Switching from Formula/Breastmilk to Regular Milk
Ok, Mamas! The time has come to ditch the bottles and start with the regular old milk. Yes, that’s right, straight from Bessie the cow (Now, there are other options for milk, like almond or soy, but thats another post). Here is the good news, you can stop breastfeeding if you want, and you no longer have to pay for expensive formula. Hellz Yea!
For some of you breastfeeding mamas, I am sure this is a sad day, BUT for the formula feeders its time to do a little dance. Its called the “I don’t have to wash bottles anymore” dance. Woo Hoo!
While I cant speak to the breastfeeding mamas on how to go about weaning, I can speak to the formula/bottle feeding Mamas.
Your ped is going to tell you to start giving your baby whole cow’s milk and start dropping bottles at the 1 year well check up, but I didn’t wait for this appointment to begin the process, especially because my tiny human, aint so tiny.
This is how we do it (this is how we do it, sh-na-na-na)
Around 11 months your babe should already know how to drink water from a sippy cup, if they don’t then I would spend some time really working on that. At 11 months old Little G was taking four 8 ounce bottles. Here is what her feeding day looked like:
7:00- 8 Ounce bottle of formula
8:30-Breakfast of solids and sippy cup of water
11:30-8 Ounce bottle of formula
12:30-Lunch of solids and sippy cup of water
4:00-8 Ounce bottle of formula
6:30-Dinner of solids and sippy cup of water
7:30-8 Ounce bottle of formula
Right at 11 months I started giving my little chicka-dee cow’s milk in a sippy cup with every meal of solid foods. I used to give her water with every meal, but began replacing it with cow’s milk at 11 months. My babe LOVES drinking out of her sippy cup, but once I put milk in there she spit it out! For at least a week, she hated the milk, but after that she slowly started drinking more at each meal. The best part about doing it this way, is there is no pressure to drink the cow’s milk, because you have formula or BM that you are still giving your little one to back it up. Even if it takes a whole month for your babe to learn to LOVE the cow’s milk, then so be it! You will still be ahead of the game by the time they turn 1.
Now that I was confident that she actually liked the cow’s milk, and was a good solid food eater, it was time to start dropping bottles (drop it like its hot)! The first two were SUPS easy! I simply just got rid of them, and moved lunch and dinnertime, and added a snack. Here is the next schedule in the process, which was right around 12 months:
7:00-8 Ounce bottle of formula
8:00-Breakfast of solids and sippy cup of cow’s milk
11:45-Lunch of solids and sippy cup of cow’s milk
4:30-Snack and a sippy cup of water
6/6:30-Dinner and a sippy cup of milk
7:30/8-8 Ounce bottle of formula
A lot of babies will naturally wean themselves by taking less formula/breastmilk at each feed, and increasing their solid food intake. This was not the case with my bambina. She continued to HOUZZ 8 Ounce bottles ANNNND still ate plenty of solid foods.
Right after the 1 year old check up with my ped, I dropped the morning bottle and made breakfast a little earlier. This went a lot better than I expected! I had to distract her the first few days right when she got up, but now its just part of our routine.
Some other options to consider with weaning:
*Give half formula/half cow’s milk, until its all cow’s milk
*Water down the nighttime bottle, until they no longer want it
*Slowly start decreasing the amount of formula/breasmilk you give them, instead of going cold turkey like I did.
To be continued…. (dun, dun, duuun )
Ok, Ok, I admit it, I haven’t dropped the nighttime bottle of formula yet! Yup, that’s right, you can call me, “not so GRAYTMAMA”. I just KNOW that this is going to be by far the most difficult. My hubby hearts giving her the bedtime bottle, and Baby G Money hearts drinking it! It really gets her in the mood for bed, and it’s the only time she ever gets a bottle and then goes straight to sleep.
My plan for dropping the nighttime bottle is to replace the bottle with a story or two, and cross my fingers and my toes that she is coolio with it. I will update this post if my plan changes, or if there are any hiccups along the way.
To you breastfeeding Mamas: you should be so proud of yourself if you breastfed this whole time. I know it was probably the hardest and best thing you ever did. You are such a GRAYT mama!
To you formula feeding Mamas: You should be so proud of yourself that you have finally made it to the end. Cleaning bottles EVERDAY, sometimes twice a day is NOT fun. Formula is expensive, and messy (no more spilling white powder all over the floors!) You are such a GRAYT mama!