Gradually transitioning from breastfeeding your baby to formula feeding can make feeding time easier for both of you and even get your partner involved in feeding too! Use this guide to learn how to transition from breastmilk to formula.
How to Introduce Formula to A Breastfed Baby
Although switching from breastmilk to formula can be tricky, it is definitely not impossible. To begin the transition, slowly start to replace breastfeeding with a bottle of breastmilk. This will help your baby get used to the way the bottle feels. Use plastic or glass bottles with an ultra-wide mouth and breast-like nipple to mimic the feel of a breast and assist with the transition. Once your baby is comfortable with the bottle, then try your first formula bottle.
For the first formula bottle, choose a feeding time that your baby is least interested in. For example, you may want to start by nursing in the morning or night time and giving your baby formula in the middle of the day. As your baby adjusts to this change, you can gradually decrease breast feeding sessions until you switch over to the number of formula feedings you desire.
Switching From Breastmilk to Formula
If you plan on nursing and supplementing with formula, it’s best to wait until your baby is at least three to four weeks old. It is very important that you do not suddenly switch from breastmilk to formula. Not only is this bad for your baby, but it can also cause you painful breast engorgement. Ease your baby off breast milk slowly so that your body is able to slow milk production gradually. Take away one breastfeeding session at a time. Your baby should adjust to the formula change within two to six weeks.
Does Formula Cause Constipation?
Many mothers wonder if formula can cause constipation. Breastfed babies are less likely to experience constipation than formula fed babies. Formula is thicker than breast milk, which makes it harder for babies to pass it through the gastrointestinal tract. If your baby is constipated, it may also be because of a lactose intolerance or an allergy.
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Benefits of Breastfeeding vs. Formula
There are many benefits of breastmilk. Breastmilk is high in nutritional value and is composed of lactose, protein, and fat, which can all be easily digested by a newborn. Breastmilk also has natural antibodies to help babies resist common illnesses, such as ear infections.
However, when it comes to breastmilk vs. formula, there are also many benefits to formula feeding. Baby formula is made to include all the nutrients your baby will need. It can be composed with additional nutrients that breastmilk doesn’t have. Babies that are formula fed eat less frequently than breast fed babies, and formula can be more convenient than breastfeeding, especially on the go or if you go back to work. Formula also allows your partner to handle some of baby’s feeding too, giving you a much needed break.
Many mothers are concerned that breastfed babies may be healthier than formula fed. During breastfeeding, antibodies and other germ fighting factors pass from a mother to her baby, strengthening their immune systems. While it has been proven that breastfed babies have fewer infections and hospitalizations than formula fed babies, formula fed babies grow up to be just as strong and healthy as breastfed babies.
Is Formula More Filling Than Breast Milk?
Firstly, it is important to consider that babies feel full with both breast milk and formula. The difference boils down to differences in digestion. Babies digest breast milk faster than formula milk so they feed more frequently. Infant formula takes longer to digest and thus may be considered more filling than breast milk.
Alternating Breastmilk and Formula
Can you mix formula and breastmilk? Yes, in fact, some mothers decide to combine their milk and formula in order to increase the calories that their baby gets during feeding time. If you decide to mix breastmilk and formula, first prepare the formula according to the directions. Don’t add powdered formula directly to your breast milk. Supplementing one or two bottles a week should not affect your body’s breast milk supply. However, if you are giving your baby one or two bottles of formula a day, your milk supply may begin to drop.
Whether you choose to feed your baby breastmilk, formula, or both, Baby Brezza is here to make feeding time as easy as possible for both you and your little one.