When can babies have cow’s milk?
Some 15% of UK residents are thought to be lactose-intolerant (Lactose Intolerance website), but that doesn’t mean your baby can’t be introduced to cow’s milk. 12 months is the appropriate time to wean your baby from baby milk to cow’s milk (NHS), making sure to introduce your baby to whole milk until they are at least 2 years old because they need the extra vitamins such as calcium and iron. If you are worried your baby might be lactose intolerant, you can look out for common allergy symptoms such as:
- Stomach pain & wind
- Skin rashes
Symptoms usually occur 1-3 hours after ingesting the milk. It’s important that your doctor is aware of any of these symptoms as they can usually prescribe a special milk formula for your baby.
When can babies drink water?
Water is an essential part to your baby’s health. Milk is a food, and is all your baby needs during the first 6 months of their life. Once your baby starts eating solid food, water in between meal times is essential. Make sure that the water you use is tap water that has been boiled, then cooled to drinking temperature – bottled water might contain too much salt for your baby (NHS).
How much baby food can my baby eat?
Each baby is different. Some babies will eat and eat, either keeping it down or throwing it back up! Some babies won’t have much of an appetite, and some will be picker eaters. Generally, you will know from how much milk your baby ingested at new born stage as to how much food they will eat later on in their life (babies should be able to sit up on their own before ingesting solid food). Experiment! Place your baby in their highchair and put a variety of foods in front of them to try. Place a towel or plastic sheeting on the floor to catch any spills!
Why can’t babies have honey?
Honey seems like a great treat to include in your baby’s diet, but it is essential that your baby does not eat honey until they are at least 1 or 2 years of age. This is because honey contains small traces of Clostridium botulinum bacterium (the chemical used in Botox) – and while this is harmless to children and adults, this trace can cause botulism in babies up to 1 year old. The condition is uncommon, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!
If you are concerned about infant Botulism, your baby’s appetite or any other advice you read here, you can go to the NHS website or talk to your paediatrician.