Rules are rules and they weren’t all made to be broken, but you still know your baby best.
Baby J had trouble with breast feeding, he never seemed to be getting enough milk and we ended up supplementing with formula in between feedings. Maybe it’s a little too much information but somewhere along the lines of breast feeding and supplementing my boobs just plain dried up. One day I was at work and I noticed that there was no filling, no swelling and nothing coming out when I tried to pump. He was only two months old and because of my inability to make more milk, he became a solely formula baby. I felt defeated.
Now we had a formula fed baby, but nothing ever seemed to stay down. He started off on the formula specifically designed for babies who also receive breastmilk but when that wouldn’t stay down we had to switch it up. Thankfully they make formulas for baby’s who have a problem with spitting up, it has rice cereal in it and the added weight is supposed to keep it down. Well, we gave that a shot but ultimately he kept spitting up what seemed to be as much as half of every bottle. Next we tried out formula for baby’s with sensitive tummies. Surely something had to give, this had to be the one. The proteins in the sensitive tummy formula are already partially broken down to help aid in the babies digestion and make it easier for them. No such luck.
Once we had made all of these switches we were due for a baby check up and I remember discussing his troubles with keeping things down with the pediatrician. I told her all about the spitting up and how much came up every time, not only was it an absolute waste of formula but the poor thing had to be in some sort of distress to spend so much time spitting up. He was always so fussy, the amount of crying and discomfort he was always in was just heartbreaking. She advised me not to switch him again any time soon, despite my curiosity about maybe moving him onto soy formula (I had just been told by my boyfriend’s mom that he was lactose sensitive as a baby). When I came home that day I discussed what the doctor said and the way that I felt about soy formula with my boyfriend. We decided to make the change despite the recommendation to wait it out. Surely enough, soy stayed down.
All of that being said, I’m not one to regularly disobey the doctor’s orders and her points seemed to make a lot of sense. She said that a baby’s digestive system takes a little while to get used to a new formula and switching too often can lead to a build up in their little tummy’s that adds to the discomfort. In my opinion though, the amount he was spitting up on a regular basis (which she had never seen) was too much for me to handle anymore.
Back to the story at hand. After months and months of success on soy formula we made the gutsy move to regular milk based formula. He did perfectly fine with the switch and spent a few months with it while also trying out numerous dairy based snacks. Now we have an eleven month old baby who walks regularly, climbs onto all kinds of things, eats all kinds of toddleresk foods and seems to be ready for the next stage in the game.
We discussed switching him to milk early a few different times. After doing a large amount of research on the topic I mostly just found a lot of different opinions. There were people who said that their doctor’s OK’d it and others who said that their doctors advised strongly against it. Some babies reacted poorly to the switch, either becoming constipated, getting looser stools or just downright refusing to drink even a drop of it. Other babies drank up a whole bottle their first time and had no changes in digestion.
Personally, I believe that it comes down to your own baby’s personal reaction.
The day that we made the final decision Baby J was almost out of formula and I needed to buy some on my way home. I capped off my research with a few more bits of information and decided to make my way home without stopping at the store. As soon as I got home, I excitedly got a bottle and poured some milk in. After all, if he wasn’t going to accept the taste of milk I would rather know it early in the night instead of waiting a few hours and then having to drive half an hour to the store for formula. I tossed the bottle into the microwave for a bit and then brought it out to the living room for him. He drank the entire thing, never even looked the least bit confused about it.
The next step for me was to watch the way his body reacted to it. Any spit up? Any farting? Diarrhea or constipation? Nothing. Normal poos followed and he was just as happy as he had been on his formula diet.
There are some other things to consider when it boils down to the milk switch. Once you take formula out of your child’s diet it becomes more important than ever to make sure that their three meals are full of nutrients. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks all need to be packed with protein and vitamins. It’s more important than ever before to make sure that he isn’t drinking too much, because there are significantly less helpful components in milk VS. formula. On the plus side, with the increase of calcium and Vitamin D, this rough and tumble baby should be building extremely strong bones to keep up with the risky lifestyle he is leading.
No one can tell you if your baby is ready to make the switch better than your baby. If you plan to switch just pay close attention to your baby’s reaction, both the way they act and the way that their body reacts. I don’t recommend switching much sooner than eleven months though, as their little bodies do need time to mature in order to break down the proteins that are in cow’s milk. Ask your doctor, ask your family and friends, and if it feels right to you…go for it.
Questions? Comments? Leave them for me below and as always…Thanks for reading!