When and How To Stop Feeding Babies Formula? The Ultimate Guide

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Babies formula is providing your baby with all nutrients he needs, even after adding solid foods in his diet. However, your baby is growing up, and you’re wondering when to stop feeding babies formula to transition to the whole milk? And how to do it? Well, we have the answer for you, stay with us.

The recommended age to stop feeding babies formula is 12 months old. At this stage, your baby is ready to transition off of baby formula, because his digestive system becomes well-developed to digest toddler formula or whole cow’s milk.

But, this is not a rule set in stone. Your baby’s needs are unique, he may transition from baby formula until a late age, and it’s normal. However, the minimum switching age is 12 months old.

Related: 14 Easy Ways To Save Money On Baby Formula.

When To Stop Feeding Babies Formula Guide:

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When and How To Stop Feeding Babies Formula

How To Switch a Baby From Babies Formula To Whole Milk?

There are two methods to switch your baby from formula to milk:

Cold Turkey Switching:

It consists of switching immediately and entirely from baby formula to whole milk. Some parents try this approach, and it works because they have an easy-going baby.

If your baby adapts well to change, then apply this approach.

Regular Switching:

On the other hand, if your baby can’t adapt to change fastly and needs more time to transition, then mix gradually the cow’s milk or toddler milk with the old formula.

In the first week, add 25% of cow’s milk to the old formula. Your baby won’t notice the difference. Every week, increase the ratio of the new milk as shown in the guide until there is no baby formula in the bottle.

Related: how much formula should a baby eat?

How To Know If Your Baby Is Ready For The Transition?

There are signs that’s show you if your baby is ready for the transition:

  • Your baby must have at least 12 months old.
  • Your baby eats a healthy balance of solid foods.
  • Your baby eats about 1000 calories every day.

If you still have doubts about the perfect time to transition, ask your pediatrician.

Switch With Toddler Milk or Cow’s Milk?

Toddler Milk:

The majority of toddler milk’s ingredients are sweeteners, vegetable oil, and powdered milk, made for nine age months to 3 years old children.

Toddler formula is similar to babies formula except that this last’s composition is controlled by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, the toddler formula is not; it contains more fat, sodium, sugar, and less protein than cow’s milk, which means it’s not suitable for babies under 9 months.

Many parents think that toddler formula is more beneficial than cow’s milk. Well, they are wrong. If your baby has no milk protein allergy or soy allergy, there is no need to give him toddler formula because there is no evidence that it is beneficial than cow’s milk.

Why and How Much Cow’s Milk?

Cow’s milk is perfect for your toddler thanks to its high amount of protein that helps babies grow up, calcium; to have healthy bones, teeth, and muscles, Vitamin D to help the body absorb the calcium, and carbohydrates for energy.

Two to three cups of whole cow’s milk each day (16 – 24 ounces) is the maximum amount your baby must eat because cow’s milk is hard to be digested in large amounts by his digestive system, so he won’t be interested in solid foods that are necessary at this time.

Whole Milk or Skim Milk?

Make sure to feed your baby the whole cow’s milk, not the skim or 2 percent milk. Why? Toddlers at 12 months still need more fat to develop their brain and body fast, so the whole cow’s milk contains that much fat.

After two years old, you can change to low-fat milk depending on the growth chart of your baby.

Cow’s Milk Allergy Symptoms:

You should always keep your eyes on your baby after introducing any food, the same thing for cow’s milk.

Cow’s milk contains a high amount of proteins, which means it’s hard for the digestive system to digest it, so keep watching your baby closely to detect unusual symptoms like vomiting, swelling of the lips diarrhea, constipation, eczema, hay fever, etc. Especially after introducing cow’s milk.

Related: This is The Best Formula For Babies With Colic in 2020!

If you notice these symptoms, you should consult your pediatrician immediately to give you a cow’s milk alternative for your little one.

If you choose to use a hypoallergenic formula; you may want to see what does a hypoallergenic formula poop looks like?


When and how to stop feeding babies formula change from a baby to another, it’s you and your little one who decides. But get ready for anything and keep watching your baby closely because this is an essential stage in his life.

If you still have questions? Feel free to send us a message, and we will be happy to give you all information you need.

Baby image credit: NICOLESA / SHUTTERSTOCK

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