My daughter had her 9 month appointment today and her diet obviously came into play as one of the typical questions.
In Canada we have a hot line called Call-a-Dietitian, the doctor referred me to them because she just didn't know a lot about raising vegan children. You call in, it’s free and you talked to a fully trained and educated dietitian and they’ll answer any questions you have.
My questions at first were pretty simple like how much iron she should have, how much b12, etc.
I wanted to know because we are still toying with the idea of having her be vegan along with us... I know it’s a lot of work and I don’t want to stunt her in any way. My husband thought we’d just have her non vegan until she could make the choice herself... but we’re starting to lean more towards her being vegan with us.
So, my next question to her was about what to do at about 1 year old when most people start giving their children cows milk. I still plan to breastfeed as long as possible, but we’re also trying to get pregnant again and if she self weans while I’m pregnant as many babies do... well then what? I need to know what to give her.
She said that actually, according to the World Health Organization, you should NOT replace breastfeeding or formula with cows milk AT ALL until 2, yes TWO years of age.
I had never heard this before, I had heard that 1 year minimum and then if you are lucky enough to last to 2 years of breastfeeding then that is best... but never that it HAD to be breastmilk or formula until 2.
She said that it is considered the standard, however, most families do not follow this as formula is very expensive and not all mom’s are blessed with the ability to breastfeed their babies for 2 full years! So it’s a ‘looser’ rule.
So, I asked about what I should do then... There are no truly vegan formula’s and honestly, not to be mean to formula users... but I do not want her to have formula!
But what happens then if she self weans I asked. The dietitian told me NOT to give her soy milk, even full fat and fortified as a replacement for formula... formula should come first, always. And of course, no other replacement milks would be acceptable either.
So... what the heck do I do!?
What are others doing?
I do pump... but she’s never taken a bottle, flat out refuses... and any time, literally any time I have tried giving her frozen breast milk whether in bottle, sippy, regular cup, spoon, off my finger, mixed in food... any which way... even in a dream feed she thrashes her head around and will not take it...Even then... if I were to replace everything she needed to drink with frozen breast milk with 2-3 feeds from me still a day as long as I could, it might only last a few months before I'm out... and then what!?
I’m looking for advice on what to do, what would you do in this situation given this information? I want to do the right thing but I don’t think we could afford formula (she said if I breastfeed 2-3 times a day, only 2-3 cups of formula per day should be enough, then water if she’s still thirsty)...
I don’t even know how many cups of formula you’d get out of a tin! How long would it last!?