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The Big Switch



With his first birthday fast approaching, Daddy and I have been thinking a lot about transitioning Henry from baby formula to milk. At his 9-month check-up, the pediatrician gave us information about how to make the switch. Rather than going cold turkey, the doctor suggested that we start by replacing one bottle of formula at a time when Henry turned 11 months old. Then, we can slowly introduce more milk and reduce his formula intake over the course of about two months. By the end of February, the conversion should be complete.
Henry tries out his first cup of milk on Christmas Eve.
As part of this transition, we’re also phasing out bottles. Henry has become proficient at drinking from a straw, even using my water bottle on occasion without spilling. I am confident he will make the shift to straw cups seamlessly, but we will also retry open cups to give him a chance to practice this skill.

Henry usually drinks five or six bottles of formula per day of varying amounts. Since his morning bottles are usually smaller, we’ll start by swapping those out first. His bedtime bottle has always been the largest volume, so that will be the last one to go. Typically, Henry drinks between six and eight ounces in his last bottle of the day, but during a growth spurt he can chug 12 ounces or more at his bedtime feeding.

Overall, the amount that Henry drinks also will decrease during his second year, as solid food meets an increasing amount of his nutritional needs. Instead of averaging 30 ounces per day of formula, toddlers only need about 16 ounces of milk per day.

The standard recommendation is that children between 12 and 24 months drink whole milk, but our pediatrician also suggested that we consider dairy alternatives. We’re planning to rotate through several different varieties to give Henry an assortment of tastes. I am a little cautious of soymilk since there is conflicting information about the benefits and drawbacks of eating soy products. I am also hesitant to use rice milk with the recently revealed arsenic issues. Our family occasionally eats tofu, soy sauce and rice, but I am not sure I want Henry to drink large amounts of soy or rice milk on a daily basis. Instead, we plan to try out goat, almond, coconut and hemp milk. When Henry finishes one carton, we will replace it with a new type of milk.
Henry takes his first sip of coconut milk.
What kind of milk did Henry try first? Henry’s first cup was filled with unsweetened organic coconut milk. 

For the second installment in this series, click here
For a final update, click here.

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