Switching from formula to whole milk side effects: Perfect Timing is the Right Choice

When is the right time to let go of baby formula? Switching from formula to whole milk side effects may be a serious problem to some, but not for you. Each child is unique after all, so I bet every mom has her own experience. Let us look at the whole picture to understand a bit more.

Do we need to worry about these side effects?

Why does it have to be whole milk?

Sure, we need to be meticulous when it comes to our toddlers’ diet and nutrition. Therefore, choosing whole milk as a replacement for your baby’s formula might be the right step.

Whole milk is a good source of vitamins, minerals and protein that can support the need of your child’s growth and development primarily in their first few years in life. Besides, whole milk tastes a lot better than others do. This could be good news for your fussy eaters. However, I do maintain a keen eye on my little one’s weight to prevent obesity.

Common Side Effects When Switching from Formula to Whole Milk

Switching from formula to whole milk side effects can lessen if not prevented when you know the right timing to implement the transition. Babies that are 12 months and above are safe to start taking in whole milk. Infants cannot digest high level of protein and minerals. When your child begins to refuse the bottle and shows interest in food, it is a good sign that she is ready to give up the formula.

Let me give you the common effects that most mothers complain about when they changed formula to whole milk.

Milk Protein Allergy

The reality of finding out that my baby is allergic to her milk was a surprise. Although she will outgrow this someday, I have to stop feeding her with such. Instead, I decided to give her foods that are rich in calcium as a substitute. Nevertheless, if you plan to continue with the milk supplement, I advise that you consult your pediatrician for guidance.

Remember that lactose intolerance is utterly different from a milk allergy. If you have confusion or notice these symptoms, seek your doctor’s opinion. Indications of milk allergy are swelling, rashes, gas pains and fussiness.

To make sure, it is best to do gradual switching from formula to whole milk. You may start by mixing small portions of whole milk with the usual baby formula. When there are no signs of allergies, you can slowly increase the ratio of whole milk until you reach 100%.

Bowel Movement

Plenty of different reactions about the drastic change of the child’s bowel movement after switching formula to whole milk have been troubling moms. It is either more frequent than the usual, loose stools or constipation.

Giving three servings per day of dairy to your toddler is the ideal amount. Drinking milk, more than what she needs may cause constipation. Having more milk than food intake will deprive her of eating richer in fiber good stuff.

This irregular bowel movement is typical during the switching from formula to whole milk since your baby’s tummy is starting to adjust with it. This usually happens when you switched earlier before your baby is one year old. By then, her digestive system is not mature enough to process whole milk.

Eventually, this will lessen until you have completed the weaning.

Tips for a smooth switching from formula to whole milk

True that there are toddlers who are resistant to change. My little one is no exemption. I feel like going to a battlefield each time I introduce something new when it comes to diet. However, for a stress-free switching from formula to whole milk, these tips may prove helpful to you.

  • Before attempting to change, ask your pediatrician first. He can best recommend a kind that is suitable for your baby.
  • checkDo the transition gradually. You can either do a mixing ratio or alternate method. The important part is to give time for the tummy to adjust.
  • checkIf you got yourself a picky eater, you might want to start sneaking some whole milk to her cereals, yogurt for desserts, and other chances to make her taste the new stuff.
  • checkSippy cups may work. Your toddler may find it fun to start using cups. They would love to drink milk from a cup. They like to imitate what grownups do. 

For more facts and tips, check this video so to understand the process entirely.


Honestly, every mom has different ways of doing switching from formula to whole milk. The relationship with our kids is distinctive. However, it is vital that your toddler gets the nutrients that she needs.

To wrap it up, the side effects are not dangerous as long as you are vigilant during the transition. I have given some tips and advice as a guide. Most importantly, weaning should be at least 12 months old and no less. When not all go as you expect it to be, you can always ask for help from your doctor.

Do you also have trouble switching from formula to whole milk? Have you noticed some side effects along with it? Tell us about it!

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Sarah Palmer
Hi! I'm Sarah. My husband and I have a beautiful little girl; plus we’re anxiously awaiting the arrival of Baby #2, so this is a very exciting time for us. Throughout this amazing journey called Parenthood, I’ve learned so much and love sharing my experiences with other parents at SarahsLovelyFamily.com. I'd love to share my discoveries with you too!
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