When do babies stop drinking formula milk?
When your baby turns one year old, they are officially a toddler. They have grown and developed so much in 12 months that they are ready for those foods that were previously too much for their little bodies. At some point, your child is going move on from baby formula to whole milk. When is the right time to make that transition?
Talk to Your Pediatrician
At your baby’s one year check up, speak to your pediatrician to see if your baby is ready to start whole milk. Up to this point, your baby has been drinking formula like Hipp, Holle, Lebenswert, or Loulouka. Formula is easier to digest and fortified in ways that whole milk is not. Now that your little one has a more developed digestive system, your doctor will give the go-ahead to start the switch.
Work With Your Child
Some new toddlers will be ready to make the transition with no fuss. They may notice the difference in texture or flavor. They may actually relish having a big kid drink. At that point, you can toss your last empty formula container.
Other babies will be more hesitant. They may be pickier about new foods and not want to try something else that is new. As long as your little one is getting the nutrition they need from table food, you can ease them into drinking milk with it. A one-year old needs between 8-12 ounces of cow milk a day in order to get enough calcium and vitamin D. If your child likes yogurt or cheese, they can get those nutrients through those foods. However make sure that they are staying hydrated. Juice is ok once in a while, but water is better.
Whatever you do, don’t force whole milk. The most important part of this transition is that your baby is healthy and thriving. This means that they are eating a balanced diet and maintaining a good weight. At one year of age, children do not grow as much as they did during infancy. Three meals a day as well as healthy snacks will keep your child from feeling hungry.
If you are concerned that your child is not getting enough nutrients, consider a toddler milk. Your child can continue to enjoy the taste from their favorite organic baby formula. Hipp, Holle, Lebenswert, and Loulouka all have Stage 3 formulas that meet the needs of your older baby. It can fill the gaps of nutrition so that your child is not deficient in any vitamin or mineral. Holle also has a Stage 4 follow on milk. It can help you continue nourishing your child with Demeter-certified milk and ingredients if it is otherwise not accessible to your family.
There is no magic age when a child is ready to stop formula. It will serve its purpose as your little one grows from infant to toddler. Their bodies will be ready to take whole milk when they are ready to drink it.
Edited and reposted from October 2018