There are a couple of reasons why a mother should make the transition from feeding her infant breastmilk to supplementing formula. Perhaps she has to go back to work and cannot supply breast milk to her baby all the time, or maybe there are health conditions causing her to produce inadequate milk supply. However, a lot of moms are scared of doing this switch because they think that introducing formula to their babies would be a difficult task.
Here, we’ll give you tips on how you can make the switch from breast to bottle feeding, and you’ll see that it is not a difficult task after all.
Can you switch from breast milk to formula cold turkey?
Babies are generally sensitive to changes in their environment, and that includes their diet. That is why if you want to have a breastfed baby switch to formula, you have to do it gradually so that your baby will have time to adjust to his new diet. Switching from breast milk to formula cold turkey is a no-no.
Just a gentle reminder: before you stop breastfeeding, you have to consult with a pediatrician first. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be exclusively breastfed until 6 months, or longer as deemed fit by your doctor. Thus, feeding your baby some random infant formula from the supermarket can be unsafe if you have no approval from a health professional. Moreover, your baby may have allergies that you are not aware of and these allergies could be triggered by a baby formula that is not approved by your pedia.
P.S. Want to know how to keep your baby awake during breastfeeding? You can click here to find out.
How to get the right stuff for bottle feeding?
After getting the go signal from your baby’s doctor, you can start your journey towards slowly easing your little one into formula feeding. Start with getting the infant formula recommended by your pedia. Similac and Enfamil are two brands of infant formula that you may consider since they are widely used worldwide. You can start with these brands, and then try if they are suitable for your baby. Should you notice that there are adverse reactions experienced by your baby, such as vomiting or loss of appetite, then immediately go to your doctor. You may need to go for another formula brand in case this happens.
Aside from the milk, you will also need to look for other infant feeding needs such as milk bottles. Choosing the right bottle is actually an important factor to consider in the process of switcing to formula feeding. Look for bottles made of high-quality materials, such as glass or BPA-free plastic. Moreover, choose a bottle with the right type of nipple that your baby can actually suck. If your little one is younger than six months, chances are he or she cannot swallow milk in large gulps yet, so slow-flow nipples would be the best choice.
How long does it take for a baby to get used to the formula after breastfeeding?
As mentioned earlier, you should transition a baby that is breastfed to bottle feed settings gradually. It is not advisable to suddenly stop breastfeeding and then offer a bottle of infant formula to your baby.
To start, you may extract your breast milk, put it inside a bottle, and substitute one or two of your breastfeeding sessions with breastfeeding in bottle. The taste of the milk should be the same, although the sensation of sucking might be different for your baby. With the proper assistance, though, a bottle feeding breastfeeding infant will soon be comfortable with both methods.
As soon as your infant is used to drinking your breastmilk from a bottle, you should start introducing infant formula by mixing it with your milk. For instance, you can mix one-part formula into three parts of breast milk. Then, increase the amount of formula until your baby is accustomed to the taste of it. Just make sure that you always give your infant fresh formula milk. If a bottle of formula was not finished, then you should just throw it down the sink. That is why it is essential that you check your formula milk supply always.
The switch to formula might be a long and painstaking process, but it is actually not impossible. Remember that this transition not just involves you, your baby, and your partner. A health professional should be constantly consulted about how the switching to infant formula affects your baby. After all, you want your baby to shift from breastfeeding to formula feeding in the safest, most convenient way possible.