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Can Babies Drink Cold Milk?

Did you know that around 4 million babies in the United States alone have been breastfed at some point in their lives? Unsurprisingly, babies rely so heavily on breast milk, especially in their first year of life, since it provides all of the nutrients necessary to physically and mentally develop.

Whether you're a new mother or a mother for the third or fourth time, you likely know that breastfeeding can be quite a chore, especially if your child is often hungry, which is why formula and storing formula is important.

However, can babies drink cold milk if you decide to put your milk in the refrigerator? Will cold milk irritate your little one or upset their digestive system? And can babies drink any other kind of milk other than breast milk or formula in their first year? 

These are all valid questions and we will explore them all in this guide. To start, let's take a look at the composition of human breast milk and how it compares to formula. Then, we can see how this composition changes once the milk is chilled.

What Is Breast Milk

Breast milk is the perfect combination of vitamins and minerals that all work together to provide nutrients to your child. Babies need solely milk up to 6 months of age and by that point, you can start to introduce certain types of solid food into your baby's diet. When your baby is around 1 year, you may start to introduce other types of milk such as goat or cow milk, although you may have given your little one goat milk formula from the start. 

What makes breast milk unique is that a woman's body creates the milk in a particular way that allows her child to get all the nutrients it needs. Because of this, the composition of breast milk from different women is slightly different, depending on the needs of their children and what the mother eats / takes in. However, this difference is not so significant that it would prevent a woman from breastfeeding another woman's child which is a common practice in certain cultures. 

Breastfeeding is not only important for nutrition but also for growing social bonds and preventing the spread or development of sickness. For example, your child's immune system will be boosted by breastfeeding since your milk will provide antibodies to your child. 

Breast milk is made of hundreds of different molecules, but the most important components are water, carbohydrates, protein, and fats. As it happens, human breast milk contains a lot of water. While this may not sound very nutritious, it is important for keeping your baby well hydrated, and hydration is very important for developing babies.This is because hydration is necessary for moderating body temperature and protecting internal organs, among other things.

Besides water breastmilk contains many minerals and vitamins to help your baby grow and develop mentally and physically.  

The Components of Breast Milk

After water, carbohydrates comprise a large part of breast milk. Carbohydrates are important as an energy source both for babies and adults. While adults get most of their carbohydrates from pasta, bread, and potatoes, the carbs in breast milk come from a complex sugar known as lactose. 

Lactose can become a problem for babies who may have lactose sensitivity or allergy. For example, babies with galactosemia are unable to digest galactose which is found in lactose and if babies consume anything with lactose, they can experience short-term as well as long-term health problems. Other carbs in breast milk can promote better gut health by influencing the beneficial bacterial that live in the bowels. 

After carbohydrates come fats, also known as lipids. There is usually no more than 4% of fat in breast milk, but despite this small percentage, the fat in breast milk is where your baby gets most of his or her calorie intake. Lipids aren't just important when it comes to your baby gaining weight. 

Lipids are a vital part of your child's development as well and are involved in the development of vision, the nervous system, and the brain. Along with carbs, lipids are an important energy source. Valuable fatty acids, also known as LCP. 

You can't forget proteins in breast milk. Many bodybuilders go out of their way to consume extra protein to build up their muscles, and protein for babies works similarly. Protein is important for building strength in the body, particularly in the muscles, and it also helps an infant's body to repair tissues as it grows. 

So, how does formula compare to breast milk in terms of nutrition?

The Benefits of Formula

If you are unable to produce enough breast milk for your baby, you shouldn't worry. European Organic Formula can provide your baby with everything he or she needs to grow into a healthy child.

One of the many benefits of formula includes how you know exactly what kind of nutrients your baby is getting because you can read the ingredients on every package of formula. Some formula is ideal for babies that have milk allergies and can't drink breast milk without digestive problems. There are also different types of formula that you can transition from as your child ages so you can make sure that your child has all the vitamins and minerals he or she needs to grow. 

There are also benefits regarding convenience. As a mother you do not have to carry the responsibility alone, but you can also reply on your loved one around you to help. Especially in the first couple of months this can be a huge relieve for moms as your little one will drink a lot and very often. 

When you use formula instead of breast milk, you won't have to worry so much about what you put into your body either. This is because breast milk can absorb certain medications or other compounds from your body which isn't ideal and in some situations even dangerous for babies. With formula, you will not have this problem. 

Can Babies Drink Cold Milk

By now, you see that breast milk is a very unique nutritional mixture for your baby. Just like European Organic Formula, as it is designed to mimic breastmilk as much as possible. Since it is so special, you might be wondering if its structure might be ruined if it is refrigerated. You might also wonder if it might not be as beneficial to your baby if it is cold. 

We will explore these inquiries about milk and formula next. Many people think that babies need to have warm milk only. However, this is not true at all. 

There are no benefits associated with your baby consuming warm milk in comparison to cold or room temperature milk. Warming up your baby's milk may be more of a problem than the milk of any other temperature. This is because you always run the risk of overheating your baby's milk, especially if you put it in the microwave (which you shouldn't do for various reasons). 

Keep in mind that boiling the water with which your prepare your formula is very important. This will ensure any bacteria present in the water are eliminated. 

Always make sure the water is cooled down after boiling. You otherwise might overheat the milk and this can burn your baby's throat. More than that, reheating milk  too often can destroy many of the beneficial nutrients in the milk. 

Cold milk can also be good for babies who are teething. This is because the cold milk can cool your baby's mouth and help with the discomfort of teething. But can the cold damage the composition of formula milk and ruin its nutritional value?

What Happens to Milk Once It’s Chilled

The main problem you might encounter when chilling milk has to do with the milk's fat content. When the milk stored in the fridge gets cold enough, you might notice a layer of fat that has separated from the rest of the milk. While this layer of fat may look unappetizing, you absolutely should not discard it. 

This is important because, as discussed earlier, the lipids in milk are an important source of calories for your baby. Without the fat, your baby won't be able to gain weight, and more than that, your baby might not be able to develop as he or she should without those vital lipids. So, what should you do with that layer of fat once it forms?

You'll most likely be able to swirl the milk and the fat will eventually reincorporate into the rest of the milk. However, if you have trouble, you can try heating the milk slightly by running the bottle under warm water. This will allow the fat to melt slightly and mix in with the rest of the milk without any problems. 

You should keep in mind that while you may have the problem of fat separation when it comes to chilling milk, keeping milk cold should not damage its nutrients in any way. This is because, unlike heat, the cold preserves many of milk's nutrients. However, you won't have this problem when it comes to formula milk, whether it's in powdered or liquid form.

You now know the answer to the question, "Can newborns drink cold milk." However, even though cold milk is safe, will babies like it, or will they put up a fuss?

Will Babies Tolerate Cold Formula Milk

As a mother, you most likely already know that babies can be quite fussy. If they don't like their food, they might be stubborn enough not to eat or drink even if they're hungry. Whether or not a baby will like cold milk depends on the individual baby. 

If you have never given your baby cold milk before, they might be surprised to find cold milk in their bottles rather than warm or room temperature milk. Because you don't want to shock your baby which might end up with your baby hating cold milk you'll most likely want to try slowly making your baby accustomed to cold milk. Give your baby slightly chilled milk rather than very cold milk right out of the fridge.  

Eventually, your baby should get used to this transition in milk temperatures and you shouldn't have any problems. However, some babies may be especially fussy when it comes to cold milk. If your baby doesn't like cold milk, he or she might drink less which, of course, is not good for growth and development. 

What You Need to Know About Cold Milk for Babies

By the end of this article, you should no longer be asking yourself, "Can babies drink cold milk?" Instead, you should know what nutrients make breast and formula milk unique and how those nutrients are perfectly preserved when cold. More than that, you know that cold milk won't irritate your baby's stomach and can be beneficial. 

If you'd like to know more about infant nutrition and health, contact us here and we would love to help you with any questions you have