to try offering him some organic goat’s milk and see how he does. A couple weeks ago, I randomly offered him some almond milk to see if he would even drink it and he spit it right back out. I think this is going to be a process for sure!
What kind of milk did you give your kids (if any)?
How long did they drink milk?
How did bedtime weaning go? I know that you’re not supposed to have kids drink milk and then go to bed because of dental health, so how does that work?