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Skandha switched from Formula to Whole Milk!!!

Skandhu has stopped taking baby formula and now he has moved on to whole milk! Just like the bottle to sippy cup transition, switch from formula to whole milk happened in a smooth way :) Just a couple of days before his first birthday, Skandhu completely stopped formula and started taking only WHOLE MILK (In his sippy cup)!

Some may wonder what’s the big deal in this? Why should a baby take formula instead of cow’s milk? why cant we introduce cow’s milk to infants (as early as in say 3-4 months)? Here are your answers:

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants be fed breast milk or iron-fortified formula during the first 12 months of life. Cow’s milk is not recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics for children under 1 year old.

Infants fed whole cow’s milk don’t get enough vitamin E, iron, and essential fatty acids. They also get too much protein, sodium, and potassium. These levels may be too high for the infant’s system to handle. Also, whole cow’s milk protein and fat are more difficult for an infant to digest and absorb.

Children age 1 and older should only be given whole milk, NOT skim or reduced fat milk.

[Thanks: MedlinePlus (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002448.htm)]

Our paediatrician asked us asked to wait till Skandhu turned 11 months old to introduce the cow’s milk.  Then slowly try to wean him from formula and switch completely to whole milk by 12 months. As per our ped’s advice, after Skandhu’s 11th month b’day we gave him whole milk to drink. As excepted Skandhu pushed his bottle away :D Yes! it didn’t have his favorite formula and he didn’t want to touch it! We tried giving milk 2-3 times, but to no avail. He become cranky if we tried giving milk and would settle down only after tasting formula. We knew that we had the next challenge before us – Switching from formula to milk.

Here are the steps that we followed in changing from formula to whole milk.

  • For one week, we mixed 75% formula and 25% milk in a sippy cup. We first started with 2% milk (for one week alone).
  • Next week, we mixed 50% formula and 50% milk. This time, we alternated between whole and 2% milk.
  • Next 2 days we mixed 25% formula and 75% milk. Again we alternated between whole and 2% milk.
  • Next couple of days we mixed whole milk and  2% milk (stopped using formula)
  • Finally Skandhu started drinking whole milk alone!

What ever way to you follow in changing from formula to whole milk, remember to be consistent and patient. If you start mixing formula and milk so as to make your child get used to the taste of milk, make sure that you do it consistently. Mixing formula and milk for one feed and giving formula alone for the next feed would not help!

Our doctor mentioned that babies do not need formula after 12 months. After 1 year, we need to introduce variety of solid foods (with different textures). Toddlers would get the nutrients from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, diary and meat, and hence formula is no longer required!

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