It was one year ago that I weaned my daughter. She had just turned one, and I was three months pregnant with baby #2. I didn’t really have a plan for getting her to drink cow’s milk, though, which is why I want to share this with you. Before you quit breastfeeding your baby, have a plan in place so there can be a smooth transition from breastmilk over to cow’s milk.
Here’s some more background for you: Sofía quit drinking from a bottle at the tender age of five months, and I never once gave her breastmilk or formula from a sippy cup or drinking glass during her first year.
So here was my monstrous challenge: get her to drink from something other than me.
Get a Child to Drink Milk
How do you get a child to drink milk, then?
Here’s a handy list of things you SHOULDN’T do if you want to successfully get them off breastmilk and on to cow’s milk:
- Never give your baby breastmilk in any form other than you
- Give up on your baby drinking from a bottle because they won’t take it
- Wean your baby without a plan to get them to drink cow’s milk
Okay, now we’re all on the same page. Let’s drill it into our heads, shall we? Here’s what you SHOULD do: Let your baby drink out of a bottle and/or sippy cup at least once a day (whether it’s formula or breastmilk) and have a plan to transition from breast to cow’s milk.
Learn from my dumb mistake.
There were a number of worries I had while she was refusing to drink cow’s milk.
- How would she get enough calcium?
- What if she gets dehydrated? (she wasn’t a great water drinker)
- Will I have to resort to breastfeeding after all? PLEASE no! 😉
One of the first mistakes I made when I tried to get her to drink from a sippy cup was asking her, “Do you want some milk?” while simultaneously doing the sign for “milk” in baby sign language.
She couldn’t walk at the time, but if she could have, she would have ran to the chair in her room where I breastfed and waited for me to come give her some milkies. Instead, she started crying and refused to open her mouth for the sippy cup.
Sick and No Liquids
Less than a week after I stopped breastfeeding, Sofía ran a very high temperature. This got me distressed in a jiffy! One way to get a fever to come down is drinking liquids, and she was only drinking a small amount of water and no milk. She wouldn’t even eat a popsicle. Basically, the whole time she had the fever she was running on no liquids and little food. Luckily, nothing really bad happened, but I would have felt so guilty if she had to be treated for dehydration.
During this time, I got pretty creative with getting milk into her diet. I made us a smoothie one afternoon, and I put half milk and half smoothie in her sippy cup. She gulped it down. I was so happy she was finally drinking that I did that smoothie trick for a few more days.
Another proud moment for me was when I replaced the water I normally would put in her oatmeal with some milk. Brownie points!
I was still concerned that she wasn’t getting enough calcium, so I fed her more yogurt, broccoli, and cheese than I normally would have.
She’s Drinking Again!
I couldn’t use the word or do the sign for milk at all for a good three week period. Otherwise, chaos would ensue.
Finally, the day before we left on our summer vacation in August, we were sitting on the couch when she started doing the sign for milk. Did she really want milk?! I ran to the fridge and poured some milk in her sippy cup. I gave it to her, and she gulped it all down. FINALLY! She was so thirsty, she gave up her milk strike. One year later and she doesn’t want to part from her “ilkies” at bedtime!
Please pinky swear that you will never do something so silly or stupid when your child’s life could really be on the line. Learn from my stupid mistake!
Did your child take to cow’s milk with pleasure or disgust?
Photo source: Pixabay
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