Switching from Formula to Cow's Milk

Updated on June 08, 2010
N.F. asks from San Mateo, CA
17 answers

My twin girls just turned 1 and today I switched them to cow's milk. For one of them, the transition was easy. However, the other one will NOT drink it. What should I do? I am tired of making formula and feeling very frustrated. Help!

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So What Happened?

Thanks everyone! As always, some very good advice. I've been mixing in 1 ounce of milk with her formula, and so far so good. It really helps to know I am not alone and others have dealt with this. Sometimes it feels like nothing with twins will ever be easy, but I am trying to take it one day at a time. Now, if only they would sleep later than 5 a.m..... :)

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answers from Sacramento on

Ease her into it very gradually. If you do 8 oz of formula at a time, do 7 oz of formula and 1 oz of milk for a couple of days then go 2 oz of milk, etc. It's what I had to do with my family to get them off of 2% milk and onto 1% (still working on skim). I'm still working on white bread to whole grain bread with a teenager, much harder to do LOL

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answers from San Francisco on

I would try almond milk. I gave my son almond milk and he loved it.When I try to take it away from him he screams...LOL. It is kind of sweet and a little thinner than cow's milk. Also it doesn't have any hormones in it.

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answers from Sacramento on

Ask your pediatrician if maybe you can wait and try again later, try 2% instead of whole milk or soy milk? In the meantime, know this will pass and continue with the formula for now, juice twice a day, water and a good well balanced diet of whatever she can eat. Hang in there. It WILL GET BETTER!

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answers from Fresno on

Well, they DO taste different and you just have one child with a more discriminating palate. Try making formula and then gradually adding cows milk a little at the time and gradually reducing the amount of formula. Do it slowly. It will take a few weeks, but if you slowly increase the amount of cow's milk in the mixture (change it every few days), she will probably make the transition with no problem unless she turns out to have an actually allergy to dairy products. Good luck. :-)

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answers from Modesto on

I hear you!!! My son transitioned fine. My daughter (now 19 mo.) still will not drink it at all-I've tried for 7 mo. I've tried mixing with formula. Tried warm and cold. She will refuse to drink ALL DAY if I only offer her milk. She does drink tons of water though. I am sure to feed her yogurt and cheese EVERY day. I will be talking to the dr about this again soon. I am going to ask him about Ovaltine fortified drink mix to see if is appropriate. My daughter loves sweet stuff (unfortunately!) and she might go for it. Calcium stores are built until about age 35, with the critical time being childhood. She needs more calcium somehow and at least I'd feel a slight bit better about Ovaltine with it's additional vitamins than straight chocolate milk. I'm going to tell my son it's "medicine" for her so hopefully I won't have a battle over him only wanting to drink chocolate milk. We'll see. I'd keep trying the milk for a couple of months with your child - some take a while to adjust. BUt if still nothing-good luck to you. You are not the only one in this situation........

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answers from San Francisco on

For my girls we did a mix of formula & milk to ease the transistion. Week one...3/4 formula, 1/4 milk. Week two...1/2 and 1/2. Week three...1/4 and 3/4. Week four anf forward....all milk. The temperature could also be a problem....if she's used to warm formula, you might want to try warming the milk for a bit and slowly decrease the temp.
Good luck!

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answers from Stockton on

i agree with the trick of gradually mixing in milk with the formula - it worked very well for my son. We had to transition him off breastmilk to formula for 2 months and then to cow's milk. We also got rid of bottles at 1 year old and he was thrilled to get colorful sippy cups like the "big boys" at his daycare. Try a sippy cup instead of bottle to see if the new container will make her more accepting of the new taste. I hate the way formula smells - can't blame you for being excited to ditch it!



answers from New York on

Both of my sons were allergic to cows milk so I had to "ween" them onto it. 8 oz. of formula became 7 oz of formula and 1 oz of milk for 4 - 5 days. If that was tolerated, then it became 6oz. of formula and 2 oz. of milk for 4 - 5 days, etc. Maybe the taste is too drastic for her. Try introducing it mixed with some formula until she gets use to the taste. If there's no allergy, maybe you could begin with 1/2 formula, 1/2 milk? OH, just had another thought. Maybe it's a temperature thing? Was the formula warm or room temp and now the milk is cold from the fridge? That might be why she doesn't want it.
I totally understand being tired of making formula! Hang in there!



answers from San Francisco on

One of my kids likes milk, but the other doesn't. At 11 months, the non-milk drinker self weaned and went to a full food diet. No problem. She was happy to eat cheese and broccoli and other foods with calcium and magnesium. Milk, or soy, or almond milk, rice milk, whatever, are not necessary. Eating a variety of food will keep them plenty healthy.
My non-milk drinker is now 15 and is a multi-sport athlete with high grades and plenty of friends, so I think everything turned out ok. :)



answers from Honolulu on

When I switched my son I put 3/4 formula 1/4 cow for 2 days than 1/2 and 1/2 for 2 days than 1/4 formula and 3/4 cow for 2 days than he never noticed when he was drinking cow fully.



answers from San Francisco on

Have you tried raw cow's milk or goat's milk? Raw milk is not pasturized, so the natural nutrients and enzymes (which digest the lactose) are not destroyed. It tastes delicious too ! There is a dairy that brings raw milk every Sunday to the downtown Campbell Farmer's Market, and there is always a line at the booth.



answers from Boise on

I have researched medical trials, health papers and the affects of vitamins for 10 years. Here is my take on it:

There is quite a bit of calcium in the American diet. Alot of foods have calcium. The problem is not enough magnesium. Magnesium is REQUIRED by the body to absorb all that calcium.
People are getting an overload of calcium but can't absorb it without magnesium. (Remember, they now even add extra calcium to processed and canned foods.) This excess blood calcium creates hypercalcemia. Excess calcium is then released into soft tissues, (arteries, bladder, kidney, lung, heart) eventually hardening them. So the issue is NOT calcium, (since we get plenty in our diet) the issue at hand is magnesium. These two minerals go HAND IN HAND.

Cow milk has 8 times the calcium to magnesium ratio! I'm not totally bashing milk, but milk should be drank in small amounts AND magnesium needs to be supplemented. In fact magnesium should be supplemented by everyone. Further, pasturized milk has BILLIONS of bacteria in it- yes, this bacteria was killed when it was heated, BUT, those dead organisms release their toxic (excrement) when they die ...into the milk. Humans still have to process that toxic waste through the liver/kidney and out of our bodies.

Certainly subsituting Rice milk would work fine in small quanities (for example, over cereal.) I wouldnt go out of my way to feed it to them in cups to drink.

Soy isn't advisable because it creates thyroid problems. SOY is estrogenic.
Feeding a child soy formula is equivalent to giving 5 birth control pills a day.
I DID feed my baby soy before I knew this, and now at 12, she DOES have major health /thyroid issues. Her health issues are what started my quest for answers and my passion for medical research.

Formula was made for babies who were (not breastfed) and not completely on solid foods. At one year old, your children should be able to switch over to a food diet with no problem. ALL formulas now have a high amount of Iron in them- most people don't realize that Iron is a HEAVY METAL and should not be supplemented unless someone has a clear tested blood deficiency. Our body only uses TRACE amounts. IRON is easily toxic. Especially in the tiny bodies of babies. It does not leave tissues- it builds up to toxic levels. 30% of pediatric deaths in children were caused by iron supplements. Many of these under a doctor's supervision! So yet another reason to get away from formula.

Finally, another thing many do not know, is that there is no set "formula" for formula. There is no standardized recipe. They can put in anything they want to.



answers from New York on

A lot of children have difficulty with cow's milk. It can be very hard to digest, in additon many kids hate the taste. Also, they DO NOT NEED COWS MILK.. You may want to try soy or rice milk. If your ready to give up formula, just make sure she gets the same nutrients in milk from other sources... cheese, dark green veggies, yogurt, calcium fortified juices. Water is the best beverage choice for your child.



answers from San Francisco on

We drink Almond Breeze in our house and is loved by all of us. If you're worried about the calcium it has the same amount as milk. (buy the carton in the refridge. section, not on the shelf) Silk also makes it. There's original and vanilla. They're both excellent. As some of the other posts milk is hard to digest and we assume that's what we should be drinking because that's what we are told. Do some research on it. Milk is not made for humans to drink. It was hard for me to understand at first too but makes sense. Good luck. I just weaned my 1 yr old from nursing and have been slowly introducing the Almond breeze and he's doing great!



answers from San Francisco on


You could also try goat milk. The protein in goat milk is more like the protein in breastmilk. Or, you can try the raw milk. My kids drink goat milk or raw milk. I have a five year old and 19 month old twins.



answers from Atlanta on

Switch them to Raw Cows milk from cows on Pasture... It is far easier for them to digest then anything that is pasturized.
Start reading here.

Stay away from Soy or any of the fake milks, they are toxic to children.


In San Mateo you have access to some great raw milk dairy's.




answers from Charlotte on


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