If you’ve been reading this blog, you know that I have been obsessively breast feeding/pumping/doing anything I can to produce enough breast milk for my lovely Lyla. Well, we’ve made it. We finally made it to the day that I could start weaning Lyla on to a little something else and I could start to back off on the pumping every two hour schedule I’d been doing. I let myself stop drinking barley water, inhaling fenugreek and lactation cookies, and eating oatmeal like it’s going out of style. Am I sad my days of nursing are coming to an end? Sure. But, I also feel like a new, free woman. And that my friends, feels good.
About a week before Lyla turned one, Nic and I decided that it was time to start transitioning her over to regular milk. After doing a decent amount of research on the topic, we decided that goat milk was a good option for the initial transition from drinking breast milk exclusively. We decided on goat milk versus cow milk for a few reasons. Visit Dr. Sear’s website for more great information.
- The fat in goat milk is easier to digest. It contains more short and medium chain fatty acids which are much easier on the stomach to digest. The longer chains of fatty acids, which are more present in cow milk, give our gut a little bit more work to do.
- The protein in goat milk is easier to digest. I thought of Nic and when he makes cheese when I read about the protein differences in cow and goat milk. When Nic is making his cheese, there is a point in the process when he waits for the milk to start clumping together. This is a crucial step in cheese making; the formation of the curd, but weirdly enough, it’s also something that takes place in our stomach when we drink milk. The protein clumps that form in our stomach when we drink cow milk are harder than the softer clumps that form when we drink goat milk. These softer clumps created when we drink goat milk are easier for our body to digest. Also, goat milk only contains trace amounts of the highly allergenic protein called casein, which is found in cow milk.
- There is less lactose in goat milk. My family is lactose intolerant. As I’ve gotten older, I have found that I’m able to tolerate it better, but a chocolate malt still does not do awesome things for my digestive system. No details needed. So because of this family history situation, I wanted to start slowly with Lyla to see if she had any sensitivity. The difference in lactose isn’t significant when comparing the two types of milk. But hey, it’s something.
Pit falls? Goat milk is lower in vitamin B12 and is lacking in folic acid. Some goat milk is fortified with folic acid, but some is not. Definitely talk to your pediatrician before doing any kind of switcheroo with your child to be sure they are getting all of the nutrients their growing baby bodies need.
So up until this nice, long, holiday weekend, Lyla has been drinking what Nic calls Baa-Ma milk. Baa=goat and Ma=mama=breast milk. We haven’t eliminated breast milk completely yet. Now, with the addition of some cow milk to her sippy cup, Lyla is drinking Ma-Moo-Baa milk. That Nic is a funny guy…the things he comes up with. Lyla is doing great with the switch! She never seemed to notice the difference in taste when I started adding goat milk to her cup. When we added the cow milk, she didn’t seem to notice that either. At no point did she seem fussy with an upset stomach or gas from a sensitivity.
Follow your pediatrician’s recommendations for transitioning your little one. We found that a slow change worked great for Lyla. The first week we added goat milk to her diet, we did a ¼ goat milk and ¾ breast milk mixture in her cups. At the beginning of the second week, we went to half and half, and so on. When we reached the forth week, we planned to have her drinking all goat milk, but I’m slowly stopping breast feeding and we are still using up our freezer stockpile. In time she will get no more mama milk.
I’d love to hear other moms and dads share their experience in transitioning their babes over from breast milk or formula! What worked? What didn’t?