Can I Wean off Formula Before 12Months? Enfamil Death Has My Anxiety at 11 - Bakersfield,CA

Updated on December 24, 2011
S.2. asks from Bakersfield, CA
23 answers

Okay so I fully understand that doctors recommend waiting until child is at least 1 years of age before starting cows milk. But what i'm realizing (now that ive been a mommy for 8 months) is that these aren't strict rules. For instance, I thought if my baby ate any mashed potatoes from the table cooked with butter and milk she'd die. Now, I realize that she likes chicken fettucini, granola,blueberries, and everything else i'm eating. And, she's still her!. She eats a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains all prepared by me. So, if she's already past the purees and she's on real food. Shouldn't she be getting the nutrition in the formula in the food?

So please share your story if you have either given your baby whole milk before age 1. Or if you have more knowledge than I on why its VERY important NOT to wean before 12 months.

Thanks Happy Holidays

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answers from Chicago on

YOu can start stage 2 of the formula. I would go that route. It is a different formulation from infant formuloa. While my kids are beyond formula I will be keeping my eye on the story and end result.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I switched mine off of formula around 11 mos. You can get liquid infant multi vitamins to supplement in the milk if you want. I wouldn't stop at 8 mos though. I think their brains esp. need the nutrients in formula. Maybe switch brands if you are worried about enfamil. There are formula's at the health food store... earth's best, etc. Maybe slowly switch by mixing the two formula's first and see if she can tolerate it.

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answers from Seattle on

It really depends on how big/fast growing your infant is.

Rather ironically... the BIGGER she is, the longer to keep them on. My fast grower needed to be on formula until apx 18mo. Petite infants that are growing nowhere near as fast don't need the massive nutrient load and easy digestability of formula or breast milk anywhere near as much.

If you DO take her off... her fat consumption will undoubtedly need to skyrocket. It will be difficult to mimic the nutrient load in formula, but an infant nutritionist can guide you through that process. Infant and adult nutrition are almost polar opposites. Just as one example amongst many: Infants need high fat low fiber diets... while adults need low fat high fiber diets. You'll probably be instructed to not give her any more whole grains, and to severely limit her fruit and veggie intake... while upping the heavy fat foods and complete proteins (creams -including cream and cheese sauce like the alfredo she likes so much, butters, avocados, fatty meats, nuts -not whole or chopped but ground creamy-, eggs) BUT I just have some education in nutrition (Just a few credits, nowhere near the hundred of hours required for that degree...I'm not a nutritionist) AND I don't have your daughter sitting in front of me, nor her labwork (typically for infant nutrition eval a full bloodpanel and urine panel is done, as well as a very thorough physical / background sheet).

I strongly suspect that Enfamil will be cleared of the source of contamination. About half the cases with this kind of bacteria are linked to formula, which originally had me thinking the opposite BUT this baby is the 2nd one this month to come down with this infection (the first one survived) in that area, and to the *best* of my knowledge the other infant wasn't on that formula. I know missouri is frantic right now, thinking that there may be a city water contamination (one of my aunts is a water commisioner in the south, and everyone is testing like crazy right now because of missouri).

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Cow's milk does not supply adequate nutrition during the first year of a human baby's life in part because it is much harder to digest than formula or breastmilk. It does fine for calves, but then calves have 4 stomachs. It seems goat's milk is a better match, but again not as easily digested which usually puts babies at risk for inflammation of the intestines and often milk allergies. I've studied this subject of human nutrition extensively in graduate school and if it were my baby, I'd follow the guidelines for giving formula or breastmilk until after 12 months of age. Personally, my mother said I self weaned from breastfeeding at 9 months and so she gave me cow's milk. I've had bowel issues my whole life and have developed a sensitivity to dairy in recent years. It's not pleasant nor convenient. Please keep your kid on formula until she's 12 months. Nurse Midwife Mom of 3

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answers from Los Angeles on

My understanding is that kids' stomachs cannot tolerate cow's milk before they are 12 months old. In smaller doses or forms (i.e. mixed into mashed potatoes, yogurt, cheese, etc), they can, but not just a straight cup.

If you are truly concerned, consult your pediatrician. Other aspects of your child's development - weight, milestones, sleep, etc - may factor into the decision.

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answers from San Francisco on

Your baby still needs formula until 1 years old. Giving whole milk before your baby is ready could make your baby sick or he/she may not tolerate it well. Milk doesn't have the nutrients that formula does and so that is why you still need to give formula. If you are worried about the recall, switch to another formula brand for another month or so. But please don't go to whole milk yet---


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answers from Charlotte on

S., it isn't just about the nutrients in formula. It is also about not tempting fate with your child getting an allergy to cow's milk because she started it too early.

Are you going to go to the 11th every time a baby dies of something? Surely you realize that it doesn't make sense to get so fixated on something that happens that you go overboard in your worries.

You will have this child for a long time, mama, so think long term instead of moment to moment. Statistics bear out that she will be fine using formula for the next 2 months. Meanwhile, start working on the sippy cup and making the temp lower so that she can start tolerating refrigerated milk later. At a year, put an ounce of cow's milk in the cup into the formula, and then keep upping the milk into the formula until it's all milk. Take a week or so to do this. Just two more months, and you are done. And your child has much less a chance to have an intolerance to milk because you waited.


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answers from Oklahoma City on

It is very important that children stay of formula for the first 12 months due to the extra nutrition and vitamins that are in it. They are formulated specifically for the growing baby. I would never allow a baby to go off formula and eat high salt in place of a balanced healthy source of nutrition.

She should be eating good foods that are a supplement to her formula not the other way around.

No way I'd take an 8 month old baby off formula and allow them to eat foods that are not filled with the nutrients in the formula. I would talk to the pediatrician first and foremost about this before I did anything.

A couple of books I recommend on kids foods are:

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answers from New York on

This is a general guideline because while your daughter enjoys a variety of foods, at 8 months she's not a "table food eater" yet. This means that without the nutrients and vitamins infused in the formula, your child may not be getting everything she needs each day with any level of consistency.

Why are you feeling the need to wean her so early? There's no need to transition yet. Her stomach may not be ready to digest cow's milk yet and depending on what she's eating throughout the day, you could deprive her of what she needs.

Wait until she's closer to a year old and ask your pediatrician about a vitamin supplement if you elect to do so earlier. We started mixing formula and cow's milk around 11 months at our doctor's suggestion. By his first birthday, the formula was gone altogether, but he was also eating "full meals" and regular snacks AND taking a vitamin supplement by then.

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answers from San Diego on

I read that there is no proof that the formula is tainted. They are still investigating.

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answers from Rochester on

First of all, there is absolutely NO LINK between the Enfamil formula and that baby's death. The store is being overprecautious in pulling it, just in case, while tests are being done...but it sounds like they're grabbing at straws as to why this happened since the formula tested clean before it hit the shelf.

It is important not to give a very young child straight milk because it can damage their intestines, cause internal bleeding, increase the risk for ALL kinds of allergies, and does not have the fat, vitamins, nutrients, etc, that they need. I would personally rather leave a child on formula a month longer than 12 than to pull them off a month short.

That being said, at 11 months, your baby can "probably" handle the milk. I'm getting more and more upset with milk, myself. My 20 month old child still cannot drink milk for all the terrible things it does to her...and she is not allergic.

Oh my, I just reread...your baby is only 8 months old? FORGET IT! Do not put your child on milk! It can seriously cause permanent problems at that age. For some reason I thought your title said "at 11" but then you say you've been a mother for 8 months. Not sure which it is, but NO MILK TO DRINK. Sure, put it in her potatoes, etc...not in a cup or bottle! Please continue to give this child formula.

And if you are worried about the Enfamil, just switch brands.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Lansing on

I started the switch at 11 1/2 months. At the time of the switch is also when I converted my girls over to sippy cups instead of bottles. I would do half and half sippy cups of milk/formula, then went to 3/4 milk 1/4 formula until I went strait to milk. My girls are 6 and 4 now and happy/healthy little girls. If you really want to do it, check with your pediatrician and get their advice. Mine was ok with it. In fact my pediatrician discouraged step 2 formula's. Oh and at 11 months my girls were VERY close to eating only table foods, if not were already.

And wow...I'm so out of the infant loop...did not know there was a fear of formula death going around.

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answers from San Francisco on

I started my daughter drinking some cow milk at 10 months. I was tired of expressing breastmilk at work, it was just a hassle. So she got cow milk in her bottles that went to daycare and I only nursed her at night when I was home. She was fine! Since your baby is just 8 months, I don't think you'd want to move exclusively to cow milk - you should definitely talk to your pediatrician before making any kind of big change like that.



answers from Cleveland on

i switched my daughter to whole milk at 10 1/2 months



answers from Milwaukee on

My pediatrician told me that it was okay to start giving my son whole cow's milk at 10 months of age. (I was in the 2nd trimester of my 2nd pregnancy and my milk had turned salty so he was absolutely refusing to drink breast-milk anymore.) So we switched cold turkey. (ouch) :) But he was fine. He LOVES milk, even to this day (he's 4 now.)



answers from San Francisco on

I was just like you and my son developed a severe milk allergy right when I switched him. It was at 8 months. We gave him milk and his lips were swollen, we didn't know what it was and then I was still giving him B milk too that was frozen while I tried to wean. Then we did it again and new it was the milk. He ended up with a severe allergy to anything with milk or milk dirivitives. It was such a pain. I don't know if he would have had this anyway, or if I gave it to him to early, but you are almost there so just wait. It can't hurt. Just a thought. I don't really have the facts on why you should wait but just wanted to share my experience. He is fine now and able to drink thinks with milk in it but loves soy now.



answers from Boston on

I started whole milk at 6months in a sippy cup during lunch. It was not my kids main source of nutrition they were still on formula. By 1 they both were fully on whole milk



answers from Phoenix on

My first born weaned himself from breastmilk at 9 months and was allergic to cow's milk. I didn't give him formula either. Doctor didn't seem to care but kept having me try cow's milk every 6 months. He was bent on him having it. But he was very allergic until age 16 when we had him cleared with acupuncture. Anyway, he's 18 and very healthy. He survived not having anything past 9 months except table food and water.



answers from San Francisco on

You can wean her off any time you want. If she is eating a wide variety of foods, she doesn't need the formula. Look at the dietary info on your food. Is baby getting a good variety of nutrients? I used to stress that my child hates meat. I feared she wasn't getting enough protein. I read that a child her age needs 22 grams of protein a day, or needs to average that amount. So, I started adding up the protein in the foods she did eat: whole wheat toast was 6 grams, her Pediasure was 13 grams, edamame, peanut butter...turns out she was getting more than enough without meat. So, look at the nutritional info for the foods you prep. I bet baby is getting more than enough...


answers from Chicago on

The statement from Wal-Mart said that they pulled the Enfamil out of "an abundance of caution." The death occurred on Sunday, but they have not had time to do a full investigation. They said that the particular batch in question tested negative for the rare bacteria that the hospital indicated the baby had. There is the possibility that the water used by the parents to mix the formula might have been the agent. It is also possible that they fed the baby an old bottle, not freshly prepared.

It is pretty early to make the switch, but if it would put your mind at ease, you might want to try a different brand of forumla.

But, to answer your original question--I agree that it is not a hard & fast rule, and I also have an 8 month old, use Enfamil, and am considering switching to whole milk or a different formula until more details are known. I'm going to talk to my husband when he gets home to see what he thinks. My mother switched my oldest brother to whole milk when he was just a few months old, despite her doctors' objections, because he couldn't tolerate it. He did just fine, and actually, was the healthiest kid in our family.



answers from San Francisco on

I would say from experience not to give cows milk. Like Dawn mentions below ,giving cows milk can cause your little one to develop an allergy to dairy. This happened to me with my first born daughter. I was unaware of the seriousness about this and when she self weaned at 10 months old I started supplementing with milk . She ended up with an allergy to dairy that showed up later that second year with belly aches. She is mostly over it now at 14 years old but it really was a painful condition for her with certain foods that had dairy in them especially straight milk. To this day she drinks rice milk even though her stomach has improved. So please wait the recommended time frame and some babies even need longer. Each is different. None of my other 3 children developed this condition but I waited the full first year and longer for some to introduce milk. I still feel badly for my young and uneducated decision to give my first baby milk to early. At least your asking and informing yourself. Love mama source for that!


answers from Chicago on

I switched my son at 11mos, and my daughter at 10mos.
We have no family history or experience with dairy allergies and intolerances, and I was very tired of paying for formula (even after I switched from Enfamil to Target's brand a 6mos with each of them).

You're right. They are guidelines and unless you have a family history of issues to pay attention to, there is no reason to prolong something just because a book says you should. Good for you for figuring that out!!

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