So, we have officially hit that one-year mark…which according to most sources, means transitioning off your formula and breastmilk over to whole milk. I truly thought this would be hard on me and am pleasantly surprised that I am actually excited about it.
I had a MUCH harder time when I had to switch from breastmilk to formula. I do plan on writing a post logging all my efforts to breastfeed as long as possible, sadly I worked and worked for it, but I couldn’t get past 6 months without supplementing with formula and going fully over to formula around 7 months. I know some moms don’t breastfeed or pump at all, and some lose it long before that. I think due to how hard I tried and how much I truly enjoyed breastfeeding, it was extremely hard on me to give it up. This switch, however, I’m excited about.
Mostly I think I’m ready to stop spending an outrageous amount on formula! I’m lucky, Parker never seemed to go over 5-ounce bottles, EVER. I tried and tried, but she just never drank more than 5 and I got tired of dumping expensive formula down the drain. Even so, it still is an expensive endeavor and just another reason why I was sad to give up FREE breastmilk.
I researched all the different ways that I could switch her over. Some places told you that you could go cold turkey and just stop giving the formula. Another site said to cold turkey one bottle a day and then two as so on. A third post told me to slowly transition by adding whole milk a few ounces at a time every few days. I was also unsure about heating it, as Parker HATES drinking cold bottles. And then there is the switch off the bottle all together. Parker was already getting sippy cups for water (which she loves!) but I wanted to get her off bottles completely. I know some mommas continue bottles after one year, but since she loved sippy cups so much, I figured I might as well switch her over completely.
I spoke to her doctor and she said to pick my battles and not do everything at once…which I had already figured. So first I switched her over to sippy cups and stopped the bottle. I wouldn’t even call this a transition. This process I was completely able to cold turkey her from the bottle and she didn’t care, not even at bedtime! So, since that worked, I thought I would try the cold turkey for a single bottle each day of just whole milk. I heated it up, but NO GO. She barely even drank an ounce. This is how I knew going completely to whole milk without transitioning with formula was not going to work for our girl. I should’ve figured…since when we started supplementing with formula, we had to slowly transition it in with the breastmilk. However, I was fighting super hard to not have to buy any more formula and just to work with what I had left. So, every day, I upped the milk and lowered the formula by an ounce. One week later, I am on 4 ounces milk and 1-ounce formula!!! YAY!! My plan is to finish off the formula I have left (no sense in throwing away perfectly good formula, especially since there are only a couple tablespoons in there), and then just have her on whole milk. I am still heating it up, because like the doctor said, one battle at a time. Once I have her on just milk, I will slowly start heating it less and less until she will drink it cold.
Like I said, I thought this would be difficult for me…and it was. Not because I’m sad my baby is no longer drinking formula, only because I needed to figure out the best way to switch her over and it is definitely a process. I am a little sad to see what last shred of baby feeding to go away. Having her on solids and whole milk makes her seem like such a toddler…but I know our bank account will appreciate it!! Do what is right for you; whether it be staying on breastmilk/formula, staying on bottles, going cold turkey to change, transitioning slowly, changing to sippy cups or using both bottles and sippy cups. There is no right or wrong way. I’m not going to lie, if I was still able to produce breastmilk, she would probably still be getting some at least once a day. Sadly, that wasn’t the case for me and now I am ready for the whole milk to begin. She’s growing up so fast and it’s fun to see her try new foods and drink from her big girl cup. I still get my snuggles while she drinks it too! I do it my own way though, she doesn’t get her milk with meals yet. For now, she gets it whenever she wakes up in the morning and from her 2 naps, and then another one before bed. A lot of posts I read said to start giving it to her with meals, but she likes it separate…so that’s what we do.
The one thing I will say is your baby doesn’t need too many changes too fast. Like I said, do what you feel is best for you…we sure do! I do all my research and then create my own plan that works for us. Again, there is no right or wrong when it comes to something like this…so you do you mama (or daddy)!!