The finest source of nutrients for a growing baby is breast milk. However, there are instances when parents decide to switch from breastfeeding to baby formula feeding. The baby may exhibit certain discomforts like frequent and runny stools, gas, etc. while switching from breast milk to formula milk. The key is to make the transition slow and steady. At the same time, parents should also ensure that baby does not miss out on any essential nutrients. If you need help switching from breastfeeding to formula, then keep on reading.
15 Steps to Switch From Breastmilk to Formula
There are no hard and fast rules about how to switch from breastfeeding to formula. So, let’s look at some of the Steps that will help you to switch your baby onto formula:
Step 1: Seek the advice of a pediatrician
Consulting the pediatrician before you make any changes to your baby’s diet is an important Step, as you should only follow their advice. You can have your baby’s pediatrician tell you which is the best baby formula. Always check with your doctor before making any modifications. This will help you to be sure about safe feeding and providing proper nutrition to your baby.
Step 2: Understand your options for formula feeding
After consulting with the pediatrician, next you have to search for baby formula options that are best suited for your little one. You must learn the types of formula available, including their ingredients and nutritional benefits. Fortunately, many types of baby formulas can help your child grow and develop, as well as be healthy.
Step 3: Use distractions
When the transition from breastmilk to formula takes place, your baby might refuse the formula feed. To get them accustomed to the bottle and formula, distract them when baby formula feeding and then redirect them towards the bottle. You can distract them by singing a lullaby or maybe by showing them their favorite toys.
Step 4: Don’t rush it
Opt for a gradual way to switch breastfeeding to formula feeding. To successfully switch, you have to tackle the change slowly. Many mothers make the mistake of thinking that they can dump breast milk and immediately start with formula. This is not how it works. Start by introducing formula in small quantities — just a few ounces at a time.
Step 5: Be careful while changing the formula
If you are planning to change the formula for your baby, pay extra attention to what you choose. The formula changeover must be done slowly to prevent health complications. Most favorably it is suggested to carry on on the same formula feed. However, if you still choose to change, make sure it contains the same protein as the previous one and is the best baby formula.
Step 6: Check if the baby likes it
The baby must get used to the formula food before you completely stop breastfeeding. The only way to determine if your baby will like the formula you have chosen is by trying it on him. For this feed them with a little amount of formula milk and see how they react to it. Before you proceed with the same formula make sure it does not have any bad effect on the baby’s health.
Step 7: Drop breastfeeding sessions
Eventually, you’ll want to drop your breastfeeding sessions to just one or two sessions per day and continue feeding with formula in between. But at first, replace one breastfeeding session with formula feed. Then move on to two feedings per day. That way, you can gradually adjust your little one without causing too much of a fuss.
Step 8: Understand toddler bottles
When you switch your baby from breastmilk to formula, several things will be new and unfamiliar. One of these is the bottle. Make sure that you choose an easy-to-feed bottle for your baby so that the baby does not get fussy while feeding. Plus, it is suggested to rely on tempered glass bottles due to their non-toxicity and safety.
Step 9: Choose formula feeding for daytime
When you’re ready to wean your baby from breastmilk, consider first making the switch during the day. Keep breastfeeding your baby at night until he’s completely weaned off of breast milk. Babies are usually more alert during the day and bottle-feeding may be something they enjoy. However, maintain their morning and evening breastfeeds until you’re sure they’ve made the transition to formula.
Step 10: Feed formula milk when baby is hungry
When babies cry, the instinct of many parents is to go and feed them, whether they’re hungry or not. But before you do that, try waiting to see if your child is really hungry. Sometimes they’re just moody, and all they need is a hug. Thus, before offering formula, ensure that the baby is hungry and wants to feed.
Step 11: Keep practicing
Feeding on a bottle might be challenging for babies for the first time. So the baby might be a little confused and frustrated at first. Don’t be alarmed if you see your baby gag when sucking on the bottle. It could happen several times before the baby gets used to it. Remember, some babies get the whole thing in one try while others may take longer than expected. Thus, keep practicing with your baby.
Step 12: A mixture can help
Mixing breast milk with baby formula can be a great way to reduce the chances of your baby rejecting the formula. Breast milk acts as a flavor enhancer making it taste better than just straight formula. By mixing breast milk with formula, you will get a consistent mixture with optimal nutritional value. This will also accelerate the transition from breastmilk to formula.
Step 13: Pick the right bottle cap
You should buy the correct nipple size for your newborn. Most mothers invest in preemie nipples or newborn nipples so that they can begin bottle feeding as soon as the baby is born. Like with pacifiers, when weaning your baby from breastfeeding to bottle, it’s best to start with a small nipple hole while they are still young.
Step 14: Seek help from the partner
Involving your partner in the transition process is a wise decision. Consider giving your partner a break by creating a schedule where he can feed the baby while you can finish other important stuff. It will give both of you a chance to bond with your little one.
Step 15: Have patience
Switching from breastmilk to baby formula is not an easy task, but with a little patience and knowledge, it can be done. While the process may be stressful for you, remember don’t push your baby. The most important thing is that everyone involved is comfortable with the process.
Switching from breast milk to formula, is a big Step, not only for the baby but also for the parents. However, it is always better to stay prepared and seek as much information as you can. Pay special attention to the baby formula that you choose, as after some time, it will be the major source for your baby to get nutrition. Therefore, ensure that you make the best choice for your baby to make the transition from breastmilk to formula a happy one.