When your baby is born, they start off in the world with a digestive system that still needs some development. Whole milk is too much for their stomachs and kidneys to process, so breast milk and baby formula is meant for them. It is broken down so that it is easy to digest. Over time, your little one is able to consume food at more advanced stages – cereal, fruit and vegetable purees, and eventually solid foods.
Your baby needs more nutrition to keep up with their growing bodies. They still need the vitamins and minerals from the fortified formula that they have consumed from birth or after being weaned off of the breast. This can come from the finger foods and table foods that they have grown to love. With all of the textures and flavors that they are discovering, they do not need formula as the primary source of nutrition. Instead, they can drink milk a part of a balanced meal.
Does your baby need it? No. Does that mean they are ready to stop formula? That is what you and your baby can determine. If you have formula containers that you want to finish, it does your baby no harm to continue drinking formula. You can continue the food schedule you maintained for the past few months. You can use formula to replace a meal. However you choose to do it, you do not have to feel that your child must drop the bottle immediately on their birthday.
Some toddlers are not a fan of new textures and flavors. They may not be ready to stop formula. Other babies may need the fortified nutrition to compensate for a lack of important vitamins and minerals that they are missing.
If your baby has been a fan of Hipp, Holle, or Lebenswert, you can still offer it to them because Stage 1 is good for littles ones who are newborn on up. However, it is the vitamins and minerals that have been important to your baby’s growth and development, plus your baby still needs to be satisfied if that formula is going to be the primary source of nutrition for the next few months. Stage 2 is ideal for ages six months on while Stage 3 brings all of those things for ages 10 months on. Holle has a Stage 4 formula that is designed as a toddler milk. It has the same great taste from the Demeter-quality milk, but it is formulated for your toddler’s nutritional needs in mind.
Any time that you have questions or concerns about your baby’s growth or diet, it is important to consult with your pediatrician. Some toddlers are picky eaters while some eat new foods with joy. As long as they are getting enough to eat in the most balanced way, it doesn’t matter if they are still enjoying their formula when they are blowing out their first birthday candle.
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