Changing from Formula to Cow's Milk

Updated on April 21, 2008
K.S. asks from Avon, IN
17 answers

Has anyone else had their baby become very constipated when they switched from formula to cow's milk? Any tips to help lessen this problem would be greatly appreciated!

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So What Happened?

Thanks so much for all the suggestions. I started giving her apple juice and water (50/50) in a sippy cup, lots of fruit and vegetables, and we cut her milk down to no more than 16 oz per day and things have GREATLY improved! Now if I can find a happy medium we'll be fine!!!!!!!! You guys rock for sending me all your ideas that have helped your kids, thanks so much!!!!!!!

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C.B.

answers from Dayton on

Dear Mom,

It's being awhile since I've had to do this, but I remember doing half formula and half milk for awhile. Then making it full milk, this helps their body to adjust, my two kids never had any problems doing it this way.

From, Another Mom

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V.R.

answers from Cincinnati on

I am a granny from the old school. Try putting a teaspoon of dark Karo syrup, "the light will work also but not as fast" in each serving of cows milk. When the problem gets better you can ease up on the Karo.
Good luck,
V. R.

1 mom found this helpful
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T.H.

answers from Terre Haute on

you can do half formula and half cow's milk. try to put a few drops of mylacon (sp) in also. Then as a few days go by lessen the formula and soon enough you will have a full thing of cow's milk.

My brother had to add more water to the cow's milk for his son because of all the constipation. This help him.

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T.M.

answers from Cleveland on

Hi K.,
My son was recently on Soy Formula because he had Acid Reflux and was also on Zantac when he was better and able to finally switch over to regular milk his GI doctor said I could do it gradually... First, make a bottle with formula as normal and the first day you would add 1 oz of milk in with his formula, the next day add 2 oz. of milk in with his formula, the next day add 3 oz. of milk, the next day 4 oz. of milk and so on. You just add another ounce of milk to his bottle of formula each day and eventually you will have more milk than formula in the bottle or sippy and then be gradually switched over to milk.
My daughter is 4 and is still constipated and has to take Benefiber to help her. But my son, does fine on milk.
So, your son might be ok you'll just have to try it and see.
Good luck.
T.

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S.R.

answers from Cincinnati on

We had constipation problems with our twins when they were on formula. The pediatrician suggested 1 tsp. of Light Karo Syrup in the bottle. We would do it in each bottle until we got results...then adjust the amount of Karo to a lesser amount on our own judgement. Also, if baby is eating solids, try foods that promote bowel movements. Fruit, veggies...baby food.

Good luck,

Susie

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T.S.

answers from Columbus on

We had this issue and had to switch to lactaid. It made a big difference. Good luck! T.

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M.B.

answers from Steubenville on

try giving your child a glass of apple juice each day. it works wonders with our daughter. she seems to get constipated at least once a week, still not sure what is causing it. the juice is easier on their little tummies and tastes better than prune juice, prune juice works quicker, but most kids don't like the taste. hope this helps.

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J.M.

answers from Terre Haute on

How much milk do you give him?? Children only need so much
milk. Make sure you give him juices and lots of water also.
I have a granddaughter who loves her milk but her mother
will only let her have so much then she has to have juice
or water so she doesn't get constipated.

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C.D.

answers from Cincinnati on

I used to do foster care and when I had a baby transferring
over I would first half formula and half cow milk.And when
you do full cow milk if they get constipation you can put
a couple teaspoon of clear Karo surup and they will be fine.

[email protected]____.com

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C.S.

answers from Canton on

After several family members experienced this I decided early on that I would put my daughter on goat's milk (you can buy from store- I get in bulk powdered form from health food store). I have never had a problem until I tried to switch my child to cows milk and I have tried this twice (she is now 2).
Our pediatrician wasn't fully behind us because there was belief that goat's milk was lacking in certain nutrients but my research of Meyenberg milk showed to be comparable to the whole cows milk we would have put her on. Now, goat's milk has less milk fat but it is healthy.
I did give my daughter the Stoneyfield Baby-yo which has milk fat in it but I had to be careful of her getting too much cows milk or she would start to strain.
Check it out for yourself or better yet get a can of the condensed and try it- if it doesn't work you are not out a lot of money. Do try it though for a few weeks before giving up on it.
Good luck!!

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H.A.

answers from Cleveland on

What they advised is to still give formula but 1/2 and 1/2 whole milk...I use to feed my son 2% and he was fine but they need the fat from it to build brain cells and so forth....so what did you do and how soon did you switch over?

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L.G.

answers from Lima on

YES YES YES, I certainly had the same exact problem when my now 6yr. old went off of breastfeeding to formula.
I breast fed until she was 5 months old. Up to that point she was anything but constipated.
They did run all kinds of tests to figure out if there was any other cause for it, because there can be nerve damage around the tailbone area. I went to a specialist at the DAyton Children's hospital for this testing. It seems extreme but even at age 12 months she was still constipated a lot.
At least it ruled out anything else being the cause.
The very first couple weeks I switched her to formula, she went 4 days and had not had a bowel movement. I tried Karo syrup, sugar in water, etc.... everything that people told me and nothing worked. Someone finally suggested apple juice. That did the trick and it worked on the second little bottle of that and of course, then she had a major blow out. In the next few months, when she would get constipated I would use the apple juice and that would do the trick.
AS she got older, it no longer worked!!! Now, it takes dynamite to work on her.
It is ok to use Milk of Magnesia. It is mild and you can use more than what they tell you to.
My daughter often only has a bowel movement everyother day. I am the same way (in fact for me, it is sometimes every 2-3 days) so she is just taking after me. Yes sometimes it is hard and discomforting but that is just the way it is.
If you can get your baby to take jarred prunes that can work great too, just go with the smallest jar to find out. My daughter who is only 20 months is very sensitive to prunes and it goes right through her, but not the 6 yr. old.
Just hit the vegetables (broccoli is the all around best) and WATER (not milk or juices or other drinks). My biggest problem is I don't drink near enough water. Water is the only true purifier and cleanser for your body.
I would suggest asking your dr. about a specialist on the constipation issue. It never hurts to do the tests just for peace of mind!!!!!!

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S.C.

answers from Cleveland on

Try 2% milk instead of whole milk. That's what I had to do with my son. When he turned one and I started him on whole milk, I felt sorry for him. His bowls were too hard and that's when I made the switch to 2% milk and his bowls returned to normal.

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S.H.

answers from Evansville on

K., Good Luck! I to am batteling this. When I changed my now 14mo old triplets from breast milk to cows milk life became a nightmare. After prunes 1-2 times a day, Karo syrup, nothing. We did try juice but none of my kids will drink it and I don't want them to have much because it is just packed full of sugar and we battle diaper rash from the acid in the solid foods. We have started myralax (sp) which is used a lot in peds and can be used for a longer period of time. We are still trying to get on a schedule that works and is consistance so we don't fall back into the same problem.

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N.T.

answers from Columbus on

This happened with all my kids. I actually transitioned them by mixing 1/2 milk, 1/2 formula and gradually increased milk.

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J.S.

answers from Columbus on

depending on the age of the baby, a small amount of prune juice can work wonders.

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S.P.

answers from Columbus on

From a Grandmother of five and # 6 & 7 on the way. If you try a teaspoon of white karo in a 8 oz. bottle of milk this should take care of the problem.Just try this for about two weeks each time you give milk.I am not sure what it has to do with constipation but it has worked for my children and I have passed it on to my grandchildren.
Good Luck.

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