Pediatrician Told Me to Keep My Son on Formula at the 1 Year Visit. Need Advice

Updated on April 29, 2010
K.J. asks from Manassas, VA
16 answers

I am so sorry, this is going to be long. I like to get a lot of detail in.

My son is now 16 months. He does not eat well at all. When I took him to the one year visit, the dr said to keep him on formula (which is infant formula that says on the lable it only goes up to 12 months old.) I asked if he needed a seperate vitamin and he said no because there are vitamins in there.

Now, when I went for the 15 month visit they said he should be on milk. I told this pediatrician (he was allergic to milk and he doesn't eat good at all so he has been on soy formula per the last dr's instructions) and he said it's fine to keep him on formula. Same thing about the vitamins, you don't need extra he said.

Well, I read a lot of bad things about soy formula so I moved him to similac advanced infant and he has been fine but there aren't enough vitamins in there for his age so I called the pediatrician and they said to put him on toddler formula. Which I bought the similac go and grow which is a powder. I tried it and my son will cough and gag on it. Yes, I know I made it right. He didn't do good with powder formula when he was an infant so we had him on the ready to feed liquid. Since they don't make liquid in the go and grow what do I do? My main concern is that he gets enough vitamins. Should I give him a seperate vitamin?

If so, what brand? I don't completely trust my pediatrician, I would get another, but the next closest is 45 minutes away which would be too far to travel with a sick baby.

Thanks in advance!

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So What Happened?

Thanks so much for the replies everyone! I used bottle water. I will try nursery water, thanks for the advice! Also I will try to ween him. Should I also have him on a seperate vitamin too? If so, what brand, thanks again!

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answers from New York on

My son was on formula for 2 years....the second year I switched him to Similac's Go and Grow formula which is for older kids. (I think the label says 12-24 months) He was a picky eater and didn't like milk so I felt good that he was getting the vitamins from that. Good luck!



answers from Washington DC on

If he was able to tolerate the similac advance (non-soy) formula, then maybe he isn't allergic to milk after all...if he had problems with milk based formula as a newborn it could be he was lactose intolerant or something else besides a true allergy and now could maybe go to regular milk. If you still need added nutrition besides the regular whole milk, you could do carnation instant breakfast to add the vitamins. Hopefully this is just a phase and you can get him to start eating regular food too. Good luck!

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answers from Fort Wayne on

We put my daughter on gummy vitamins at 1, per her pediatricians instructions. I think they were called "My First Flintstones" I just gave her one. I think the dose is 2 for kids 2 and over. It's important that you get him to eat though. Offer him food lots of times throughout the day. Let him explore finger foods. Cheerios and banana is a good breakfast. Any finger foods for lunch and dinner. If he's still taking lots of formula throughout the day, then he might be feeling full and that could be what's causing him to not eat. He can't stay on formula forever! Try him on a little bit of milk and see what happens, many children outgrow their sensitivity to dairy.
My 3 year old is a terrible eater some days. I swear, the kid can live on air. It used to really freak me out. I thought she was going to get malnourished and have all kinds of health problems. She's just fine. She's a normal healthy and happy 3 year old. They eat when they're hungry. I found that when I stopped hounding her to eat and stopped getting all stressed out about it, she ate a lot better. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Hi K.,

Are you using tap water to mix the powdered formula? Have you tried making the 2nd stage formula with Nursery water? Maybe your son doesn't like your local water? It could be adding a different taste he doesn't like. I tried adding formula to pedialite once when my son had a bad tummy issue - he wouldn't touch it. He did the same thing anytime I added a vitamin supplement - anything that changed the flavor.

It's easy to get hung up on vitamins. It's not just vitamins babies and toddlers need - they are growing rapidly and their needs are different then an older child or adult -- they need fat for brain development, proteins, calcium, etc. So if the second stage just won't work - I would stay on the Soy formula that was working.

Though you don't want to switch Pedi's for emergencies - you could go to another for his regular check ups and for a second opinion. I don't see the harm in that. 45 minutes for peace of mind and knowing my child was getting care I was confident in -- seems well worth it.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Whatever formula you are giving you child or milk, you definitely need to give him vitamins esp. that they need the vitamin D! Also, try Goat's milk for his allergy. My daughter had a milk allergy and was on Similac Alimentum liquid formula. She hated the powder too. The insurance covered some of it b/c of her allergy. My pediatrician and gastro said to introduce milk slowly after 1 b/c they usually grow out of the allergy. She did fabulous and is now on milk. She is 17 months old. I know every child is different and so are pediatricians! I have to agree w/ the other Moms to get a second opinion. You should also try a pediatric gastro. They are excellent at St. Barnabas in Livingston. Good Luck!! One last thing, my pediatrician prescribed the vitamins. They are drops w/ iron. BTW, what town do you live in? Maybe a mom can recommend a pediatrician!



answers from Utica on

Hi K.
Are you asking if you should give your child vitamins at 16 mo? If that is the question, go to the local health food store and ask the owner/clerk what vitamins they recommend for your son. They will help you, I think.
Similac used to be a milk formula. So if he is coughing on it that may be why.
You do of course know that there are other symptoms of allergy than just stuffy noses and dysentery, right?
Is the reason the ped. is telling you no vitamins are necessary because he is still on formula? Formula has all the vitamins/minerals etc that a child needs usually. Just a thought. In case you need the MD/ped to advise you.
You don't mention how well he is eating other foods, and that is also a determining factor on what kinds of drink/formula they need.
God bless you as you make lots of decisions



answers from New York on

What about pediasure? As for vitamins, it is up to you. I have tried several, one was from whole foods (drops), one was from target (drops) and one from trader joes (chewable)
My son is a good eater, so I do not sweat the vitamins but if he does not eat well or is getting sick, I try to give him a vitamin boost. This is my chioce just as it is yor choice, not your child's doctor. You are the mother, do what you know is best.



answers from Detroit on

Ok.. every brand of infant formula has a full amount of vitamins for a baby taht is drinking only formula. - that the baby is not eating anything else at all as that is what babies do for the first several months they live on formula only..

If your son is not eating a good amount of table foods or baby foods then he need to be on formula.. Cows milk is not a complete food it does not have all the vitmains and minerals in it.. when your son learns to eat food then he can switch to cows milk..

I would keep him on whatever formula he likes - the brand doesnt matter - if he can tolerate the milk based formulas that is better than soy for him.

The toddler formulas do not have the same nutritional content in them as they are not a complete food.. they are for older kids eating food.



answers from New York on

Have you tried Good Start 2 by Gerber? It is another "advanced" formula. Also, try running it through the blender. I know you can mix it by hand, but there is always bits of grit leftover (think hot coco).

As for the vitamins, we give our two children vitamins that are from the doctor by prescription. They have flouride and iron in them. I am not sure what else though.




answers from Charlotte on




answers from Nashville on

Enfamile makes a formula now for 12 months and older that is like milk but geared toward the formula babies use. It comes in vanilla floavor...I'm sure it's expensive but it may be more what you ar elooking for



answers from Cleveland on

If you don't trust your pediatrictian, I would get a second opition... even if you just go this once. Maybe even talk to the local hospital & see if you can see a dietitian about his eating & your concerns w/ his vitamin & nutritional intake.

Most over the counter vitamins are for kids 2 or older. So, at 15 mo. I would be concerned that they would be to strong for your little guy.

Also, I beilve that there are some ready-to-serve toddler formulas out there - have you tried any of the other types/brands to see if he can handle them?

Another thing you might want to try is - have him sit with you at meal times (that is if he isn't already) & offer him what you are eating for dinner. When I first started my kids on "our" food they ate off my plate. I'd just cut up stuff really small for them and feed it to them. Mine loved potatoes, sweet potatoes, cooked carrots, bananas, pears, cooked apples, strawberries, melons, cooked peas, oatmeal, chicken (every way I cooked it), spagetti w/ meat sauce, sloppy joes (just the meat), and soft french fries. The also like snacking on ghram cackers, vanilla waffers, dry cereals, animal cookies & the baby snacks.

I wish you luck in getting him to eat a little better & also feeling more comfertable in what he is taking in.



answers from Fargo on

i would get a second opinion. both of my boys are/have been allergic to dairy since they were 6-8 months old and been on soy milk since. never had a problem with it. we drive 4 hours ONE way to see 4 certain doctors. yes it is costly and long but it is worth it. when the oldest was a baby i had to drive one hour to the closest town with a doctor so 45 minutes is nothing. now it takes me 20 minutes to go see my youngest son's doctor(who i don't really trust). so honestly yes get a second opinion.



answers from New York on

Hi. I am a pediatrircian in Poughkeepsie. I am happy to give advice. As I understand it from your blogging you believe your child is allergic to "milk" ? This is something you need to know for sure, and can be determined via testing. If he tolerated similac advance then likely he is not truly allergic. At this point he is in need of learning how to tolerate a typical toddler diet, which includes milk and solid food. He can be offered increased calorie intake if he is determined to have a failure to thrive concern with the pediatric supplement pediasure, which insurance covers. Most children feed to sustain growth unless there is a biological or medical health problem, which he can be evaluated for. It is a funny thing how many of us believe our children don't eat well, yet, they are growing fine if the parameters of growth are assessed. This is the responsibility of your pediatrician to evaluate and explain to you. In regard to vitamins, most pediatricians recommend a daily vitamin supplement once children are drinking whole milk and eating table food. It is true that formula provides the necessary vitamin supplement approved by the FDA. There are precription vitamins with flouride for all ages. Your doctor should educate you in regard to this. I am a proponent of nutrional supplements, and am an independent distirbutor for a company. I believe it is difficult for any of us to eat healthy enough on a regular basis to get the best nutrition possible, and that includes me :-) !! So, if you wish for more information certainly I will be willing to help. Trusting your pediatrician is important, and if you do not feel comfortable with yours then I would recommend you seeking out a different one, or having a discussion with the current one in regard to your concerns. Most of us are willing to listen, and respect the parent's questions as long as we feel we are also respected. Thanks for listening, Pedidrdi



answers from Minneapolis on

Have you considered soy milk? My son had a dairy sensitivity, so we transitioned him to soy milk at 12 months based on our pediatrician's recommendation. We found a brand that doesn't have a lot of added sugar, still has a fair amount of fat (for soy milk), and has added calcium and vitamin D (Cub store brand). By the way, he's now eating some dairy but can't handle tons of it at once, so we still use some soy milk for drinking.



answers from Wilmington on

The taste is probably different than what he is used to. Like mentioned below, try Nursery water if you are using tap water. Also, try weaning him off what he's on now and onto the toddler formula.

To help him get used to it, start with 3/4 old formula and 1/4 new formula. Go like this for about a week. Then mix half and half for about a week. Then 1/4 old and 3/4 old for about a week, then stop the old and give 100% new. IF at any time he starts having trouble with the new mix, go back to the previous step for another week then try again. you may have to do the reduction and addition a little slower and in smaller amounts rather than just a simple 3/4 to 1/4, 1/2 to 1/2, etc.

My little ones stayed anemic between the ages of 1 and 2 so we did the toddler formula as a supplement for the extra iron that they needed because they would NOT take iron drops (those things taste nasty).

As for a vitamin, Flintstones are what my pediatrician recommends. Just make sure you get the one for under 2 years of age. The liquid vitamins also taste nasty and my kids wouldn't take them and you cannot hid them in anything as they have a strong smell and taste. Everything I've read gives mixed reviews anyway on the need for vitamins in pill form. Most say they aren't absorbed very well and it is better to get them through food sources anyway.

If you are uncomfortable with the doctor you see now, seek a second opinion just to ease your mind. Just some food for thought, but if you can't trust the doctor on this issue, which isn't life or death, how could you trust them when it is a more serious situation? I know 45 minutes is a ways to drive with a sick baby, but I'd rather drive that and have a doctor I trusted than to always wonder and second guess what a doctor was telling me. We drive almost 30 min one way (depending on traffic) to see our pediatrician, not by choice, but by necessity because of where we live.

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