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Thread: Weaning to formula for vacation

  1. #1

    Default Weaning to formula for vacation

    Hi, I have a 15 month old who has been exclusively on breast milk via a bottle since birth. I stopped pumping at 12 months and still have much excess frozen breast milk that he is still drinking now. We are going on an overseas trip for 10 days and I wanted to gradually wean him to formula just for the trip for convenience's sake (there is no access to a freezer or reliable ice source where we are going) by gradually swapping the breast milk in his bottle to formula in time for the trip such that when we are on the trip, he will be taking formula only. Then after we get back , I wanted to do the reverse and wean him back to breast milk by gradually swapping out the formula in his bottle to breast milk so that eventually, he will be back on breast milk.

    Has anyone tried this before? Does it work? I am worried he won't go back to breast milk after being on formula for a week. He drinks about 12-13 ounces at bed time and throughout the night. During the day, he drinks about 16-20 ounces. Any experience or advice would be MUCH appreciated. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    24,910

    Default Re: Weaning to formula for vacation

    Welcome to the forum!

    What you want to do is possible, and your plan is workable, but there are no guarantees that it will work or that you will be able to bring your child back to breastmilk after a week of formula. It would probably work, but you can never be 100% sure.

    Is there any specific reason why you want to use formula instead of regular animal milk? At 15 months, a toddler can just have plain old milk, and that may actually be a safer choice depending on where you are going, considering that formula needs to be mixed with water. If you're going somewhere where tap water is dodgy or bottled water not widely available, cow's milk may be a safer choice.

    Also, any reason why you want to do bottles instead of just nursing? I am not clear from your post if your child is already weaned from the breast or not, but if he still nurses vacation is a great time to fall back on that and ditch the bottles for a while.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Weaning to formula for vacation

    Thanks for your message! Also realized a typo in my original post. He's 13 months, not 15. We are going to various places in Western Europe (France, UK, Italy, Germany) and I think it will be hard to have a cooler with ice to keep the milk cold. We are also going to be on the move a lot so to buy milk each day and keep it cold may be tough. I was planning to use bottled water for he formula. The other reason why I thought formula was good was because of the DHA (not sure if they have DHA milk in Europe).

    I only breast fed him for a few months at birth so he has long moved on from the breast. I was exclusively pumping from month 2-12.

    Any additional advice or thoughts? Is non-DHA milk better than DHA formula in your opinion? Thanks again.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,910

    Default Re: Weaning to formula for vacation

    Thanks for answering those questions! Since you are going to areas with safe drinking water and plenty of bottled water, it should be completely fine to use formula. But you don't have to, especially if you are doing so solely to take advantage of the putative benefits of DHA! First, 10 days is nothing. He could go 10 days without any dairy at all and it would be completely fine for his health- though it might be pretty unpleasant for him to go cold turkey from bottles and milk. Toddler diets are erratic, and what you are aiming for is not perfection every single day, but a good balanced diet if you average out his intake over time. Second, there are other ways to get DHA in your diet besides milk- and at 13 months, your baby is old enough to start trying them. For example, you could feed him a bite of fish at some lovely restaurant in France!

    If he were mine, I would probably want to skip the formula. I mean, I totally understand the convenience aspect while you're traveling, but why invest the time and effort getting him used to something he won't be drinking long term? Instead, I would probably introduce whole cow's milk and other dairy products like cheese and yogurt now, and plan to use those on your trip. It would probably be a bit annoying but not too crazy to lug around a small cooler filled with milk for bottles, or some ultra-high-temp pasteurized, shelf-stable milk that doesn't even require refrigeration.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Weaning to formula for vacation

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    Thanks for answering those questions! Since you are going to areas with safe drinking water and plenty of bottled water, it should be completely fine to use formula. But you don't have to, especially if you are doing so solely to take advantage of the putative benefits of DHA! First, 10 days is nothing. He could go 10 days without any dairy at all and it would be completely fine for his health- though it might be pretty unpleasant for him to go cold turkey from bottles and milk. Toddler diets are erratic, and what you are aiming for is not perfection every single day, but a good balanced diet if you average out his intake over time. Second, there are other ways to get DHA in your diet besides milk- and at 13 months, your baby is old enough to start trying them. For example, you could feed him a bite of fish at some lovely restaurant in France!

    If he were mine, I would probably want to skip the formula. I mean, I totally understand the convenience aspect while you're traveling, but why invest the time and effort getting him used to something he won't be drinking long term? Instead, I would probably introduce whole cow's milk and other dairy products like cheese and yogurt now, and plan to use those on your trip. It would probably be a bit annoying but not too crazy to lug around a small cooler filled with milk for bottles, or some ultra-high-temp pasteurized, shelf-stable milk that doesn't even require refrigeration.
    Shelf-stable milk! You are a GENIUS! I think you've solved all of my problems (at least with respect to the milk-related ones). Thanks a bunch @llli*mommal! You are wonderful!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    24,910

    Default Re: Weaning to formula for vacation

    Awesome! Enjoy your trip!

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