Formula Fed Baby--switching Formulas

Updated on June 21, 2008
R.P. asks from River Falls, WI
19 answers

I have in my day care a 12 week old baby who is using Similac Advance formula for now. We are trying to get her on to Nestle Good Start because that is what WIC will buy for her. We did the 1/2 Similac to 1/2 Good Start per bottle for 3 weeks, but went back to Similac when she kept getting "explosive green stools". The mom talked to her doctor and he told her to stay with Similac but she CAN'T afford this. Is it normal to have diahrrea when switching formulas? I have talked to the Good Start help line and they told us to start by changing one bottle Similac to Good Start for the first day and then increase it daily until they are all Good Start. In all the years of childrearing and day care I've never had to switch formulas so I don't know what to expect. What are your thoughts and experiences....

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So What Happened?

I want to thank everyone who gave me suggestions on how to go about switching this baby to GoodStart. We decided to wait until Monday to start the switch to GoodStart Soy.

I have talked extensively to WIC (Wisconsin) and they WILL NOT give her any other kind of formula other than GoodStart. It doesn't matter that the doctor has prescribed it and that she is getting sick from the GoodStart, they will not authorize anything else.

I know that things were different years ago and each state is different, but Wisconsin WIC will NOT budge on this matter.

Again, thanks for all of your advice and concern.....

Featured Answers



answers from Minneapolis on

She can get from her doctor a prescription for the formula she needs because when my 2nd son was a baby he has acid reflux and had to have carnation good start and WIC only offered a certain formula so I had to get a prescription from his doctor for the formula i needed then i was able to get it on WIC. I hope this info helps.



answers from Davenport on

I second the Target brand. My Dr. specifically told me to only buy generic because it's exactly the same. It would also help the tax payers...can't believe they don't force WIC to be generic! It's half the cost!

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answers from Appleton on

breast milk is free, its not too late for her to contact LLL and still lactate and pump!



answers from Minneapolis on

Try the Target brand formula. It's literally half the cost of similac and very similar. My daughter had no issues switching to it.



answers from Sioux City on

I guess WIC is different in all states. but in response to those in NE I am a WIC participant and in NE and all I had to do was tell them what kind of formula i wanted my son to be on. No questions asked. I didnt need a drs note. That does suck that some only give specific formulas. I understand that funding is probably the issue but I wonder why even with a drs note they wouldnt give you what you needed. Did u try a WIC office in a different town that is close to you?



answers from Duluth on

first of all, and most importantly, wic should be able to provide another brand of formula for mom. perhaps she needs a doctor's note or prescription! try that - wic seems so unfair sometimes when it comes to formula. the only one they supply up here where i live is similac... so the fact that they only do nestle where you live is different. have the doctor write a strong worded prescription or note to request wic supply the formula he recommends for the baby.

there are LOTS of problems when switching formulas. a baby i have in my day care was extremely constipated when switching. so its different for every baby, but there are reactions.



answers from Des Moines on

Hi Renee,

Wic will only provide one kind of formula??? Maybe you should look at the differences in ingredients to see what may be causing the problem. I have a little girl who is allergic to corn. Corn is in everything...corn syrup, corn starch...the list goes on and on, it would surprise you.

Maybe it is just the switch...think about it...this is the only thing they eat, so it would be quite an adjustment for their little system. Maybe it will just take a few days to get use to if you just go ahead and put them on the Nestle's by itself instead of mixing it. It has been awhile since I've had to switch a baby, but it seems to me that we just switched them over to the other formula.

Good luck!




answers from Minneapolis on

I'm not sure about the explosive green stools...but I do know that her bowl movements will probably be less thick on Good Start than with Similac...with my son All other brands thickened up his BM, but nestlee good start made his stools more similar to ones from breast milk.



answers from Grand Forks on

Is Similac Advance the same as Good Start? I was the infant room teacher at a childcare center for 8 years and we compared formulas alot to determine which one to offer. We used to offer what WIC approved. When we compared Similac and Enfamil to Good Start the ingredients were not proportionately the same. For yers WiC stayed with Enfamil w/ Lipil, now they have switched to Similac. These two formulas are top notch and pretty closer to the same. I would do some checking about Good Start-maybe WIC should, too!



answers from Milwaukee on

I didn't read the responses, but I did read your update. I just want to tell you that we have this problem with poop too. My son in only on Good Start (because of WIC) and has always had really bad green poop. I have asked a lot of moms and this is common with Good Start. Something about the way it all breaks down in their tummy and the iron. So, I just wanted you to know it is common... still not a nice thing to find in a diaper though.



answers from Minneapolis on

We had to switch our daughters formula a couple times when she was about 5 months old. We were also on the WIC program and they said they would cover ANY type/brand of formula as long as we got a note from her doctor. When we got the note from the doctor, the WIC clinic just put it in the system what type of formula our daughter needed. We were able to have the formula covered on WIC regardless of the brand. I would recommend checking with her WIC clinic to see if she could get a doctors note to help with the costs of formula. Hope this helps!



answers from Lincoln on

Hi her in Nebraska if our child requires a certain type of formula all we need to do is get a script from the dr and they will then provide that type of formula this should be the case with your WIC program i would think. Never hurts to give it a try



answers from Minneapolis on

A note about WIC (I worked for them). WIC is NOT required to give the formula a client "needs". Formula is just as expensive for the government as it is for families. The formula requirements are different depending on the state and most states are getting more strict with what they will provide. Being that she gets Good Start, I assume she lives in Wisconsin and I don't know that they would give her Similac even with a doctor's note.

I would just try doing 3/4 Similac to 1/4 Good Start and gradually increase the amount of Good Start. Overall the formulas are pretty much the same. It is normal to have digestive problems (spitting up, diarrhea, constipation) when switching formulas. As she gets older she should be able to adjust.

She could talk to her WIC agency about trying a different kind of Good Start such as lactose free or soy. Even though the baby's not lactose intolerant or allergic to milk, he be able to tolerate it better.



answers from Des Moines on

Hi Renee,
I just wanted to let you know that WIC will pay for other formulas if there is a DR's note
I had to get a note each time they changed my son's formula (13 yrs ago)
and with each child after that
But it is a fact that they will provide WIC checks for her if there is a reason that the Dr wants this chold on this formula.
My great aunt also works for the WIC office up here in northwest iowa .... so I also know that because I have called her and other WIC nurses for Dr's before (i'm a nurse) just to get the correct information .
however if this mom still would like to change formula's try switching to at a different ratio ---- for instance if she drinks 8 ozs at a time
try mixing 1 oz of Nestle to 7 ozs of Similac for the 1st day
and 2ozs of Nestle to 6 ozs of Similac the 2nd day
and so on .... if baby seems to tolerate that well continue until she is completely switched over
if she seems to start with loose stools etc then try skipping a day in between
I hope this helps you
Good Luck to you both



answers from Minneapolis on

sometimes wic will substitute things if the dr. orders it. not sure if that is an option but it is worth asking



answers from Minneapolis on

Sorry to hear. Trying soy-based may help. Good luck!



answers from Madison on

I am a mom of 3 beautiful kids 2-girls 4 1/2 and 3 and a boy 17 months. We switched our son over to Nestle Good Start. He was on Similac until he was 2 months old and then the formula did not agree with him he was crabby and not an easy child to deal with. We put him on Nestle Good Start and he was wonderful after that. He had green bowel movements when he was on it. I talked with the Dr. and went on the Nestle Good Start website they both said it was normal and common with some babies it is just how their system processes it. I would try what the Good Start help line said for switching formulas.

Good Luck.




answers from St. Cloud on

Hi Renee. WIC is required to give you the formula that you need. The Dr. can write a "prescription" for whatever the mom and he thinks is the best choice for the baby. I would think it would be harmful to keep switching up formulas. Obviously something in the GoodStart brand is irritating the baby. I hope you find a solution!



answers from Eau Claire on

Way back (almost 19 yrs ago) when I was on WIC, they would approve the purchase of the more expensive formula if the doctor ordered it. My son was lactose intolerant and had to have soy formula and the only one of those he could tolerate was Isomil, which of course was not covered by WIC until the doctor said it was necessary. The regular WIC nurse didn't tell me that was possible, she kept after me to keep trying to switch him even though he was getting sick from it. A fill in nurse gave me a heads up about WIC paying for it if a doctor ordered it. Maybe they still do that. A.

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