Getting rid of the bottle and transitioning from formula can be a challenge and so I like to do it as soon as possible. I feel like the younger they are, the easier it is, but it isn’t recommended you stop formula before one year.
We gave Aria breastmilk/formula up until a year but this week we have switched to almond milk. She didn’t do well on regular formula, so she was on a soya formula & that’s why we chose almond milk over cows milk.
We started this transition with her last week and so far, it has gone well.
We did the transition gradually, we started off by swapping just one of her bottles from formula to almond milk to allow her to taste it. She didn’t take to it straight away but we kept offering it and she would taste it at least. We kept it in a bottle as to not introduce too many ‘new’ things at once, although she did already take water from a sippy cup really well and had done since around 4/5 months.
Once she was familiar with the taste of almond milk, we gradually cut down formula and upped the almond milk until she was drinking only almond milk and no formula but still in bottles. Once she liked the almond milk & was drinking it with no problems, we then started to cut out bottles.
Again, we did this gradually. I started with just giving her almond milk in a sippy cup at lunch time and still letting her have her morning and night time bottle, but gradually we cut out bottles all together. She hasn’t had a bottle now since last Sunday and it has been way easier than I thought!
The first day without her morning bottle was a little rocky.. she kept throwing the sippy cup at me (!!) and screaming for her bottle but I just kept offering her the cup and I think she realised it was that or nothing.. so by the afternoon, was drinking it no problems. I did keep taking the lid off it for her to see it was milk and that seemed to help. I think maybe she assumed it was water as that’s what she’d been having in a sippy cup for a good 8 months or so before.
Surprisingly, she hasn’t been that phased about having her night time bottle at all.. although we never gave it to her in bed or right before bed, she used to have it after dinner, downstairs before her bath. But now she just has milk in a cup with her dinner and then bath and bed. She has still been going to bed absolutely fine, I’m so proud of her!
I think the key is just sticking to your guns and not giving in. Your baby won’t let themselves starve and at the age of one years old, they only need around 350ml of milk a day and that can be in the solid form such as yogurt and cheese. Their main source of nutrition should be food and experts warn that too much milk can hinder the absorption of iron, so dropping the milk is important.
She seems to love the almond milk & drinks it all down from her sippy cup! So long, baby bottles!