When Do Babies Stop Drinking Formulas?
Baby formula is a nutritious and healthy alternative to breast milk. Some parents, however, wonder when they should stop feeding their baby formula. When is the best time to stop your baby from drinking formula milk? If you're not sure, there's no shame in asking your pediatrician.
When Is It Time to Stop Feeding Formula Milk?
Some babies are ready to stop drinking formula milk at 8 months. Other babies may not be ready until they are a year old, or even older!
If you've decided your baby has outgrown formula (and he/she is still eating solid foods), there are no hard and fast rules about when this should happen—it depends on your child's age and development level at each feeding session during which he/she is drinking either breast milk or formula without supplementing with anything else like cereal or vegetables—but most experts agree that once infants reach 12 months old their digestive systems have sufficiently developed enough but require additional nutrients from certain foods such as cow’s formula milk.
By the time your baby is six months old, their stomach has grown larger and has developed an increased amount of robust gut bacteria. At this point many parents begin starting to experiment with some basic solid foods beyond formula, since your baby is increasingly able to digest foods other than formula. Teeth begin to appear in babies at this age as well. The first teeth appear around six months, but they can appear as early as three months or as late as twelve months.
If you haven't already, you may start introducing solids to your child at this point. Breast milk or formula mixed with cereal and fruits with mashed bananas or applesauce added to improve texture for easier chewing and digestion are examples of first foods.
When Should You Wean Your Baby Off Of Formula?
Many parents are unsure when to start weaning their baby off formula. The truth is that every baby develops at their own pace and will eventually stop drinking formula. Some babies can transition to a sippy cup or regular cup as early as 12 months, while others may need an extra year or two.
In general, the average age for introducing solid foods is around 6-9 months old (though some babies start earlier and some start later), so you'll most likely start weaning your baby from formula between these ages.
Introducing Solid Foods: 6 Months
Introducing solid foods to your baby should be done gradually and with caution. The first step is to introduce rice cereal, which contains iron and other nutrients that babies do not receive from formula or breast milk. Begin with one teaspoon per day and gradually increase to three teaspoons per day over a few days. At this age, babies can be introduced to other grains such as oatmeal (1/4 cup for every month of age).
The following step is to incorporate new flavors such as fruits, vegetables, meats, and fish. You should experiment with single-ingredient purees to avoid cross-contamination between foods that may cause allergies later in life, such as fresh organic applesauce but not apple pie! It is recommended that foods be introduced once a week so that your child's digestive system can adjust before progressing to larger portions or more challenging flavors like meat or fish.
Making the Transition: 12 Months & Beyond
When you believe your baby is ready to stop using formula, make the transition gradually.
- Combine a small amount of formula with breastmilk or water. It may take some time for your baby to adjust to the taste of less formula and more breastmilk or water.
- Reduce the amount of formula and increase the amount of breastmilk or water by 1/4 cup every three days until they are receiving 24 ounces or less of formula per day, at which point you can completely eliminate it from their diet if desired.
- Your baby should be eating a variety of foods and drinking less formula by the age of one year. A 12-month-old should consume three meals per day and 24 to 32 ounces of formula per day. This can be divided into three or four feedings spread throughout the day.
- If you're breastfeeding, this is a good time to stop because your child's diet will now include more solid foods that will provide all of the nutrients they require.
- It is critical not to rush this process because it can take up to two years for your child's digestive system to mature sufficiently to digest food without vomiting or diarrhea.
How Do You Wean Your Baby Off Formula?
It is time to wean your baby off of formula. Here's how it's done:
- Reduce the amount of formula you give your baby by one ounce per day for a few days before reducing it again.
- Continue to reduce the amount of formula you use until you're down to none, or until they've replaced their bottles with water.
American Academy of Pediatrics Recommendations
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be breastfed at birth, but this is not always possible. If you need to supplement your baby's diet with formula, you should know how and when to do so.
The formula contains all of your baby's nutritional needs, including carbohydrates and proteins from milk or soy. It's a good thing that there are some organic formulas that are easy to digest and can help the baby gain weight like breastmilk.
What Formula Milk Is Suitable For Toddlers Over 12 Months?
Toddler formula milk is suitable for children over 12 months. It has the same nutritional content as breast milk and is nutritionally complete, so it can be used by both breastfed babies and those who are bottle-fed.
These are the top formulas that parents love for their toddler and help them during weaning:
✓ Age: 12+ months
✓Contains Probiotics & Prebiotics
✓ No sugar, no corn syrup, no soy
✓ No starch
✓ HiPP's most popular formulaCheck Price
HiPP Dutch Stage 3 is a Toddler Formula that is a lactose-rich formula based on organic skim milk for babies aged 12 months and up. This gentle formula is clean, with simple ingredients, and nutritious, with essential vitamins and minerals needed to support the rapid growth of babies entering their toddler years.
✓ 100% Organic
✓ Made from skimmed cow’s milk
✓ Contains Probiotics & Prebiotics
✓ Contains DHA and Omega 3 for brain development
✓ No sugar, no corn syrup, no soy
✓ No GMO
✓ No MaltodextrinCheck Price
HiPP German Stage 3 Combiotic Organic Baby Formula is a delectable organic formula for babies aged ten months and up. This nutrient-rich clean formula can be used as a complete substitute for breast milk or as a supplement to breast milk. HiPP German Stage 3 can also be used as your baby weans off breast milk or transitions away from a different baby formula. This organic lactose-based formula is an excellent complement to HiPP German Stages 2 and 1.
✓ Age: 12+ months
✓ Clean formula ingredients
✓ Demeter biodynamic certified
✓ Contains natural whey, DHA, & ALA
✓ Holle's most popular cow formulaCheck Price
Holle Bio Stage 4 is a nutritious and organic formula for babies aged 12 months and up that is free of soy, sugar, corn syrup, wheat, and GMOs, promoting a healthy immune system. This formula can be used as a complete replacement for breast milk or as a supplement and replacement for breast milk as your toddler weans. This pure formula is high in essential vitamins A, C, and D, as well as critical minerals for continued baby development and healthy growth.
You Decide if Your Baby is Ready to Give Up Formula Milk
You can decide if your baby is ready to give up formula milk. There are no hard-and-fast rules about when it's time for kids to stop eating breast milk or formula, but there are some things that parents should keep in mind as they start weaning their babies:
Don't force them to stop — your child may not know how much they need or want to drink at a given time. If you think your little one isn't getting enough milk, try increasing the amount of formula you give them until they show signs of needing less (such as throwing up).
Stopping Baby Formula - In Summary
Babies are quite resilient and will quickly adapt to dietary changes. If you're transitioning your baby from formula to cow's milk, go slowly at first. To begin, add some milk to the formula and gradually increase the amount of milk while decreasing the amount of formula over several weeks. If you're concerned about your baby getting enough nutrients, you can always supplement with iron-fortified cereals and vegetables or get a vitamin D supplement for him or her until he or she can drink enough milk on his or her own.
Most Popular Formulas For Older Babies