When should a baby stop drinking formula?

Cierra - posted on 08/29/2010 ( 51 moms have responded )

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My son juyst turned a year old amnd he's still drinking formula, but i try to only give it to him when he goes to bed or takes a nap

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Renae - posted on 09/05/2010

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I haven't read all of the replies in this thread so someone may have said this already.



Does everyone know WHY the doctors tell you to stop formula at age 1?



There is nothing wrong with having formula past age 1 and in most cases the doctors have no good reason to tell you to stop giving it. The reason is that about 10 years ago, research found that some lazy mothers were not bothering to give their toddler a good nutritional diet of solid food, because they thought that as long as the toddler was having formula it was ok. So to force mothers to feed their children properly, the health department released a directive saying to take toddlers off formula and bottles (to remove the temptation to just give them a bottle) at 12 months of age. Remember that family doctors, GP's and hospital employed doctors have to tell you whatever they are directed by the health department, which is why you can ask 10 doctors and get the same consistent answer. Remember that our health departments have to have one instruction for everyone, so they have to go with the lowest common demoninator... dont get me started on some of the totally inappropriate things we are told just because some people out there are hopeless parents. :)



I however, and most of us, do not fall into the category of lazy mother who thinks its easier to just keep giving bottles, so this directive (and many others) does not apply to me.



I give my 18 month old toddler formula. He has about 200-300mls per day. That has at least half of his iron, calcium and other important nutrients in it, so I know for sure that he gets his daily nutritional needs for his age. I see no problem with it and I will continue to give it to him until his daily nutritional requirements are fully met by the foods he eats (or until he doesn't want it any more). I understand that nothing bad will happen if he doesn't have it, and NO he does NOT need it. But I dont see how it is doing any harm.



If anyone knows of a good reason why they shouldn't have formula past age 1 I would be interested to hear what it is.

Sarah - posted on 09/06/2010

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Well, my son will be 1 in about 2 weeks & I'm going to continue giving him toddler formula for a little while until his solid intake increases. He does not eat well at all & is a bit underweight for his age/height. I'm afraid that if I take the formula away & only give him whole milk, then he will not get his proper nutrients. This whole feeding thing is starting to stress me out (which I know I shouldn't let it!). I've just heard so many different opinions on formula vs. whole milk, etc. I can understand the logic behind giving a 1 year old whole milk if they are normal eaters, but what about us moms whose babies just flat out refuse to eat? I can't hold him down and stuff food the food down his throat! Toddler formula seems like the best answer for my son right now, so I'm going to stick with it until his pediatrician tells me otherwise. I'm not worried about my son being overweight...in fact he NEEDS to gain some weight!

Nikki - posted on 08/29/2010

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My son is HEALTHY and NORMAL and he is on toddler formula, as is most of my friends kids and kids at daycare. Milk does not provide as much nutrients as formula does and in my opinion Id rather my son get every added bonus he can so until 18-24 months I am planning on keeping him on formula. He can be an amazing eater and then be the pickiest eater, he can go days without eating properly then days where he eats the house, very typical for a toddler and especially one who is teething so why not ensure he is getting everything he needs.

Tami - posted on 09/01/2010

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Only until recently did women quit nursing their babies at 1 year. In past cultures, babies weren't "weaned" until 2 or older. It's not going to hurt your child to give him a bottle after 1 year. Don't force your baby to grow up too fast. If he finds a bottle at night comforting still, go for it! You are more likely to create an oral fixation by depriving him of that now than if you just let him recieve fullfillment and have that comfort. You will find over the next several months, he will need it less and less and soon, he won't need it at all.

I have 4 children. I did everything "by the book" with my first one, then had regrets that I pushed him too hard into each "next phase", wanting him to be a healthy, normal child. What I was doing was basing my mothering skills on the approval of others and societal standards. I haven't done that with my other 3 and am now much happier with my parenting.

You are his mother, YOU know him like none of us do. You will be able to naturally feel his needs and when "enough is enough" with one thing and then start moving him on to his next phase.

Jackie - posted on 06/06/2012

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my grandaughter is 14 months old,she has been ill since her first birthday,all the doctors do is give her antibiotics! She looks like she is losing weightI have to me ...I have told my daughter to put her back on her formula as she isnt eating good now and at least this way we know she is getting all the goodness she should,

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Ping - posted on 11/22/2013

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why in the world would anyone give their precious baby milk from a cow. You know, we are the only mammal on the planet that drinks another mammals milk. Would you stick your baby on the teet of a cow. NO. So why give them their milk. All the milk on the market, unless you go to the farm and get organic raw has antibiotics and steroids in their milk. This is very bad for your child. You would be better off to keep them on the formula, and hopefully it is organic and when they are eating well to stop milk. They do not need it. Really!! There are other milk alternatives that are healthier and have more calcium. Lots of great almond milks, hemp milks etc.

Iridescent - posted on 09/06/2010

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My error. Whole milk is 150 calories per 8 ounces, so 19 calories per ounce. A difference of 3 calories per ounce, and in a full day, this is a 72-96 calorie difference. Since toddlers need a minimum of 1500-1900 calories per day for growth, I'd really consider that miniscule.

Iridescent - posted on 09/06/2010

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Formula is typically 22 calories per ounce if mixed per the directions on the container, or ready to feed form. Milk is 30 calories per ounce, so that doesn't wash.

Sherri - posted on 09/06/2010

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I was told it has far to many calories and isn't healthy past 1 because they don't need that many calories on a daily basis especially with a normal solid diet and lead to obesity.

Krista - posted on 09/04/2010

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The general rule of thumb is to wean them off of formula at one year. Some kids, however, have a really hard time with cow's milk at first, so you might need to go a bit longer, or mix them together at first. I tried weaning my son off of formula and on to cow's milk at one year, but he got terrible, foul-smelling diarrhea off of it. So he's back on formula for now, and in another couple of weeks, when I can see that his bowels are back to normal, I'll try again.



Try giving him half formula/half milk (whole milk, not skim milk) before his naps and bedtime. Do that for a week or so, and if he seems to be taking well to it and is digesting it well, then you can go to just milk.

BONNIE - posted on 09/04/2010

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If a kindergarten aged child is still on formula (baby formula not a supplemental or dietary drink) then there may be other issues more important to address. The child's doctor needs to be in consultation with the parents. My son was a 28 wk preemie, 43 years ago, He was quite small even at 5 but healthy and did not need supplements. Some kids do but there are a lot of supplemental drinks out there. In fact, I mixed my kids milk with Instant Breakfast alot. It had the vitamins and things that milk flavoring syrups did not have. If a child has a negative physical reaction to whole milk it becomes appartent fairly quickly after starting the milk and a doctor visit should be made. There are now formulas, Good Start has one for children 12-24 months which will allow them more time to transition to milk or perhaps soy milk. My great grandson is 19 days short of his first birthday and drinks from his sippy with the straw (and I thought the sippy would be a problem, Mom knew best and he loves it) and is drinking mostly milk. WIC needs to wake up and provide formula through the first birthday and not cut it off at 11 months. But if baby is eating table foods and whatever baby food he/she will still accept there really isnt a problem if they transition a few weeks early. Just make sure it is whole milk until age two.

Donna - posted on 09/03/2010

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i stopped at 12 months. the bottles went away too. i gave the pedisure drinks in between water and watered down juice

SHENIKA - posted on 09/03/2010

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AT ONE THEY SHOULD BE DRINKINKG WHOLE MILK AND BEING BROKE FROM THERE BOTTLE AND TO A SIPPY CUP AT TWO YRS OLD 2 PERCENT. JUST ASKED THAT SAME QUESTION WHEN I TOOK MY DAUGHTE TO HER PEDIATRICIAN

Carrie - posted on 09/03/2010

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I switched all my children earlier than 12 months, they were all about 9 months maybe 10, As long as they have a healthy diet of fruits and veggies they don't need formula, Some vitamin D milk and a splash of dry cereal makes for a good baba.

Iridescent - posted on 09/03/2010

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:) Neither do I, Pepita! The formula we just purchased yesterday for one of our kids was $5.22 per 8 ounces. A month's supply was nearly $350. That would be approximately 100 gallons of milk, and in a month's time I can't see a child drinking that much.

Pepita - posted on 09/03/2010

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Hey Kayleigh, Where do you buy your formula? I don't know anywhere that it is cheaper to buy formula than cows milk!

Britnie - posted on 09/02/2010

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I switched all 3 of my children over to whole milk before they were a year old. roughly 10 months or so...they all eventually adjusted just fine. all of this hype about toddler formula isnt necessary. They dont need it unless a doc says so. If your nervous about it, mix half formula and half milk and gradually stop the formula. they all get used to it and yours will too.

[deleted account]

I was told by my pediatrician to start whole milk at age 1-their brains need the fat, and 2% after 2 yrs. of age.

Trisha - posted on 09/01/2010

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At age one you can start weening them off of formula. I would do one cup of formula one or milk until they you slowly get them off formula. Ask your doctor how they feel before using the toddler formula because if your child is overweight it may hurt them more.

Hina - posted on 09/01/2010

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a lot of babies get constipated with whole milk in the beginning ...you can start giving your baby whole milk once a day and see that your baby does not get constipation...if he gets that means your baby's stomach is not yet ready for regular milk...my daughter got constipated with the whole milk at first but in a weeks time she got use to drinking whole milk and her constipation was fine...
good luck:)

Tara - posted on 09/01/2010

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I started at about a year. I would slowly lessen the formula by 2oz each week and added the milk, until he was just drinking milk. He had no problem with the switch when I did it like that.

[deleted account]

my son gets 1 bottle of formula a day now and that's because we are finishing the tin. once it's done he won't get anymore

Kayleigh - posted on 09/01/2010

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I have to add... my son turned 2 on monday. He only switched to cows milk as a night time drink about 2 weeks ago. Up untill then he was having Aptimil 1+ Formula. Mainly just because he didnt LIKE cows milk.. and also it had the extra goodness toddlers require that he wasnt getting from his diet. It is perfectly normal if a child doesnt WANT to drink cows milk. Just use toddler formula instead... as for money making... think about how much milk a child drinks.. its far more expensive to use COWS MILK than it is for formula. You cannot say that just because a child drinks formula... he/she is ABNORMAL!! Thats just cruel and discriminating... how come children that are breast fed untill 2-3 and ever 4 years old are not classed as 'abnormal'... breast milk is closer to Formula than it is to cows milk.

Iridescent - posted on 08/31/2010

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Nobody said "infant formula" until now. PediaSure is, in fact, formula. It's great that you've never had a child need any of these while in your care, but it is the exception after 15 years, not the rule.

http://www.articles.complexchild.com/jun...
"The most commonly available formulas include Pediasure, Kindercal, and store brand
equivalents." It goes on to discuss feeding for every age group, formula, when needed. Of course, this is not necessary for all children (or adults), but it is for a huge portion of society. Treating it as unacceptable and abnormal is really not appropriate, as there is nothing wrong with it.

Sherri - posted on 08/31/2010

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I have never come across this ever at that is 15yrs of having children in my care. Not one child was on infant formula past a year. Pediasure is NOT considered formula yes it has the same ingreds as toddler formula but it is still NOT considered formula. I am talking infant strictly infant formula.

Iridescent - posted on 08/31/2010

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Sherri, it is not that rare of an issue. There are honestly millions of people on formula for their entire lives. That is why it exists so easily available to the public, for all ages. There is a huge need for it, hence a huge market for it. PediaSure is not prescription only. Nor is Boost or Ensure. It is not about my children having special needs; it is about the fact that ~25% of all toddlers, and even more children and adults, have inadequate diets.

Jon - posted on 08/31/2010

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I graduated my son to a toddler formula when he was 12 months then eventually, full cream milk. From about 8 weeks he has been having a powdered or flaked cereal with his milk. That went on until he was about 30 months old. Now he is in love with oatmeal done the family way plain oats, pinch of salt, nutmeg, milk, sugar. I say this to say that their eating habits change with their development. Gradual changes as opposed to instant or abrupt changes work better with children. You may be up for a protest if you stop his formula instantly. However you can start searching for a substitute (juice, water) in the mean time.

Sherri - posted on 08/31/2010

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Amy we understand your children have special needs however, the vast majority of average children are off formula by a year and certainly don't bring it to school with them. Pediatricians unless a need for it recommend switching from formula to cows milk by 12mo's of age.

Iridescent - posted on 08/31/2010

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Actually, a lot of kids go to Kindergarten still on formula. It's not a developmental milestone. It's a body need one.

BONNIE - posted on 08/31/2010

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What does he drink the rest of the time. If he is drinking milk try mixing milk and formula. Like 7 oz formula and 1 oz whole milk. A few days later go to 6 of formula and 2 of milk. That way you ease him into it. My great grandson just turned 11 ms and loves his sippy cup with a straw. He is still taking formula about 24 oz a day but he will drink anything from that straw. My personal feeling is that one year olds are still babys. I don't get the big rush to get them off the bottle but that's what the docs are preaching now. In my day aslong as they were off the bottle by two all was well. I had two who refused the bottle at 11 months and one who threw hers away on her second birthday. Try mixing the milk and formula and see how that works. Sometimes you just have to fake them out. I never knew a kid who went to kindergarten drinking formula so don't worry.

Brittany - posted on 08/31/2010

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Most doctors say a year. We gave my son a 4oz cup of regular milk once a day from the time he was 10 months until he turned a year and then we completely stopped the formula.

[deleted account]

My son is 9 months old next week and i have already switched him, he hates formula but since hes so tall (32 1/2 inches!) and weighs so much (25 lbs) the doc said it was fine.

Sarah - posted on 08/31/2010

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i switched over when my daughter was 12months old but she didnt like the toddler milk or cows milk so i had to get her calcium into her in other ways!

[deleted account]

I'd definately make sure he doesn't drink it from a bottle but it's perfectly ok to continue offering formula after the 12 month milestone, as a drink to accompany meals in a cup.

Rosie - posted on 08/30/2010

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doctors recommen formula up until a year old. anything after that isn't necessary unless the child has problems with growth or something that your doctor specifically wants it to be on formula. your child should be on whole milk and regular table food. if not it's not a big deal, but i'd start on whole milk soon. :)

[deleted account]

They get a lot of their nutrition from formula, so it's fine if your son is still drinking it. Does he drink milk too? I know a lot of moms that mix the whole milk and formula until their child is a about 15-18 months. My son starting drinking whole milk by 13 months and I stopped buying formula.

Charlie - posted on 08/29/2010

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Children who are healthy do not need to continue with toddler formula as was advised by my pediatrician and midwife , its just a money maker after 12 months .

Kelli - posted on 08/29/2010

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usually around one year kids go to cows milk unlees there is a problem also talk to dr they have a drink for childrem called pedisure if they do not get the calories they need aslo it does come in cheaper brands

Sarah - posted on 08/29/2010

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My son will be 1 in about three weeks & he is still drinking formula. I'm almost certain he isn't getting enough calories from his diet to switch to whole milk, so I'm going to wait until I get the okay from his doctor. We had a hard time getting him to eat any solids when we started & he has had some trouble with his weight. He is doing better with eating a variety of solids, but I'd rather not take his formula away just yet.

Iridescent - posted on 08/29/2010

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http://www.gerber.com/AllStages/Nutritio...

"While nutrients typically found in formula could be provided by foods, toddlers don’t always eat a balanced diet. And some toddlers may not always meet the recommended requirements for certain nutrients. The Nestlé Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study (FITS) 2008 found that on a given day, almost 25% of toddlers are not meeting the recommended level of fat intake, and more than half of toddlers (12 to 23 months) are not getting the recommended amount of vitamin E. "

PediaSure is a commonly used toddler formula. Ensure and Boost are commonly used adult formulas. They are made to be nutritionally adequate to be the sole source of nutrition, or to be a supplement, for those with inadequate diets for whatever reason. One of our 3 year olds is on Cyclinex-2 and ProPhree, and will be for the rest of her life (formulas). Another of our 3 year olds is on EO28 Splash and Neocate Nutra (formulas) and will be until his oral aversions have been addressed to the point where he will eat enough to survive without them, and be healthy.

Iridescent - posted on 08/29/2010

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No, formula is not supposed to stop at 12 months. It may safely stop, if diet is adequate. It may also continue throughout a very long and healthy life.

Cierra - posted on 08/29/2010

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Thank You all for your advice. Because I give him milk now it just seems that sometimes he just wants formula instead of milk or anything else. I just wanted to make sure that its ok that he still drinks formula

Brittany - posted on 08/29/2010

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Wic took my son off formula at 11 months old and started giving him whole milk so I guess its okay around 11-12 months old or whenever you want:)Talk to his pedi if you want im sure they would tell you!

Jenee - posted on 08/29/2010

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Usually around 1 year you can either switch them to cows milk or to a Toddler Formula. If you do either I suggest switching slowly. When we switched my son to cows milk we did it like this:

Week 1: 1/4 Cows Milk and 3/4 Formula
Week 2: 1/2 Cows Milk and 1/2 Formula
Week 3: 3/4 Cows Milk and 1/4 Formula
Week 4: Full Cows Milk

Iridescent - posted on 08/29/2010

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You can stop at a year if you're confident he's getting enough calories from food. You're able to go to any type of milk, including cow's, goats, soy, rice, almond, and several others, just make sure they are enriched. If he's not getting enough nutrition from food, keep formula or switch to a toddler version.

Dawn - posted on 08/29/2010

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At age 1 you can switch your child to whole milk, unless there are allergies or your doctor has said otherwise. If you have trouble getting him to drink milk you can try cutting it with the formula until you ween him completely to milk only. My son uses Carnation Instant Breakfast as a way to add calories to his diet, so we don't have problems getting him to drink that...he is a little picky when it is plain.

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