You should consider transitioning your baby from formula or breast milk to full cow's milk once he reaches his first birthday. Growing into becoming a toddler, your baby needs the extra nutrition for brain development and normal growth formula or breast milk cannot provide. The transition can be easy or difficult depending on your baby's temperament. Some baby's easily adapt to change while some do not. Knowing what to reaction to expect from your child will help you create a more effective transition plan. Consider the guidelines below to ensure a smoother transition to full cow's milk for you and your child.
Try a drastic switch. If you are unsure about your child's reaction, try to directly substitute a bottle of whole milk for formula milk during one of his feeding times. If the baby doesn't reject the bottle, you can continue feeding your child whole cow's milk. If the baby rejects it, move on to the other suggestions below.
Give one bottle of whole milk a day. Insert whole milk in one of his meal times while serving formula milk in the others. Choose to do this during the middle meal as the baby is less likely to notice the change during this time. If the baby does not reject the milk, continue for several days and before giving your toddler whole milk throughout the day.
Mix whole milk with formula milk. If your baby still rejects whole milk, try to slowly combine whole milk in his milk bottles. Make sure that the mixture is still mostly composed of formula milk in the beginning to avoid shocking the baby. Slowly increase the percentage of the whole milk in his bottles until the baby becomes familiar with the taste. Continue to do this until you are serving purely whole cow's milk to your babies.
Start by serving whole milk warm. Some babies have difficulty adjusting to whole milk since it is normally served cold. Start to serve formula milk in a lower temperature. Change the temperature along with the changes in the composition of the mixture of formula and cow's milk. However, there is actually no rule that you have serve cow's milk cold. This tip will only prevent you from instilling a habit in your baby that you might now be able or willing to keep up with in the future.
Consider giving milk in sippie cups. You can opt to train your child to drink whole milk in sippie cups along with the transition. However, abruptly removing the bottle can be too hard for most babies. If your baby has a pleasing temperament and is easily adaptable, you can start giving one serving of milk in sippie cups per day. If your child is quite stubborn, try to finish the transition to whole milk first before removing the baby bottle from your baby's feeding habits.
Every baby will react differently to this change so it important that you do not compare your child's progress with those of others. The important thing is to never force your child into drinking cow's milk if he is unprepared. If you do, the transition becomes a power struggle between you and your child, giving both of you a more difficult time.