40 answers

Switching Formula

My daughter is currently 10 weeks old. She is supplementing from breast milk to formula because I work full time so I pump at work and once before I leave to take her to the babysitter. The babysitter usually gives her 6 oz of my breast milk and then another 10 more oz of formula before I go and pick her up.

My question is that my daughter is taking Similac Advance and does okay on it. The only problem she usually has is she only has a bowel movement every 2-3 days, but the doctor says that is normal since I am supplementing her back and forth between the breast milk and formula. I just received 2 powder cans of Enfamil in the mail over the weekend and I want to know if it is okay to use even though my daughter is on Simalac. I was going to go ahead and use it after the Simalac was all used up. I was told that you are not to switch the baby's formula unless directed by the doctor. Can I use the Enfamil or should I just try to give to somebody else to use?

Thank you!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you to everyone's responses!

I ended up having to give my daughter some of the Enfamil because I was completely out of the Similac. I have used the Enfamil while she was breast feeding and given Similac at the babysitters. She is doing great! Now, when I switched her from Similac Iron to Similac Advance, she spit up more. Not a big deal though. She seems to do just fine with the Similac Advance and Enfamil.

Featured Answers

You can use it as long as it is the same base as the similac(cow's milk or soy etc.) you dont want to put her on anything she may be allergic to( my son has an allergy to cow's milk protein) so if you know she does okay with cow's milk base then go ahead and switch her she may have a little diahhreah for a day but thats just cause of the switch..

I switched both of my children's formulas and never really had a problem. I had samples of a couple of different kinds and I tried them out before I bought a large can of anything. Neither one had a problem with the swtiching. I breast fed for 9 months with both before I tried the formula.
Good luck-
J.

I breastfed my daughter and they switched her to the same formula. I changed it to Similac Sensitive because she wouldn't have a bowel movement. The Sensitive formula worked because it is easier to digest and it is still milk-based.This all happened when my little girl was 3 weeks old...she is 2 months now and still on the same formula. They say not to change brand names of formula because it is hard on little tummys.Hope everything works out for you! -Angie Johnson

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I breastfed my daughter and they switched her to the same formula. I changed it to Similac Sensitive because she wouldn't have a bowel movement. The Sensitive formula worked because it is easier to digest and it is still milk-based.This all happened when my little girl was 3 weeks old...she is 2 months now and still on the same formula. They say not to change brand names of formula because it is hard on little tummys.Hope everything works out for you! -Angie Johnson

We switched from Enfamil to Similar for constipation issues as well and neither worked well- What did was Nestle GoodStart - it also smells better and is much easier to digest with comfort proteins. It does not contain Casein (a milk protein) that some kids are sensitive to. I would definitely try it first.
Good Luck!

We switched formula because our daycare (at the time) provided one formula and we were using another. We didn't ask the doctor and I don't think it's a big deal. I think you could switch one day and most likely wouldn't see a change in your daughter. When we switched, we did 25% new formula and 75% old, then 50%-50%, then 75%-25%, and then 100% new. We saw no issues when we did it.

Formula is quite regulated so there isn't too much of a difference between formulas.

Good luck!

We did almost exactly the same thing with my son! We had to supplement with formula sometimes when he was with the babysitter or when I didn't pump enough at work. We started out with him on Similac but then received a bunch of free Enfamil. Since that stuff is so darn expensive, we decided to use the Enfamil. And once we had him on that, we actually liked it better! So we stuck with Enfamil. My son also didn't have a lot of bowel movements when he was that age. Sometimes he would go days and days. There were a couple of times that our pediatrician had us give him some prune juice. We would mix a little in with the expressed breast milk or formula bottle. Usually that would get things going! As he got older, he got much more regular. Now he's almost 10 months and he has bowel movements 3 or 4 times a day! He got more regular once we started him on solids. That seemed to help things. Our DR says this is all very normal.

Good luck! A.

Hello. I have always been told by my pediatrician to not switch formulas unless necessary. My 3 month old is on Enfamil and just gave away a bunch of Similac Advance that I received free in the mail. It doesn't seem right not using what you get free since formula is so expensive, but I would follow the advice of the doctors and give the formula away. You might see if your babysitter has any other children that use Enfamil.

You can switch back and forth. The only reason the formula companies tell moms to check with their doc first is to just cover their a** in the rare case your child has a reaction to it, or to make sure you don't give a special diet formula to a baby who doesn't need it. You may also want to check with your doc before giving soy formula but to just switch between 2 'normal' ones (ie, no iron added simalac and no iron added enfamil) is totally fine.

All formula sold in the US is essentially the same thing, BTW. There are strict minimum guidelines the manufacturers must follow so the cheap store brand stuff is just as healthy and nutritious than the expensive name brand ones like simalac and enfamil.

I think you will be fine. Switching formula is more dependent on the baby's taste (whether or not they will switch easily or not). Most all formula is the same ... especially Enfamil & Similac. My oldest daughter used Enfamil and my youngest is now on Similac. You should be fine to switch. GOOD LUCK!!!

I agree with Andrea - if you want to use the formula and see how your daughter reacts - use some of the old formula with the new for 3 weeks. The first week use a 2 parts old to 1 part new. The second week use 1/2 and 1/2 old to new and the 3rd week use 1 part old to 2 parts new. By the 4th week, you are using only the new one. Give it a couple of days to see how she does. This is also the method I used for weaning my daughters from formula to whole milk when they were 1.

Good Luck!

My boys are 12 & 11 years old now. But when the 12 yr old was an infant I nursed a few months and supplemented with formula from the start. I asked our family doctor about the differences in formula. He said it is the difference between Green Giant and DelMonte Green Beans. I too had received the different formulas in the mail and coupons for them. My boys had no problems using the different brands. Whatever I had coupons for I purchased. My favorite was the Carnation - it was the cheapest or the big brands and smelled the least foul. And Carnation even encouraged you to call I think every 2 weeks for more coupons. I would think that only if your baby has problems that you need to consult your doctor.

I think all cow's milk formulas are basically the same. I'd start with replacing a little of the old formula with the new one and watch for any problems. Perhaps one scoop out of four would do it. Then if she's okay, you could gradually increase the new formula. Some moms on this site really like Walmart's formula which may save you some money. Good Luck!

My son got very constipated when I started supplementing w/ formula occasionally. I started using Enfamil's "Gentlease" and it helped a lot w/ gas/constipation.
I don't think there is a problem switching between Similac and Enfamil- I did and it never caused a problem, but every child is different.

L.

Don't switch unless you are having problems. It will further disrupt her current issues with BM's. All formula's have a web site that offer $5 coupons off formula- so if you are doing it for cost go to similac.com and sign up. They will send you free cans of formula too. My own MD didn't switch her kids and she could choose what ever formula she could want. That being said- I believe that enfamil and similac are pretty similar- so whichever brand you choose should be fine.

I think that if your baby is doing fine on Similac and having no issues, then you should stick with it and not use the Enfamil. Going back and forth between different formulas can be hard on baby's tummies.

I switched both of my children's formulas and never really had a problem. I had samples of a couple of different kinds and I tried them out before I bought a large can of anything. Neither one had a problem with the swtiching. I breast fed for 9 months with both before I tried the formula.
Good luck-
J.

Is it Similac with Iron. Any formula with iron will slow down the whole pooping proccess. Although, I did notice that with my daughter, Good Start caused her to be constipated and Similac didn't. Maybe it just depends on the brand and the baby.

It is fine to try another formula. And if you are noticing a problem, as you described, I would recommend it. Another thing that you might try is adding an extra half ounce of water to the formula. My children had difficulties with hard bowel movements. We add the extra water and all is great. The only time that I would not suggest the extra water to help is if your child has acid reflux. I hope this helps.

It's my understanding that there is not much difference between brands that are geared toward the same thing (ex. iron-suppl, soy, etc.) I think if you stay with the same type, you'll be okay.
And yes, it is completely normal for a baby to go 2-3 days without a bowel movement.
Take care.

V.,

Deb T is correct. They are all the same. If it makes you feel any better, you can mix them to start - one scoop of infamil with two scoops of Similac - and so on, until it's all the new formula. I don't think it would hurt to switch abruptly either, but just do whatever you feel comfortable with.

Good luck with your little one!
J.

I think it is perfectly safe to switch formulas. I switched with my son (from Similac Adv to Enfamil LIPIL) at around 5 months. Nothing bad happened: no spit-up, no gas/fussy, didn't get sick, etc. I used all the samples I received for both my kids (free formula!). Again, nothing bad happened. I don't know what the reason is for sticking with one brand of formula. Just listen to your baby!

I used Enfamil with all four of my kids, which was fine. In my opinion, if you're going to switch anyway, I would wait until the Similac is used up before using the other instead of using the Enfamil, then the rest of the Similac, and then back to the Enfamil. The switching back and forth and back and forth again is what will play havoc with your baby's digestive system.

Use it! Both of my daughters have had similar supplementing situations and we used anything we could get our hands on for free - even soy and gentle formulas. Also, ask the doctor for samples when you go in - mine gave me a mixture of both brands of formula, so obviously she wasn't worried! Also,powdered, liquid, whatever - just use it. If it seems your daughter reacts poorly then adjust it, but most of them are all more or less identical. There are standards that all brands must meet.

You can use the enfamil for your baby. Be careful though because some babies can't tolerate milk based formula and it will give them an upset tummy and they will have a lot of gas. I switched my kids formula I don't know how many times before I found something that worked and never once consutled their doctor and they all were fine. Try the enfamil and see how she does. If she seems like her tummy is hard and she is crying a lot and gassy stop the enfamil.
D.

I am 31 and have been married for almost 12 yrs. My husband and I have 3 boys ages 10,7 and 4.

Hi V.! When my baby was around 10 weeks we switched her from Similac Advance to the Wal-Mart brand. It took her a few days to adjust, but did ok overall. Although, I wouldn't recommend switching back and forth. If you are happy with Similac, I would find someone else to give the Enfamil to.

Hi V.,

I think it depends on your daughter. My son was able to switch back & forth no problem. I would just buy whatever was on sale or whatever I had coupons for & it was no problem. I have heard from other people that certain formula caused problems for their little one. My suggestion is try it & if your daughter seems fine, go ahead & switch back & forth.

Good Luck,
C.

V.,

My son was also on Similac Advance and I was told not to use the Enfamil that I always received in the mail. Our Pediatrican told us the same. I would definately give the formula to a baby who is already on Enfamil.

:)
D.

My doctor confirmed my suspicians that all formula is pretty much the same. I breastfeed and supplement with formula, and now whole milk, but he said, "buy formula like your laundry detergent...get whatever is on sale because they're all basically the same." There were never any problems going between Similac, Enfamil, soy and milk-based formulas. I know some children react differently to different formulas, but it can't hurt to try the Enfamil before going to spend $30 on another can of Similac.

Hi. My daughter's pediatrician advised us that we could use any formula at any time, especially generic because they are all the same. I switched my daughter's formula twice because she was having some belly issues. Switching wasn't fun for her nor I. My advice, stick with what works and donate what you get in the mail. You know the old saying, "if it's not broke, don't fix it." J. S.

I switched my daughter from Similac Advanced to the Target brand equivalent...due to the price difference. I first called my pediatrician to make sure it was ok. If you decide to switch I would make sure you do a gradual change. I did the following...for 2 days she had 25% Target/75% Similac...2 days 50% Target/50% Similac...2 days 75% Target/25% Similac...it was a nice gradual change and it didn't affect her digestion. I'm not sure if you need to take 6 days to make the change it was just what I opted to do. Good Luck!

It doesn't matter if you switch brands of formula. Doctors generally suggest introducing one new food at once to see if they have an allergic reaction to it. Formula is either based on cow's milk or soy milk. So that's probably all it's referring to.

It is totally safe to switch formulas to see which one works best for your baby. HOWEVER, you MUST make sure that if you are using a milk-based formula that your switching to another milk-based formula. Never go from milk to soy or soy to milk formulas. That's when you should ask your pediatrician. Always try out the new formula for 2 weeks to make sure it is what agrees with your little one. Obviously, if you see an negative difference in your child, stop with that formula and call your peds.

When my daughter was an infant, she could not have a BM without help. They were so hard. At a year old, her doc finally put her on Miralax. One year was way to long to wait. My daughter was in such pain every time. She is 2 years old and still need to take Miralax. Just a little FYI - something to ask your ped about if there is still problems.

We used both the Similac and Enfamil freebies that came in the mail for our daughter and she didn't have any digestive problems. When I ran out of the milk based formula I used Isomil and she took that fine, too. Our pediatrican said there was no difference and had given me samples of the Similac and Enfamil to try when I asked her about it. Now for my son and other daughter we ended up using Isomil since he was a projectile vomiter and lactose intolerant and she was colicky. But always ask your pediatrician if you have any questions.

Hi V.,
I have a 9 week old son, and I received the same 2 cans of Enfamil Lipil that you got in the mail. I had my sons 2 months check the next day and discussed it with the doc. I thought since it was free I should get some use out of it. He said it was totally fine. He said that 90% of the time babies have no problems with the change in formula. Its been about 48 hours and my baby hasn't had any stomach problems and has had 2 big poops!

V.,

My daughter couldn't handle the Enfamil when the hospital started her on that. So I changed to the Simalac. But I also tried to breastfeed my daughter. But she would drink me dry and I had to have extra around for her. (And that was both sides, Ha! Ha!) I loved breastfeeding her but I had my troubles. The nice thing about it though, if you want to go all formula then it won't be so hard on her switching from breast to formula. Chelsey would drink both, plus drink about 4 ounces of her formula. So she was ahead of the game.

I would say if you are going to do any changing then do it slowly. She may like it, she may not. If she doesn't or if it gives her any digestive distress then she will definitely let you known. But you definitely should ask your pediatrician first before making any changes.

I am just saying that my daughter didn't have a good experience with Enfamil and since I couldn't produce enough for her I had to find an alternative. I had already been given the Ok to use the Similac, because I was worried about what to do if I couldn't produce enough.

K.

Hi V.! I would be careful that she might get an upset stomach since she's so young. If you are planning on staying on the Enfamil, I would try to gradually introduce it to her. Maybe use 25% Enfamil and the rest either breast milk or Similac for a few days, then gradually increase the amount of Enfamil every few days. I wouldn't switch cold turkey. If you aren't planning to use the Enfamil completely after your two cans are gone, I wouldn't even go through it. I would just keep her on the Similac since you know it agrees with her. Believe me, a baby with an upset stomach is no fun! I tried switching formulas, and I went straight back to my original stuff after only three days, because she was so fussy. After a day on her regular stuff, she was fine again. Good luck!

Dear V.,
My son is now 7 months old and I was breastfeeding him until he was about 5 1/2 months old. I worked and went to school at the time and had to do the same thing you are doing. I got put on the WIC program and they gave me Simalac at first and then they changed it on me and gave me Enfamil. Since I didn't have a choice about what I was given, I gave the Enfamil to my son once to make sure that he wasn't allergic to it and to make sure that he liked it, I waited a day to see how things went and he loved it. Now that's what he drinks all the time. Unless there are severe allergies in your family, I say it's ok to try it once like i did, but make sure you have a back up just in case and see how it goes. And in my opinion, i like the Enfamil much better than the Simalac because it's a lot less messy and sticky. I think you'll like it a lot better too.

After my younger son was born, he drank from Similac formula. It caused his bowel movement got out of control. So, the nurse changed to Enfamil Soy formula, and it really helped to control the bowel movements. My son was doing great with that formula. It is probably better idea if you ask your doctor first before you go ahead switch the formula. I don't know which formula is the best for your baby. I guess individual babies are different.

OK, this is a crazy answer but I'll just throw it out there. I breastfed my kid completely and never used formula BUT she had constipation trouble about the same age as your little one. and kept doing that for a while. I didn't make any weird diet changes, she just got better eventually.
This is just me, -I looked on the back of many of the formulas and MANY of them use corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup for sweeteners which is about the worst kind of sugar there is. If it's AT ALL possible - look for something that at least has natural ingredients - after all, that's the whole reason you are still breastfeeding, yes? :)

You can use it as long as it is the same base as the similac(cow's milk or soy etc.) you dont want to put her on anything she may be allergic to( my son has an allergy to cow's milk protein) so if you know she does okay with cow's milk base then go ahead and switch her she may have a little diahhreah for a day but thats just cause of the switch..

Hello! I'm not sure what the answer is because Im in the exact same boat same formula with an 8 week old. I also beastfeed and pump due to working. if you could forward the responses you get from this to me I think I could also benifit. My doctor told me not to worry about it but we are mommys and we do worry. Thank you for asking this question!

I switched back and forth depending on what I had coupons for. Once all the coupons for the big name formulas were gone, I then switched to the Wal-mart brand and didn't have near the constipation issues.
With my daughter, once I quit breast feeding, the constipation started, but formula types or brands made NO difference until the walmart brand.
At that point, apple juice helped too. To this day she may only have a bowel movement every other day. That is normal for her.

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