So it’s official my youngest child turned one!!! Time seems to have just flown by in the blink of an eye. I just love him to pieces as any mother loves her child. Now that he has officially turned one we must transition from formula to whole milk. Everyone does things differently and there really is no right or wrong way. In fact, most pediatricians recommend for parents to start weaning at 12 months. For a variety of reasons mainly to avoid dental problems. The bottle weaning process begins around 6 months of age.
Now you need to make sure the timing is right most doctors recommend you start with sippy cups around that age. Now since it is a different texture than a bottle it may take introducing the sippy cup in a fun way to get your child interested. Trust me this may take a few tries to get your baby to take the cup. If you are having a very hard time you may want to try different cups until you find a good fit cup for your child. Now that your child has taken ahold of the sippy cup you can use it to replace the bottle when you feed them baby food you can use it so that they can drink some water.
By age one, the typical baby is mainly eating solid food, supplemented with about 10-16 ounces of whole milk per day. This is how I did it for all six of my children.
- I decided that I would make the switch from formula to whole milk right at the 12-month mark. So now I had to work my way to that goal.
- Reduce the volume of formula intake by pulling away 1bottle at a time.I start this at the time I started baby cereal and then again when I started baby food. By the time he was 11 months old his feeding schedule looked like this 7 am (formula) 11 am (cereal) 3 pm (2 jars of baby food) 7 pm (2 jars of baby food) 10-11 pm (formula). Yes, I know some people start substituting table food for a bottle at before 12 months but I wait until 12 months to do so. I choose to give them baby food until age 12 month with little bits of table food tastings here and there.
- Set new bedtime routine and be consistent: Now his formula finished the week before he turned 12 months so this was when we decided to change his bedtime routine. Instead of giving him a night-time bottle we would fill his sippy cup with water and give it to him instead of giving him a bottle with formula.
4. Make bottle disappear. I normally throw the bottle away. So that I won’t be tempted to give it back to the baby when it gets hard.
5. Go cold turkey. So for that week he went cold turkey. Because his formula had run out and he was transitioning to regular food all day. At night he was transitioning to a sippy cup of water to put himself to sleep. I am not going to lie the transition week was both easy and hard. Easy because he was so happy to start eating what his siblings were eating. He couldn’t put the food in his mouth fast enough every time he ate. He was just so happy to be trying something new. Like I mentioned before yes we had been giving him regular table food here and there but he would mainly eat baby food and formula. So transitioning him to solely regular table food was a big deal for him. The hard part came at night when he wanted his night-time bottle but instead he got a sippy cup with water. It took him about 5 days to get accustomed to his new nighttime routine. Now he sits in his crib and drinks his sippy cup with water and falls asleep.
6. Once you have done all of the above it will be a natural transition to offer whole milk in a cup rather than a bottle.
This strategy has worked for me with all 6 of my kids. By age 1 they are no longer on formula, attached to the bottle or the pacifier. I know everyone has different ways that work for them. Share with us what have you done to wean your child off of formula?The bottle? The pacifier? I’d love to hear from you.
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