transitioning to whole milk

Transitioning to Whole Milk

Around one year of age, we begin the transition to whole milk. As long as there is no medical reason to have avoided dairy products, you have been preparing for this transition since your little one was born.

I think we can all agree this is almost as exciting as your little one taking a big fistful of their smash cake at their first birthday!

Over the last year, your little one has been taking in milk proteins from your breastmilk and formula. Additionally, we've introduced cheese, yogurt, bread, and meals that have milk/milk products in them. As we near the baby's first birthday, the main source of nutrition shifts from liquids (breastmilk/formula) to solids. And "milk" becomes a supplement to get those healthy fats and calories each day.

Many families chose to nurse well past a year and that is okay! You can still begin to offer sippy cups and dairy options as supplements to that.

Here Are Some Practical Tips to Keep In Mind:

  • About a week or two before the first birthday, begin to place whole milk in a sippy cup at mealtimes.
  • If the baby resists whole milk alone, we can do it gradually over 4 days.
    • Day 1: Offer 3 ounces of formula/breastmilk with 1 ounce of whole milk.
    • Day 2: Offer half breastmilk/formula and half whole milk.
    • Day 3: Offer 1-ounce breastmilk/formula with 3 ounces of whole milk.
    • Day 4: Offer all whole milk.
  • Amounts of “milk” and/or dairy decrease to about 16oz per day.
    • This includes yogurt, smoothies, and any milk offered at mealtimes.
  • Use a variety of sippy cups.
    • Sometimes a spouted cup with the stopper out will help in the beginning.
    • We also recommend trying to use cups with straws and open cups. Variety is key!
    • Here is a full list of recommended sippy cups.
  • They may seem to dislike it, but just keep in mind this is unfamiliar territory.
    • Allow that sippy cup to show up at each mealtime.
    • Stay confident and the baby will follow! Be sure your face exudes confidence!
  • We can find options to get those healthy fats in.
    • So, we want to look at the overall menu and include:
      • Avocado, nut butter (always follow your pediatrician's guidelines for introducing high-allergen foods), full-fat Greek yogurt smoothies, bananas, butter, chicken (dark meat), cheese, full-fat sour cream, full-fat cream cheese, eggs, and salmon.
  • Have Fun!
    • Offer a variety of options & let it show up at each meal opportunity!
  • If there are any issues with growth and development, we always recommend speaking with your pediatrician.

Not quite to your first birthday? Be sure to check out "Introducing Solids, Including Peanuts and Other Allergens with Mission MightyMe" and "Fun Finger Mushable Foods".

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