My One Year Old Doesn't Drink Anything but Formula.

Updated on December 01, 2018
S.S. asks from Stockton, CA
19 answers

My daughter just turned 1 on Nov. 16th and I had an appointment with her doctor on the 19th. The doctor said to stop buying formula and recommended giving her almond milk, soy milk or whole milk. Since then, I've tried everything. She doesn't want toddler formula or pediasure either. I've tried different temperatures of all the milks as well. She refuses instantly and after I give her her actual formula drink, she does a taste test before taking it or she gets really mad that she won't take that either. Is this normal? What should I do? I'm frustrated. Also, she does eat rice, potatoes, bananas (her favorite), etc.

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answers from Appleton on

Pick one and start by mixing the formula with the milk you choose about 3/4 -1/4 milk in the cup. This way she will have the same flavor she is used to and you can gradually add more milk and less formula over a few weeks.
I personally would not give a child soy milk unless she has to drink only that. Soy had estrogen I don't believe babies need hormones.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

Make a more gradual change by mixing just a bit of milk into the formula, and then after a couple of days a bit more etc until you can make the full switch. At 12 months she can also be eating many table foods, at the center I work at we start them on table food between 8-10 months and at 12 months they are eating a full menu of foods so formula/milk becomes less important. At 12 months we stop giving them bottle full stop and they just drink milk at meal times.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Boston on

I never heard of taking a child off formula all at once, so I don't blame her for being frustrated.

First of all, does she eat enough of a wide range solid foods to get all her nutrients from that? If not, almond milk (or soy) isn't going to give her all that she needs. Same with Pediasure. She's going to have to eat more and more solid food and just use the liquids as an add-on. If you're not filling her up on formula, she'll probably eat more solids but you have to offer them and make them far more than just her favorites.

Otherwise, wean her off slowly. Do 90% formula and 10% of the new liquid you're using, and stay with that for a week. Also use that week to introduce 1-2 new foods. Next week, 80/20, and more foods. And so on. She still needs fluids of course, but kids can get some of that from other sources especially fruits.

The doctor may want her off the bottle and onto a sippy cup, which is fine if you are there are supervising (or if you have a spill-proof one). She'll probably find that frustrating too, so do it gradually. I wouldn't introduce a new taste and a new cup at the same time.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

Formula is a food, but milk is simply an optional beverage. Formula is replaced by a wide variety of solid foods. Sometimes parents think they are supposed to switch from formula to milk, but that is not the case and it sometimes leaves the child nutrient deficient.

What I'm saying is, there is no reason for your child to drink milk if she doesn't like it. She can eat cheese, yogurt, eggs, and other things for calcium and fats. If she is not getting most of her nutrition from solid foods yet, then continuing formula is the way to go for now. Taper back on the amount as more solids are added to her diet. Offer water to drink with meals and between times, in a cup.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I would not stop all formula and switch 100 % immediately. I would make the switch gradually by mixing the formula with something else. I would push water very hard because she needs to get in a habit of drinking a lot of water for the rest of her life for good health. When you do give other options, make sure to read the ingredients so you are are not pushing sugar which would be a hard habit to break.

I realize you were likely frustrated when you wrote your question but she is also testing you because she knows you will give in. Don't allow the temper tantrums to change your mind as parent.

Remember that you are the parent and you set the rules or you will be in a lifetime of battles.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

She is just newly 1 and weaning off of formula is a gradual process. Here is how I moved my kids to drinking milk.

First, I never ever put regular milk into a bottle. Suddenly putting something different in the bottle totally confuses them because that is not what they expect to have in there so don't do it.

I started putting regular cold whole milk into a sippy cup, and at meals, I would sit the baby in his high chair with his real food on a plate (soft cooked veggies in small pieces, etc) along with the sippy cup of milk. Then, their meal looked just like our meal - a plate of food with a drink in a cup. Then I let them feed themselves. If they threw the sippy cup on the floor, I put it on the table where they couldn't reach it for a few minutes. Then, put it back on the tray in case they wanted to try it. I never tried to make them drink from it. Toddlers love to imitate the people around them, so if they see you eating and drinking, they will try it too.

Your baby probably isn't eating enough real food to meet all her nutritional needs yet, based on your list of foods that she likes, so after the meal, to finish filling up the tummy and make sure they got the nutrition they needed, I would give the formula (in my case, I was nursing but same concept). But always real food and drink at the table first, when they are hungry, and the supplemental formula after the meal just to top it off.

Over time, they would eat more of the real food and get used to the milk in the sippy at the table, and need less from the bottle/breast after the meal, gradually weaning from the bottle/breast.

I do not agree with simply taking it away, since many babies are not fully transitioned to real food at 12 months old, and they still need nutrition from the formula/breastmilk.

Also, unless you have a medical reason for almond milk, I'd stick with regular organic whole milk. Dairy a good source of protein for young kids. I was never a fan of soy milk for kids because of the estrogenic properties.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

cold turkey is hard for adults. it's no surprise that your small baby also struggles with it.

is there some reason why your doctor is recommending non-dairy? i can't think of any good reason to give a baby soy milk.

i'd stop trying everything and go with the one thing you want her to drink. for me it would be organic whole milk. start mixing a little into her formula. don't rush it. just a little at a time. if it takes a couple of months to get her altogether onto milk, that's no problem, right?

if someone just took away the only thing you'd been nourished on for a year and swapped it for something completely different you'd be mad too. so the 'taste test' simply shows that she has good common sense. she knows you're trying to trick her.

don't get frustrated with your tiny child for behaving logically. this is not something you need to force. make a gradual change and don't expect her to accept all new things happily. pushing back shows strength and an admirably forceful character.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I wouldn't go with soy milk. Soy is gmo.

Since she's use to formula I'd probably go with regular milk. Put it in a sippy cup and walk away. If you keep caving and giving her formula you are teaching her that she can protest and get her way.If she goes without drinking milk or formula for a couple days its not the end of the world. She'll figure it out.

My youngest daughter is big time into almond milk. She ran out of it one day and made her own with almonds and water in the blender. She stopped buying it after that because its much cheaper to make it yourself and doesn't have all the additives.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Welcome to mamapedia.

Your daughter is testing you in a battle of wills and she's winning. She knows you will give in and give her what she wants.

STOP BUYING FORMULA. PERIOD - don't have it in the house.
Give her a sippy cup with milk or almond milk (I would avoid SOY as it's filled with hormones).
When she throws a fit. Offer her water. If she declines the water? Tell her that's her options. Milk or water. PERIOD.
YOU ARE THE PARENT. Start parenting. Stop allowing a 1 one year old to dictate what is being served in the house.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Allentown on

The WHO now recommends nursing or formula for at least two years. Babies are still growing at a fast rate this young and breast milk or formula still play a significant role in that physical and brain growth. I nursed all my kids but if I had needed formula I would have followed the same guidelines. My oldest never drank milk and still doesn’t. She was nursed until age 4 and she drank water in a sippy cup. Not much until after age two. Now she drinks lots of water. My son nursed til age two and I gave him pediasure after that because he liked the sweet taste of breast milk. He then went to regular milk and he doesn’t drink water so I am disappointed in that. I would offer water in a sippy cup but continue the formula and continue to offer more solid foods. By age 2 she should have a varied diet of solid food and should naturally drink less formula. As she gets older, make sure to offer meals before the formula. After age two you can start to decrease the amount of formula. I would also start transitioning the formula from a bottle to a sippy cup and eventually to a regular cup. I would be more concerned about decreasing bottle usage and switching to a sippy cup rather than decreasing the formula right now. I would continue to offer the formula after solid food meals. There are sippy cups that have the soft feel of the bottle so I would use those first. Then eventually transition to more traditional sippy cups for the water and formula. Once she is drinking the formula from a sippy cup and eating more solid foods, you can worry about decreasing the formula. And continue to offer water in a sippy. She will eventually try it. It may not be much for another year or so but she will be getting water in the formula.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I just switched directly to cow's milk (whole), heated it very well (heat a bit more perhaps), and acted like it was totally normal.

I may have mixed with formula to start with.

I didn't have issues - that I can recall. That came later when trying to wean them off at night (mixing with water).

I would try heating it up a bit more. That seemed to work for me. Good luck :)

I wouldn't try the other options unless she has a reaction to cow's milk. Think they have to mention those just in case.

If not eating favorites or taking milk, she may not be feeling well/coming down with something or teething.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

You got some great advice below. It needs to be changed gradually. Stop trying the Pediasure. One of the first ingredients is sugar. If this is one of her first drinks of choice, drinking things without sugar will be a battle.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I suggest that your daughter, like most of us, dislikes change. I suggest you choose one and consistently offer just that one. Just give that one milk. Do not offer her the formula. Do not try to convince her to drink it. Give it to her and "walk" away. Let her decide to take it or not. Pay no attention to whether or not she drinks it.

Is there a reason the pediatrician gave you nondairy options? Does the formula you use contain milk? I suggest that cow milk will give her the most nutrients.

After reading ReverendRuby's advice, I agree you need to start with the formula she is used to and over a few days add less milk and add more of new milk.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

what would I do if I were you?

I would start mixing milk and formula together. Every day I would ensure more milk (WHOLE MILK) gets in than formula.

In one week, she should be used to the taste of whole milk and no more formula.

Easy solution.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Whats wrong with giving formula? I personally would still give it to her. I nursed until my girls were 3 yo. At a year they started eating whatever we ate but at least I knew they were still getting nutrition from BM.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

You probably need to make the change gradual. Put a little of other milk in with the formula. like 3/4 formula and 1/4 milk. Do that for a few days then go to half maybe a little less than half milk. Don't do it cold turkey. At 1 my boys both were eating table some table food. You need to stand your ground. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Above everything, your baby needs the fat in milk. In fact, you aren’t supposed to switch to 2 percent milk until she is at least 2 years old. She needs 4 percent first.

Talk to your ped about this do you understand the difference in formula and whole milk. Food is also important, but this healthy fat and the calcium are crucial.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

Try pet milk in the can aka condensed milk. It’s thick like formula and taste good.



answers from Spartanburg on

I gave my picky daughter a toddler formula until she was around 16 months old. Some kids take to a regular table routine easier than others. The more you worry about it the pickier they seem to get. I do know that their growth isn't as rapid after the first year or so. They still need good nutrition and just offer her a cup of chocolate milk even that is how i broke my son from a breast/bottle at 18 months old. gave him ovaltine in a cup! loved it. isn't good like several times a day of course but it is full of vitamins. don't put it in a bottle though. the key to getting them off bottle/breast/formula is make the cup more desirable lol... also several people i know breastfeed well past one year. nothing wrong with that either. you and your baby will have to set a pace that is good for you. don't let some pediatrician especially one over 50 tell you how to do it because they are old school and there are a lot of new good ideas out there. good luck

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