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Cows Milk Help - getting baby from breast to bottle

Hey all

My baby is 11 months now and I'm trying to get her off the breast and onto cows milk ready for me going back to work.

So far I've tried it warm/cold bottle/sippy cup. She kind of holds it in her mouth then spits it out. 

I was also hoping it might help her to sleep through which will also be an issue when I'm back at work. 

If anyone has any suggestions that would be amazing!



  • Why are you wanting to stop breastfeeding? Not to be blunt, but babies don't turn into cows at 1 year image
    You do not need to stop or switch to cows milk. You could continue to breastfeed before and after work and your 1yr old can have water and food during the day.
    I think most health organisations recommend continuing to breastfeed for 2 years or beyond, if possible. So even if you drop day feeds while you are at work, she'd benefit from having feeds after work and when you are together.

    If night waking is an issue you can also work on night weaning now but still feed in a morning and evening.

    You do not need to give any replacement milk after 1 year but do include fat rich healthy foods like avocado, hummus, chickpeas, nut butters etc. And you can try plant milks like oat milk, Almond milk, hemp milk or coconut milk, if your baby is not keen on cows milk.
    You can get ones fortified with calcium and B12 etc too so they provide as much calcium etc as cows milk, just make sure she is getting (healthy) fat from other sources as plant milks tend to be lower fat than cows milk. If you don't do milk at all (plant or animal) you can get calcium from green veg, cauliflower, and almonds. Protein is found in veg, nuts, seeds, chickpeas, beans, legumes & lentils. Basically it is possible to get everything she'd get from cows milk from food sources instead.

  • Hi, congrats on breastfeeding so long!

    changing to cows milk is a different taste and consistency to breast milk so try introduce it gradually. Also babies shouldn't have it until over a year old due to digestion problems and it contains high levels of minerals and protein which can affect babies kidneys. 

    However to introduce it, try and pump breast milk And mix it with cows milk. And gradually reduce the ratio of how much breast milk is in the bottle/cup. This way baby will get used to the taste and won't really notice it as easily. 

    Good luck x

  • Hi

    Thanks to you both for your replies.. She's nearly 1 and my health visitor says its fine to introduce cows milk now as she's fine with other dairy - yoghurts, cheese etc.. 

    The answer to the breastfeeding question is: I feel like I've done long enough now. I can't deal with the lack of sleep. I want my husband to enjoy my boobs without me freaking out! I want to be able to wear sexy underwear and I would like to crash diet occasionally!! Brutally honest selfish reasons - a year is long enough time to have your body a prisoner I think!

    I only aimed to breastfeed for 4 months but kinda didn't stop but to me anyone who does it at all deserves a bloomin medal because it's not easy at all! 

    If you have a happy healthy baby it doesn't matter how you're feeding them. 

    Back to the cows milk! its a great idea to express and mix I will try that and get her to do it gradually - going to try it in her munchkin cup as she drinks really well from that.. The health visitor says she needs a pint a day and then other dairy on top so I'm going to aim for what she says. 

    Hopefully the sleeping longer will follow because I literally can't cope after having hardly any sleep for over a year now. I've got up every night for every feed and every wake up as my husband works and she's never stayed away from home. So again I'm pretty proud that I've coped this long.. total zombie over here! 

    Keep your fingers crossed for me!! Any other replies would be great too!! Loving the advice.. xx

  • HH88.... I hear ya! I breast fed my little guy until he was 1 & I was absolutely ready to stop! As you say... do t for as long as it feels comfortable for both of you & once you start to feel that youve had enough then that's totally ok! My little guy actually started weaning himself off the breast without me starting that process... from about 11 months he started taking smaller and smaller feeds (same frequency but just a lot shorter) so by the time I knocked it on the head at about 13 months (phased it out gradually once he reached his birthday month!) I didn't have any pain or engorgement because he had cut himself down so much already! 

    We did 1 cows milk bottle to start and then slowly worked i up over a few weeks... however once he was on all cows milk he got a really bad upset tummy... we tried just working through it but after a few weeks of constant diarrhea and a very sore bum we figured his tummy just wasn't ready for it... we switched to formula for about 3 months then gradually started adding in cows milk again and that time round he had no tummy issues. 

    Thats a good suggestion from Millie's mummy to try mixing in some expressed milk with the cows milk. You didn't mention if you have ever expressed / given her a bottle before... it may just be that she's not liking the feel of the bottle nipple in comparison to the real thing so it might be worth trying some different bottles... we used the 'medala calms' nipples with our little one was they're designed to be as close to the feel of the breast as possible. He took to that fine. 

    Good luck! 

  • 'Medela calma' sorry... autocorrect!

  • Hey SW 

    Thanks for your comments.. 💖 Everything helps.. She's had the MAM bottles before when I've left her with my mum occasionally but it's been a while. She's drinking so well out of her munchkin cup that I'm thinking of getting her a second one for just milk.

    I may try and go back to a number 2 teat as the number 3 is like free flow and I think she'd rather suck. 

    She does drink a bit and I'm not trying to give her much just a tiny bit - less than 2oz.. once she likes it il try and get her into a routine. Another mummy I speak to said to start with formula and add bits and someone else said to Carry on until she likes it.. I've also been asked if id drink a glass of whole milk myself - gotta say I wouldn't - so they said try to incorparate into Diet only.. 

    Whatever happens il make sure shes ok and getting what she needs xx

  • Fair enough with stopping breastfeeding, 1 year is a great achievement :)

    Have to say I am of the opinion that there is no real benefit to giving cows milk as a drink.
    It has protein, calcium, and fat in it, so for babies/toddlers who are maybe fussy eaters and already used to having large bottles of formula, cows milk is an 'easy' way of getting fat and calcium etc into them.
    The flip side though is the nutrients aren't that easily absorbed from cows milk and it can fill them up and reduce the amount of real food they eat.

    After 1 yr you do not need to give any replacement milk, you can get everything she needs from food, and just give water or diluted fruit juice etc to drink. So personally I would not worry too much about getting her to drink milk, I'd focus more on making sure her diet is good and she is at least drinking water etc x

  • I'm just going to take the advice of my health visitor and get her onto at least some cows milk. Hopefully it will fill her up for longer at nights too - what you might see as a negative to cows milk I see as a positive! 

    Her Diet is good anyway - much better than mine ha!! She's good at drinking water too which is great 👍 

    Going to get some different bottles and express and mix so fingers crossed 🤞🤞🤞

  • My little one wouldnt take a bottle and took to the Nuk one straight away. She's breastfed but needed a bottle at night for medication. The teat on that is apparently shaped like nipple. We used the latex teat. or as you say stick with the cup she likes. Every baby is different so it'll be trial and error. There's no guarantee she would take formula either but you could try a carton of the pre made formula to see if she prefers that? I think formula is meant to taste sweet so that's why babies like it. As mum you'll know what's best and can follow her lead 😊 X

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