This is a topic that still makes my brain spin and hurt. How do we stop a baby who has relied on formula and bottles his whole life to suddenly wean off of them both? Also, what goes in their place. I rack my brain constantly trying to figure this out when in reality, I need to just let it happen and figure it out as we go.
I have read endless articles, talked to a variety of people and confused myself to no end.
Here is what I figured out and here is the plan that we are using to wean our son off of bottles and formula at the same time. I’ve been told it is easier to just bite the bullet and wean at the same time.
Every baby is different but right now, our son drinks five, 7.5 ounce bottles and eats three meals, with a snack in the afternoon. For example, here is his feeding schedule.
· 6:15AM bottle (usually drinks it all)
· 8:00AM breakfast (pigs out)
· 8:45-9:15AM nap
· 9:30 or 10:00AM is bottle (sometimes drinks but other times only has a little bit)
· 11:00AM lunch
· 12:30PM is bottle (drinks it all)
· 1:00-2:30PM ish nap
· 2:30 to 3:00PM ish snack
· 3:30PM ish bottle (drinks a couple ounces)
· 5:00PM ish dinner
· 6:15PM or so bottle (drinks it all)
You are probably thinking, holy cow, that kid eats so much. Yes, yes he does. He is a moose and loves his food. And when I mentioned three meals of solids, he literally pigs out at these meals as if he was a grown man.
Now to the weaning.
I talked to my sister and my sister in-law, as I do for most parenting questions, or life questions in general. They both had the same ideas which I will outline below.
1. Drop one feed at a time. Usually this is the bottle that he drinks the least out of. For Noah, this is the 3:30PM bottle as he usually only drinks an ounce or two consistently.
We dropped this bottle this past Saturday and Noah started getting a tad fussy around 4:00 ish, so I just moved his dinner meal up to about 4:30 until he gets used to the new routine. Remember, distraction is your friend as well.
2. Drop one bottle a week and start with the daytime bottles first.
The next bottle that we will be dropping is the 9:30AM bottle as this one is kind of unnecessary at this time. We might need to offer a snack in this spot to get him to the lunchtime.
3. Continue this trend until all bottles are gone.
I will keep you all posted as this makes me nervous, but it is something they recommend. Babies should be off bottles by the age of one, and they should be getting their nutrients from food by the age of one as well (give or take of course).
I think the night time bottle might be the most difficult, but our son does not use it to fall asleep, so it might be easier than we think, I sure hope so.
The morning bottle can be replaced with a “real” breakfast but I still don’t quite understand how that will make the rest of his day flow. Instead of getting him out of his crib and changing his diaper and offering the bottle downstairs, we plan on just taking our son to the highchair and giving him breakfast. I think he will do well with this but we might need to play around with mealtimes or snack times as he might get fussy throughout the day.
In terms of staying hydrated, we offer water to our son all the time and he loves his water in his straw cups. We plan to slowly offer whole milk but there is no rush for that yet as he turns 11 months on Christmas. He did try whole milk this past weekend but made the face of “holy hell that’s cold!”
We can warm the milk for 15 seconds in the microwave and offer it to him to get used to the flavor, but again, we are not in any rush as they really should not have whole milk until age one.
My sister in-law told me that he will not go hungry, he will start eating larger meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner), and he will adjust to the new routine. I need to keep telling myself that we are doing a good job and everything will work out in the end.
Another challenge that I feel bad about is constantly changing things on the daycare teachers, but they are incredible and go with the flow.
I will keep you all posted.