There is a common notion that babies should stop drinking baby formula at a certain age, although there is no exact world standard since every baby is different. However, it would be nice for you, as a parent, to find out just when enough is enough, right?
Babies grow older as time passes by, and with this, they may already have the nutrients that they need from their first year(s) of drinking infant formula. They may be eventually ready to take on your regular glass of cow’s milk or their favorite fruit juice.
In this article, we will guide on as to when babies can possibly stop drinking baby formula and tips on how to get them off the formula.
When is the best time to stop formula for babies?
The most accepted age or time for babies to stop drinking formula would be 12 months old or 1 year old. However, this is not always the case, as some babies may extend the period.
This can depend on many factors, such as:
1. Their behavior. Babies who may be more clingy with their formula may find it a very hard thing to do to let it go. For instance, moms or dads who often shower their little one with a lot of baby formula all the time may find the habit hard to get off.
They may show compulsive behavior if they don’t get their baby formula fix so it is important that you employ a slow technique on introducing new food or drinks to them.
2. Their nutritional needs. Babies who are usually not as healthy as other babies may need to continue with their formula of choice. This is because they still need to get some nutritional needs in order for them to fully develop.
If your pediatrician recommends that they still need to continue with a certain baby formula then you should do so. You can just ask your doctor as to when they can be stopped from drinking baby formula for best results.
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3. Their taste. The problem with some babies is that they have a soft spot for certain tastes. They may like the formula a lot due to its taste so it can be hard to let go of it. With this problem, it can be just a matter of conditioning your baby with different tastes.
4. Their age. Babies who are 1 year old and above may most likely let go or get tired of their baby formula. However, it’s not always the case if they have any of the above-mentioned factors hindering them. Just know that every baby is different in their own way since no baby develops the same way as another.
How to get them off baby formula
When your baby is quite resistant, here are some tips on how to get them off the baby formula:
1. Practice. Get them introduced to a sippy cup. Slowly, but surely, you can give them something different to taste but still give them their old formula. Learning to drink from a cup has its benefits since your baby will easily adapt to regular drinking habits just as the big kids do.
Did you know that by using sippy cups or actual cups, you are lessening the likelihood of your baby from getting tooth decay? This is because they tend to chew on less material and drink more liquid in the process.
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2. Consider alternatives. You can feed them different baby food such as mashed solid food. However, don’t feed them fruits and veggies that have not been processed to avoid indigestion.
You can also find milk that is appropriate for their age, let’s say for kids 1 to 3 years old, as a starting milk for them. These milk formulas are usually easier to digest than regular milk. By reading the age rating of the milk that you want to buy, you can be assured that it’s okay for your little one to drink and to digest.
3. Be patient. Many babies may not like the idea of changing their food or drink, but someday soon they have to grow out of it. It just needs some time and you don’t have to rush right away. Remember that gradual feeding is important.
However, take extra caution and don’t feed your baby with any of these yet:
1. Tea and coffee. Because they are made with amounts of caffeine, they are definitely not for your baby (or even younger kids) since they can make them too hyperactive and can also give them problem behavior. Caffeine is only meant to wake up adults and teens who lack energy.
2. Soft drinks. Obviously, soft drinks such as cola and fizzy drinks can’t be given to young babies yet since they contain a certain amount of carbon, which can give your baby a bad gas problem. This is especially if your little one is already a colicky baby from the get-go.
3. Hot chocolate. There are certain restrictions as to when babies are safe to be given hot chocolate. Toddlers can be given such but younger ones may react differently, so it’s best to ask your pediatrician as to when is the best time to give them flavored drinks that have chocolate in them.
4. Anything that is high on sugar. We’ll want to practice your baby not to have a sweet tooth, so make sure they get used to something that is not too sweet or else they may adapt the taste habit to their adulthood, which can be bad for their health.
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In the long run, giving your baby formula is okay, but babies do grow up and they may be ready for a different challenge. It takes a lot of effort and time to get them off the baby bottle and the formula, but patience is the key.
We hope these pointers can help you to know when do babies stop drinking formula and how to get them off the formula and drink from a toddler’s cup instead.