Preparing milk for bottle feeding from Cow's or Buffalo's milk requires careful handling. All the equipments should be sterilized properly to avoid infections. Milk should be boiled for 10 minutes before cooling. Read on to know more.
Ideally, breastfeeding is the best for the good health and overall development of babies. However, when breastfeeding is not possible, children are fed on formula or on animal milk with the help of a feeding bottle or by using a Vaati and a spoon. Lot of precautions should be taken when cowâ€™ or buffaloâ€™s milk is fed to babies. Cowâ€™s milk or buffaloâ€™s milk can be introduced to babies who are more than 1 year old. Here are some concerns of parents related to feeding cowâ€™s or buffaloâ€™s milk to children.
What animal milk do I use for bottle-feeding?
You can use cow's milk, buffalo's milk or commercial infant milk preparations. Cow's milk and buffalo's milk should be boiled and given to the baby undiluted. In the case of buffalo milk, you should allow it to cool after boiling and remove the cream before giving it to the baby.
How do I prepare bottle feeds if I am using cow or buffalo milk?
The first thing to do is to keep all the sterilized equipment - bottles, teats, bowls, spoons, etc., handy. Wash your hands carefully with soap and water before handling the sterilized equipment and milk. If you are using cow's milk or buffalo's milk, boil it for ten minutes and then allow it to cool. In the case of buffalo's milk, you should remove the cream that forms on the surface of the milk on cooling. Do not dilute the milk by adding water. Add one teaspoon of sugar for every 75 ml of milk before feeding the baby. Test the temperature of the milk on the inside of your wrist before you begin feeding. It should be lukewarm.
Is it safe to give cowâ€™s milk to infants?
It is not easy for babies to digest cowâ€™s milk. Therefore, it should not be introduced to infants before they turn a year old. It also does not contain sufficient nutrients that are required for the healthy growth and development of babies. It contains high levels of sodium, potassium and protein which may not be suitable for a babyâ€™s delicate and underdeveloped digestive system to handle. Infants who are fed on cowâ€™s milk may not receive vitamin E, essential fatty acids, lineoleic acid and iron. The high levels of protein, chloride, sodium and potassium in cowâ€™s milk can also be harmful for the kidneys of babies. Babies who are fed on cowâ€™s milk are exposed to risk of iron deficiency. So, to be on a safer side it is best to give breastmilk or formula as prescribed by the paediatrician until the baby turns a year old and then gradually cowâ€™s milk can be introduce.
Is it safe to give buffaloâ€™s milk to infants?
Just like cowâ€™s milk, buffaloâ€™s milk should not be given to babies who are less than a year old. Babyâ€™s digestive system is not capable of digesting buffaloâ€™s milk. So, during the first year babies should be given breastmilk or if that is not possible they can be given formula milk as it is easily digestible as compared to cowâ€™s or buffaloâ€™s milk.
Is cowâ€™s milk better than buffaloâ€™s milk for toddlers?
If you are introducing animal milk in your toddlerâ€™s diet, you can prefer cowâ€™s milk over buffaloâ€™s milk. Cowâ€™s milk contains low fats as compared to buffaloâ€™s milk and also its consistency is thinner than buffaloâ€™s milk. Therefore, cowâ€™s milk is easier for toddlers to digest as compared to buffaloâ€™s milk.
You can gradually, start adding milk to the soups, Halwa and porridges that you make for your toddler. You must also look for the signs of allergies and if you mark any symptoms or allergies, you must stop giving cowâ€™s milk and consult your doctor immediately. It is also important to note children should not be given unpasteurised milk. Unpasteurised milk contains harmful bacteria and parasites which can seriously harm the health of the child. Therefore, only 100% pasteurised milk should be introduced in the diet of toddlers or 1 year olds.
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- The Indiaparenting Team