Transitioning From Formula to Dairy

 

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Toddlers who aren’t breastfeeding, without food allergies, and who aren’t overly picky eaters can begin drinking whole milk once they are 12 months old. Toddler formula is an option if your toddler can’t drink whole milk, since it is available in soy and elemental formulations. Babies sometimes resist whole milk at first.

If this is the case, transitioning gradually from formula to whole milk can help. Mix whole milk in your baby’s formula over a period of few days, increasing the ratios each day or every few days, depending how your baby responds to the whole milk. Most formula fed babies are ready to switch from formula to whole cow’s milk when they turn one year old. If your baby was born early or has been on soy formula, check with your doctor. There are just two things to consider when transitioning from formula to milk: The amount of milk 1-year-olds need is 16 ounces a day.

Start by replacing one serving of formula per day with cow’s milk. Smaller servings of milk can also help the body digest the cow’s milk better. If she normally gets 8 ounces of formula, you might give her two smaller servings of 4 ounces each with some time between the feedings. You can also offer a cup of whole milk with her solid food.

Mix 2 oz. with 6 oz. of formula to start if your baby refuses milk at first. Gradually increase the ratio of milk to formula by adding 2 oz. of milk and decreasing by an equivalent amount of formula daily. If you have tried this and he still refuses, try giving just a tbsp. of milk occasionally. Eventually your child may start asking for the milk. Indications of milk allergy are swelling, rashes, gas pains and fussiness.

To make sure, it is best to do gradual switching from formula to whole milk. You may start by mixing small portions of whole milk with the usual baby formula. When there are no signs of allergies, you can slowly increase the ratio of whole milk until you reach 100%. That way, when it’s time to transition to whole milk, your baby will already be familiar with how it works. All that said, it’s also not uncommon for moms to stick to bottles for a while.

Many use bottles as they gradually add more and more whole milk to. If your baby isn’t a big fan of how cow’s milk tastes, you can mix equal parts whole milk and either breast milk or prepared formula (don’t mix powdered formula with whole milk instead of water). Then, gradually decrease the ratio of breast milk/formula to whole. Start weaning by replacing one breast milk feeding a day with a bottle of infant formula (for your child younger than 12 months old) or with a cup of fortified cow’s milk (for your child 12 months or older). Continue to replace more breast milk feedings with infant formula or fortified cow’s milk over time.

What worked then was switching to Reguline formula by enfamil, it was amazing. But then a few weeks ago after switching to whole milk she got constipated again. What has finally worked is really pushing the water, limiting milk to under 16oz a day per pediatrician recommendation, and giving her a good pouch of just pears each day.

List of related literature:

If your baby does not initially like the taste, we recommend gradually adding the whole milk in to the bottle, sippy, or straw cup by mixing mostly breast milk or formula with an ounce of whole milk and slowly increasing to all whole milk.

“The Pediatrician's Guide to Feeding Babies and Toddlers: Practical Answers To Your Questions on Nutrition, Starting Solids, Allergies, Picky Eating, and More (For Parents, By Parents)” by Anthony Porto, M.D., Dina DiMaggio, M.D.
from The Pediatrician’s Guide to Feeding Babies and Toddlers: Practical Answers To Your Questions on Nutrition, Starting Solids, Allergies, Picky Eating, and More (For Parents, By Parents)
by Anthony Porto, M.D., Dina DiMaggio, M.D.
Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale, 2016

Put less formula or milk (formula for babies under a year, whole milk for those over a year) in each bottle than your baby normally takes and top off each bottle-feeding with a cup.

“What to Expect the First Year” by Heidi Murkoff
from What to Expect the First Year
by Heidi Murkoff
Workman Publishing Company, 2014

• When transitioning your baby from formula to whole milk, try giving whole milk in a cup only.

“The Baby Book, Revised Edition: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two” by Martha Sears, James Sears, William Sears, Robert W. Sears
from The Baby Book, Revised Edition: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two
by Martha Sears, James Sears, et. al.
Little, Brown, 2013

Once you’ve tried all possible variations within the type of formula you’ve been using, try a major switch to the other side (soy to milk, or milk to soy).

“The Portable Pediatrician: Everything You Need to Know About Your Child's Health” by Martha Sears, Peter Sears, William Sears, Robert W. Sears, James Sears, M.D.
from The Portable Pediatrician: Everything You Need to Know About Your Child’s Health
by Martha Sears, Peter Sears, et. al.
Little, Brown, 2011

You can use the milk you have expressed, or you may find that you need to supplement with formula until your supply increases.

“HypnoBirthing, Fourth Edition: The Natural Approach to Safer, Easier, More Comfortable Birthing The Mongan Method, 4th Edition” by Marie Mongan
from HypnoBirthing, Fourth Edition: The Natural Approach to Safer, Easier, More Comfortable Birthing The Mongan Method, 4th Edition
by Marie Mongan
Health Communications, Incorporated, 2015

Oktay Kutluk

Kutluk Oktay, MD, FACOG is one of the world's foremost experts in fertility preservation as well as ovarian stimulation and in vitro fertilization for infertility treatments. He developed and performed the world's first ovarian transplantation procedures as well as pioneered new ovarian stimulation protocols for embryo and oocyte freezing for breast and endometrial cancer patients.

Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: +1 (877) 492-3666

Biography: https://medicine.yale.edu/profile/kutluk_oktay/
Bibliography: oktay_bibliography

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  • My baby girl is one year old she was diagnosed ( cow milk protein allergy ) and some foods she take ( neocate) for about 11 months now ( how to start testing whole milk???