The time will come when you as a parent will have to decide to switch your baby from drinking breast milk to formula milk or infant formula for various reasons. Either your milk supply is low, your baby suffers from a milk allergy, or you simply decide that formula milk works better for them. Whichever your reason is, it is crucial that you have all the information you need to make your switch from breast milk to formula milk as smooth as possible.
Knowing What Formula Milk Is Best For Breastfed Babies
There is always the first step in everything. The first step when you need to transition your baby from breast milk to formula milk is deciding which formula to feed them. You can find a lot in the market today, such as Hipp Dutch formula, formula milk manufactured by Organic Life Start.
It is also essential to know that all formula milk products legally sold in the United States, for one, are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration or FDA to ensure they are safe to drink. So, you have to make sure you choose these options and veer away from a homemade formula or imported products not regulated by the FDA.
Afterward, you will need to decide between hypoallergenic, milk-based, and soy-based types of formula. If the baby has been breastfeeding well and does not have a milk allergy, the milk-based formula is the best choice. However, you will need to coordinate with the healthcare provider of your baby, especially if you think your little one needs a special formula.
Finally, parents will have to decide if they want to use ready-to-feed, liquid concentrate, or powdered milk formula. The liquid concentrate and powder variants require mixing with water, and the ready-to-feed variant does not. Since the latter is the most convenient, these ready-to-feed formulas may also be more expensive. The least costly is the powder type.
But no matter which of these formulas you choose, it is important that you carefully read the instructions and follow them when preparing milk for your baby.
Introducing The Baby To A Bottle
If you are shifting to formula milk and your baby has never been fed breast milk from a bottle before, then you will have to go through the step of introducing the bottle and the formula to your baby, also in relation to transitioning your baby to formula milk.
It will be very helpful to take this transition in steps and first introduce the bottle with what they are already drinking, breast milk before you transition them to formula milk. Here are the helpful tips.
1. Choose An Easy Feeding Time
If there is a time within their day your baby is more relaxed for feeding, this may be the best time to introduce them to a bottle. Trying something new at random with a crying and hungry baby will not be successful.
2. Try Paced Bottle Feeding
What does paced bottle feeding mean? Well, paced bottle feeding refers to the approach that attempts to simulate the actions of breastfeeding, but with the use of a bottle. To do this, hold your baby upright and the bottle in a horizontal position, letting the baby control the feeding pace. Taking breaks is also part of this approach.
3. Allow Somebody Else To Introduce The Bottle
Since your baby usually associates your small with breastfeeding, it will be helpful to let another person introduce the bottle to avoid confusion.
The Process Of Weaning Your Baby
Similar to introducing a bottle, it will often be best to take time when transitioning your baby from breast milk feeding to formula milk feeding. Of course, this may and will not always be possible, especially if you are transitioning because of a health condition.
If you can take your time, then changing one feeding at a time is considered a good approach. For instance, the baby may wake up in the morning hungry and depend on nighttime breastfeeding so they can fall asleep. If this is what happens, changing an afternoon feed to a formula milk bottle is a great place to start. Once this goes well for a couple of days, you can try changing another feed within the day to a formula bottle.
Furthermore, it is also helpful to choose a place in your home to offer your baby a formula milk bottle where you do not usually nurse them. With your creation of a different routine for a different kind of feeding, you can cue your infant for the change.
But remember, as much as possible, try not to introduce something new such as a bottle or infant formula when the baby is teething, starting their daycare sessions, or going through another kind of transition. What works best for babies is one change at a time.
Are You Experiencing Trouble Getting Your Baby To Take A Formula Milk Bottle?
Sometimes, it will happen that babies may have a more difficult time transitioning to infant formula with a bottle despite your efforts. This is why we prepared a listing of ways to troubleshoot this issue, and these will help you along the way.
1. Try Different Kinds Of Bottle And Nipples
Milk bottles come in different shapes, sizes, and nipples, including the slow flow. If you experiment with these various types, you can find that there are specific ones that are a better fit for your babies.
2. Prepare The Formula With A Different Temperature
It is safe to feed your baby either cold or warm infant formula, but there are babies that do have a preference for one over the other. Suppose a specific temperature of the milk is not working perfectly. In that instance, you can try a different temperature and see how this helps. Just remember, though, to never ever heat infant formula in a microwave.
3. Keep Something That Smells Like You Nearby
If another person, perhaps your husband, or their aunt or uncle, is bottle feeding your baby and they are having trouble, it may help if an item like your shirt is nearby. In this way, your baby can still smell you during the feed, which they can associate with eating.
4. Try Bottle-Feeding Skin-To-Skin
Since they may be used to breastfeeding skin to skin, it may feel more natural for your baby to bottle feed in this way.
Switching From Breast Milk To Formula Milk
The transition from breast milk to formula milk may be smooth for some but less smooth for others. Take it slowly, and you will find out this transition will be easier for you and your baby.
Always remember and keep in mind that when you are in doubt or having trouble choosing a formula or making the transition, immediately talk to your baby’s doctor for advice. They will always be ready to help.