Transitioning your Baby from Formula or Breast Milk to Whole Cow Milk
Most pediatricians will tell you that when it is time for you to transition your baby from formula/breast milk to regular cow milk, that you should offer your baby/toddler whole, full fat milk. Whole milk will provide the necessary fats that growing toddlers need.
Your toddler should not be drinking or eating anything that is “low fat” until she is 2 years of age. Even growing toddlers need the healthy fat that dairy products will provide.
As always, please do consult with your baby’s pediatrician about specific feeding issues as generalities may not be appropriate for your baby.
It is easier to make the transition from formula or breast milk to whole milk by slowly adding the milk to the formula/breast milk.
For example, offer your baby a sippy cup or a bottle with 3/4 formula/breast milk and 1/4 milk. Offer this mix for about 1 week and then offer 1/2 formula/breast milk and 1/2 milk for another week. At or around “week 3” you should be at a 3/4 milk and 1/4 formula/breast milk mix.
I have also found it easier to make the transition by using a “special” cup. Purchase a new and colorful cup and make a big fuss over it; but do not make a fuss about the milk, just fuss over the cup. If your little one is still on a bottle, buy him a special bottle. Let him know this is a big deal, a special time etc and so forth.
Warm the Whole Milk when making the transition
There are many babies who may be put off by whole milk simply because it is too cold for them. When you begin to transition your baby to drinking whole milk, warm it up a bit before you serve it. Formula and breast milk are warmer than whole milk taken from the fridge so warming the milk may be one less thing to hurdle over.
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