Resources for parents to get through the challenges.

  1. Home
  2. Food & Feeding

When Can Babies Have Ice Cream?

Ice cream is the perfect summer treat. It’s great for cooling off on hot summer days. During winter, it can soothe a sore throat or help bring down a fever because it’s so cold.

If you are enjoying ice cream, your little one is bound to want some. But when is it okay to give your baby ice cream? Most children can safely eat ice cream when they are one year old. 

It’s Not Safe To Give Babies Cow’s Milk Before 12 Months

Twelve months is the age that most babies will begin to drink cow’s milk. This is why it’s not recommended to give little ones ice cream before this age.

There are quite a few reasons why babies shouldn’t have milk early, even if you’re tempted to give them a few bites of your ice cream sandwich. 

Infants Have An Underdeveloped Digestive System

This underdeveloped digestive system makes it harder for them to digest the things, like proteins, that are found in cow’s milk.

If you give a baby cow’s milk, or products that contain cow’s milk, too soon it can have severe side effects. Babies may develop diarrhea, nausea, and stomach pain.

More severe side effects, like intestinal bleeding, can also develop. It’s best to wait to make sure that your baby doesn’t have severe side effects. 

Giving Babies Milk Too Soon Can Harm Their Kidneys

Milk is packed with plenty of things. Among the ingredients are a lot of proteins and minerals. Normally, these are a great thing! However, your baby’s kidneys are still maturing too.

They aren’t ready to handle the proteins and minerals that are found in cow’s milk. It can put too much pressure on the kidneys, which can turn out badly. 

It Can Make Infants More Likely To Develop A Milk Allergy

While some people believe that this is a myth, there is some truth to the belief that giving a baby milk too soon can make them develop a milk allergy.

This is because lactose intolerance is an immune response. As babies grow older, their immune systems develop more. This means that they are less likely to develop allergies to foods, including milk. 

Giving Babies Milk Too Soon Makes Them More Prone To Develop An Iron Deficiency

This is not likely to happen if you’re feeding your little one a few spoon fulls of ice cream.

However, if you stumbled across this article trying to figure out whether you can give your baby cow’s milk, it’s something you should keep in mind.

Milk has less iron than formula, which is often iron-fortified, and breast milk. It’s also packed with vitamins that can help prevent the body from absorbing iron. 

That’s not the only way that cow’s milk can lead to iron deficiency anemia. It can also cause intestinal bleeding. This bleeding can be enough to result in anemia in infants. 

Can I Give My Baby Milk Alternatives?

I’m lactose intolerant, and I eat soy-based ice cream. So, I was instantly wondering when I could give some to my grandson.

It makes sense because it doesn’t have the same ingredients as cow’s milk. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. 

Babies Should Not Have Cow’s Milk Substitutes Until They Are One Year Old

Although milk alternatives, like soy, rice, and almond milk, seem like healthier choices, this isn’t recommended for children under a year old.

Some of them do not contain the same nutritional value that babies need and get from formula and breast milk. 

Milk Alternatives Have More Sweeteners

Almond milk does taste better flavored, but that means that it is packed with sugar and artificial flavoring. A quick browse through the section with almond milk and soy milk will show you this.

There is a larger selection. You can get vanilla almond milk, chocolate almond milk, and even sweetened almond milk. You’ll see the same with soy milk.

Coconut milk and rice milk don’t have the same varieties that others do, but most brands put sugar in their milk to make it taste better. They also include artificial flavorings. 

Babies Can Have An Adverse Reaction To Milk Substitutes At Any Age

Some children will have the same reaction to soy milk that other babies will have with cow’s milk. For example, my youngest can’t have chocolate almond milk.

She can have unsweetened and vanilla almond milk, but there’s something in chocolate almond milk that gives her diarrhea. Some little ones will experience certain side effects of different types of milk, such as coconut milk. 

Because of this, it’s important to treat new types of milk like they are new foods. Give your child one type of milk, such as vanilla almond milk, for three days.

Watch for adverse side effects. If there are not any, you can assume that your little one can tolerate that one type of milk. Keep in mind that you should do this same thing with different flavors, and different brands. 

Babies Can Have Small Amounts Of Milk When Being Weaned

If you’re in the process of weaning your little one, you can give them small cups of milk throughout the day. It’s recommended that you only give them a few ounces per day to avoid any adverse health effects.

You’ll need to keep in mind that it’s also recommended to give babies formula or breast milk in a bottle if you’re weaning them away from breastfeeding. 

In Conclusion

Giving your baby a tiny bite of your ice cream sundae isn’t going to harm them. However, make sure that you don’t feed them more than that tiny bite. Ice cream does not offer nutritional value to their diet, and giving them milk too soon can be dangerous.