When Do Babies Stop Drinking Formula?

Some moms who decide not to breastfeed ask their baby’s pediatrician to recommend the best newborn formula for their little one.  Other moms who have been breastfeeding and choose or need to stop also inquire for a recommendation on the best formula for breastfed babies.  Introducing formula to a breastfed baby is a difficult decision, but working with your health-care professional is the best thing you can do for you and your babies.

Infant formula companies design products for newborn formula feeding to accommodate 0-3 months of age.  Meanwhile, other types of infant formula are designed 0-12 months for a full term of formula feeding.

So when do Babies Stop Drinking Formula?

There’s a great article on this subject written by a Pennsylvania-based pediatrician on the Parent’s Choice Infant Formula (the Walmart store brand formula) website at http://www.parentschoiceformula.com/articles/Pediatrician-Toddler-Formulas-Infant-Nutrition.aspx.  In the article, the doctor admits that infant nutrition is a public health issue.  There are only two options to address an infant’s dietary requirements:

  • Breast Milk
  • Baby Formula

When Do Babies Stop Drinking Formula?

Both options will satisfy necessary growth and development during that critical first year of life. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breast milk and iron-fortified infant formula for the first 12 months. Infants younger than 12 months should not be fed cow’s milk (as opposed to mother’s milk or formula milk) because it does not contain the healthiest types of fat for babies.

Formula fed babies older than nine months need more calcium to support bone health.  Many of these older babies have already been put on a diet that involves baby foods and cereals.  At nine months of age, and certainly at 12 months, many moms choose to have their babies stop drinking formula and switch to toddler formula.

Also know as stage 2 or follow-own formula, toddler formulas for older infants contain more calcium, iron, naturally occurring nucleotides found in breast milk, and prebiotics to support immune health. Toddler formula also contains the essential fats DHA and ARA, which are also abundant in breast milk and may support brain and eye development.

You can think of toddler formula for babies as a transitional nutritional method that delivers healthy fats and minerals to children 9-24 months.  Babies stop drinking formula after 12 months, but can stay on formula for older infants (toddler formula) for up to two years of age.

Doctors admit there is a trend to choose store brand formulas like Parent’s Choice.  So when babies stop drinking infant formula, ask your pediatrician about using a toddler formula along with solid foods.

Share this article: