NEOCATE-ZHANG-5 SmallBreast milk is the best nutrition for babies. For the first few months of life it provides all the nutrition your baby needs1. If, however, you are unable to continue breastfeeding there are a number of alternative formulas available for infants with cow’s milk allergy.

Breastmilk is the only nutrition babies need for the first six months of life. At around 4-6 months of age babies also need solids, in addition to breastmilk, to ensure they receive enough energy, protein and nutrients1.  Breastmilk should continue to be the main drink for babies until about 12 months of age, providing an important source of nutrition1.

While breastfeeding provides the best nutrition for your baby, sometimes it is not possible. If you are unable to continue breastfeeding your baby with cow’s milk allergy, the following options are available. It is important to discuss these options with your health care professional before making any changes to your baby’s diet.

Under six months of age

If your baby is under six months of age and has cow’s milk allergy, there are a number of alternatives available if you need to stop breastfeeding. Babies in this age group may be started on either an extensively hydrolysed formula (eHF) or an amino acid based formula (AAF)2. Both types of formulas can be obtained on prescription through your baby’s doctor.  These formulas will provide all the nutrition your child needs up until about six months of age.

Six to twelve months of age

If your baby is over six months of age, they will have recently started on solid foods.  In addition to solids, your baby will also need to continue breastmilk or a suitable low allergy (hypoallergenic) infant formula.  This formula can be either an eHF or an AAF2. Alternatively, if your child has been diagnosed with cow’s milk allergy after six months of age, a soy based infant formula may also be appropriate2.

Toddlers

If your child is over twelve months of age, there is less need for breastmilk or formula. Most healthy children will receive enough energy, protein and nutrients by consuming foods similar to the rest of the family1. Toddlers should be offered small, frequent, nutrient dense meals including all five food groups1.  Children with cow’s milk allergy will need to replace dairy products and cow’s milk with calcium containing alternatives3. There are a number of non-dairy food substitutes available that can provide the right mix of nutrients. For those children that refuse these foods or who require extra nutrition, a hypoallergenic formula may still be needed. An appointment with a dietitian may be helpful to explore the different substitute options.

 

Important: This information is intended as a guide only and should never replace any recommendation made by your healthcare professional.

 

Breast milk is the best nutrition for babies. For the first few months of life it provides all the nutrition your baby needs. If, however, you are unable to continue breastfeeding there are a number of alternative formulas available for infants with cow’s milk allergy.

 

 

  1. NHMRC 2012 Australian Infant feeding guidelines: Information for health workers. Australian Government. Viewed 6 June 2016, https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/guidelines-publications/n56
  2. Kemp et al. 2008. Guidelines for the use of infant formulas to treat cow’s milk protein allergy: An Australian consensus panel. Med J Aust Vol: 188 (2) pp: 109-112
  3. 2015. Dietary avoidance: cow’s milk. Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy. Viewed 6 June 2016. http://www.allergy.org.au/patients/food-allergy/ascia-dietary-avoidance-for-food-allergy