Here Are 5 Easy Tips to Help Your Child Transition From Breast Milk to Whole Milk

Here Are 5 Easy Tips to Help Your Child Transition From Breast Milk to Whole Milk

Find out how to introduce cow's milk to your baby safely

A lot of mums have mixed feelings around weaning their babies off breastmilk and moving them onto cow’s milk. 

While breast milk and formula is best for your baby in the beginning, there comes a time in the near future when all babies grow up and need to start drinking from an alternate milk source.

To help you prepare for the inevitable, here are some tips that will help with the transition from breastmilk to whole milk.

5 easy steps for transitioning from breastmilk to whole milk

transitioning from breastmilk to whole milk - cute girl drinking milk

Image source: iStock

1. Wait until your baby is a year old

It’s tempting to introduce whole milk to your baby earlier since whole milk is cheaper than formula.

However, your little one’s digestive system isn’t fully developed yet. He will struggle to properly digest whole milk if he’s under one year’s old.

Also, the added ingredients in whole milk can actually cause harm to your baby’s kidneys. Not to mention breast milk contains all the vital nutrients your baby needs.

2. Decide which type of milk you will be giving

transitioning from breastmilk to whole milk - cow's milk

Image source: iStock

Speak with your paediatrician and check if the type of milk you want to give your little one is safe to do so. 

Is he lactose intolerant? If so, then it’s likely you’ll need to substitute whole milk for soy milk.

Alternatively, if your baby is higher on the weight scale on the developmental curve for his age, your doctor may recommend milk with a lower fat percentage.

3. Introduce with solids

Whole milk is distinctly less sweet than breastmilk and formula. It takes time for your little one to get used to the taste.

If you’re worried about going cold turkey and giving it to him from the get go, then try to mix it in with his purees or cereal. Chances are, he won’t even notice!

4. Give him small doses for the taste

Baby holding milk

Image source: iStock

You can be more intentional and offer him small sips of whole milk to gauge if he is ready for it or not.

If he doesn’t seem to mind, you can give him an ounce of whole milk just as a small snack before the main course.

5. Mix with breastmilk

Girl drinking from suppy cup

Image source: Shutterstock

While some toddlers will take to whole milk immediately, others will put up a fight.

Try introducing whole milk by mixing it in with his regular milk. You can start with a smaller ratio, e.g. one part whole milk to four parts regular milk. Over the course of a few weeks, keep increasing the ratio of whole milk until your little one is drinking whole milk entirely.

While you are transitioning from breastmilk to whole milk, it’s a good time to introduce sippy cups! You can teach your toddler to drink independently.

You can start by introducing your baby to bottles first if he doesn’t take to the sippy cup immediately.

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Written by

Vinnie Wong

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