How to Transition From Infant Formula to Whole Milk

By Robin Hewitt
Offer the new drink in your child's favorite cup.

When your baby nears her first birthday, her pediatrician will recommend you begin to switch her from breast milk or formula to whole cow’s milk. Making the transition from formula to whole milk doesn’t have to be a challenge; with the right knowledge and a plan, you can switch your baby to whole milk without her realizing the change has been made. Your baby is turning into a toddler and she now needs the extra nutritional boost that formula or breast milk alone can no longer give her.

Mix 2 oz. of whole milk with 6 oz. of formula for your baby’s first introduction to milk. Offer it in his favorite sippy cup the same as you do formula each time you give him a drink and he won’t notice the difference. Often, whole milk alone is too strange a taste difference for a little one, and making the switch gradually will ease the stress of introducing a new drink.

Add milk to the formula in a 50-50 mix the second day (or third day if your little one balks at the taste). Repeat the feeding process as before.

Change the milk-formula offering to all whole milk and no formula on the third day as long as your baby has not complained about the taste. If she does notice the difference and refuses the whole milk, slow down the pace of the changeover to two days at each dilution until she is drinking 16 to 24 oz. of whole milk each day.

Tip

Remember that every baby is different and it’s OK to stretch the transition out to one or two weeks if your baby doesn’t like the taste of whole milk.

Substitute whole milk for formula in cereal and prepare it as pudding or custard if your baby doesn’t drink the required amount each day.

Warning

Babies under 1 year should not drink whole milk.

About the Author

Robin Hewitt began her writing career in 2008. She is the coauthor of several books, including "The Joyous Gift of Grandparenting," which covers the nutritional and fitness needs of both grandchildren and grandparents.