When Do Babies Stop Taking Formula? Here’s the Answer You Need to Know!
We all know that infant formula is the next best thing that you can give to your baby (other than breastmilk, of course!). After all, it contains all the minerals, vitamins and nutrients that your baby needs to stay healthy and fit.
But please do keep in mind that the nutritional demands of your baby will change, and he may have to say goodbye to infant formula at some point. As a parent, it is your responsibility to make sure that your baby is getting the right nutrition he needs at a particular point in his life.
With that in mind, when do babies stop drinking formula? Don’t worry! I’ll help you answer this question (in detail, may I add!). Just read this article, and you will find out!
When do Babies Stop Taking Formula?
During the first year, our primary concern is to give our baby enough minerals and proteins he needs for proper development. And the best sources of these nutrients are no other than breastmilk or infant formula.
To make sure that your baby is getting everything that his body needs, you have to start transitioning him from infant formula to the next best food item for him at a certain point. So when do babies stop taking formula?
According to Mayo Clinic, infant formula is generally recommended to be given to babies until age 1. So after he has celebrated his first birthday, you should stop giving him formula and start introducing other food options to him.
After Infant Formula, What’s Next?
With that in mind, what’s next for your baby’s feeding time? Well, this is the perfect time for you to give your baby whole cow’s milk.
This type of milk contains high levels of proteins and minerals which are suitable for a one-year-old child who needs about 1000 calories a day for energy and proper development. If possible, opt for a whole vitamin D milk because the high-fat content that this type of milk contains is crucial for your baby to achieve and maintain a normal weight gain.
But according to Healthy Children, you should limit your child’s milk intake to just 32 ounces per day. This is because, in addition to the milk, your baby also needs to adapt to a balanced diet of vegetables, fruits, grains, meats, poultry, and eggs.
If your baby is lactose intolerant, you can try other milk alternatives like soy milk, rice milk, coconut milk and many more. Just make sure to consult your pediatrician to determine which substitute is best for your baby.
What Can I Do to Make The Transition from Formula to Milk Easier?
But as we all know, transitions are never easy for babies. They will react negatively (and sometimes, violently) to any changes in their usual routine. Because of this, it is expected that you will be having some problems when you transition your baby from infant formula to cow’s milk.
Lucky for you, there are some ways on how you can make the transition a lot easier and less stressful for you and your little one. Here are some of them:
Do It Gradually
If you will be introducing changes to your baby, especially when it comes to feeding, try to do it as slowly and gently a possible. In the case of this transition, the best thing that you can do is to slowly add cow’s milk to the infant formula.
For example, mix about ¼ of cow’s milk with ¾ of infant formula and give it to your baby for a week. The next week, try to mix ½ cow’s milk and ½ infant formula and give it to him for another whole week. By week 4, you can be able to give your baby 100% cow’s milk without him noticing the difference.
Buy a New Cup
Once you have decided to make a transition, it is recommended that you buy a new cup or bottle for your baby. Make sure it is colorful and entertaining and make a big fuss about the cup when you give it to your little one.
In this way, your child’s attention will be focused on the new and special cup, and he will be distracted enough not to notice the difference in the type of milk that he is drinking.
Warm the Milk
We warm the water that we use in preparing the infant formula, right? That’s why your child is used to the warm temperature of the milk. If you will be giving your child cow’s milk that came straight from the refrigerator, he may be put off with the cold temperature of the milk.
When you warm the cow’s milk, the temperature will be more familiar for him. This simple move can make the transition a lot less shocking for him.
A Word of Advice
Some parents tend to mix cow’s milk with strawberry, chocolate or other flavored milks to enhance its flavor. This may not be a good idea since it will lead your child to expect that he will get to taste something sweet every time you feed him.
As a result, he may not be able to get used to or may not be satisfied of whole cow’s milk. And let us not forget to mention that those flavored milks contain amounts of sugar that are too much for your little one to handle.
Infant formula or breastmilk is given to a baby because these supply him with the nutrients that he needs to support his rapid body developments. But at a certain point of his life, your baby’s nutritional needs may change and a formula may no longer be the best option for him.
So when do babies stop taking formula? As a rule of thumb, infant formula is given to babies only up to one year of age. After that, he will have to switch to cow’s milk. It is also the perfect time for you to slowly introduce solid foods to him for a balanced diet.
Keep in mind that the transition will not be easy but take heed of the advices that we have mentioned above to make the process a little less complicated for you and your baby.
Do you have any comments or maybe you would like to share some suggestions with us? If so, please head to our comments section!