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Goat Milk vs Cow Milk Formula for Babies: Is Goat Milk Better Than Cow’s Milk?

Goat Milk vs Cow Milk Formula for Babies: Is Goat Milk Better Than Cow’s Milk?
Latest posts by Keith Lindner (see all)

There’s a debate taking place: which is better between goat milk vs cow milk infant formula? Which one of these two options is healthier and safer for your baby? Although the most popular version is cow milk, more and more people tend to choose goat milk, saying it is more nutritious and less allergenic.

On the other hand, it seems that the majority of kids who’re allergic to cow milk (milk protein allergy) have a high chance of being allergic to goat milk as well. So, what should you choose? Below, you will discover some crucial details regarding these two foods.

Goat vs Cow Milk Formula

Main Differences between Goat Milk vs Cow Milk

The main differences between Cow’s Milk and Goat’s Milk formula are:

  • Goat milk is easier to digest compared to cow milk due to the size and structure of its fat molecules. Cow milk’s fat molecules are significantly larger so your baby’s organism will have to make an extra effort to digest them
  • Compared to cow milk, goat milk contains a smaller amount of lactose which is also known as milk sugar. The human body is created to break down foods, including sugar, so your little one’s stomach will use fewer enzymes to digest lactose
  • Goat milk is not as allergenic as cow milk protein. Unfortunately, many small children deal with dairy allergies and this issue is linked to Alpha s1 Casein, a specific protein that is present in cow milk which often is the root of protein digestion issues
  • When it comes to taste, cow milk might be better tolerated by kids because goat milk has a stronger flavor
  • Goat milk is less processed compared to regular dairy products, including cow milk. In other words, milk products that contain fewer preservatives and added sugar are the ones made from goat milk
  • Goat milk is an excellent protein source and provides more calcium and selenium than cow milk

Goat Milk vs Cow Milk for Babies – Main Benefits

Is Goat Milk Good for Babies? Infant Formula Advantages

  • Boosts heart health – goat milk contains plenty of potassium. This mineral plays an important role in blood pressure regulation, hence, it promotes a healthy heart;
  • Supports the baby’s immune system – your child’s immunity isn’t totally developed until the age of five years old. Therefore, newborns and toddlers alike have higher risks of developing infections. The milk sourced from goats contains selenium and this nutrient boosts one’s immunity;
  • Has a high level of bio-availability – unlike cow milk, goat milk resembles human breast milk a lot more. It’s easier to digest and its nutrients are absorbed by the infant’s body a lot quicker;
  • Leads to stronger and healthier bones – it’s an excellent source of calcium, not to mention it also provides an amino acid, called tryptophan which strengthens the bones;
  • Has anti-inflammatory properties – while cow milk can cause an upset stomach (tummy troubles) and might trigger inflammation, goat milk prevents this problem due to its enzyme content;
  • Might be the solution for lactose-intolerant toddlers – because it has less lactose, goat milk doesn’t cause indigestion or bloating, and may be the right balance to east digestion issues (NOTE: always check with your pediatrician first).
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Is Cow Milk Good for Babies? Infant Formula Advantages

  • It’s a nutritious food – it contains high-quality proteins and it comes with all the essential amino acids. Also, the number of fats and carbs in cow milk are pretty well-balanced;
  • Supports your little one’s growth and development – according to science, kids who drink a proper amount of cow milk will grow taller;
  • It’s rich in vitamin B – this vitamin improves brain function, regulates the sleep-wake cycles, and supports the baby’s nervous system;
  • It’s a very good choline source – this compound works as an antioxidant and improves your kid’s mood, intelligence, and memory;
  • Cow milk might prevent diabetes and balances blood sugar levels;
  • Contains calcium but, most importantly, vitamin D – this vitamin boosts calcium absorption and further leads to strong teeth, muscles, and bones.

Goat Milk vs Cow Milk for Babies – Disadvantages and Potential Harms

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Goat Milk Infant Formula Disadvantages

  • Some say that goat milk has a higher amount of saturated fats and cholesterol which aren’t considered a healthy choice;
  • Although it is said to contain less lactose than cow milk, goat milk can also cause several side effects such as gas, vomiting, cramps, and bloating;
  • Experts don’t really recommend new moms to feed their formula-fed infants goat milk immediately after they stop breastfeeding because the nutrients from goat milk are more appropriate for toddlers and bigger children;
  • Goat milk has a less pleasant smell and taste compared to cow milk;
  • In contrast with cow milk, goat milk is more expensive.

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Cows’ Milk Infant Formula Disadvantages

  • It’s not good for lactose-intolerant babies and it has higher allergenic risks – children who are allergic to lactose will experience breathing issues and rashes when consuming cow milk. It’s not always the obvious digestive issues, although these can appear together. Other potential problems might be constipation and an itchy nose;
  • Because of the allergenic danger and lactose intolerance, feeding small children with cow milk might lead to an upset stomach, bloating, vomiting, and diarrhea; (note that a cow’s milk intolerance – sometimes generally called milk intolerance – might not show up as an allergy in traditional allergy tests)
  • Make sure to purchase organic cow milk, sourced from grass-fed cattle. Otherwise, it might come with growth hormones that are harmful to all human beings.

Goat Milk vs Cow Milk for Babies – Nutritional Values – per 100 grams

Nutrient Goat milk Cow milk Breast milk
Lactose 4.08 4.78 6.92
Fat 3.8 3.67 4
Protein 2.9 3.23 1.10
Casein 2.47 2.63 0.4
Vitamin C (mg) 2 2 3.6
Vitamin B (μg) 68 45 17
Vitamin D (i.u.) 0.7 0.7 0.27
Potassium (mg) 204 150 51
Sodium (mg) 50 44 17

Preparing Your Own Milk Toddler Formula at Home – Easy Recipes

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Homemade Goat Milk Baby Formula

This recipe will only take about 10 minutes to prepare. It provides 25 calories per serving for an infant and the following ingredients are enough for 36 ounces of milk formula.


  • Two cups of goat milk (preferably raw and organic);
  • ¼ cup of liquid whey;
  • ¼ teaspoon of Bifidobacterium Infantis powder;
  • One teaspoon of organic sunflower oil;
  • Two teaspoons of organic coconut oil;
  • One teaspoon of extra virgin organic olive oil;
  • 4 tablespoons of goat lactose;
  • One and 7/8 cup of filtered water;
  • Two tablespoons of either pasteurized or raw cream;
  • ¼ teaspoons of unflavored butter oil;
  • Two teaspoons of nutritional yeast;
  • ½ teaspoon of unflavored cod oil;
  • Two teaspoons of gelatin;
  • Two teaspoons of raw organic chicken liver (you must finely grate this ingredient);
  • Optional – one teaspoon of molasses.

How to Prepare It

  • Use a Pyrex measuring cup if you have one and fill it with filtered water. Pour the water into another container and then fill the measuring cup once more but, this time, remove two tablespoons. Add the second amount of water in the same container as the first one;
  • For starters, you will only use half of the water amount. Pour it into a pan, place it on the stove, and turn the heat to medium;
  • Add the lactose and the gelatin. Stir the mixture until these two ingredients are completely dissolved;
  • Remove the pan from the stove. In order to cool it down, pour what’s left of the water into the pan;
  • Add the butter oil and the coconut oil and stir until they melt;
  • Use a blender, preferably a glass one, in which you will add all the remaining ingredients. Make sure to avoid powdered whey and use liquid one instead. Otherwise, your milk formula will coagulate and become more like a cheese;
  • Now you can pour the water mixture into the blender and process the entire thing for a couple of seconds;
  • The milk formula is ready to be transferred to baby bottles (I personally use the ones made of glass). All that’s left to do is refrigerate the formula.

Remember to warm the bottle before feeding your baby and don’t use the microwave to do that.

Homemade Cow Milk Baby Formula

This recipe will take 15 minutes to prepare and the ingredients mentioned below will suffice if you want to achieve 36 ounces of milk formula. You can easily use it to replace or supplement breast milk, although, I always say to new moms to be careful with homemade formulas because these foods might lack some of the nutrients contained by purchased formulas.


  • Two cups of raw cow milk;
  • Two teaspoons of gelatin;
  • Two teaspoons of organic coconut oil;
  • One and 7/8 cups of filtered water (the same amount as in the case of homemade goat milk baby formula);
  • One teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil;
  • One teaspoon of organic sunflower oil;
  • Two teaspoons of nutritional yeast (in the form of flakes);
  • ½ teaspoon of fermented cod liver oil;
  • ¼ teaspoon of acerola powder;
  • Between 2 and 4 tablespoons of raw cream;
  • ¼ cup of raw whey (ideally, made from kefir);
  • ¼ teaspoon of Bifidobacterium Infantis powder;
  • 4 tablespoons of lactose.

How to Prepare Infant Formula

  • Mix the following ingredients: the Acerola powder, yeast flakes, and the Bifidobacterium Infantis powder. Do this in a bowl and make sure that your measuring spoons remain dry;
  • Use a small pan to heat the water on the stove. Turn the stove to a low-medium heat;
  • Add both the lactose and gelatin to the pan filled with water and leave it on the stove until both these ingredients are totally dissolved. Occasional stirring is necessary;
  • Take the pan from the stove. Then, add the coconut oil and stir it well until it melts;
  • Let the mixture cool down a bit and then pour it into a glass blender;
  • Add all the other oils: sunflower, olive, and cod liver oil;
  • Add the whey and pour the milk into the blender;
  • Mix all the remaining dry ingredients together and add them into the blender. Process the entire mixture for about 5 to 10 seconds;
  • Finally, you can stop the blender and add the cream. Incorporate it well to prevent bubbles, dump the final product into a glass baby bottle and store it in the fridge.

An Interesting Alternative to Cow and Goat Milk – Sheep Milk

animals sheep pasture cow goat family grass terrestrial animal grassland lamb and mutton grazing livestock farm herding meadow snout

Ideally, you shouldn’t feed your baby goat or sheep milk until the age of one year old. The best kind of milk for newborns is breast milk and, further on, a combination of breast milk and cow milk. That is because cow milk has the most balanced nutrients that your little one needs. Babies older than one year can easily consume other types of milk. Here are some of the most common benefits of sheep milk consumption:

  • Supports growth and development – it’s a great source of high-quality proteins;
  • Boosts immunity – it’s rich in vitamins and minerals, and key nutrients. All these elements protect your baby’s organism, fight against free radicals, and might even prevent health issues like chronic diseases;
  • Might treat birth defects – sometimes, babies are born with neural tube defects which seem to be prevented or solved with sheep milk. This milk balances hormones;
  • Improves the mineral density of your baby’s bones – this particular milk is rich in minerals such as calcium, zinc, and magnesium which lead to stronger bones and healthy teeth.

Goat Milk vs Cow Milk for Babies – Is Goat Milk Better than Cow Milk?

Ultimately, it’s your choice, as a parent, to feed your baby cow or goat milk or both. It might also be a personal preference because your little one can tolerate one better than the other.

Some infants and toddlers prefer cow milk due to its sweeter taste while others (although not that many) go with goat milk. It’s also a matter of habit. Most kids like cow milk more but you might convince yours to switch to goat milk, as long as you serve it fresh.

After all, both of them provide plenty of nutrients, and they’re healthy if you follow certain guidelines such as the correct portion size, etc.

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