Milk is the only food that babies can digest. It is because their digestive system hasn’t developed yet when they are born. They can’t even process whole milk because of its high concentration of protein and other minerals. Formula milk and breast milk, on the other hand, are the only type of milk that babies can ingest. The process of how to transition from formula to milk can be tricky. It will depend on how the baby responds and the type of whole milk you are giving.
Difference Between Formula Milk and Whole Milk
Both formula milk and whole milk are beneficial for your baby as they grow up to be stronger children. But giving both of these milk at the same time will do no good. The nutrition content in each of these milk has different levels. Since babies are still developing their digestive system, they need to have the right nutrients that are enough to help strengthen it and other systems they have. But as your baby grows, you might want to know how to transition from formula milk to whole milk. There are some contents that whole milk has that formula milk doesn’t have.
- Protein – 2 grams
Formula milk contains a high concentration of whey protein and has low on casein protein, which is the average amount that an infant can digest.
- Iron – average iron content in the formula milk is enough for their bodies to absorb.
- Vitamins/Minerals – Rich in vitamin E and C
These vitamins and minerals can help boost the baby’s immune system before they reach the age of 1 year old.
- Essential Fatty Acids – rich with the essential fatty acids
Having the right amount of essential fatty acids helps improve the digestion of the baby.
- Protein – 3.3 grams
The amount of protein in whole milk is too much for a baby to handle. It can also ruin their digestive functions.
- Calcium abundant
The abundance of calcium can reduce iron absorption drastically, and this can lead to overall developmental problems.
- Vitamins/Minerals – low in vitamin E and C
Low in vitamin E and C can delay the build-up and strengthening of the body immunity of a baby. It can also lead to a higher risk of infection.
- Essential Fatty Acids – non-existent
The essential fatty acids do not exist in whole milk. You will need to depend on formula milk because it contains vegetable oil responsible for the fatty acid build-up.
Steps on How to Transition From Formula Milk to Whole Milk
It is a bit tricky to start the transition between two kinds of milk. You will need to examine how your baby’s body will react to it so that there will be no future problems. Here is the ratio between formula milk and whole milk transitioning. Remember, every baby reacts differently. Make sure to observe your baby for a few weeks before you move on to the next ratio.
- Four formula milk: two whole milk – Introduction stage – This is where you allow your child to taste whole milk. It is also to make sure that their systems will not be in shock as you progress during the transition.
- Four formula milk: two whole milk – Getting used to – Once their system has a bit of a taste of whole milk, you can increase the ratio so that it will be easier for them to ingest whole milk.
- Two formula milk: four whole milk – Fading – After increasing, you can slowly fade away the remaining formula milk you are giving to your kid.
- Whole milk all the way – Full transition – At this point, you can start giving your baby whole milk throughout their childhood. As long as they are eating the right kinds of foods that supply the essential vitamins and nutrients they need as they grow.
Benefits of Whole Milk
When knowing how to transition from formula milk, you should also know the benefits of whole milk. Whole milk has a lot of benefits that your kids can get. As long as you feed it to them at the right time and the right age, they will grow up strong. Here are the top benefits of whole milk.
- Calcium – Calcium is essential for strengthening the bones.
- Vitamin D – Vitamin D supports calcium absorption to the bone and other parts of the body. Lack of vitamin D will make your child prone to bone and tooth pain.
- Protein – Protein is highly useful for muscle development and strengthening to support the movement of the body.
By the time you give your child whole milk, they can eat solid foods where they can get the necessary nutrients they need. Whole milk can’t provide all these nutrients. It is why feeding them with fruits and vegetables can help do the trick.
Infants require different specific nutrients so that they will have enough strength to ingest whole milk. Formula milk and breast milk have quite a close nutrient content that your baby needs so that it will be easier for them to transition to whole milk. It is advisable to ask for advice from the pediatrician to know how to transition from formula milk to whole milk. Because in the long run, your babies will grow up and will soon require the other essential nutrients that they need as they age. Again, breast milk is best for babies up to two years, but when they reached one, you can already give them whole milk. Get more tips on baby milk.