Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Milk or Formula?

A Walt Disney World vacation requires a lot of planning. If you are traveling with a child around a year old, another couple of things you need to decide are whether to switch them from formula to cow’s milk and if you should wean them off a bottle to a cup. Here’s my experience and what I have learned from lots of other moms.

We planned a WDW vacation for Tink’s first birthday. I asked her pediatrician at the 9 month check-up and he approved her moving to milk around 11 months. My plan had been to have her use sippy cups and drink whole milk at WDW. She had other ideas. I tried all types of cups and she would use them all for water. However, if I tried to change to a cup and not give her a bottle, a battle ensued. It appeared that she would have no problem switching to cow’s milk, but she was not ready to give up her bottle. (BTW, Tink does not take a pacifier.) I decided it wasn’t worth the drama and to keep things as is until after vacation. After all, this was her first time on a plane and drinking from a bottle would help the pressure in her ears. On a selfish note, my husband and I had reservations at Jiko for our 5th anniversary and I thought it would be easier for my parents to put Tink to bed if she had her familiar bottle while being rocked.

I am thankful we went with formula and bottles on this trip. I got some of the single packets of formula and we kept a bottle of water in our bag. We’d make a bottle when we were taxi-ing and it worked great for all of the flights. At WDW, Tink got a bottle for meals and bedtime. It was nice to be able to start feeding her a little early if we had to wait to be seated at a table service restaurant. At buffets, I’d also order her a cup of milk and then she got in a little practice with a straw cup. We had a dishwasher at Old Key West, so we used our normal Dr. Brown’s bottles. They’re a pain to wash by hand, so if you want a simpler option, bottles with a drop-in liner reduce your cleaning and how much you have to carry around.  Don’t forget each park has a baby care center with some kitchen facilities.  For milk drinkers, a variety of types are available around property.  Some locations even have soy milk.

If you decide to make a change prior to a vacation, consider doing so with plenty of time for the child to adjust to the new plan. For children who do have problems with cow’s milk, the effects are rather unpleasant and you want everyone healthy and happy on your trip. Be sure you’re considering their comfort and not just your convenience. If all goes well with the weaning, great! Enjoy being bottle-free. Or if you decide to wait, a little more time with a bottle isn’t a big deal. Follow your child’s lead on this one and everyone will have a better experience.

We just took away Tink’s bottles this past weekend. She has been drinking half formula and half milk for a week or so. I’ll do that until our supply of formula runs out. Attempts at a gradual change months ago yielded tears, but the cold turkey approach just past the first birthday worked almost without any drama.

Do you have any tips to share? Please post them below.


  1. Hey Amy,

    I just found your blog and you on Twitter. I also have a blog as well as am on Twitter (remember I married Bill "techno guy" Vinson.) We have a almost 4 year old and 3 week old baby. We did disney back in Nov. I'll link my post. LOVED it and ready to go back!!!


  2. This is interesting! I had a similar issue when planning our trip to France, whether to move from nursing to formula. In the end as Tink was just cutting her first tooth and screaming at the bottle, I stuck with exclusive nursing. Luckily the French love babies and breastfeeding is not frowned upon. Plus I was very discreet and use a nursing shawl. I totally agree let your child lead you for a stress free holiday!


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