How to Wean Your Baby to Cow’s Milk

How to Wean from Formula to Cow's Milk - Wine and Mommy Time

The journey of feeding our babies is a bumpy one. Between wrestling with breastfeeding, to pumping, and then to formula. Oh, formula. You’ve been such a blast. First Good Start which went through my baby like water, then on to Enfamil which, while being the one to do the trick in baby weight gain land, left our little guy gassy and colicky. Then finally onto generic, low lactose formula which was finally the right one.

It’s been a long road, but the time has finally come! Peyton is drinking cow’s milk and I couldn’t be happier. Just in time for me to be back at work. No more having to measure, mix and pour. I can’t tell you how much more convenient it is to just be able to pick up milk at the store and call it a day.

In a way, it’s almost like the last “baby” step so to say.

Think about it.

Peyton’s walking, saying a few words, eating proper food, and now he’s on milk. He’s pretty much off to high school right?? Haha!

Doctors will tell you that when weaning from either breastmilk or formula to cow’s milk it’s best to do it with full-fat milk. Reason being, it hasn’t had the nutrients strained out like in the skim milk you are putting in your cereal every morning.

For the first couple of years of drinking cow’s milk, your toddler should be drinking homogenized (whole milk) until your doctor says otherwise. Usually when they are over two years old. The healthy fats in whole milk are what they need for strong bones and development.

By far, the easiest way to transition is slowly and gradually. That is, bit by bit upping the amount of whole milk over a few weeks. Using the method I did will mean that your little one should be 100% on cow’s milk within a month.

Adversely, if your baby is unable to drink cow’s milk and it has been confirmed by their doctor that they have an allergy, coconut milk is a great option. Since I did not have this hurdle, please consult your physician in case the steps I am going to provide would not work in that particular weaning process.

Please note I am not a doctor. You should always seek instruction from your child’s physician if you are unsure, see an allergic reaction or anything along those lines.

If you are unsure of what to look for when it comes to identifying a milk allergy always seek professional help. For a fast resource please check out this article on milk allergies in babies.

 

How to Wean from Formula to Cow's Milk - Wine and Mommy Time

 

Step one, week one

Start small. I’m going to base this off of an 8oz bottle since my son takes 4 8oz bottles a day.

Mix 6 oz of your formula to formula directions as normal. Top off this bottle with 2 oz of whole milk. Heat as you normally would and give to your little one. This means you will have ¼ whole milk, ¾ formula.

Follow this for an entire week.

Step two, week two

Time to go halfsies! This is half and half week. One ½ bottle of formula, ½ whole milk. Mix 4 oz formula as stated by your formula directions, top up with 4 oz of whole milk. Heat as you normally would, and you guessed it, give it to your little one.

Follow this for a week.

Step three, week three

You and your little one are almost there! This is your final week of formula if all goes well! Mix 2 oz of formula according to package directions, top up with 6 oz whole milk. You now have a week of ¼ formula and ¾ whole milk.

Follow this for a week.

Step four, week four

You are now on a full bottle of milk! From here on out, your baby is drinking milk like the rest of us. Albeit whole milk, which I am assuming you’re not drinking, but you get the drift.

The conclusion

Switching to cow’s milk is so much more convenient. While I know it can be exciting to be moving on to this new step with your child, like I had mentioned before, it is best to not make this transition until your baby is over one year of age.

Babies under the age of one cannot fully digest the protein in cow’s milk, making it hard for them to get the full benefit of vitamins like iron, vitamin E, and zinc. Also, keep in mind that formula and breastmilk are sweeter than milk of the cow variety, so don’t be surprised if there is some push back, or rather spit back.

 

Did this article help you? If you have any tips for me on switching to moo moo milk please feel free to drop me a comment below!

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How to Wean from Formula to Cow's Milk - Wine and Mommy Time

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4 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing your experiences! My little one is 9 months old, so we still have some time before weaning her off of formula. We had a lot of problems in the beginning, it was so hard to find the right formula for her. Now she’s on Hipp from organicbaby.la/hipp-formula, which is perfect for her sensitive tummy.
    I hope she will have no problems with milk, it would make everything a lot easier.
    All the best,
    Veronica

    1. Hey Veronica,

      Thanks for sharing Hipp with me! I’ve actually never heard about it before now but really appreciate you telling me, good to know for our next little one!

    1. Thanks Catherine!

      If your little guy isn’t in to cows milk, I know many parents have been successful with coconut milk. You may be able to find some great info out there!

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