I breastfed my daughter until she was 6 months old. Then 2% milk, but she had bad cramps and diarrhea.

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I breastfed my daughter until she was six months old. Then I switched her to 2% milk. She had bad cramps and diarrhea. Her doctor did lots of tests on her after she was taken off milk. He also gave her a calcium supplement. She was four years old last summer and can now drink some milk (about a half cup per day). I quit giving her the calcium supplement when she started to drink milk. Should I still be giving her the liquid calcium?

Since your daughter is drinking some milk, it is safe to say that she probably is lactose intolerant rather than allergic to milk protein.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of calcium for children age one to 10 is 800 milligrams per day. This amount of calcium equals two and one-half cups of fluid milk, milk pudding or custard, four ounces of hard cheese, four and one-third cups of ice cream or five cups of cottage cheese.

Your body also needs vitamin D in order to absorb calcium and deposit calcium in bones and teeth. Fluid fortified milk is the best source of vitamin D and calcium.

Call your daughter’s doctor about continuing the calcium supplement. Unless she drinks more milk, she needs to continue the calcium-vitamin D supplement. Her doctor can suggest an appropriate calcium supplement.

By the way, current recommendations are to breastfeed or to formula feed infants until they are 12 months of age. The protein in cow’s milk, casein, is difficult for infants to digest and forms large curds in their stomachs. Also, babies fed cow’s milk before one year of age are more likely to develop a milk protein allergy, especially if either parent has a milk protein allergy.