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When Can Babies Start Drinking Cow's Milk?

Reviewed by: Madhu Desiraju, MD

At what age can babies switch from breast milk or formula to cow's milk?
Tamika

Infants younger than 1 year old need the nutrients in breast milk or formula. Breastfed babies over 1 year may continue to nurse, if desired, but you also can start offering your little one whole milk. But don't give low-fat or nonfat milk. Most babies need the fat in whole milk to support normal growth and brain development during the busy early toddler period.

You can move your baby from breast milk or formula to whole milk by beginning to replace bottles of formula with bottles — or sippy cups — of milk. By age 1, your baby should be eating a variety of other foods as well as drinking about 2–3 cups (480–720 milliliters) of milk each day.

If your baby was put on a soy or hypoallergenic formula for a milk allergy, talk to the doctor before introducing milk.

Reviewed by: Madhu Desiraju, MD
Date reviewed: October 2018