How to introduce formula to your baby
How to Introduce Formula to your Baby by Lou Lavery.
Feeding your baby has become a controversial topic for many parents in the online world. It seems that, regardless of the decision your family is making, there will be someone out there who will tell you you’re doing it all wrong.
This has served to isolate and intimidate many women who feel that, if they ask questions about their feeding choices, they’ll be attacked for even daring to ask a question.
In the interests of helping to build confidence and acceptance, here is a guide on how to introduce formula to your baby. Please note that at no point does this article indicate what the ‘right’ choice is – this is intended as a guide to help parents with questions.
How to Introduce Formula to your baby
Many women transition away from breastfeeding for a wide variety of reasons that are both personal in nature and individual to their circumstances.
All babies are unique. Expect a bit of trial and error on your formula journey. You may find that your baby immediately takes to it or that it takes a while to find the right formula and the right bottle.
Some will begin introducing formula by “mixed feeding”. This is where the breast feeding is supplemented by the introduction to formula. It does NOT mean mixing breast milk and formula together in the same bottle, though.
Mixed feeding means allowing the baby to feed from the breast first and then following up with formula from a bottle.
Regular supplementing will, generally speaking, lead to the baby declining the breast. Bottle feeding is often faster than on the breast and the formula tends to fill babies up for longer. You might find that this happens gradually or very quickly depending on your child’s preference.
What changes might I expect when I introduce formula?
Bowel movements are going to be a lot different in both colour and smell. You may want to take careful notice of these changes as they could indicate that the formula you have chosen might not be the best choice for your baby’s digestive system.
Parents who formula feed often report that their baby’s routine becomes a lot steadier as the child will be full for longer.
Which formula should I choose?
Chemists and hospitals can sometimes supply parents with ‘sample sizes’ of formula. It might be a good idea to ask for these first rather than immediately splashing out on a full-sized tub.
There are a wide variety of formula options available on the market that cover a range of needs (including soy, dairy and gluten free options). Again, this may well be a trial-and-error phase until you find the perfect fit so try not to get frustrated!
Anything else to know before I introduce formula?
Using formula in bottles requires a cleaning and sterilisation system and the ability to transport – a lot more complex than breastfeeding!
Decide where you will store the bottles and how you will be cleaning and sterilising them. If you are going out of the house for short periods you can pre-mix formula in bottles. A good tip for a longer trip is to boil water, fill bottles and take the formula powder separately. The water will cool but remain sterile and you can mix the formula in while on-the-run.
As with any parenting choice, make sure you do your research and decide on the best fit for your family. You will then be much better informed in how to introduce formula to your baby.
How did you introduce formula?