Yep this was something that caught me off guard.
You just about get a handle on introducing your little one to food (for more on how I did this, check this out) and then the 1 year health and development review arrives.
I remember this for both my children; they were both around 11 months old at the time. I was nervous, not sure why, but the thought of an expert mentally checking off a list of things your child should be doing by 1 years old, felt like a personal scrutiny of my parenting skills. To prepare for this, I filled in the questionnaire that was sent to me, like it was an exam. Seriously, as I write this, I am actually chuckling to myself, but back then, I was damn serious.
Was my child eating and sleeping well? Were there any concerns about my child’s sight or hearing? Was my child’s size and weight in line with the Health Visitor’s expectations? Was my child communicating? And how do they behave with other people?
I started to settle until I was asked, has your child transitioned to whole milk and a sippy cup now that they are one years old? Ummmmm no, they still have a bottle and formula. Although the Heath Visitor was polite, she was adamant that they should be drinking from a cup as it’s better for their teeth and there is less need for formula, especially if your child is eating well. I nodded with reassurance and finished they rest of the review, which went absolutely fine.
As I drove back home, I made a mental note of how I might do this…though I was naïve, I mean, how hard can it be, right?
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Transitioning from Formula to Whole Milk
I decided to deal with changing the milk first. Fortunately both my children did not have any allergies and the thought of moving on to milk that we consumed would mean that we would save money, I mean, those tubs of formula are pricey!
I had read on various Facebook posts from mums, mentioning their child getting constipated and unsettled upon moving on to whole milk, so I decided to stagger the introduction. As my children were introduced to food, they were introduced to whole milk in their breakfast (for more on how I did this, check this out) so I knew that they were no concerns about allergies.
By 11 months old, my children were on the following milk feeds:
7am, 11am, 3pm and 6:30pm
Both began to drop the 3pm feed, so that’s where I decided. As I didn’t mind them leaving it if they didn’t take to it. I have to be honest, it was relatively uneventful, both took to it fine, they didn’t drink much though but I was happy that they didn’t have a complete meltdown. As they got a little older, I eventually replaced the 3pm feed with a snack.
I was conscious of what I had read on Facebook, so I continued doing this for about 4 days and then replaced the 11am feed with whole milk. Again, I continued with the two replaced milk feeds for 4 further days before I replaced the 7am feed and finally the 6.30pm feed. All in all, this whole process took just over two weeks and for us it worked perfectly. Both transitioned on to whole milk and had very little tummy upset.
Transitioning from Bottle to Sippy Cup
After about a month on whole milk, I started to think about moving away from the bottle. I was already using the Tommee Tippee Freeflow Cup (buy it here) for water in the day, and absolutely loved it, I just did not like the idea of using it to give milk as the spout was very difficult to clean. Also as part of our bed routine, I would give milk in their bedroom, whilst they lay down on a pillow and I changed them. Being a free flow cup, this was impossible to use. I had to find an alternative.
Through a friend, I was recommended the Munchkin Miracle Non-Spill 360 Cup (Buy it here). It really was one of my best buys, when it comes to sippy cups. It comes in two different designs, one with handles and one without, in a range of colours.
I opted for without handles as it then had the same feel as that of the bottle. Despite having amazing reviews, I was nervous of using it the first night. I had this image of the milk leaking out as my toddler lay down drinking from it. But I was sooooo wrong!
Munchkin Miracle 360 Sippy Cup (10oz/296ml) (Pink) Buy it Here
Munchkin Miracle 360 Sippy Cup (10oz/296ml) Blue Buy it Here
It was perfect. No leaks and the 360 degree design, meant they my toddlers could drink anywhere around the rim. It’s also recommended by dentists- the spout free technology is better for teeth and helps transition to an open cup. My children are now 4 and 3 years old and they still use their Munchkin Cups for their night milk. Though its now downstairs whilst they run around, playing. But still no spills and I don’t need to watch them like an hawk, waiting for an accident to happen.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I would love to hear what sippy cups worked for you and how did you find transitioning away from formula.