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When Can a New Born Stop Drinking Formula?

By Jules Stark ; Updated April 18, 2017

Newborn babies should be fed breastmilk or formula for their first year at minimum. Most babies can stop drinking formula and begin drinking cow's milk when they are around one year old.

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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.

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About the Author

Jules Stark has been a writer for most of her adult life. Her creative work has been featured in college literary magazines, and her non-fiction articles can be found on eHow.com. She graduated from a small liberal arts college with a Bachelor of Arts in art and archaeology, minoring in both classics and U.S. history.

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