When should i stop feeding my baby formula
When Do Babies Stop Drinking Formula?
When do babies stop drinking formula? This is a question every parent of a formula-fed baby asks themselves, as there will come a time when your little one is ready to make the big switch to milk. Would you like to know how long babies drink formula and how to transition from formula to milk? We’ve got you covered with all the answers to these common questions and more!
How Long Do Babies Drink Formula?
So, at what age do babies stop drinking formula? The general rule of thumb is to start transitioning from formula to cow’s milk at 1 year, but not anytime sooner. During the first year of life, babies experience rapid growth and development and require nutrient-rich breast milk or formula to supply what’s necessary and essential to support their development. Though nutritious, cow’s milk can’t be digested by babies younger than 1.
How to Transition From Formula to Milk
Switching from formula to milk is fairly straightforward—you simply swap the two! This is because formula and milk are nutritionally similar. Of all the formulas sold in the United States, 8 out of 10 are cow’s milk-based formulas. Manufacturers make formula digestible and adequately nutritious for newborns by treating and fortifying it. And since babies can start drinking milk only when their digestive systems are ready, formula will get them through that first year. By the time your little one is 12 months, they’ll be ready to enjoy nutritious cow’s milk!
To learn more about how your little one will develop through the years, check out our baby growth calculator below!
Introducing Solids: 6 Months
Prior to the transition from formula to milk, you’ll expand your baby’s menu by incorporating a few solid foods into their diet, usually when your little one is about 6 months old. This will help your child (and their digestive system) get used to trying new flavors. Here’s what to do at 6 to 12 months, before you begin switching from formula to milk:
Introduce solid foods. At about 6 months, you can start introducing baby-friendly solid foods to your little one. The nutrients in these soft, small foods will balance nicely with those found in formula.
Pair solids with formula. From 8 to 12 months, babies need just 22 to 32 ounces of formula each day. The rest of your little one’s diet will consist of solid foods.
As your baby gets used to this new smorgasbord of foods, you can simply swap the formula for milk. It doesn’t have to be a gradual process unless that better fits your little one’s needs.
Making the Transition: 12 Months
At 12 months, your baby is ready to make the full switch to milk. However, as your little one starts drinking milk, you may notice a few changes in feeding behavior. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
A reduced appetite is normal. As your baby develops, their rate of growth starts to slow down, and you may notice a reduced appetite. This is totally normal, and at 1 year, your little one really only needs about 1,000 calories a day to support their development.
It’s OK to be picky about food. Maybe your toddler won’t want to eat all the food on their plate, and that’s OK! What’s more important is consuming nutrient-dense milk and letting your baby lead the way by experimenting with other flavors in solid foods.
Adding one-half to one cup of whole or 2 percent milk to each meal or snack will do the trick. In total, aim for about three cups of milk each day.
And it’s really that simple! Your baby may even prefer the taste of cow’s milk to formula. The challenge in getting your toddler to eat is less about how to transition from formula to milk and more about your little one becoming accustomed to and enjoying a varied diet of solid foods. Read more about your baby’s first solid food and how to introduce solids into your little one’s feeding schedule.
Alternatives to Cow’s Milk
There are a few reasons you might choose an alternative to cow’s milk as you start transitioning from formula to milk. Some babies may have lactose intolerance or a milk allergy. Perhaps your little one simply doesn’t like the taste, or maybe your family prefers to avoid animal products. A fortified, unsweetened soy milk is often recommended as a substitute for cow’s milk. There are other plant-based options that may or may not contain the right amount of protein and vitamins to support healthy growth. If you’d like to use an alternative to cow’s milk, consult your healthcare provider to make sure your baby is getting the nutrients they need.
How to Start Weaning Your Baby Off Formula
Luckily, the process of transitioning from formula to milk is fairly simple. However, there are a few tips to make the switch as smooth as possible as you wean your baby off formula. Weaning typically refers to the gradual transitioning from breast feeding to bottle feeding; in this case, it can also refer to preparing your baby to switch from formula to milk. Although you can simply swap formula for milk, here are a few things you can do to get ready for the big change!
Diversify flavors. The first step is to use solid foods to diversify flavors and get your baby used to eating new foods. As mentioned above, this can typically start at about 6 months.
Practice hand coordination. As your baby starts to eat solids, let them use a spoon independently. This will help your little one build coordination and fine motor skills for eating on their own and using a cup when drinking milk.
Transition to a cup. Many parents wonder when a baby should stop using a bottle. You can introduce a cup once your baby has the necessary coordination and hand skills, which could be as early as 6 months. After practicing eating with fingers and a spoon, your baby may be ready to completely self-feed and drink from a cup at around 1 year.
Start gradually by letting your baby hold a cup and get a feel for it. Then put a little formula in it and show them how to tip it back and sip. Use a baby-friendly sippy cup to help avoid spills and dribbles!
Once your baby has the hang of it, change one bottle feeding to a cup each day and work your way up. Eventually, you can swap every bottle for a cup.
Every child is different, and your baby may not want to drink from a cup right away. Be patient, as your little one may need 6 months or more to make the full transition.
Transitioning Gradually From Formula to Milk
Some babies need a little more time to make the switch from formula to milk, and that’s OK! Simply introduce milk little by little. Be patient and know that your toddler is on the right path. In the end, what’s most important is offering your little one food with a variety of nutrients, flavors, and textures throughout the week. No need to worry if you have a picky eater on your hands. Within an entire week—believe it or not—it usually works out, and even the pickiest eaters will most likely get the nutrients they need!
When Do Toddlers Stop Drinking Milk?
Once you’ve made the switch, and your little one is drinking milk every day, the next question on your mind could be: when do toddlers stop drinking milk? This common question has a complex answer. Milk is an important source of fats, protein, calcium, and vitamins A and D, and children of any age as well as adults can continue to drink it for the rest of their lives if they wish. However, lactose intolerance can appear later in life, typically in older children and adults. So, just watch for signs of digestive discomfort and talk to your healthcare provider if you suspect an intolerance or allergy to milk. During the stage when your child is drinking milk, it’s helpful to know how much of it a toddler typically needs:
12-24 Months: Three cups per day.
24+ Months: Two cups per day.
At 24 months, your child is getting important nutrients from other sources, like solids. So, you can lower the amount of milk they consume.
The Bottom Line
So, when do babies stop drinking formula? The answer is surprisingly simple! At about 12 months, your baby’s digestive system is ready to start processing nutrient-rich cow’s milk. And transitioning from formula to milk is even easier—just swap it!
Before you make the transition, you can introduce new flavors via solid foods to your little one at around 6 months. And once your baby develops coordination and hand skills, start the gradual move to a sippy cup. This will all help ease the process of switching from formula to milk.
Read more about baby development milestones as your little one grows from a bottle-loving newborn to a self-feeding toddler!
When Your Baby Should Stop Drinking Formula & How to Do It | Little Bundle
You probably conducted extensive research to find and choose the best formula for your baby, and it worked well! But before you know it, your little one is not-so-little, and you may begin to wonder:
How long should my baby drink formula?
How will we make the transition away from formula?
How do I ensure my child still gets all the nutrients he or she needs when I stop using formula?
Should I continue to use Stage 3 formula after my baby is 1 year old or make the switch to whole milk?
These are important questions, and we created this guide to help you determine how and when your baby should stop drinking formula.
Parents often think of "weaning" as when a child stops drinking baby formula or breast milk completely. But weaning actually begins whenever a baby starts consuming anything besides infant formula or breast milk. It ends when foods and drinks replace them completely.
While the weaning process varies from child to child, it’s common to start weaning your baby between four and six months as they start experimenting with solid foods.
At four to six months, babies often need more nutrients than what’s available solely from formula or breast milk. That's why this is a perfect time to begin phase 1 of weaning: the introduction of solid foods. Solids complement formula or breast milk and ensure your baby receives all the nourishment he or she needs.
At 12 months, Stage 3 formulas built just for toddlers might provide the extra nutritional boost you’d like to incorporate into the foods in your baby’s diet. And although milk is the safe, traditional, physician-approved suggestion, the Stage 3 formula is purpose-built for growing young toddlers.
At 12 months, a baby is ready to begin phase 2 of the weaning process: the transition off of baby formula or breast milk. While you can begin this phase at one year, that doesn't mean there's any rush. You can implement this phase of the weaning process as gradually as you and your child need — just as long as you begin no earlier than 12 months.
Why does your baby have to be a year old for this phase? Because at 12 months, a child's digestive system has matured enough to handle toddler formula or straight cow's milk. Before this point, breast milk or baby formula (formulated to resemble the composition of breast milk) is easier to digest. In addition, it isn't until about 12 months that a baby has established a diet of solids substantial enough to go without their infant formula.
Once your child is ready for phase 2 of weaning, you can replace their baby formula with either Stage 3 formula (also referred to as "toddler milk" or "growing up milk") or whole cow's milk.
Kendamil, HiPP, Holle & Lebenswert all offer Stage 3 formula for the toddler months, which are specifically formulated to meet a growing child's nutritional needs at this age. These toddler milks have more protein, vitamins, and minerals, and may provide an easier transition if your baby has sensitivities or is simply picky about switching to whole milk. Some also offer prebiotic & probiotics to promote healthy gut flora.
Note: Some Stage 3 formulas are safe for your baby to begin as early as 10 months. Stage 3 formulas will specifically indicate the best age range for use.
In an ideal environment, your baby – now a toddler – will naturally ingest essential nutrients by consuming a diet composed of a variety of healthy foods. But if you’re concerned that won’t happen (parents of picky eaters, we’re looking at you), the Stage 3 formula can certainly help!
Also, if you are concerned about your baby’s vitamin D levels, one benefit to continuing with a Stage 3 formula is that your child’s Vitamin D levels may improve while on a higher formula stage. Based on a study done by HiPP, children who continued on to drink a Stage 3 formula after 12 months of age had better Vitamin D levels compared to their counterparts who transitioned to whole milk.
If switching to whole milk instead, it's important to choose a whole fat option. Why whole? A child at this age still needs a high level of fat to nourish their rapid brain development and physical growth. Keep in mind that your child will only need two to three cups of whole milk per day. Then, at two years old, they can switch to a lower-fat milk option if desired.
Some parents do a cold turkey switch from baby formula to toddler formula or cow's milk — and their babies have no problems with that. If you're the parent of an adaptable baby and this works for you, great! Most parents, however, will find that their babies need a bit more coaxing and time to make the switch without any fuss (or at least a bearable level of fuss).
We generally recommend transitioning over a period of a few weeks. This allows your baby’s digestive system to completely adjust to a new formula or whole milk. It's best to introduce the new formula or milk gradually by mixing it with the old formula. You can consider following a transition schedule like this:
Day 1 & 2: 25% new formula or milk; 75% old formula
Day 3 & 4: 50% new formula or milk; 50% old formula
Day 5 & 6: 75% new formula or milk; 25% old formula
Day 7: 100% new formula or milk
Depending on your child’s unique needs, you may need to adjust this schedule.
If you're feeling unsure about your baby's readiness to switch, check for these signs. In order to be ready to switch from baby formula to toddler formula or cow's milk, your baby needs to:
Be at least 12 months old (or as young as 10 months for some Stage 3 formulas)
Be eating a healthy balance of fruits, vegetables, dairy, grains, and proteins each day
Be eating approximately 1000 calories each day
If you're still unsure, talk with your child's pediatrician to ensure they're getting enough nutrients from their diet to wean off of the current formula.
Something else to keep in mind here is the weaning from bottle to sippy cup process. Bottles can interfere with normal teeth development, so it's advised that a child switches to a sippy cup by 18 months. But you don't have to wait until then. Your baby can begin using a sippy cup soon after they begin eating solids — around 6 months, or once they can sit up on their own.
To wean from the bottle to the sippy cup, start by putting a bit of water in the sippy cup to avoid a big mess. It will take your child some time and practice to get the hang of it, but eventually, he or she will become a pro. Sippy cups are generally inexpensive, so it may help to try out a few different kinds to give your baby a chance to find one that they like best.
Do you need to wean from the bottle at the same time as weaning from baby formula? You can. But depending on your child and their temperament, this could make the transition more difficult. If your child struggles to switch off of a bottle and infant formula at the same time, slow things down a bit and just make one change at a time. This will smooth out the adjustments for them.
Change can be difficult, and watching your child grow may make you wish you could slow time down. Before you know it, your baby will become a toddler — ready to graduate from baby formula and food to "big kid" milk and food.
Ultimately, the decision of when to stop feeding infant formula is between you and your baby. Just remember to celebrate each transition on this journey with your not-so-little one.
Still feeling a little unsure? Use our live chat or send us a message. Our Customer Success team of Infant Nutrition Technicians has a top priority to help you provide the best nutrition for your little one.
When do babies stop being fed milk or formula?
When children stop ...
Last - Remove
As for the topic, it means up to a year. .. understandable.
Remove from breast milk and formula in a year and a half, gradually transferring to diluted cow or goat milk from a year.
Introduce complementary foods closer to six months. Very neat, one product per week. Start with cereals and vegetable purees. Do not give juices for up to a year at all, destroy the pancreas, causing uncontrolled allergies in the future, you won’t even guess why this happened. Start with fruit purees, then add dried fruit compote. Add meat at 7-9months.
everything depends on my allergy, so it was later complementary to introduce, but still it seems to me that it is better to start from 6 months, until this time mother's milk is enough, and once again it makes no sense to overload the child's digestive system
The man immediately warned that all property was recorded on children
Such a salary - I do not want to work9000,0002 467 answers 9 of answers 9 responses 9.0003
Lies 22 years long. How to destroy?
Husband left, 2 months of depression... How will you cope if you are left all alone?
My daughter is seven years old. We still give the mixture in the evening before bed. I don't see anything wrong with that. A child in her age is in any case supposed to receive 500 mg of milk and dairy products. I think this issue should be decided individually. I know, for example, it is not recommended to tear a child from the chest if he has rickets. And if there is someone in the family with breast cancer (t-t-t!), Then it is better for the mother to feed the child to the last.
Your child can be given ordinary cow's milk for a long time
And why is store-bought milk better than milk formula? There is at least a balanced set of vitamins and microelements in the mixture, but what about store-bought powder? ))
#349000 9000 9000
002 All products for the child - from their own garden, milk - straight from the cow, that is, all natural, without nitrates and preservatives., if you can breastfeed, don't even think about any artificial mixtures!
Health to your child, and unlimited patience to you! :)
Mast breed. GV
Definitely breastfeed as long as there is milk!!!
Especially the WHO advises to feed 5 years
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616 answers 9I will sell breast milk!!!
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When is it time to stop breastfeeding and what is the best way to do this? Read our article for useful practical tips on weaning.
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How long should breastfeeding continue? Three months? Six? Year? Or maybe a few years?
The World Health Organization (WHO) and other authorities recommend that infants be exclusively breastfed for the first six months and then continue to be breastfed along with other foods (complementary foods) for at least two years. 1
The fact is that breast milk is not just food. It is a natural sedative if the child is anxious or tired. In addition, milk contains immune-boosting components, the amount of which increases dramatically when the baby gets sick. 2
According to anthropologists, the natural age of a person to stop breastfeeding is even more than two years. Given factors such as tooth development, body weight, comparison with other primates, and historical evidence, some scientists believe that breastfeeding may last up to two to four years. A number of researchers even believe that our ancestors breastfed children up to six or seven years of age. 3
Today, more than 60% of mothers in developed countries start giving their babies formula or complementary foods before six months of age, 4 although WHO does not recommend this.
When is it time to stop breastfeeding?
Weaning means that you gradually stop breastfeeding your baby. Ideally, the first step in this process is the gradual introduction of complementary foods, starting at about six months of age. In this case, breastfeeding continues. The weaning process continues until the mother's milk has been completely replaced by other foods and drinks.
“After six months, the baby needs higher doses of certain nutrients, such as iron, zinc, vitamins B and D, that he cannot get from breast milk or from his own reserves,” says Sarah Beeson, health visitor from Great Britain.
“But solid food should at first only supplement the main diet with breast milk and gradually replace it. Mother's milk remains the main source of nutrition for the baby for many months to come.”
On average, a seven-month-old baby gets 93% of its calories from breast milk. And even between the 11th and 16th months, milk provides him with about half of the daily calorie intake. 5
“Sometimes mothers think that breast milk is not so important once the baby has started solid foods, but in reality, no matter how many months old the baby is, there is nothing better for him than your milk,” continues Sarah.
In fact, the process of finishing breastfeeding can take as long as mother and baby want. “When to stop breastfeeding is up to you,” says Sarah. The only thing that matters is what you think is right for you and your child.”
How to wean
Whenever you decide to start weaning your baby, it is best to do it gradually. An abrupt cessation of breastfeeding can lead to lactostasis, blockage of the milk ducts and mastitis, and in a child such a sudden change can adversely affect the state of the digestive and immune systems. In addition, it will be difficult for both of you psychologically.
When should I stop breastfeeding?
Sometimes mothers mistakenly believe that it is time to stop breastfeeding, when in fact there is no reason for this. If you're returning to work, breastfeeding can be a great way to stay close to your baby during this difficult time for both of you. You can express milk at work, and morning and evening feeding sessions will give you the opportunity to spend time alone with your baby. If you need to leave without your baby, you can also express milk and bring or send it home.
If you get sick, this is not always a reason to stop breastfeeding. Read our advice in the article on breastfeeding when sick and consult with your healthcare professional.
Weaning up to six months
If you can't continue breastfeeding until six months and want to try weaning your baby, start by replacing one feeding a day with a bottle of formula.
“It's best to start with midday feedings. Babies are very alert and able to smell breast milk nearby, so ask your partner or relative to give your baby a bottle when you're in the other room,” Sarah advises.
“Be hygienic when preparing meals. Be prepared for the fact that the baby will take fewer servings of expressed milk per day than if he was fed directly from the breast. Don't make him eat more milk than he wants."
You will probably feel that your breasts are fuller and more tender. This is due to the fact that your body is rebuilding to produce less milk. If this creates discomfort, try expressing some milk—just enough to relieve the discomfort without stimulating extra production.
When your body adjusts to the new volume - usually after a few days - replace with formula for one more meal a day. Continue this until you have changed all feedings and your baby is completely weaned.
“I had complications after my first birth, as a result I lost a lot of weight very quickly, and besides, I developed mastitis. Lactation was very weak, and at three months I was forced to stop breastfeeding,” recalls Jennifer, a mother of two from the UK, “I gradually replaced one feeding, so physically it was easy, but mentally it was hard for me.”
If you want to maintain closeness with your baby and all the health benefits of breastfeeding, but still need to cut down on breastfeeding, try partial weaning, replacing only a few feeds a day with formula.
Weaning after six months
Once your baby starts eating solid foods (about six months old), you will notice that breastfeeding naturally occurs less and less. For a year, it can be reduced to just a couple of times a day, and feedings will be replaced by full meals and healthy snacks.
Anyway, if you intend to continue to reduce breastfeeding, do it gradually, replacing one feeding at a time. Use formula milk if your baby is under 12 months old. With cow's milk, you should wait at least up to a year.
“When I decided to wean my son, I breastfed him three times a day and gave him other foods three times plus light snacks. Gradually, I replaced all breastfeedings with formula. By 11 months, we only had one nighttime breastfeed left,” says Ruth, a UK mom.
There are various ways to distract a child from changes in his diet. Some mothers suggest that instead of breastfeeding something to drink and eat together to maintain a sense of closeness. You can also change your daily routine, play your favorite game, or replace feeding with caresses - from you or from your partner. Some children take longer to get used to the new food, but in the end everything falls into place. If you are having difficulty weaning, ask your healthcare provider for advice.
Ending breastfeeding naturally
Ending breastfeeding can be guided by the baby's wishes. This is called baby-initiated weaning, or the natural termination of breastfeeding. Such a process is likely to be long and gradual. Month after month, feeding sessions will become shorter and less frequent, until one day the child completely loses interest in the breast.
“My daughter stopped breastfeeding on her own when she was four years old,” says Sarah, a mother from the UK. And once, when we were on vacation, she seemed to just forget about her breasts. Now, six months later, she sometimes still asks for breasts, but she already knows that there is no milk there.
You will have a huge amount of time for the body to adapt, so there should be no discomfort or swelling of the breast. However, you may find it difficult emotionally, so spend more time petting and bonding with your baby.
“Child-initiated termination of breastfeeding was right for me because I never gave my son formula or a bottle. I didn’t want to abruptly stop feeding and refuse him,” recalls Kelly, a mother from the UK, “He himself lost interest in breasts at the age of two and a half years. For us, it was the best scenario, although emotionally it was not very easy for me.”
What if you need to stop breastfeeding quickly?
It is best not to stop breastfeeding abruptly, but sometimes it is necessary for medical reasons or because you cannot be near your baby.
If you have been breastfeeding your baby up to this point, you will most likely have to express your milk to avoid breast swelling. Some mothers prefer to use a breast pump for this, others find it easier to express milk manually. You only need to pump a little, just to eliminate the discomfort, otherwise your body will take it as a signal to produce more milk.
At first, the breasts may swell and become tender, but this will pass. Breast milk contains a so-called feedback lactation inhibitor. When breastfeeding is stopped, this inhibitor tells your body to slow down milk production, but it can take days or even weeks for your breasts to rebuild.
Some medications can relieve pain and should be discussed with your doctor. Always follow your pharmacist's instructions or directions, and consult your healthcare professional before taking any medication.
“I had to abruptly stop breastfeeding when my daughter was eight months old because she had to take strong painkillers,” says Peggy, a mother from Switzerland. “It was very difficult because the baby was constantly looking for a breast and crying. I held her tightly to me as I gave her a bottle. This calmed her, and after a month everything was all right.
Can I continue breastfeeding if I want to get pregnant again?
Breastfeeding is a natural contraceptive. However, this method is not the most reliable, especially after six months or if you are not exclusively breastfeeding. This means that you can get pregnant even while you are breastfeeding.
Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers sometimes receive conflicting advice about whether to stop breastfeeding. Consistent feeding of two children of different ages is of course possible, and with the advent of the second baby, your body will produce the kind of milk that both of them need.
It is not uncommon for an older child to refuse to breastfeed or skip feedings if the mother is pregnant. This may be due to changes in milk composition that occur during pregnancy. Milk can change the taste and become less sweet. 6 If your baby is under one year of age when he starts to stop breastfeeding, make sure he continues to gain weight.
Talk to your doctor if you want to continue breastfeeding during pregnancy, but have had a preterm birth or miscarriage, or have any bleeding in the past.
If you need medical help to conceive, certain drugs and procedures may not be suitable while you are breastfeeding. Discuss all possible options before deciding to stop breastfeeding.
Last but not least...
Whenever you decide to end breastfeeding, and whatever method you choose to do so, be kind to yourself and your baby. This is a huge change for both of you physically, hormonally, and emotionally, so proceed thoughtfully and carefully.
“Although my body responded normally to stopping breastfeeding, it was psychologically difficult for me. The thing that united us for so long is over, - Jane, a mother of two children from the USA, shares her impressions, - I worked long hours, five days a week, and breastfeeding made me feel that I occupy a special place in the lives of children. But when it stopped, we soon found other ways to be together.”
1 World Health Organization. [Internet] Health Topics: Breastfeeding: 2018 [Accessed: 02/08/2018]. Available from : http://www.who.int/topics/breastfeeding/en - World Health Organization. "Health Issues: Breastfeeding" [Internet]. Geneva, Switzerland: WHO; 2018 [Visit 02/08/2018]. Article linked: http://www.who.int/topics/breastfeeding/e
2 Hassiotou et al. Maternal and infant infections stimulate a rapid leukocyte response in breastmilk. Clin Transl Immunology. 2013;2(4): e 3. - Hassiot F. et al., "Infectious diseases of the mother and child stimulate a rapid leukocyte reaction in breast milk." Clean Transl Immunology. 2013;2(4):e3.
3 Dettwyler KA. When to wean: biological versus cultural perspectives. Clin Obstet Gynecol . 2004; 47(3)712-723. - Dettwiler KA, "Time to wean: weaning from a biological and cultural point of view". Klin Obstet Ginekol (Clinical obstetrics and gynecology). 2004; 47(3):712-723.
4 Victora CG Breastfeeding in the 21st century: epidemiology, mechanisms, and lifelong effect. Lancet. 2016;387(10017):475-490. - Victor S.J. et al., "Breastfeeding in the 21st century: epidemiology, mechanisms and long-term effects".