When Do I Stop Giving My Baby Her Bottle and Formula?

Updated on March 13, 2009
T.R. asks from Telford, PA
15 answers

My daughter is a healthy and normal 9 and a half months old, she eats 3 or 4 meals of baby food and select soilds a day, and hardly wants her bottle anymore, she doesnt cry for it or really act fussy without it, but is she too young to not have it anymore? should i be giving her formula in a sippy cup instead?? or is it ok to switch to milk this early, she has already had a few things with milk in it so i know shes not allergic.

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answers from Philadelphia on

Hi T.! Both of my kids were the same way. They ate everything and really wanted little to do with a bottle. I gave them their formula in a sippy cup until they were one, then gradually weaned them over to whole milk. I think they need all of the fats and extra nutrients in formula when they are still that young. I always felt more comfortable switching to milk when my doctor gave me the liquid vitamins to start. You are so lucky to have a good eater. Take care!

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answers from Erie on

Stay on the formula until she's 12 months old. It's not necesarily an allergy issue, it's a development issue. Cows milk is designed for calves. Human breastmilk was designed for human babies. We humans got smart and started drinking cow's milk, but that doesnt' meant that human infants are physically equipped to digest it. That's why there's baby formula for non-nursing moms.

Because by now your child is eating meals, you could give her a cup of water (I used a glass) at mealtime. If you want her to control it, make it plastic. I liked glass, because they tend to chew it a little, and with a glass you can see where the fluid is as you tip it. To drink from a cup, a child has to learn to reverse the tongue action versus drinking from a bottle. So you controlling the incline of the cup and seeing it thru the glass makes spillage a bit less frequent. :-) It's a fun process if you tackle it with a bit of laughter. There will definately be times when water simply drools down the face.

As for formula in a sippy cup? Entirely up to you. I would make that decision based on Kaelyn's behavior. If she doesn't ask for a bottle, you don't need to give her one, just because she's used to having one. If you give her a drink another way, apple juice, water, formula, she's still getting fluid into her, and if she decides she'd like a bottle, she'll let you know. Parenting is kind of like playing a new game: you learn strategy as you go, and you use what works best with each child. They are all different, and families are all different, and we're all just making our best guesses and doing the best we can. There's no magic chart that tells you the best way to do stuff, the whens and how-to's of swapping from one thing to another . . . it's a whole lot of experiementing and interacting with your kids.

And that's one thing that makes this website so cool -- cuz parents can share ideas and strategies, you can then filter them and use what you like best !

have fun ! And have a wonderful time growing with your daughter !! I am CONSTANTLY amazed as I look at my kids, (28, 25, 15 and 13) at what talented humans they have grown/are growing into -- some things were evident at a young age, and some come with age. And it's great fun to give them the room to explore (within limits) and to see the people they become !

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Harrisburg on

This would definitely be a good time to try to move your daughter to a sippy cup. She might take to the formula better in the sippy cup.

Don't start the regular milk this early. Your are not supposed to introduce regular milk until your child reaches 1 year. The reason for this is that children prior to one year of age are more susceptible to developing a milk allergy because there tiny little stomachs aren't developed enough to handle the regular milk.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Babies need formula until they are a year old to get all the vitamins they need. She might not want the bottle threw the day cause she is feeling up on food. Its seems like she is eating alot of jar food in a day.maybe try cutting back on some.



answers from Philadelphia on

Dear T.,

Ok, so i read over all of the posts and I wanted to give my opinion, only my experience for that matter. I breast-fed and supplemented with formula both my children (now 6 & 4). The were on a bottle briefly, until about 5 months old and then had any fluids other than breast-feeding in a sippy cup. I think your daughter is indicating to you she is willing and interested in trying a sippy cup. It was our decision not to have bottles bacause I could not stand to watch a baby walk around with a bottle hanging in their mouth (just my own preference). And I did not want food/ milk to become a comfort issue.

About the whole milk verses formula thing. Both my children went to whole milk at 10 months with my pediatrician's approval.

In my humbly opinion, I feel the formula companies are selling a product and their main goal is to sell that product to you as long as they can, a very expensive product I might add. For example, Nestle went into third world countries and marketed formula to the locals in guise of helping the locals with nutrition and the mothers stopped relying on breast-milk and began relying on formula. This was a difficulty because third world countries often have unsafe drinking water and unsanitary conditions and language translation issues. So the formula caused problems in mixing quantities, using unsafe water, and preparing unsanitary bottles. Google "nestle formula third world" and you can read up on it.

And for those who say babies tummies cannot handle milk; all formulas except soy-based are made from milk. Our mother's generation used to home make formula with carnation dried milk. So if your infant has had regular formula, they have been exposed to milk. And this is not a newborn tummy, this is an almost 10 month old tummy which has been eating all types of foods. As my pediatrician said to me, "there is no magic change that happens from a 10 month old to a 12 month old tummy".

Along the nutritional side, if your baby is eating a well rounded variety of fruits, veggies, and meats and milk (via my pediatrician) they are getting everything they need without the formula. And if your child had a milk allergy, it would already have developed and pronounced itself by now. And if you are really worried, why not give an infant liquid vitamin over giving formula. It is much cheaper!

Again, only my humble opinion. But I wanted you to have one opposing view to all the other posters who had kindly replied to your request.

Talk with your pediatrician, do your research, and then follow your gut. No one person knows all; they can only give your their educated opinion.

ann m.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Maybe try formula in sippy cup til 12 mo., then switch to milk. (Most formula is milk-based FYI)



answers from Philadelphia on

A bottle is a tool. It's a tool for children who cannot yet hold and drink from an open cup yet. While most parents will allow a child to use it until a year old, and even beyond (yikes), a cup should be introduced as soon as the child can hold it on their own. They'll learn to tip it back, hence the old style sippy cups with no inserts. The old style cups let the milk drain but not pour. The new style sippies have created all of us to become lazy. Yes, me too! You must suck to get milk out of the new style sippies, so what's the real difference between a bottle and new style sippy? Not much. Sippies are great for travel, but have become our children's every day use. The earlier you introduce an old style sippy and later the open cup, the easier the transitions seem to be. Buy an old style cup or take the insert out. The nice thing about the old style sippies were that the bottoms were round so when they sat them down they would stand right up without as much spilling. I used these with my 21 and 13 year old kids, before the new style sippies. My older son was off a bottle before a year as it was unnecessary. My second son wanted the sippy and I offered it to him at 6 months. He never wanted another bottle again! The sucking can really become a habit and isn't good for the teeth for formation and the milk is more likely to sit on the teeth longer when sucking a bottle. I suggest switching now to an old style sippy. Save the new syle for when you're out of the house. Keep your kids at the table for snacks rather than getting into the habit of roaming the house holding their drink.

I'm sure you'll get differing opinions on this but do what works best for you.

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets

chat and events within 2 hour radius

**I missed the formula part, lol. Formula is best until a year old, mainly for the iron. Babies have a hard time eating iron if it's not mashed. And by your child's age she should be eating finger foods for most of her eating. The first year is a "test period" for trying new foods and for practicing how to eat, so formula is very important to keep in a child's diet! By a year old, they've tried most foods, you'll know their likes and tolerances, and are able to eat three balanced meals a day, so switching to milk at a year is the best choice. Sure, formula companies are out to make money, but doctors aren't going to tell you to keep your kids on formula until a year old to make a buck, lol. They know that most kids aren't yet eating a good balanced meal until a year old. It's about your child's health. If the cost is too much, see if you qualify for WIC or try Parents Choice at Walmart. They have a great line and match the same ingredients as other brands!



answers from Philadelphia on

I would put the formula in a sippy cup. she still needs the nutrients from it. do not do milk until she reaches a year old. my son stopped taking a bottle at seven months and did a sippy cup with formula and soy milk. when he was a year old i started doing soy milk. when he did whole milk he got diarreha from it. he still likes the soy milk and he is almost 20 months old. make sure she is getting enough calcium. at this point you could do yogurt. i would start her off with the yo baby yogurts. they have a lot of the same ingredients that the formula does like the dha. when she reaches over a year old you could do the regular yogurt. good luck, sounds like you are doing great.



answers from York on

My daughter is 9 mths & uses a sippy cup. I think it is good to switch around 9-10 months because it makes an easier transition. I would not switch to milk yet. They should not have milk until 1 yr, not just because of allergies but because formula has all the nutrients a developing baby needs.


answers from Allentown on

Hi T.,

A year old. Talk to the baby's peditrician.

Good luck. D.



answers from Harrisburg on

A sippy might not be a bad idea to help her transition. I would keep her on formula, as milk is not as filling or nutrient dense. Formula is made to be part of a babys diet for at least the first year. Milk is only able to be digested properly after a year of life and lacks all the "goodies" that a reapidly growing child needs. As far as quantity of formual, I would contact your Ped if she is not drinking any formula during that day. She can get dehydrated by not taking in any fluids other then what her foods contain.



answers from State College on

Not having a bottle is a good thing. At this age, though, not having the formula is not. Babies still need the extra nutrients in formula. It is generally suggested that you start giving cow's or soy milk at about 1 year of age. If the bottle is no interest then start a sippy cup. My peditrician started my twins on a sippy cup at 6 months--first holding it and playing with it, then sipping, etc. They were exclusively breastfed until 15 months but had juice, water and breastmilk in a sippy cup starting at six months. Give it a try! It may just be something new and exciting.



answers from Pittsburgh on

I don't think there's any harm in trying a sippy cup or small regular cup for the formula. I've always been told that their little tummies won't handle milk well until 1 year, so I'd hold off on that for a few more months. By June you will not be buying formula! Good luck!



answers from Allentown on

I have not read all your responses so I may repeat what others have said. I have 4 children so I have definitely "been there, done that". I have always listened to the pediatrician and read many magazines and articles, so I think that I am well informed on most issues.

The first thing, is that your child needs the nutrients in formula till 12 months old. After that you should switch to whole milk till 24 months and then to 1% or skim. You may hear that switching now won't hurt or you may try it and say she is fine. But, do you want to risk it? Formula has different nutrients than milk, for brain development, etc.
It's not all about diarrhea.

Second, I always started introducing the sippy cup at 6 months old. Once my children were able to use it sucessfully and consistantly with no problems, that's what they used all the time. My thought was, why use a bottle when they can use a cup? It gave no chance to get attached to the bottle. They never even missed it. I have witnessed many other children get attached to the bottle and it can be VERY hard to break. I've also witnessed it cause baby bottle tooth decay in other children.
My advice is to switch if you can.

Good luck with whatever you decide!!



answers from Philadelphia on

Hi T..
By about ten months bottles weren't fully satisfying my daughter. She set the pace. The doctor did tell me that it is in that time frame (9-12months) that their bodies start switching over and taking more nutrients from food. Also, I started switching to milk after 11 months, and put it in a bottle. It was an easy transition. We never had bedtime bottles, never any drama.

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