Cow’s Milk or Goat’s Milk: What’s Better for my Toddler?
I breastfed my daughter for 14 months. And between months 10-14 I exclusively breastfed her. My husband and I were extremely happy that I was able to do so with her for that long. It came to the point to where we agreed it was time to start weaning her. However, I was wary about the transition between breastmilk and cow’s milk.
Why? Because from what I had been reading about cow’s milk, and what I had been learning on my journey towards a healthier lifestyle, cow’s milk is not the best choice for toddlers. And if it’s not organic – even worse.
Here’s why we decided against cow’s milk:
- Cow’s milk is very hard for toddlers to digest.
- It contains high concentrations of proteins and minerals. This can cause stress on their little kidneys, and can even contribute to illnesses in their bodies later on.
- Cow’s milk lacks the proper amount of iron, Vitamin C, and good nutrients that toddlers desperately need during those early stages of development.
- It can irritate their stomach lining, and is especially upsetting for toddlers who can suffer from lactose-intolerance.
- Cow’s milk doesn’t contain the healthiest form of fats that toddlers need in order to develop and grow.
- When it’s not certified organic, it can contain harmful additives such as antibiotics and growth hormones.
However, growing up, I remembered my mom gave my little brother goat’s milk. As a toddler he had trouble keeping any kind of milk down, and would always get tummy aches and weird reactions when he would drink it.
It just so happened that one of our cousins is a goat farmer, and a lover of all-things-healthy. So, when my brother was experiencing these troubles, my mom began to give him goat’s milk straight from our cousin’s farm instead. He loved it – and his tummy did, too.
So, when it came time to wean my daughter, I consulted my aunt about the benefits of goat’s milk for toddlers, and I did more research on my own. And from what we learned, my husband and I agreed to give her this stuff instead.
Here’s why we decided to go the goat’s milk route instead:
- Goat’s milk is easier for toddlers to digest.
- It contains less allergenic proteins than cow’s milk.
- Goat’s milk contains higher levels of minerals, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C than cow’s milk.
- It has a better protein makeup than cow’s milk, making it easier on toddler’s tummies.
- Goat’s milk is higher in calcium and magnesium, and lower in cholesterol than cow’s milk.
- Organic goat milk options are always best, as well as getting goat’s milk straight from a farm that grass-feeds their goats, and does not use antibiotics or hormones on their herd.
Since my husband and I lived 8 hours away from my cousin’s farm, we researched online and found a local farm that sold goat’s milk. They had a mom-and-pop country store, out in the country, adjacent to acres of land populated with healthy goats grazing a green pasture. This farm used no additives, hormones, or anything foreign with their herd. And every Tuesday, I would show up first thing in the morning and snag a freshly squeezed gallon. Our daughter, just like my little brother, absolutely loved it, too!
Any doctor will tell you that you should avoid giving your baby any kind of milk (outside of breast milk) before 12 months. However, when the time comes to start weaning your baby and replacing their milk options with something else as a toddler, organic or farm-based goat’s milk is a great option to consider.