Babies should stay on breast milk or infant formula as their primary drink until they are one year old.
Cow’s milk is difficult for young babies to digest due to its high content of lactose (milk sugar) and may cause intestinal bleeding, contributing to an iron deficiency. Also, the minerals, protein, and sodium found in cow’s milk may hurt your baby’s kidneys if he or she drinks it before the first birthday.
Yogurt may be offered earlier, around 6-8 months of age, because it is gentler on baby’s tummy and also contains lower levels of lactose, which makes it easier to digest. Start with plain, pasteurized, unsweetened versions.
In babies who are at low risk for food allergies, cheese can be offered between 8-10 months. Start with Colby, Jack, and American versions, as well as cottage cheese.
Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, September 2020