Mix a bottle or cup for your child with 3/4 formula and 1/4 milk. Your child will still be able to taste the formula that he is used to, but he will also be able to taste a small amount of the cow's milk. Over the course of a few weeks, increase the amount of milk and decrease the amount of formula that you mix until your child is drinking only the milk. SafeKids suggests this as one of the easiest methods for transitioning a child to cow's milk from formula.
Mix your child's rice, oatmeal, or barley cereal with milk. This will create a new taste for your child. Because he is already comfortable with the taste of cereal, the slight alteration with the milk flavor will not come as a huge shock.
Give your child a small sip of milk when he gets thirsty instead of immediately offering Nutramigen. This can be done with a sippy cup or even using a spoon. BabyCenter suggests giving your child small spoonfuls of milk as a special treat to help him warm up to the idea of this new drink.
Things You Will Need
- Nutramigen formula
- Measuring spoon
- Sippy cup or bottle
- Whole milk
Regular formulas are based on cows' milk. Soy formulas are based on soy milk. According to pediatrician and author Dr. William Sears, who compiled a list of common formula ingredients, regular cows' milk formulas contain nonfat milk and whey protein concentrate, in the form of 60% whey and 40% casein. The protein in soy formula is soy protein isolate.
The fats in both regular and soy formula are the same. Dr. Sears states that all formulas contain a blend of palm oil, high oleic (safflower or sunflower) oil, coconut oil and soybean oil as sources of fat. Like human milk, all formula must contain fat to aid in brain development.
Formulas contain carbohydrates, which gives the formula a moderately sweet taste. The carbohydrate in regular cow's milk formula comes from naturally occurring lactose. Because carbohydrates are not naturally present in soy, corn syrup solids and sucrose are added.
The most common reason for choosing to feed soy formula is that the baby displays symptoms of allergy to cow's milk formulas. Pediatricians will often recommend this after trying several brands of cow's milk formula. Soy formula does not necessarily resolve food allergy issues because many people who are allergic to cow's milk are also allergic to soy and corn, which is also present in soy formulas that contain corn syrup.
Vegans are people who do not consume any animal products, including meat, dairy, honey or gelatin. Because cow's milk formulas contain dairy and soy formulas do not, some vegan parents prefer to feed their babies soy formula. According to the Vegetarian Resource Group, vegan parents who are extremely concerned about avoiding animal products should read the ingredient labels on soy formula carefully, as some may contain animal-derived fats.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) cautions against giving soy formula to preterm infants. The AAP also says that switching to soy formula is not an appropriate way to attempt to manage colic, even though many people try it for this purpose. Furthermore, a study by the Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center suggested that soy formula may alter drug metabolism later in life and expressed concern about the fact that no one consumes more soy for their body weight than infants fed soy formula.
Consult your baby’s physician before beginning the switch to whole milk. Once he says it is OK to begin making the switch, do it gradually.
Mix a couple of tablespoons of whole milk with some cereal or fruit and offer it to your baby. The texture of whole milk is different from formula, so your baby may be hesitant to consume it in the beginning.
If your baby doesn’t have any adverse reactions to small amounts of whole milk mixed with your baby’s food, mix one part whole milk with three parts formula in a bottle or sippy cup and feed it to your baby. Watch for reactions to the cow’s milk and call your doctor if you notice any changes.
If your baby doesn’t have any reactions to small amounts of whole milk mixed with his formula, gradually increase the amount you are feeding him until he is drinking 16 to 24 ounces a day. According to babycenter.com, a one- to two-year-old baby should drink about 16 to 24 ounces of whole milk in a day. However, make sure your baby isn’t drinking too much milk making them not hungry for other nutritious foods such as fruits and vegetables.
Things You Will Need
- Sippy cup
- Soy formula
- Whole milk
Consult your baby’s doctor before switching to whole milk. Because your baby’s body is not used to consuming cow’s milk, the switch to whole milk should be done gradually and you should watch for adverse reactions to the whole milk. According to the Mayo Clinic, allergic reactions to cow’s milk can range from mild to severe and can include wheezing, vomiting, hives and digestive problems.
If your baby has signs of milk allergies, you should try offering them lactose free milk instead of cow’s milk as long as your child seems to have this allergy. According to the Mayo Clinic, most children outgrow milk allergies by age three.
Adjust Feedings with Age
In general, as infants get older they will need to drink fewer bottles per day, with more formula in each bottle. At 2 months, for example, your baby may be drinking 6 to 8 bottles with 4 to 6 ounces of formula in them each day, while at 4 months she will probably drop to 4 to 5 bottles with 6 to 7 ounces each.
Transition to Cow's Milk
According to the National Health Services in the United Kingdom, your baby can begin drinking whole cow's milk in place of formula around his first birthday. At this point, he should also be given 3 solid meals and snacks each day.
Whole or Skim Milk?
Give your baby or young child only whole or low fat milk, not skim or fat free milk. Pediatrician Dr. William Sears advises that because fat and calorie content is very important for growing children, you should give your child whole milk until age 2.
Milk vs. Sweetened Beverages
Dr. Sears also suggests that parents encourage their children to drink more milk and water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages like soda and juice. Milk has an excellent amount of nutritional value that is missing in most sugary drinks.
Too much cow's milk may reduce your baby's appetite for healthy solid foods and could even lead to iron deficiency. Try to limit your child to 16 to 24 ounces of cow's milk each day.
Contact your local Women, Infants and Children (WIC) office. WIC offers education, health care referrals and supplemental food to women who have children up to 5 years of age and meet their program requirements. If you are formula feeding, they offer a certain amount of money to purchase formula and may have coupons from the individual formula companies to hand out.
Look for coupons and sales in your local paper. If you can't find any, you can sign up for coupons online. There are different companies that offer free coupons online, or you can check into coupon swap groups.
Check Craigslist.org. Many people post coupons for formula or give away formula on there.
Check Freecycle.org. This is a hot spot for free formula. Many parents come here and give away unused cans or bottles of formula that their baby won't drink. Many times, parents buy formula in bulk, and if the baby develops a dislike or allergy to it, they give it away. If you don't see anyone advertising the formula for free, you can post a request.
Find a pregnancy crisis center in your area and give them a call. Formula companies often drop a few cases off with them in hopes of promoting the formula to the mothers they see. They may be willing to give you a few cans or bottles.
Check with your local hospital. Formula companies are always pushing hospitals to promote formula, and they usually have lots of different choices available. If they don't have the formula, they may have the coupons.
Check with your local pediatricians' offices. Again, formula companies use them to promote their product.
Join a formula company's online club. Many of the companies have websites and host Mommy Clubs. When you join (usually for free), they send you coupons to use. If you don't see a website on the bottle or can, call the number and they should be able to direct you to a site or give you information on how to obtain coupons.
Join a Moms Group in your area and ask the moms for advice. Chances are there are other moms looking for the same thing or they know how to get coupons or free formula.
Things You Will Need
- Phone book
- Internet access
Always check the expiration date on the formula before giving it to your baby. If you get your formula online from Craigslist or Freecycle, ask the person when the expiration date is before picking it up. Make sure that the formula has not been opened before using it. There should still be a seal on it.