Friday, November 30, 2012

Baby's Transition to Whole Cow's Milk

Weaning Harry off his formula was a daunting task to say the least. Formula/breast feeding is so easy... a well-rounded meal all in one bottle (or breast). There's very little to think about since all baby's nutritional needs come from one place. By the time a baby turns one, they should be getting most, or all of their nutrients from food and milk.

Around the time he turned eleven months old I started researching what type of milk to give Harry. Non-animal milks (almond, soy, etc.) were out for us because they don't have the fat content needed for healthy brain development (obviously these milks are preferred for those with milk allergies). I thought about giving him goat's milk at first. From what I gathered online it's closer to breast milk than cow's milk and is easier to digest. However, it's not available at our grocery store. Yes, I could go to another store for the goat's milk, but doing that once or twice a week for one item would get old real fast. Since Harry never had any troubles with his cow's milk-based formulas, I decided to start him on organic whole cow's milk.

Originally I bought a milk that was fortified with extra DHA and Omega-3s. While the extra nutrients are certainly advantageous, it was hard to get Harry to drink it. I read online somewhere that it had a funny taste, so I assume that's why he was spitting a lot of it out at the beginning. We then switched to regular whole cow's milk and he seems to like that much better.

Here's a quick rundown of how we transitioned Harry. Hopefully this schedule will be a helpful guideline for you to follow, but of course, talk with your child's doctor before making the switch.

(All ages are approximate)

11.25 months: I started giving Harry a couple ounces of milk as a snack
11.5 months: Harry got sick, so we abandoned the milk for the week
11.75 months: Started giving him milk as a snack again
12 months: Switched midday bottle for a "big boy" lunch
12.25ish months: Switched morning bottle for a "big boy" breakfast and milk
12.5 months: Switched his nighttime bottle for a couple ounces of milk

I'm glad we took the transition slow. I know some people go cold turkey, but I don't think it would have gone well for us. We've now been bottle free for about a week and it's been great! I do need to work on getting him to drink more, though. He probably drinks between 7-10 ounces a day, and I think the recommended amount for toddlers is at least 12 ounces.

Oh, and I should also mention his milk has always been given to him in a sippy cup. If we continued to struggle with him spitting it out I would have tried it in a bottle, but I'm glad we never had to go there. As far as what brands we use, we've got Playtex, Nuby, Nuk, Munchkin and Tommee Tippee cups. All straws. The Tommee Tippee cups are probably my favorite!

If you've transitioned your baby to whole cow's milk, what worked for you? Let me know in the comments!

And just for fun...

Clapping! And eating a Goldfish cracker :)


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