This is a common question we receive at Oli6, and the answer to this question is yes. Even though a child starts eating solid foods at six months, the child will still require some formula during this time. Of course, the amount of formula you give to your child does depend on their current eating habits. Want more information about formula feeding at six months? Please read the information below.
Even when your child is still drinking goat’s milk formula, your child will provide you with certain cues when he is ready to start on solid foods. These symptoms usually occur when your child is between four to six months old, but this age may deviate slightly.
One of the ways your child may tell you he is ready for more than just our goat’s milk formula is a general interest in food. Your child may be looking at others while eating, or reaching their hands towards the food.
Still, even if the child is showing some interest in something aside from their goat’s milk formula, there are some criteria your child must meet before you can start them on solids. For example, the child must have the ability to hold their head up well, have the oral motor skills to eat, and don’t push food out the mouth. In most cases, the child will be nearly double their birth weight.
In the beginning, you might have to introduce solids right after a feeding with goat’s milk formula. Milk-based formula will be your child’s main source of nutrients until they reach age one, so the focus should still lay on that.
Even though your child will mainly consume milk-based formula until twelve months, you can still introduce many solid foods during this time. Most childcare professionals recommend baby cereal, pureed fruits, vegetables and meats.
Please remember that it takes time for a child to get used to anything else but their milk-based formula, so it is important to introduce one ingredient at a time. It is also advised to wait a couple of days before you try adding a new ingredient to the diet of the child; this gives your child time to get used to something other than milk-based formula, but also provides the parents with the opportunity to spot any food allergy problems.
Many parents make the mistake of giving their child fruit juice. However, most childcare professionals do not recommend this. Not only does fruit juice fill up your child’s tummy quickly, fruit juice is often a cause of diarrhea and could increase the risk of teeth cavities once the child’s teeth come in.
Most children can switch to regular milk when they reach the age of 12 months, but there are some exceptions. Some children may find it difficult to digest regular milk at 12 months; this could be because they are not quite ready or because of a gentle tummy. In these cases, the continued use of a formula could provide a solution.
Children who appear to have problems with regular milk at 12 months or over should always be evaluated by a paediatrician. Even though rare, if your child continues to have problems with regular milk past 12 months, there could be an underlying medical condition.
If your child seems fine with regular milk, you could provide your child with regular goat’s milk or cow’s milk. However, it is advised to stay away from skimmed milk options, since children need the fat in whole milk for normal growth and brain development.
One of the ways to introduce your child to normal milk is by replacing some of the bottles of formula for bottles with regular milk. It is also recommended to start using a sippy cup for your child too, since prolonged use of bottles could cause dental problems down the line.
Most parents will use two to three cups of normal milk a day; this combined with their solid foods. Two to three cups amount to approximately 480-720 millilitres. If you feel like your child has problems digesting this milk, be sure to consult your child’s paediatrician.
Parents should also consult their child’s paediatrician if their child was put on a special formula for medical reasons; for example, a hypoallergenic formula. Before your child can start consuming regular milk, additional tests may be required to determine if your child can digest milk. However, most children who were on a hypoallergenic formula can usually handle milk when their digestive system is more developed. Still, there is a small percentage of children that may not be able to.