How We Transitioned From Formula in Bottles to Milk in Sippy Cups
I've been asked a couple times how we transitioned Rooney from formula to milk and from bottles to sippy cups so quickly. So, before I forget, here goes!
^^^one of the last bottles Rooney ever had
Formula to milk:
We decided to wean Rooney from formula to organic whole milk. There didn’t seem to be an awesome alternative for whole milk (for our family), so we did what families do and introduced her to cow's milk. (A couple months later, we switched to coconut milk.) Anyway, the milk switch for us went quite smooth. We did it before we switched to sippy cups, because I thought it would be easier. She didn’t seem to notice much of a difference in taste.
- When you're ready to switch, you'll likely be using 100% formula or breastmilk*.
- Switch to 50% milk + 50% formula. I would mix 4 oz of formula and then add 4 oz of milk. We did this for a full week.
- Switch to 25% formula + 75% milk. We did this until our formula was gone, so as not to waste it.
- Switch to 100% milk. The first couple times she had straight milk, she would take the bottle out of her mouth and look at it, and then put it back in. Almost like she was thinking This looks right, but tastes a little different. Still, she would drink the whole thing (8 oz bottles)!
That's it! It was fairly easy for us. I have no idea how much whole milk tastes like breast milk or formula, but my daughter didn't seem to notice until she was drinking 100% whole milk.
Bottles to sippy cups:
I was really not looking forward to this transition. The bottle had been our crutch, you know? Sometimes it was the only thing that could calm her down if she woke up screaming. But, it had to be done!
- Buy sippy cups. We use the 10 oz. Tommee Tippee Explora Lil Sippee cups (with handles and without). They leak occasionally, but the soft spout is supposed to feel just like a bottle. You can start to introduce these as early as 6 months. I will likely do that with my next kid.
- In the morning, instead of giving them a bottle, put them in their high chair with a sippy cup and some food. Rooney much preferred a banana over milk, so I used her excitement for a "nana" to our advantage.
- If they have a meltdown or begin to hit themselves in the head (which is what Rooney did for some reason), decide how strict you want to be. I usually gave right in if it happened for breakfast. At night, if she got upset we'd just put her down for bed without a bottle (her bedtime was close enough to dinnertime that I didn't think she was hungry).
We just kept offering the sippy, and she got better and better at drinking out of it, and she eventually stopped throwing a fit. Her bottle was her comfort, but after a few days she got more used to the idea. Then, after a week or so, we were completely done with bottles. The daytime feedings were easy to drop so it was really just the morning and night ones that were hard.
Our pediatrician said to get her off bottles by 15 months, so I’m glad we were able to do that. And it has been awesome to not have to wash them!