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Can Babies Have Almond Milk

Can Your Child Have Different Milk?

Having a newborn in your house can be an overwhelming experience. There is a lot to care for such as the baby’s comfort, health, and safety. People spend a fortune to get the best items for these aspects of caregiving. 

Milk is a significant part of a newborn’s health. However, people get confused on what kind of milk is needed since there are so many different types available. One of the most popular options on the market today is almond milk.

Mostly, adults drink it. But, the question is, can babies have almond milk? Well, no need to worry. We have gathered all the information to answer this frequently asked question. Let’s get into it.

Can Babies Have Almond Milk

What is Almond Milk?

Let’s start with the basics: what exactly is almond milk? It is plant-based milk commonly used as an alternative to cow’s milk. As the name suggests, it is extracted from the very popular nut, almond.

To prepare this milk, heavy processors soak the almonds in water. After that, they are grinded to yield the white-colored liquid now known as almond milk. 

For four ounces, the nutritional values of this milk can be summed up as; .5 gram protein, 1.5 grams fat, 20 calories, 95 milligrams potassium, 50 IU of Vitamin D, and 50 milligrams of Calcium. 

The taste and content vary with different brands. For instance, you can find sweetened or unsweetened almond milk. Similarly, you can also get flavored or unflavored.

Almonds are high in monounsaturated fatty acids and a powerhouse for nutritional value. Hence, you can rely on almond milk to fulfill your daily need for rich nutrition.

But, the question still remains. Can babies have almond milk? Let’s find out.

Are Babies Allowed To Have Almond Milk?

The answer is both yes and no. If your baby is younger than 12 months, then you should only give your baby formula milk. However, if your baby is older than a year, you can safely give them almond milk. If you want to have your baby try it out, it’s still recommended to check with your pediatrician first.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has studied the various kinds of milk to give babies and still believe that a cow’s milk is a much better option for babies who are older than one year. According to most pediatrics, children under the age of 5 should not drink any plant-based milk because non-dairy milks don’t offer as much nutritional value as cow’s milk. 

While almond milk is safe, it misses on various key nutrients and babies need to grow these in their early stages. For instance, cow’s milk is the best source of protein, potassium, calcium,  B12, and vitamins A & D.

Although there are many plant-based fortified milks, not all brands offer them. Most importantly, they are not that easy to absorb for our bodies.

The Ideal Almond Milk Diet For Babies

Almond milk should not replace cows or formula milk. However, if you are substituting it in the baby’s diet, you need to ensure a few things.

  1.   It should be unsweetened or have low sugar levels.
  2.   The baby is taking other sources of proteins and fats.
  3.   The milk should be fortified with Vitamins A and D as well as Calcium.
  4.   Consult an expert to find out whether the milk can have thickeners or flavors.

The first thing to consider is whether the child has a nut allergy. If so, then you should avoid contact with nuts altogether. Whether it is in milk or some other form, experts recommend not to choose almond milk.

In fact, doctors suggest avoiding all types of nut milk. There are many other plant-based types. If you are using any of them, make sure to check if it’s fortified or not.

With that said, let’s look at why experts prefer cow milk over almond’s.

Can babies have almond milk

Almond Milk vs. Cow Milk

The table below shows the major differences between a cup of cow milk and almond milk.

Contains A Cup of Cow Milk A Cup of Almond Milk
Calcium 276 milligrams 482 milligrams
Vitamin A 395 IU 499 IU
Vitamin D 124 IU 101 IU
Phosphorus 205 milligrams 24 milligrams
Sodium 105 milligrams 189 milligrams
Potassium 322 milligrams 176 milligrams 

The amounts mentioned above are of unsweetened almond milk. Other than that, cow milk also contains 8 grams of fat. Whereas almond milk has only 2.5 grams.

In terms of protein, whole milk is richer as it contains 8 grams of protein, while fortified almond milk contains only 1 gram.

If you are substituting almond milk in the child’s diet, you will need other supplements for fats and proteins. Only then is it recommended to replace cow milk with almond.

Once your baby crosses one year of age, then you can add almond milk into their diet. However, you should not replace other foods with it. Even cow milk can not be a substitute for breast or formula milk. These are the most recommended types for babies under 12 months. If you are breastfeeding, then you will not need other milk at all.

An advantage that almond milk has over other types is that it is low in sugar. But, that can be said only for the unsweetened options. 

Note that some children may be allergic to cow’s milk. It is best to identify if any close member of the child’s family has lactose intolerance. Further, discuss it with a doctor to choose the best milk.

Benefits and Downsides of Almond Milk

Vitamin and Mineral Rich

The most significant benefit of almond milk is its enrichment in vitamins and minerals. It contains even more than cow or other milk products. That includes both dairy and non-dairy types.

Although it is plant-based milk, it contains magnesium, copper, zinc, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, iron, calcium, and selenium.

Another benefit is that there are no signs of lactose in this milk. 

Beneficial for the Heart

Since almond milk contains about 40 calories and 3 grams of fat in eight ounces, it does not cause obesity. It is healthy and does not include risks, such as heart conditions and hypertension.

In addition to that, it is also high in omega-3 fatty acids. These are very useful for keeping a healthy heart. Hence, this milk includes a number of benefits for one’s heart. But, make sure to use unsweetened types for both babies and adults.

Effective Antioxidant

Another unique benefit of almond milk is that it contains vitamin E. If you are not familiar with this vitamin, it has various benefits for the skin. Moreover, it is also an effective antioxidant.

The milk has flavonoids. They minimize the number of free radicals inside one’s body. Therefore, it keeps you safe from several diseases, including osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes. 

Downsides

Lack of Protein

As mentioned earlier, almond milk only has 1 gram of protein per cup. On the other hand, cow milk provides 8 grams.

Protein is necessary for the body to function. These include skin, bone, enzyme, hormone production and muscle growth. While many plant-based foods are high in protein, almond milk is not one of them.

Not Easily Absorbable

Almond milk is poorly absorbed in our bodies. That is because of its plant-based nature. According to experts, dairy milk is much easier to absorb as compared to non-dairy products.

That is why it is not recommended for children under age five as well. 

Other Non-Dairy Milk for Babies

Some people prefer non-dairy products. Hence, they opt for plant-based or non-dairy milk too. If cow milk and formula milk do not appeal to you, then you can choose almond milk with the precautions mentioned above.

However, if almond milk does not sound right to you, there are still plenty of options. Here are some of the most popular non-dairy milk types for you to choose: 

o   Soy Milk

o   Oat Milk

o   Rice Milk

o   Coconut Milk

o   Hazelnut Milk

Before introducing a new type to your baby, make sure to contact the doctor first. Ask all the necessary information, such as benefits, drawbacks, and whether it suits your child or not. Just like lactose intolerance and nut allergy, a child can have other allergies as well.

Also, make sure to choose fortified milk that is rich in vitamins and minerals. It is suitable for both babies and adults.

Sources: 

https://www.eatthis.com/best-almond-milk/

https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-milk

https://www.elitebaby.us/blogs/news/breastfeeding-6-months

Baby Baby Development Baby Formula Baby Led Weaning Baby Milestones Baby Weaning Foods

When Should A Baby Stop Using A Bottle

Should Your Baby Stop Using A Bottle?

The majority of us are aware that infants should get either breast milk or formula, or a mix of the two, throughout their first 12 months of life. Proper nutrition is critical for their developing bodies and minds, but their teeth and digestive systems are not yet prepared to fulfill their nutritional requirements only via solids. However, when does the need for bottles cease to exist? Quitting too soon may deprive babies of vital nutrients, but allowing bottle use to continue for an extended period of time also carries dangers. When should a baby discontinue bottle feeding? On this subject, expert opinion is remarkably constant.

when should a baby stop using a bottle

Why is weaning your kid from the bottle critical?

If you believed that bottles would be harmless to your kid, it is time to reconsider since prolonged bottle usage may have severe consequences. Several reasons to switch to cups include the following:

Bottles contribute to dental decay

Lactose is a kind of sugar found in milk. When milk is sucked from a bottle, particularly when the infant is sleeping, it may build up in the mouth canal and create caries (baby bottle caries).

Prolonged bottle usage has been linked to obesity

Constant sucking may cause the baby’s adult teeth to become misaligned down the road. Additionally, it may obstruct the development of the face muscles and palate.

Consuming liquids while laying down increases the chance of developing ear infections

 Some milk may gurgle up and pool around the eustachian tube. This raises the likelihood of developing ear infections. 

When Should Babies Discontinue Bottle Feeding?

Experts suggest that infants begin weaning between the ages of 12 and 18 months. While you may begin introducing a cup as early as six months of age, several indicators can help you choose when to transition from bottle to big-kid cup:

Your kid is capable of sitting up without help.

Instead of round-the-clock feeding, your kid will follow a defined procedure and schedule for meals. A mealtime schedule may help maintain consistency once the weaning process begins.

If your kid has started eating solid meals and can eat from a spoon, the bottle may be nearing its end.

How to Put an End to Bottle Feeding

Bottle-feeding transitions may be challenging and stressful for both you and your baby. Here are some suggestions for making the transition easier and more pleasant for everyone. 

Dilute the milk

If your child is having difficulty letting go of the bottle, you may try diluting the milk with half water. Then, as the days pass, gradually increase the quantity of water in the bottle until it is completely empty. It is very probable that your little child may lose interest and begin requesting the sippy cup with the delicious milk.

Appropriate timing

Ascertain that no stressful situations are imminent prior to initiating the shift. A relocation, the birth of a sibling, or a lengthy family trip may be too much for your infant, and he/she may develop feelings of insecurity and cling to familiar things or rituals.

Gradually eliminate

Around 6-9 months of age, begin using the sippy cup with meals. Once they have mastered the sippy cup, begin the transition by substituting a cup for one normal bottle feeding each day. Continue this for about three days and then add another meal using a sippy substitute. Continue in this manner until all feedings are done using sippy cups rather than bottles. Because babies and toddlers are more clinging in the mornings than at night, it is better to reserve those feedings until the end of the day.

Out of sight, out of mind

When you are weaning, conceal all other bottles so your infant is less likely to request one. When he/she has fully transitioned, you may either hide all the bottles until your next baby arrives, or you can hold a small party and enlist the assistance of your toddler in removing them. Explain that they are now a “big girl” or a “big boy” and no longer need them.

Allow them to choose

Make the transition a memorable event in and of itself by accompanying your child to the shop and allowing them to choose their own cups. Additionally, you may let them choose which cup to use at each feeding.

Cold turkey

For some youngsters, gradual removal may fail, and you may need to attempt cold turkey. Each kid is unique, and you must choose what works best for yours.

Sippy cups with a straw

Doctors suggest sippy cups with a firm spout or straw over those with soft spouts. Not only would utilizing a firm spout or straw help their teeth, but it will also simplify the adjustment. Alternatively, you may go for an open cup, such as the Babycup or BabyBjorn Cup.

Find an alternate source of comfort

If your child’s bottle serves as a source of comfort for them, consider finding them an alternative source of security, such as a blanket, doll, or stuffed animal. Communicate with them and ascertain if they are really hungry or if anything else is amiss. When they are unhappy, give them many hugs, cuddles, and diversions.

when should baby stop using a bottle

Praise

When your kid uses their cup instead of the bottle, praise and encourage them. Inform them that they did an excellent job, “What a big boy you are,” and “You drank from a cup, just like mommy!” You may even offer them stickers to encourage them to drink from the sippy cup. 

When Is The Appropriate Time To Introduce A Sippy Cup?

When introducing solid meals, it is a good idea to offer a sippy cup of water (with the spout removed for easier sipping). Your baby will not drink anything at this age, but will get acquainted with the sippy and begin to connect it favorably with mealtimes.

Introduce the sippy cup early, but do not force it, to make the transition smoother. Babies may acquire habits after the age of one. They begin to acquire strong views after the age of two. As a result, it is advised that you eliminate the bottle entirely by your child’s first birthday.

If you wait longer, your kid may develop an ingrained connection to their bottle that may be difficult to break. If you wean off bottles around age one, the adjustment will likely be considerably simpler.

However, if you are the parent of an older child and have not yet introduced a sippy cup, fear not; we have got some ideas and techniques for you.

Tips For Administering Your Baby’s Access To A Sippy Cup

The introduction may be as simple as daily placement of the sippy cup on your baby’s meal tray and allowing them to explore. Here are a few of our favorite ways to expedite the process:

Begin with a clean cup

Though you should wait about six months (or whenever you decide to introduce solids to your baby) before giving your infant a sippy cup with liquid in it, there is no reason why you cannot let your baby handle an empty one sooner. It is another toy for him to play with, and it will become a familiar item later on when it appears at meals. 

Offer it to your kid without expecting anything in return

Offering your infant a sippy cup for the first time does not guarantee that they will immediately begin drinking properly from it. It is almost certain that it will be tossed on the floor, gnawed on, and a few droplets of liquid will wind up in her mouth. You may demonstrate how to use the cup to your infant, but there is no need to be concerned if they are not yet using it properly.

It should be filled halfway with water, breastmilk, or formula

Though your kid will undoubtedly enjoy a sip of juice, you should avoid giving it often because of its high sugar level. It is best to entirely avoid juice consumption in babies under the age of one year. All your baby needs is water, breastmilk, or formula, whether in a bottle or a sippy cup. 

Select a sippy cup that is suitable for the child’s age

When it comes to selecting a sippy cup for your infant, there is no right or wrong answer. However, some are undoubtedly simpler to manage than others for the younger members of the audience. This option basically combines your baby’s bottle and sippy cup, and it is probable that the bottle manufacturer your kid presently uses provides something similar.

Conclusion

By the age of 12 months, many children will have little difficulty giving up the bottle. If your kid is immediately drawn to the cup, try taking a few additional steps. Introduce an open cup as soon as feasible and provide straw cups for occasions when large messes are required.

As soon as your kid is at a developmentally appropriate age, begin using a cup for liquids, including milk. Include a straw cup or an open cup with meals to teach children to drink with their food. Allowing toddlers to drink from a single location develops a more attentive habit and may help prevent accidents caused by falling with a bottle or cup in their mouth. Hopefully, this post will help you in making that change.

Sources: 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3528963/

https://www.elitebaby.us/blogs/news/best-foods-to-start-with-baby-led-weaning

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Breastfeeding 6 Months

Beginning to Breastfeed 

Giving birth is just the beginning of a beautiful journey with your little one. There will be quite a number of milestones that you will notice, especially in the first year of their life. Babies are born with the ability to suckle right from the beginning. Most experts recommend breastfeeding 6 months exclusively. This means that your baby will not be feeding on any other things besides breast milk. Eventually, when solid foods have been introduced, the recommendation is to keep breastfeeding at least for the first year.

As far as the frequency of breastfeeding your baby, it will vary from child to child. There are some who feed every 2 hours and others may last up to 3-4 hours before the next meal. When the baby gets to 6 months, the breastfeeding cycle will change and they may feed every 5 hours. There are a lot of benefits that have been associated with exclusive breastfeeding 6 months. Your baby will be protected from allergies, autoimmune diseases, and respiratory problems.

Breastfeeding 6 Months

Studies show that breast milk has all the necessary nutrients that will promote healthy and normal development of the baby. In the first six months of the baby’s life, breast milk is the only food that they would know. Weaning comes at a later stage and it is advisable to transition to solid foods by first introducing baby formula. Always speak to an expert and learn the numerous benefits of breastfeeding your baby exclusively for the first 6 months of their lives.

The Benefits of Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding for 6 months may appear like a short and insignificant time. However, the very first days of breastfeeding your baby gets them all the nourishment that they need.  Colostrum is produced by your breasts in the first days of breastfeeding and this will help in the solid development of the baby’s immune system. 

Most babies who are breastfed exclusively for the first six months do not suffer from the common childhood diseases. As such, even with the temptation to start weaning early, you should make every effort to lactate your baby for the longest time possible.

When to Stop Breastfeeding

There are instances where breastfeeding 6 months exclusively may not be possible and weaning has to commence. For instance, when you have to return to work, studies, or other obligations, you may not be able to breastfeed your baby as you would wish. At this point, the easiest thing to do is a transition to infant formula and purees. If your baby is not 6 months old yet, the best option would be to express your breast milk and have it given in a bottle.

Final Words

The ideal situation, which every mom should strive to achieve, is exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months. However, if this is not possible, look for healthy ways to wean your child and ensure that they are well-nourished. Always talk to lactation experts or your pediatrician for professional advice.

Sources:

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/recommendations/handling_breastmilk.htm
  2. https://www.elitebaby.us/blogs/news/breastfeeding-meal-plan?_pos=29&_sid=640830724&_ss=r
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Best Foods for Baby Led Weaning 7 Months

Essential Food Groups for 7 Month Baby Led Weaning 

So your baby is now 7 months old? Congratulations, you are really doing it. By this time your baby should already be taking solid foods, whether as finger foods or purees.

One of the advantages of encouraging your baby to feed themselves is the fact you can now eat together. Babies learn a whole lot by just watching what we do. If you have chosen baby-led weaning, it is imperative to know the best foods for baby-led weaning at 7 months.

While babies are different, most of them will start taking 3 meals a day just as adults. As such, it is important to have a wide variety of foods to give them. When looking for the different foods to give your little champ, ensure that they are getting all the essential nutrients without fail.

Best Foods for Baby Led Weaning 7 Months

Does your baby keep spitting new food? There is no cause for alarm as it may take a couple of tries for the baby to get used to the new textures, tastes, and flavors.

Best Foods for 7 Months Led Weaning

Here is a simple guide to the best foods for baby-led weaning at 7 months. You can keep trying out different meals. Your meal plan should include:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Starch
  • Proteins

Veggies

Always cook veggies and make sure that they are soft enough for your baby to chew and swallow. Here are some of the best vegetables to use:

  • Broccoli
  • Parsnips
  • Peppers
  • Peas
  • Cauliflower
  • Swede
  • Spinach
  • Green beans
  • Courgette
  • Asparagus
  • Kale
  • Carrots
  • Avocado
  • Butternut squash
  • Cabbage

Fruits

Fruits are some of the best finger foods that you can use for BLW. When choosing a fruit to give your baby, make sure that it is ripe and soft. All seeds, stones, pits, and hard skins should be removed. Here are some fruits for weaning:

  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Kiwi
  • Oranges
  • Apples
  • Raspberries
  • Mango
  • Nectarines
  • Pears
  • Strawberries
  • Pineapple

Starch and Proteins

Starchy foods should be included in the best foods for baby-led weaning 7 months. These need to be cooked and served in small portions. The best starches to give your baby include:

  • Potato
  • Sweet potato
  • Rice
  • Baby rice
  • Pasta
  • Porridge
  • Oats
  • Toast
  • Bread

Proteins are important when it comes to the overall growth of your baby. There are many protein sources that you can introduce to your baby once they are past the 6-month mark. Some of them include eggs, beans, fish and pulses, and meat among others. The most important bit is to ensure that your baby is getting essential nutrients like zinc and iron.

This is a time where your baby will have already tried different flavors and tastes.  You should encourage them to continue with self-feeding as it saves a lot of time and helps in your baby’s growth.

When your baby learns to eat finger foods, they will enhance their eye-hand coordination. Give a try to these best foods for baby-led weaning at 7 months and see the difference in the growth of your baby.

Sources:

  1. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/Pages/Developmental-Milestones-7-Months.aspx
  2. https://www.elitebaby.us/blogs/news/cutting-food-for-baby-led-weaning?_pos=3&_sid=96d85dea0&_ss=r
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Breastfeeding to Formula

Is It Time To Stop Breastfeeding?

It is usual for any mother to want to breastfeed their newborn. However, by the time your baby celebrates his/her 1st birthday, you may feel the need to supplement or completely stop breastfeeding. There are many reasons why moms have to make the big switch from breastfeeding to formula. However, the transition does not need to be a complicated matter, and we want to look at some of the best ways to make the switch.

Breastfeeding to Formula

When to Switch to Infant Formula

Most medical experts recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months. While this would be the ideal situation, it is not possible in most cases, and the baby formula has to be introduced earlier than six months. There are so many reasons why moms may have to move from breastfeeding to formula sooner than they would love to. Besides the demands of life, you may realize that your baby is not getting enough to keep them full and thus the need to supplement the breast milk with baby formula.

When the time comes, you need to be sure that you are making the change correctly. As a mom, you are looking out for your baby’s best interests, and you should not feel guilty about this. If you can feed your baby exclusively for six months on breast milk, that would be good. However, if, like most moms, you have to introduce formula, here is the best way to go about it.

Best Way to Move from Breastfeeding To Formula

If you believe it is time to move from breastfeeding to formula, there are three approaches to the new change.

There are three main methods for introducing your baby to formula.

Partial Weaning:

This is one of the best ways to achieve a smooth transition. In this case, you will continue to breastfeed the baby and also introduce formula as a supplement. Take time to sample several formulas before finding the right one for your baby.

Gradual Weaning:

If you plan to stop breastfeeding in the coming weeks, gradual weaning is the way to go. This means that the baby will continue breastfeeding, with the volumes reducing with each passing day. Eventually, they will be able to move swiftly from breastfeeding to formula altogether.

Switch:

Whereas there are reasons that could force you to stop breastfeeding your baby abruptly and shift them to formula, it is not advisable. In this method, the baby will start taking infant formula the whole time. If you had introduced breast milk in a bottle, the change might be easier to make.

Switching from breastfeeding to formula is not an easy task and may prove to be challenging. You will notice some changes in the baby’s digestion, and they may have some reactions. When making the big switch, it is advisable to consult your doctor to keep the baby safe and healthy at all times. If there are any complications, you should see a pediatrician right away. 

Sources:

  1. https://familydoctor.org/breastfeeding-hints-to-help-you-get-off-to-a-good-start/
  2. https://www.elitebaby.us/blogs/news/best-foods-to-start-with-baby-led-weaning?_pos=7&_sid=cf7ee14fe&_ss=r