It’s been a month since you changed your baby’s diet from breast milk-based (human milk) to infant milk-based formula because you’re under medication and he’s also teething.
Then, one fine morning, your baby REFUSES to drink it! Yet, you cannot give him cow’s milk since he may be allergic.
So, what now?
I know how it feels for us parents to be in that scenario because I experienced it too. However, I have something that can help you!
In this article, I will answer the question: Can goat milk replace formula for infants?
Let’s find out!
Can Goat Milk Replace Infant Formula?
Raw goat’s milk alone CANNOT substitute for the latter unless it undergoes specific processes and becomes a goat milk infant formula.
The goat milk should be:
These ensure that goat milk’s extremely high protein and other minerals will be regulated to match human milk.
It must reach the required amount for babies as obliged by the Food and Drug Administration.
Also, it helps prevent muscle spasms and the hassle of additional urine to get the extra nutrition from goat milk out of the body.
Nevertheless, goat milk is a promising infant formula because of its human nutrition and the benefits it gives babies!
Goat milk has been used for quite some time in producing dairy products like milk, cheese, and butter.
It is also rich in these nutrients:
- Ascorbic Acid, Folacin, Niacin
- Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin B1
- Vitamins B12, B2 & B6
- Calcium, Copper, Iron
- Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus
- Potassium, Sodium, Zinc
It has similar components to the usual infant formula.
Benefits of Goat’s Milk
From the components of goat milk, what does it have to offer if it becomes a baby formula-healthy alternative?
Here are the benefits of having goat milk infant formulas.
Research by Maathuis et al. shows that goat milk infant formula is a SAFE ALTERNATIVE when talking about how babies digest the milk they consume.
Results show that goat milk is more attributed to human milk as it’s easier to digest than cow milk, meaning that goat milk has faster protein digestion.
Faster protein digestion is essential for babies as it helps in these areas of their health.
- Body composition
- Development of the brain
- Growth and hormones
Vitamins and Minerals
As mentioned earlier, goat milk has many vitamins and minerals beneficial for the development and growth of infants compared to human milk, cow milk, and almond milk.
The nutrition and benefits of these have been efficient in aspects like:
- Faster healing of wounds
- Preventing cancer, blindness, and diabetes
- Better metabolism
- Healthy skin and brain development
- Bone health (calcium)
Handle Healthy Levels of Cholesterol
A goat’s milk can also help manage plasma cholesterol levels in the body, as shown in a study.
Reaching healthy levels of cholesterol is vital for the growth of infants, especially in their brain and cell development.
Contrary to this, if infants have an uncontrolled cholesterol level, it may cause heart health problems.
Potential Risks of Goat’s Milk on Babies
Apart from the benefits, goat’s milk also has potential risks for children. Here are some of the things you should be wary of:
Goat’s Milk Calories
First, goat milk has 168 calories in every cup, higher than plant-based milk or cow milk. It also has higher fat and carbohydrates.
Rapid weight gain is possible if a child completely consumes goat milk daily (and gets used to it).
When this cannot be controlled, it can result in heart problems and other disorders for the child.
Contrary to popular belief (and all its hype), goat milk formula still has lactose.
As it’s similar to cow’s milk, if you are looking for a lactose-free healthy alternative for your child, plant-formulated milk is the better choice.
When your infant consumes goat milk while lactose intolerant, it can cause bloating and stomach aches.
Other allergic reactions also include these:
- Itchy mouth
- Breathing abnormalities
- Runny nose
Not That Accessible
Unlike other milk products, goat milk is not accessible in supermarkets and groceries, which may affect your buying pattern and budget.
As you can only buy it in specific markets, you must order before your milk supply runs out.
Also, it would help if you prepared your wallet as it may come at high prices.
Can Goat’s Milk Replace Cow’s Milk?
If your infant has an allergy to cow milk (CMA), can goat milk replace it? The straightforward answer is YES and NO.
You can ONLY have goat milk as a replacement for cow milk if it has been filtered, standardized, pasteurized, and chilled according to the FDA-approved guidelines.
With this, the levels of nutrients will meet the required amounts your infant needs within one year of age and below range.
However, it’s a no if you use fresh goat milk because it has high calories, little Vitamin D, and lacks other essential components to achieve healthy red blood cells.
Also, fresh or raw goat milk given to an infant may lead to mild and severe allergic reactions, which can significantly affect your baby’s health.
How Do You Switch to Goat Milk Infant Formula?
If you want to try goat milk infant formulas for your children, you need to do it in steps and not immediately change your baby’s diet.
Here are some steps you need to remember:
- For the first three days, put the usual amount of your current formula with a scoop of goat milk formula.
- On the fourth and fifth days, equal the amount of the current and the goat milk formula.
- On the sixth day, proceed to use the goat milk formula alone.
Frequently Asked Questions
I know how nervous and sketchy it feels for us parents to change the diet of our babies. Also, it’s hard to decide if it’s about our families’ health.
Still, you don’t have to worry because I will answer some of your frequently asked questions in this section!
What Can I Feed My Baby Instead of Formula?
If you don’t have access to formula, you can feed your baby up-to-date organic and non-GMO milk formula.
What Do I Do if There is No Formula?
If there is a baby formula shortage, you need to consult your pediatrician for the steps you need to take in feeding, which may include using oral rehydration solutions.
What is Dry Nursing?
Dry nursing is caring for a baby’s health without breastfeeding. This is a feeding alternative if your breastmilk supply is low.
After all this information, one thing is left clear, raw goat’s milk cannot replace most infant formula milk as it can be an unsafe choice.
It must go through further research, public health studies, clinical trials, and FDA-approved processes.
Only then can you give your baby goat’s milk as a substitute for breast milk (human milk) or infant formulas.
FINAL TIP: Corn syrup is a commonly used ingredient in many baby formulas, but is it actually safe for them to consume? Read more in this guide on corn syrup and baby formula!