Your baby’s tummy is sensitive; their tiny little digestive systems are delicate, and so what type of baby formula you give them is important. So, naturally, there will be times where you may need to switch formulas due to finances, availability, ease of preparation. However, you may also need to change baby formula because it does not suit your baby’s tummy.
Is it safe to switch formulas?
Switching formulas is a relatively safe and easy process. However, a few things need to be taken into account when beginning a new formula.
In most cases, changing formulas is perfect as long as you adhere to the same kind. For example, all cow’s milk-based, iron-fortified baby formulas (recommended for most babies) have the same ingredients. They may, however, have a different flavor that your child is not used to. This is usually a minor inconvenience, and over time, they will grow to like the taste of the new formula,
When making the switch to a new formula, try and stick to the same type of protein. However, if you feel the need to switch your baby’s formula with a completely different protein type, you must first consult a doctor (specifically a pediatrician).
Protein types are most commonly found in infant formulas
1. Antiallergic/allergen-friendly- also known as hypoallergenic, they claim to reduce allergic reaction and are formulated by proteins broken into tiny fragments, so they are easier on the child’s stomach. Unfortunately, these formulas are costly, a lot of these formulations are not great tasting, and they’re mostly reserved for young children who can’t stomach intact protein. It is a specialty formula made specifically for children that are highly allergic to other milk proteins.
2. Soy Protein- Used for any baby with health concerns or that may have allergic reactions to casein or whey (found in cow’s milk).
3. Cow’s Milk Protein- the most common alternative for breast milk for most infants
Without prior consultation with your doctor, it is not recommended to switch from cow’s milk, iron-fortified formulas to any new formula, such as soy formula. But, of course, you can change between different formula brands, which is completely safe.
Is my baby allergic to cow’s milk protein? Should I switch baby formula?
Newborn babies are gassy; they also spit up quite often; this is normal for young babies with immature digestive systems. Bicycling their thighs, softly pulling, and pressing their legs inwards and outwards from their belly, and light tummy tubs will both help to get things running better.
However, should constipation show no signs of improvement or blood in the stools, or if you have any other queries, contact the baby’s doctor.
There is no need to instantly start considering a formula change if your baby is straining during bowel movements or if they are constipated (iron-fortified formula can cause mild constipation). However, solid foods to the baby’s diet will have a positive change on the baby’s digestive system.
Points to note that the baby may not be tolerating their formula:
The baby’s bowel habits should be monitored for any changes or irregularities in the baby’s stool or bowel movements.
- Skin problems (rashes, eczema)
- Blood in diarrhea
- Allergy symptoms (some standard symptoms are wheals, hives, vomiting)
- Severe constipation (some constipation is normal for formula-fed babies)
- Excessive fussiness after eating (e.g., excessive gas)
- Poor weight gain (failure to thrive)
In the situation of one or more of these symptoms, consult your pediatrician immediately. Likewise, changing your current formula to a new formula should not be done without consulting the child’s doctor.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set nutritional standards. So naturally, most of these baby formula brands available for parents to purchase are safe to use due to these prerequisites in place. The ingredients used in formulations can differ between generic products and name brands; they must all reach the federal standards of diet and safety in their products.
When preparing the new formulation, do not work on your previous experience. It is not likely that the new formula will have the same method, nor will it require the same amount of water or powder. Therefore, it’s crucial to observe the preparation instructions written on the formula bottle.
When switching baby formulas, stick to one formula type, i.e., stay within the same milk protein type. There are many baby formula brands available, and it is difficult to state that anyone is the best formula. It’s possible that your baby could need a different type of formula, not a new brand of formula. In most cases, the right formula is the one that your baby requires.
From old to new: How to make a switch without any fuss
If you switch the formula out of personal preference, then like many parents, it is best to start by combining the new formula with the old formula. However, suppose switching formulas is because of health concerns or allergies (although a true milk allergy is rare). In that case, it is best to have an immediate formula switch (with the recommendation of your pediatrician).
Since switching formula brands can be stressful for young children, some pediatricians consider mixing the old and new formulations to improve the child’s digestive system. Parents can gradually change their child to the new brand by gradually incorporating fewer old formulas and more new formulas.
Making this concoction can help ease the transition to the new formula by removing or minimizing any potential side effects.
To make this change determine the Formula family (cows’ milk-based, goat-based, soy-based, low-lactose, or hypoallergenic). Then, gradually introduce the feeding formula to observe your child’s reaction. On the first day, use 75% old formula and 25%, gradually increasing the amount of new formula so that by the fourth day, you are using 100% new formula.
The only way to tell if your kid is successfully transitioning formulas is to keep a close eye on the baby’s digestion for the first 24 hours. Keep an eye out for the following: a lot of gas (i.e., more gas than usual), constipation (poop is thicker than usual), diarrhea, seeing blood in their feces, or vomiting is a sign that the particular brand is not suited for use. (It would also be wise to call the doctor).
Do not keep switching your infants‘ current formula without giving them time to adjust to the different brands. There should be a minimum of a week between changing the baby formula. Usually, a baby accepts the change in formula (true formula intolerance is rare).
Remember, if you need to change between different protein formulations, especially due to a negative reaction to your child’s health, parents should consult a board-certified pediatrician.
No matter your child’s age, changing their feed should be done with great care to minimize the baby’s reaction. Avoid the jump from milk-based to soy-based without prior consultation.