Questions on milk for babies

Milk for babies is a funny thing.  Before you have a baby, it seems so simple and straightforward.  Either you like it or you don’t.  You choose your colour top, and tend to stick with that (me, I like skimmed, but the OH has full fat everything although because he rarely has breakfast or hot drinks at home, it means I didn’t previously buy any type other than skimmed).

But once baby arrives, it’s a huge talking point.  Firstly, breast fed or formula, or mixed?  Lots of strong views either way, although in my opinion I think if there’s no reason not to, then breast feeding should be at least tried (let’s face it, it’s free!).  But it didn’t work for us (lazy baby who’d latch, but not suck) so we ended up on formula which in the end was a lot less stressful than me trying to express which wasn’t that successful.  And N ended up feeding every couple of hours, sometimes even more frequently (during the day at least), I’m not sure I’d have got anything done had he cooperated with trying to breastfeed.  So formula worked for us.

Then there’s always the questions, how much do they have, how much should they have, do they have milk if they wake at night.  Our answers: a lot, as much as he wanted, and no as he rarely wakes at night.

Then as baby gets older and starts being weaned onto solids there’s questions over what they can have cow’s milk in and what type.  I found it harder to find out with a formula fed baby whether we should stick on newborn milk or move to follow on.  The various health visitors weren’t particularly helpful when I asked them at baby groups…just very throwaway in saying “it’s all a marketing ploy, don’t change”, but they couldn’t actually give me a reason why apart from that.

I wanted to change because SMA had just put up the price of their gold tins an extra £1.50+ each, whereas their follow on milk was still at the old price, plus you could get loyalty points in some stores on follow on milk as well as the manufacturers being able to promote them as they were for over 6 months babies.  Thankfully I got a sensible response from my own HV…it’s not going to do any damage moving him over to it, and if it’s cheaper then it makes sense to change.  So at least that helped save some money each week.  As N was on 5 bottles a day until about 10 months when he suddenly went to 4 and then 11 months miraculously to 2 and a sippy cup, it was tending to be pricy compared to what some other babies seemed to be drinking.

As a year approached, milk was all about cow’s milk.  When could he start having it and more importantly, how would he take to it and how could I get him to transfer to having it in a cup.

After sharing knowledge and experiences from my online baby friends, it sounded like the most successful way was to add some to his normal bottles and then gradually reduce the formula and increase the cows milk.  That seemed to go ok, then I decided to try his afternoon snack bottle in a cup.  That was a no no.  Wouldn’t entertain the thought.  So I decided to try a different coloured sippy cup to the one he usually had his water in, and just left it on the side in the living room like I usually do with his water.  Hooray, it worked.  Ok, so he was tricked into having some, but on his own terms he was quite happy to have some.

Milk fiend!

The next day, he was quite happy to drink most of the cup sat on my knee like his usual bottle.  And that happened just in time for him starting nursery, so he can have his afternoon snack with a cup of milk quite happily.

He’s now 2 days from being one, and we’ve run out of the last formula tin.  His first cows milk only bottle before bed was downed the same as usual, so hopefully he’ll still sleep through this evening.  Now all I’ve got to do is remember to buy full fat milk on a regular basis so we don’t run out for him.

What did you do for milk with your baby?

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