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How do I get my baby off formula?

(30 Posts)
bethatasitmay Sun 19-Jul-15 00:14:47

Long post! Sorry!! DD is nearly one and a half and still guzzles at least four full 7oz bottles a day (including several night feeds). She's eating plenty of food so she doesn't presumably need it, but we tried cow's milk and she flat out refused it. Tried swapping night feeds for a sip of water but she wakes up and won't go back down till she's had her bottle.

She has no problem drinking from a sippy cup during the day but will not have formula from it, or cow's milk. She refuses a cup at night - just wants bottle. She has a dummy so we know it's not a sucking for comfort thing...

She's just transitioned into a new room at nursery where having bottles isn't the norm anymore so the workers don't give them as much as she's used to at home, even though we've let them know she's still on it. I totally understand why - but she's so distressed when we take her to nursery and I know it could be the whole "new people" thing but part of me thinks she's just upset because she doesn't get formula there. She screams for a bottle in the car on the way home. hmm

I'm sure people go cold turkey but I'm not sure I've got the heart for that. sad I'm a right softie.

Any advice at all would be greatly appreciated!!

LittleBearPad Sun 19-Jul-15 00:18:02

Can you make 6oz bottles and add an oz of cows milk and then gradually up the proportion of cows milk?

As for transitioning from bottles to cups tackle them one by one. Daytime bottles first,more by one, then brekker then night time.

madwomanbackintheattic Sun 19-Jul-15 00:18:31

At 18 mos I'd go cold turkey lol. Or at the very least start combining it with increasing amount of cow's milk until it was all cow's milk and she hadn't noticed. And then I'd lose the bottle. And there is no way on this sweet earth that I'd be giving her anything in the night. grin several night feeds? You have the patience of a saint.

LittleBearPad Sun 19-Jul-15 00:19:30

Tbh if she drinks water from a soppy cup during the day I just wouldn't try offering her cows milk then. Cut it back to bedtime and mornings for the moment.

LittleBearPad Sun 19-Jul-15 00:20:25

Offer water at night. It can be in a bottle. Might mean she stops asking.

bethatasitmay Sun 19-Jul-15 00:27:08

Mad - I know right? My colleague came into work the other day and told me how her DD was sleeping through at 6 weeks. I nearly sobbed. I can't remember what sleep feels like. Haha!

But really the sleep would just be a nice bonus - it's just really alarming that she's still so attached to her bottle! Think it's time for a braver move.

I didn't know you could combine cow's milk and formula!

bethatasitmay Sun 19-Jul-15 00:28:00

Can you water down formula at night? :s I know people advise not to water down formula but surely that's only if they're getting all their nutrients from it rather than as a drink?

LittleBearPad Sun 19-Jul-15 00:33:34

At 18 months it will be fine to add more water to formula. She isn't de dang on it for nutrition. But actually you could just offer water in a bottle rather than formula.

Is it a temperature thing? How do you warm formula versus cows milk?

bethatasitmay Sun 19-Jul-15 00:38:07

We're really lazy and use premades at night - so she has her formula at room temperature. She's never been hugely fussed about temperature so I can only think it's the taste that gets her!

She was bf-ed for the first six months so I don't know how she got so attached to her bottles sigh. sad

bethatasitmay Sun 19-Jul-15 00:40:48

Did anyone else have problems when they went cold turkey or do most babies just adapt quickly? You can tell I'm clueless but she just seems so fussy about this one thing!

madwomanbackintheattic Sun 19-Jul-15 01:23:31

The thing is, it might be harder with a toddler - she's not a baby. I went cold turkey with ds at 10 mos and it only took a few days for him to quit screaming the house down and sleep through ( and he is world renowned as the most stubborn child to walk the earth).
Hence tricking her into cutting down formula without knowing might be your better option. Toddlers aren't usually revered for their rational behaviour...

madwomanbackintheattic Sun 19-Jul-15 01:24:39

(Night time I would go straight to water in a bottle though - like it or lump it)
<parenting slightly to the right of Attila the Hun>

DoesItReallyMatter Sun 19-Jul-15 01:41:30

Stop it cold turkey, she will cry for a day or so. I did this with BF with each of my 4 DC all of whom I fed for about a year. I was stunned at how quickly they got over it. I also stopped giving the kids dummies cold turkey.

It's much better than dragging it out. Hopefully, it will help her sleeping too.

Start tomorrow and it should be sorted in a couple of days.

fattymcfatfat Sun 19-Jul-15 01:51:30

Yep definitely cold turkey. My DD is the same age as yours and although sometimes still wakes at night, water offered in a sippy cup is enough for her to either drink and go back to sleep or refuse and go back to sleep. During the day she drinks from a regular plastic beaker. The only reason she gets a sippy cup at night is because i don't want her to pour it all over herself and her bed in the night!
But you need to stop the formula. If she is eating full meals, plus formula she could end up overweight and bottles aren't good for her teeth either. You will get there, you just need to toughen up a bit and make these changes now, before she is too much older when the potential for a fall out is much worse.
Good luck.

bethatasitmay Sun 19-Jul-15 10:40:44

Okay! All great advice - we're going to try water tonight and see how far we get with that smile thanks all!

DoesItReallyMatter Sun 19-Jul-15 11:43:02

If you try water I think it's best not to put it in a bottle. If she is actually thirsty she will drink it from a sippy cup.

How about Gatling up all her bottles and binning them (or taking them to a friends house) so that you can't give in to her cries and end up prolonging the whole process.

Good luck and Be strong smile

bethatasitmay Sun 19-Jul-15 23:25:38

She is not taking kindly to it so far! sad

ThinkIveBeenHacked Sun 19-Jul-15 23:28:44

Stick with it. To-ing and fro-ing wont help her and three nights will break the cycle. Stay strong and it will pay dividends.

RobotHamster Sun 19-Jul-15 23:39:33

Bloody hell you lot are harsh. DD still has 4 bottles a day (cows milk though, gradually weaned her on to it)

She'd go insane if we dropped the bottles, and going from the older ones, they'll just get dropped in a month or do anyway. She's 18 months.

Why force it, it's not like they start school with bottles. Yeah, apparently not good for teeth, but I fail to see why milk out of a beaker is any better. DD takes twice as long to drink milk out of a beaker, so more exposure to teeth?

Tbh... Aside from the issue of night weaning, and if she's eating a good amount and a wide variety of good, I wouldn't bother. Maybe start reducing slowly rather than cold turkey.

DoesItReallyMatter Mon 20-Jul-15 01:06:27

Don't give in. smile

If she stop her bottle she will probably stop waking in the night - think of the uninterrupted nights that you have to look forward too.

Be strong!

bethatasitmay Mon 20-Jul-15 07:28:20

Blimey that was a tough night! Stuck it out till half five (water only) then gave her her morning bottle (part formula part cow's milk).

She was awake nearly every hour screaming for it and wouldn't go back to sleep for ages - clutched my hand to sleep each time.

Are we just substituting one crutch for another? sad

Going to try and limit her to a morning and bedtime bottle today with part cow's milk. Usually when she's awake we can try and do something to distract her, so fingers crossed.

DoesItReallyMatter Mon 20-Jul-15 09:24:16

Oh gosh it's hard isn't it. At least she will be tired tonight. I still think you are making a mistake giving her a bottle in the morning. She is old enough not to need one . I'd give her her morning milk in a sippy cup. I wouldn't worry if she refuses it because it in a sippy cup.

DoesItReallyMatter Mon 20-Jul-15 10:40:44

If you really want to give her a bottle in the morning you could make the hole in the teat bigger so that it removes the enjoyment/comfort of the sucking motion. She also won't be able to lie down and drink from it which will make it less attractive to her.

GoooRooo Mon 20-Jul-15 17:40:15

I went cold turkey with DS. It took three (hellish) nights but it was totally, totally worth it. Good luck bethatasitmay - this too shall pass!

Christelle2207 Mon 20-Jul-15 17:59:30

At about 18 months we went cold turkey on night time bottles- offered cuddles and water but no milk. He screamed for 2 hours but then fell asleep and has not had a bottle at night since (or asked for one).

As for during the day gradually switch from formula to cows milk by increasing proportion of cows milk slowly.

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