What Are The Alternatives To Breast Milk For Infants Aged 6-12 Months?

While parenting philosophies differ to put it lightly, most medical professionals may recommend that babies start weaning off breast milk after six months of age. After this time, it can be confusing for new parents to know how to properly meet their child’s nutritional needs. Breastmilk is convenient for its all-in-one nutritional profile, but knowing the alternatives to this option can be a confusing landscape to navigate.

To supplement breastmilk after six months until twelve months, there are several infant formula options that can boost your child’s dietary regimen. There are even more options for those who need to steer clear of conventional infant formulas for one reason or another. Knowing the options is the first step towards making the best decision for your child’s health.

So, let’s look at some of the alternatives to breastmilk for infants older than six months.

Conventional Baby Formula

The most common substitute for breastmilk after your child reaches the six-month point is conventional cow’s milk-based formula. While pure cow’s milk is too rough on your growing baby’s digestive system, formula versions of this substance are easy to digest and provide an abundance of nutrition for your child.

Cow’s milk formulas contain ample amounts of macronutrients, including proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, as well as enough calcium to facilitate the proper development of bones and teeth. The great thing about formula is that you can accurately gauge precisely how much nutrition your baby is receiving by simply measuring out the amounts.

Conventional baby formula comes in three standard forms. The first is a prepared mixture that is highly convenient for mothers who are busy caring for their children and conducting the rest of their lives. For cheaper but more preparation-intensive variants, you can try either concentrated or powdered formulas.

Soy Milk Formulas

Many mothers provide their children with soy milk formulas for a variety of personal or medical reasons. If you enjoy a vegan lifestyle and want to pass these values onto your child, then you might take this route. However, it is important to remember that these formulas are typically less nutritionally dense that cow’s milk formulas, so some extra supplementation is usually required.

If your child has a lactose intolerant or a milk allergy, then you should also explore soy milk as an alternative. This may only be needed temporarily as some babies grow out of their intolerances and can later handle more pure cow’s milk formulations after their digestive system has developed further. When combined with breastmilk, soy milk formulas can be a healthy part of a balanced diet for your infant.

Other Alternative Milks

The infant formula section of your supermarket is a consumer’s paradise. There are many other formula variants that are worth exploring if you need an alternative to conventional cow’s milk formula. These include coconut, rice, and almond milk, for example. Goat’s milk is another interesting option for parents who want to experiment with a more digestible form of sustenance for their child.

As with soy milk formulas, the nutritional profiles of these milks differ greatly depending on how they are supplemented and what else is added to the mixture. Be a conscientious consumer and read the labels to ensure that your baby is adequately fed if you take this route.

Consult With A Doctor Throughout This Time

When transitioning your child away from breast milk, make sure to consult with your physician throughout the process. They can ensure that your child is growing up happy and healthy and that the breast milk alternative that you are using is enough for your child’s needs.

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