Cow's milk is a great source of calcium and other nutrients, and is an ideal food for toddlers, children and adults. It is not, however, appropriate for infants younger than 12 months of age. While some infant formulas are made from cow's milk, it has been modified for infants.
The high protein content of unmodified cow's milk is hard for a baby's immune system to digest and process, and potassium and sodium contents are also higher than the recommended levels for babies.
Cow's milk is low in iron and doesn't provide infants with enough zinc, vitamins C and E, copper and essential fatty acids — all nutrients that babies need to grow and develop.
Breast milk is the best source of nutrients for your infant but for many mothers, breast-feeding isn't always an option. To help your infant obtain all the nutrients he or she needs, visit a registered dietitian nutritionist.