Ask Joanne - Formula Plus Cow's Milk?

28/12/2009 14:48 | Updated 22 May 2015

What's your question about any aspect of life as a parent? Our experienced life coach Joanne Mallon is here to help. Send your questions in here and say if you'd like your name to be changed.

Khin has a question about switching from breast to bottle feeding:

My daughter is just over a year old and she was breast-fed exclusively until she was one. Now I'm giving her about 500ml of formula plus three meals daily. I just want to know if it's enough for her or do I need to give her cow's milk as well? Thanks!

Here's the life coach's reply:

Dear Khin

Most children's appetites will go down a bit after they turn one. If you think of how much a baby grows from birth to one, then compare this with the development from one to two, you can see that there's a big difference. Some parents complain that their child turns fussy about food after one, when all that is really happening is that they're not growing at the same rate, so their appetite diminishes. However, they're also more active than babies under one, and if your child is crawling and walking then they may need more food.

So be guided by your child more than any chart. Are they eating and sleeping well? Waking up hungry? Do they seem satisfied with what you're giving or are they looking for more? When you were breastfeeding you trusted your body enough to provide what was necessary. Now it's time to trust your own instincts as a parent.

As I'm sure you know, formula feeding is considered controversial by many. Some feel (and the government's Food Standards Agency agrees) that there is no need to give your baby follow on formula milk. If you choose, you can give full fat milk once your baby is over one year.

The NHS advice states that, whilst follow on formula contains extra iron: "the Department of Health has stated that only 3-4 per cent can be absorbed by a baby, and once you introduce solid food into your baby's diet (usually at around six months of age), they should be able to get enough iron and nutrients from other food sources."

Hope this is helpful

best wishes


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