16 answers

Transitioning to Formula

I would like to transition my 5 month old from being exclusively breastfed (nurses and drinks from bottle of expressed milk) to taken a bottle with formula. Any tips and advice on this transition? Is there a brand of formula that he would find tastes OK? So far we have tried mixing formula with breastmilk (25% formula) and he definitely can tell the difference!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

One good piece of advice I received from a lactation consultant was to not mix formula and breast milk. Her reasoning was because there are no studies that show what happens to the properties of breast milk when it is mixed with formula. So feed the breast milk separately from the formula.

The pediatrician recommended organic over commercial formula so I use Earth's Best Organic Baby Formula and my baby is very happy with it. You can find Earth's Best at most grocery stores.

I started a slow transition to formula at 4 months. Feeding 4 ounces breast milk 2 ounces formula and worked up to half and half. Now at 7 months my baby gets a full bottle of formula twice a day and breast milk in the mornings and evenings when I can breast feed.

Good luck.

This is hard because the formula tastes really bad as evidenced by the smell of it but he will get used to it. They will eat if they are hungry.

More Answers

Try Good Start Soy - milk based formula's have much stronger, more "vitaminy" taste that is the exact opposite of breastmilk in every way! Soy formula is much more mild and sweet, promotes better digestive transition and health in breastfed moving to formula fed babies, and reduces constipation or hard stool significantly (and your baby might go through some of that as he transitions from breast milk to formula). Today's soy formula's are fortified just like their whey based counterparts, so there is no nutritional difference between milk or so based formula.
When I moved my little one from breast milk to formula, we initially started out with Enfamil Gentlease Lipil - it caused horrible, TERRIBLE constipation in my little one (to the point where she could not pass her own poop without ripping her little anus apart and making it bleed and I had to remove it manually) - the soy formula not only took care of all of her digestive issues (constipation and GERD) but she loved the taste and it came very highly recommended by both our ped and my friends.

One good piece of advice I received from a lactation consultant was to not mix formula and breast milk. Her reasoning was because there are no studies that show what happens to the properties of breast milk when it is mixed with formula. So feed the breast milk separately from the formula.

The pediatrician recommended organic over commercial formula so I use Earth's Best Organic Baby Formula and my baby is very happy with it. You can find Earth's Best at most grocery stores.

I started a slow transition to formula at 4 months. Feeding 4 ounces breast milk 2 ounces formula and worked up to half and half. Now at 7 months my baby gets a full bottle of formula twice a day and breast milk in the mornings and evenings when I can breast feed.

Good luck.

This is hard because the formula tastes really bad as evidenced by the smell of it but he will get used to it. They will eat if they are hungry.

What worked for us was Dr browns bottles and feeding him in a different postion than breast feeding. Also my mom at better luck at getting him to take a bottle than i did. So at first i would get some one else to give the bottle and you might to go for a walk. As far as formula you just need to try several kinds until you find something your baby likes. Everyone is different. YOu can sign up for free samples on there websites. it does take about a month to get teh samples but there free.
Good luck
A.

Have you thought about continuing to pump as much as possible even when you go back to work?

I am going through the same thing. My 5 month old can always tell the difference. I have also tried putting some formula in his cereal. He can still tell the difference. Please let me know if you figure out something that works.

hi F.,
i HIGHLY recommend you give pumped breastmilk instead of formula. it is so much better for your baby and for YOU, in promoting breast health. workplaces in this state are required by law to provide a good place for you to pump at work, so that should keep your supply up enough to feed him.

good luck!

We switched to GoodStart, which both girls tolerated better than the other formulas. Keep in mind that it will take 3-5 days for your baby to adjust to any changes. Start slow, 1 to 4, then 2:4, then 3:4 so that your baby's tummy can slowly adjust to the difference. Also, any changes you make will effect his poop and that will take time also.

We started using Enfamil Lipil (just the regular kind in the yellow can) when my daughter was 6 wks. She took it fine, and it seems tastier, thinner and easier to digest than Similac or store brands. I highly recommend it. I'd suggest mixing at 25% formula/75% breastmilk for a few days, then up it to 50% and so on.

Nestle Good Start is supposed to be the easiest to digest, but it tastes and smells horrible, and I think your little one would not take it very well. My daughter wouldn't even take it in place of Enfamil.

Don't feel bad about switching to formula. My daughter is beautiful, happy, skinny, healthy, and very intelligent :)

Best wishes for your changes :)

Hi F.,

You are starting at a good time if you plan to go back to work full time in a month. We tried several brands of formula when we did the switch, but our daughter didn't like any of them. So, we mixed. VERY little formula at first with mostly breastmilk, and then changed the mixture slowly over a 2 week period or so. Our daughter was over 6 months so we also used breastmilk/formula mixture in her rice cereal and smashed bananas etc. Actually, she started rice cereal at 5 months. Ask your doctor, but maybe try sneaking in formula with rice cereal. If your baby gets hungry enough, he will drink the formula. He won't starve himself. Good luck!

formula is a tough call because it is actually made mostly with high fructose corn syrup which has been linked to diabetes and obesity in children. Just something to consider. I have seen many moms recommend that you do the splitting of the breastmilk/formula as you are doing and slowly increase the formula part of the ratio.
have you tried pumping and freezing your breastmilk?

Why do you want to transition to formula? For tips on how to continue breastfeeding while working full-time, read the book "Nursing Mother, Working Mother". Good for you for breastfeeding for 5 months, but there's no need to give it up now (unless there's other dire reasons why you need to switch). Also, keep in mind that at 6 months, he'll be starting solids and not need as much breastmilk anyway - and you may not even need to pump at work then at the point - or just for a short time. Good luck!

The only formuals my baby likes are Baby's Only and Earth's best. Baby's Only is our favorite and tastes closest to Mommy's milk. All the others taste horrible. If you don't like it, your baby won't either. I mix 1/2 milk with the formula for best stool constistancy. It's also good to warm the mixture to babdy temperature. My husband would position the bottle under his armpit to simulate my breastfeeding. It worked great!

I know this and others that you got are not the advice that you asked for but I would just encourage you to continue to breastfeed. We were created to feed our babies. I pray that you would consider what we were created to be and how life in general is aligned with that.
God Bless
T.

It all depends on your baby. I first tried GoodStart and my daughter didn't like it. I then tried Enfamil and she did fine, took it like a champ. It was about a 1-2 week process.

Good luck!

When I switched my daughter to formula she had a problem with Similac (gassy & screaming fits). I eventually switched to the Nestles brand (which many friends recommended) and put her on Soy. I couldn't tolerate the milk based formulas and Soy made her the happiest baby. Sleeping and happiness improved 100%.

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