when to stop formula feeding

As we grow our needs grow. The same thing applies to your babies. As they grow, it becomes essential to provide them sufficient nutrients their body needs for proper growth and development. The transition from soft milk to dense milk could be a little difficult, but the important factor you have to consider is when to stop feeding the milk formula and switch over to milk that is appropriate for the baby’s nutrition. The experts recommend that the right age for weaning your baby off the formula and habituating him to the fat dairy milk is 12 months. However, there are certain theories and explanations behind this logic. Learn about them as you read this blog along with why babies should be fed healthier portions of the milk after a certain period of time. 

When does a baby stop drinking milk formula? 

When to stop milk formula is a  common question every parent has in their mind. 

When a baby turns one, the requirements of his/her nutrition increase. They need three meals and a portion of snacks to fulfill that which cannot be solely satiated by milk formulas. So, it is important to stop feeding babies with formula after 12 months. The American Academy of Pediatrics(AAP) says that babies of a year or more need 16 to 24 ounces of whole milk per day. 

Fatty milk is not advised before 12 months because the infant’s kidneys are too sensitive to bear the load of cow’s milk. .  Heavy milk is a lot for the baby’s sensitive digestive system. It creates a lot of stress in the baby’s kidneys which in turn results in diarrhea. Thankfully, after 12 months , the digestive system develops the power to digest the milk with heavier proteins. This is the ideal time to switch as continuing the use of milk formulas can reduce a child’s appetite which can cause challenges. 

Alongside, once your baby turns 12 months old. Beverages and solid foods can be added to his diet to make the meal supplemental and more nutritious. 

How to adapt weaning?

‘Weaning’- Are you familiar with the term? If not then here is the meaning. Weaning means the process of replacing milk formula or breast milk with solid foods and drinks. It can be a challenge for new parents, but the tips mentioned below can make it easier:- 

  • Patience is the key for  transitioning from formula to milk. Once your baby turns 1 allow him sufficient time to cope up with the changes. 
  • The initial days could be tough because your baby is new to eating solid foods and drinking a cup of milk. Observe their attitude from breast milk and determine on that basis whether they are ready to wean or not. 
  • Signs that your baby is ready for the transition, include hand-to-mouth coordination, decreased tongue protrusion reflex, sitting up unassisted, and opening a wide mount for the bite. 
  • Instead of serving a portion of milk, serve them a bowl of the nutritious healthy baby meal and within a couple of weeks eliminate the bottle feeding. 
  • Serve a small number of water cups along with a bowl of fresh fruits and veggies. Slowly, your little one will get habituated with solid foods and would prefer them over milk.  
  • Such foods will attract more to the kids and allow them to get familiar with the newer and healthier varieties.  

Are there any exceptional cases?  

In certain cases, eventually, the baby turns 1 but doesn’t seem to be ready for solid diets, that’s where the question arises in the mind, for how long do babies drink formula? 

Generally, the baby drinks formula for 12 months only, but there may be some special circumstances when your baby is not ready for the change. This generally happens when your baby has kidney conditions, iron deficiency anemia, or delays in development. Your pediatrician would request you to be patient and put this plan on hold

Experts will advise you to give your baby 2% milk. If obesity, heart disease, or high blood pressure is hereditary, then do this only if the doctor advises. Otherwise, feed your baby with full-fat milk and carry on the earlier routine.

What kind of milk is best for toddlers?

Transitioning from formula to milk is difficult but knowing what works will simplify it. When you transit from formula to milk you should use nonfat milk or whole milk. Your little one demands higher nutrition and these two forms of milk will keep them full for a long time and also provide sufficient nutrition for proper growth so that your kid can get a good amount of fat.

How to switch to whole milk?

Do not hurry. Give your kid some time and let him adapt to the habit gradually. Every baby is not the same, some babies take time to digest the milk, their digestive tract is such that it slowly gets used to the intake of cow milk. In case  your child suffers from conditions like constipation or an upset stomach then mixing some of the breast milk or formula milk will help. In such cases, the quantity of formula or breast milk will be more and cow’s milk will be less. The 3/4th part should be filled with a cup of breast milk or milk formula and the remaining 1/4th by cow’s milk. Then increase it gradually to 50, 75, and 100 % cow milk once your baby gets habituated.     

American Academy of Pediatrics says 16 ounces of milk is necessary for a baby of 12-24 months daily. Cow milk is eligible to provide this amount of nutrition if taken on a daily basis. 

How beneficial is  whole milk? 

No matter how long  babies drink formula this transition will give the nutritional benefits they got earlier. The differences are a point to note, but there are many other similarities as well. Dairy milk contains more protein and minerals than formula milk whereas formula is full of Vitamin C and iron that suits infants. Remember after your baby turns 1 you can definitely feed him with solid diets. This will create a balance and fill the nutrition gap. 

At this stage of life. Milk and solids are a part of a baby’s healthy diet which can be fulfilled with fruits, raw vegetables, whole grains, pulses, and meats.   

There is no end to nutrition once your baby starts weaning, but you can’t just wait for the baby to turn 12-months old and feed them immediately the next day. The baby will show some signs and you’ll be able to tell when he becomes eligible for transitioning from formula to milk if you are unaware or unsure about the signs then they are short-listed below. Check them out. 

  • The baby feels more hungry and seeks breastfeeding or formula milk often 
  • The baby finds the solid food attractive and seems more interested in it. . 
  • The baby has gained weight 
  • The baby puts the toys and hands inside his mouth 
  • The baby’s body matures and can sit without support 
  • The baby asks for a bite by opening his mouth when he/she sees others eating.
  • The baby can hold his head steady.  

These signs show that your baby is growing up and his body requires more nutrition to function properly 

What are the best foods to start with weaning?

Your baby has turned 1 and now you know when to stop the baby formula considering all the stomach and body conditions.  Cow’s milk is not the only alternative to breastfeeding or formula milk, instead, you should feed him solid foods too. Your baby might pick, cry or show tantrums in his way to avoid milk. You should feed him solid foods too for his body and mind so that he feels the change in the taste. Just be careful which foods to feed and which not to. They are as follows:-

The solid foods you should feed are fruits, vegetables, cereals, meats, and some different types of baby food. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) approves this. 

  • Meats are rich in iron and zinc.
  • Cereals you choose should be single-grain like oatmeal, barley, rice cereal. 
  • Do not mix fruits and vegetables with meat, it is not advisable.

To add to this, keep on trying new solid foods. You will realize which foods is your child allergic to and which foods can your child easily digest. These foods are beneficial in their own ways.

Tips for starting solid foods 

  • Feed your baby with a spoon and place the food in the bowl. Try to let your baby feed himself. The earlier he learns, the better he will pick up as he grows. 
  • Take a small amount of food at the time as the baby’s little tummy won’t be able to intake a lot. Place it in the normal room temperature or refrigerate it in the open jar, but use it in less than two days. Otherwise, the food quality will degrade.  
  • You can make your own baby food like steam vegetables and fruit salad. You can even blend the fruit mixture together or prepare a thick shake out of it. You can make the texture thinner by adding a little bit of breast milk and formula. 
  • Mix your food well before serving it to your child. If you are serving hot food then mind the temperature. 
  • Do not add sugar, salt, or any other spices to the fruits and vegetables as your baby’s stomach is too sensitive to endure the spices and their side effects. 

When to avoid weaning?

Sometimes you might be too exhausted, stressed, or not in a mood to wean your child. If you are a working mother this might happen frequently. At such times schedule your weaning timings and try to maintain it as much as you can. The times when you should avoid weaning are as follows:- 

  • Your child is sick of teething and he needs a change. Avoid weaning at such times.
  • If your family is going through a transitional period like shifting house, getting back to work after a break, renovating the present house. Avoid doing so on such busy days, it might get stressful. 
  • If you or your partner have hereditary food allergies or any other kind of disease, breastfeeding may lower your baby’s chances of becoming sensitized to certain allergens.                 
  • It is perfectly fine to stop for those days if it feels challenging or unenjoyable. Give yourself some break and start nursing your child only after you feel better.

Once you get through with this, you are ready to go weaning with your child. For the best baby supplies for your little one make sure you have a look at our website to find something that suits your needs.