This post has been on my to-do list for a while, and I’m excited I’m finally sharing it! “How to wean baby off formula” was one of my biggest questions as Nora grew. Once I decided to exclusively use formula, feeding Nora became pretty easy. We found a formula that worked, she loved it, and I didn’t put any thought into what she ate. Then, we hit a point I’d honestly be dreading: it was time to feed her real food. I was worried it’d be too messy for me to handle, that she’d be a picky eater, that she’d be allergic to everything, that there would be a million choking hazards. We started with purees when Nora was five months old and slowly started giving her solids around 7 or 8 months.
I followed Solid Starts from the start (ha!) and it helped a lot. In the beginning, we gave her a lot of teething crackers and soft foods like sweet potatoes. As she got older and started to teethe, we started feeding her more of what we eat. We still incorporate a lot of fruit and vegetables because she’s not a huge fan of meat. I wish that I could say that she eats all of her meals for scratch, but I’ll keep it real with you — the frozen food section has been a lifesaver, and we’re probably keeping Kraft mac n’ cheese in business. Here’s an example day for her:
Breakfast: Frozen waffle, blueberries, yogurt
Lunch: Grilled cheese, sweet potato, Cheerios
Dinner: Grilled chicken, mac n’ cheese, Brussels sprouts
Even though Nora took to food pretty easily, she still loved her bottle and getting formula throughout the day. I was jealous of my friends who breastfed past a year and didn’t have to worry about weaning immediately. Here’s what we did at the recommendation of our pediatrician:
- Introduced a weighted straw cup and gave her small amounts of water in it
- Reduced the number of bottles she took by cutting out the morning one
- Gradually went from 6-oz to 4-oz formula bottles as she began to eat more solids
- Once she turned 1, I mixed 1 part whole milk, 1 part formula so she’d get used to the taste
- Hid the bottles out of the kitchen because she still associates them with food and gets mad if she sees one
- Tried to stress less! Every baby adapts on their own timeline, and it took a few weeks for Nora to get the hang of it
This isn’t a comprehensive list, but I hope it helps! Let me know if you have any questions I didn’t get to.