It has been a hot debate among mothers, whether formula milk is good or not for newborn babies. Formula milk has been developed to help out mothers who have milk production problems, and it is a great alternative to breast milk. In this article, you will learn more about formula milk, its benefits and risks, and when to give babies this kind of supplement. Not only that, but you will also learn when do babies stop drinking formula milk, which is important when you are finally going to transition your child’s diet to dairy milk. Read on.
Formula milk, or infant formula or baby formula, is a healthy and nutritious alternative to breast milk, especially for mothers who do not produce enough breast milk. Manufacturers have developed it to duplicate a mother’s milk using a mixture of proteins, fats, sugars, and vitamins that can be a healthy supplement to your baby.
When to Start Giving Formula Milk
Before we tackle the question: “When do babies stop drinking formula milk?” we must know first when you can start giving formula milk to your baby. There are two scenarios:
Right After Birth
There are situations when your pediatrician advises to give formula milk to the baby after labor. This option is alright, especially for mothers who cannot produce enough supply of breast milk. Your baby can drink formula milk at the hospital and continue it for the next months at home.
The other scenario is when a mother, who does breastfeeding, runs out of milk to feed her baby. If that is the case, you can give formula milk to your child to satisfy their hunger.
To be clear, you can combine breastmilk and formula milk to feed your baby. This method is a great way to slowly transition them from breastmilk to formula, without them noticing a change in food.
Benefits of Using Formula Milk
Again, formula milk is the closest alternative for breast milk, and it has its benefits. Here are a few:
As parents, it will be easy for the two of you to feed your baby. Feeding with formula milk allows you and your partner to share the task in properly taking care of your child and even bonding together.
Moms who feed formula milk do not have to worry about the food that they eat that can also affect their baby’s diet. Compared to breastfeeding moms, you can lax and eat that pizza you have been craving or drink a glass of wine.
The same with the convenience of feeding with formula, you will also be flexible with your time. You can leave the house and leave your baby with your partner with the full knowledge that your baby is well-fed with a bottle of formula milk.
Formula milk is less digestible compared to breast milk. This fact means that you can feed your baby less compared to breastfed babies.
Risks of Formula Milk
And since it is a breastmilk replacement, formula milk also poses risks. Compared to breast milk, formula milk:
Has Fewer Nutrients
Unlike breast milk, which has all the nutrients essential to a baby’s growth, formula milk only contains components or ingredients that attempts to duplicate what breast milk offers.
Has No Antibodies
Breast milk has white blood cells that help in boosting the immune system of your baby from infection. Formula milk lacks this important ingredient.
Formula milk is very expensive. You also have to buy feeding items, like baby bottles. Being it costly, you will also have to save it up from consumption or even do a mix of breast milk and formula milk to feed your baby, which may lead to it spoiling in time.
Formula milk does not last long. If you are not careful in its storage, it can either get contaminated and pose a risk to your baby’s diet.
When to Stop Formula Milk
It is time to answer that question—When do babies stop drinking formula milk? Well, it depends. But the general rule is that you can transition your baby to animal’s milk after 12 months. You can stop giving formula milk to your baby after one year—as most experts say. By this time, the digestive system of your baby is strong enough to digest cow’s or goat’s milk. Of course, this 12-month rule is not always the case. The latest period you can transition your baby from formula milk to animal milk is 18 months.
Transitioning from Formula Milk
Now that we have tackled when babies stop drinking formula milk, how will you transition them from formula milk to animal milk? The best way is to do it bit by bit, gradually mixing breastmilk or formula milk with animal milk. A baby’s digestive system may still be sensitive after one year, and babies can tell when there have been changes in their food—that might get them crying and result in sleepless nights for the both of you. So, it is better to do it slowly and surely. In no time, both of you will be happy. Know more about baby milk.
Now you know the answer to the question: “When do babies stop drinking formula milk?” The only thing left for you to note and apply what you have learned to give your baby that healthy and hygienic feeding. It may have its benefits and risks, but formula milk is a great alternative to breast milk. Familiarize yourself with the ways of transitioning feeding to prevent stomach complications to your baby. That way, both of you will not have any problems sleeping at night.