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Baby Q&As

  1. Expert: Dr. Jeremy Friedman
    November 17th, 2008
    When can I introduce milk to my baby?
    You can begin introducing homogenized milk at around 10 to 12 months, which is when your baby's digestive system is mature enough to tolerate cows' milk protein. (This is also when an infant's nutritional needs are beginning to be met by solid foods, so he will likely be drinking less breast milk or formula.)

    The most common issue I see is when toddlers drink much more milk than they need. Because cows' milk is not a complete source of nutrition, your baby only needs 16 to 20 ounces (475 to 600 mL), which is about the equivalent of three bottles a day. More than that puts children at risk for iron deficiency and may also affect their intake of nutritious solid food because they fill up on milk instead, which is why it's a good idea to offer milk during or after mealtime as opposed to before. Another tip to help children cut their milk intake down is to switch from a bottle to a cup.

    Dr. Jeremy Friedman is chief of Paediatric Medicine at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. He is an associate professor in the department of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto and is the associate editor of the Canadian Paediatric Society's journal, Paediatrics and Child Health. Dr. Friendman has co-edited three bestselling books for parents, including the most recent The Baby Care Book (Robert Rose 2007). The Toddler Book will be released in spring 2009. He lives in Toronto with his wife and two young children.