Posted by Rowena on October 13, 2003 at 17:22:24:
In Reply to: I'm back with LOTS of Questions posted by Kelley D on October 13, 2003 at 16:33:15:
There is no urgency to get your daughter to give up her bottle. The bottle is only a problem for a child's teeth if he/she walks around all day continually sucking juice or milk from a bottle (which means the teeth are constantly exposed the the sugar from the juice or milk). Sucking on a bottle continiously thoughout the day can also result in delayed speach development (same goes for sucking on a pacifier all day). But it's not a problem at this age if she just has her bottle a few times a day if she drinks her milk straight down (especially if you also clean her teeth a couple of times per day). You may like to allow her to slowly get used to the sipper cup by providing her milk in a bottle morning and night but placing it into a sipper cup in the middle of the day.
I am not sure what your doctor will recommend regarding the milk but I would recommend slowly switching her to cow's milk. Soy milk does not contain lactose. When lactose is broken down in the intestines, it is broken into smaller sugars - glucose and galactose. Galactose is essential for nerve and brain development. Galactose is found in small amounts in some foods but for a baby, milk is their main source of galactose. As far as I am aware there have not been any studies done to discover if long term use of a lactose-free milk has any detrimental effects on an infant's brain development ie. IQ. (There have been studies that claim breast fed babies have a slightly higher IQ than formula fed babies).
Definitely provide full cream milk at this age. Skim milk is not recommended for children before the age of 2 years. I would recommend full cream milk until after the child has grown through adolescence. Children need far more fat in their diet than adults do (children's energy and growth needs are great). After all when you think of all the sources of fat in a child's diet, to switch from full cream milk, which is only 4% fat to low-fat milk 2% fat or skim milk in which the fat is minimal, makes very little difference to the total fat content within a child's overall diet but it does make a difference to the amount of vitamins a child gets, as skim milk does not contain some of the fat soluble vitamins that full cream milk provides.
You may like to try to switch her over very slowly by making up her soy formula to 6 oz, then top it up with 2 oz of cow's milk. Once she is accepting of that, then try 4 oz of formula and 4 oz of cow's milk. Then 2 oz of formula an 6 oz of cow's milk. The other reason for making a slow switch like this is to allow her body time to once again resume making the digestive enzyme lactase (which was not needed previously to digest the lactose free milk in a soy based formula).
Regarding her solids, She can eat the same foods as you do. Of course much of this will still need to be cut up finely for her until she gets used to chewing it. Children gag while they are learning to eat. It's natures way of telling them they did not chew the food enough before trying to swallow it. In time they learn exactly how much to chew before trying to swallow and they no longer gag. Don't confuse gagging with choking. Gagging is very noisy, choking is silent. Children have a very strong gag reflex to protect them from choking. Hope this helps.