Q: Can I start feeding my 11 month old cow's milk? He's been on formula for 3 months and he's been constipated or has diarrhea.
A: 1) If you're going to start him on milk, make sure it's whole milk, Organic (no added hormones/antibiotics), and from grass-fed cows. This makes a big difference in the quality of the milk, and amount of nutrients including CLA (a fatty vitamin only found in milk grass fed cows), and fat soluble vitamins.
If you want to give your son the absolutely healthiest milk possible which is alive with enzymes, give him RAW (unpasteurized) milk from an ethical organic farm. You can read more about the tremendous health benefits of raw milk.
Whatever you do, DO NOT give your baby or toddler SOY milk. There is an overabundance of scientific documentation on the ill effects of soy on children. We as a country have been a science experiment for the soy industry and the results are now published after years of use by infants who were intolerant to dairy. Soy has drug like effects and will change yours son's hormones, penis size, sperm count, thyroid, and ability to digest nutrients. Read more on soy at Soy Online Service
Any pediatrician who recommends soy has not bothered to research the topic recently.
2) Age 12 months is just a rough guideline as to when infants may be able to start tolerating cow's milk. Some can digest it sooner, and some may never be able to drink it. Cow's milk is not for every child. The protein and fat molecules in cow milk are much arger than human milk and thus much harder to break down. As you would for any new food, watch for signs and symptoms of gastric distress (constipation, diarrhea, gas, irritability), and for skin rashes which are a sign he is not digesting it/tolerating it well. If this is the case, Goat milk is a wonderful healthy option. The protein is much smaller and easier to digest. My daughter has been drinking diluted raw goat milk since 9 months (along with breast milk), but she still cannot digest infant formula or cow's milk at 12m and breaks out into skin rashes and has GI trouble.
3) Make sure your baby or toddler Infant Nutrition is getting plenty of nutrients through his food by giving him fresh veggies, fruit, organic protein, and healthy fats like cod liver oil (omega 3), avocados, organic grass fed butter, and coconut cream/oil. Supplement with Baby Vitamin D drops. One drop a day will prevent deficiencies like rickets and soft bones. Turns out the amount of Vit D in milk is not enough and not well absorbed, so most this country is deficient in Vit D and it's a serious problem. Or, let him get 30 minutes of sunshine per day without sunscreen. This allows the body to make its own Vitamin D.