Weaning with a milk allergy

I have a nine month old boy with a milk allergy, and he is starting to refuse his bottles during the day at day care.

In his 8th month he was taking around 16 to 20 ounces of SOY formula and was eating solids (breakfast, lunch and dinner). He is starting to refuse more of his bottles and I am getting concerned that he is not getting enough. What is the amount that he should be getting formula wish for his age.

And could you give some suggestions as what we can do with his feedings if he continues to refuse his bottles, with the milk allergy there not much out there?

Roy & Michele


Dear Roy and Michele,

I understand your concern, but actually, there is no need to be. Babies at around nine months often self wean from breast or bottle. It is a normal and natural progression...and in fact a very desirable one. Your baby is self-motivated to make the switch to solids and table food. It is natural for you to be concerned about his nutritional intake, particularly since it was all so easy when you could just count on the formula to do the job. Developmentally, he is ready to replace the nutrition from formula with a balanced variety of solid foods plus an alternative liquid to the soy formula.

What you may want to do, is serve the formula is a sippy cup at the three meals, using it as his beverage, and reserving a bottle for bedtime, and perhaps early morning. Sometime between now and 14 months, you can make the switch to a soy milk that has been calcium and vitamin D fortified and that is NOT low fat.

The following is a good general guideline of the amount and variety of foods your 9 month old son should be getting:

  • Formula- 16 to 32 ounces (remember, you can use it to mix into his cereal and to cook with)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of iron fortified infant cereal
  • 4 to 5 Tablespoons of vegetables daily (especially dark green and deep yellow varieties)
  • 1/2 cup vitamin C fortified fruit juice
  • 3 to 4 Tablespoons of fruit. You can offer small pieces of raw ripe peeled fruits as finger foods
  • 1 to 3 Tablespoons of meat or other protein food (hard cooked egg yolk, cooked dried beans or peas, tofu) twice a day.

Also offer appropriate finger foods like Cheerios, teething biscuits, ripe banana bits, etc.. Since he will be getting more and more nutrition from solids, it is okay to cut back some on the formula. Try to be sure he gets the 16 ounces if he can, and try the soy milk if he won't take it. It is normal for formula and milk intake to drop temporarily during the weaning process. Once he is more adept at drinking from a cup, you may find his intake goes up a little.

Thank you for writing.

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