Hey there, new mommy; I hope the experience with your newborn has been amazing so far. But now it’s time for a change in the food habits of your toddler. You must have heard of infant formulas. You should know specific facts about bottle-feeding and formulas when you decide to bottle feed your baby.
After six months or one year of breastfeeding, you should focus on infant formulas for essential nutrients for the baby’s growth, health, and well-being. The new mommy, new baby, and new formula sometimes work well together, and sometimes they don’t.
The good news is, you can change the baby’s formula from time to time. Although it is not recommended to change the formula rapidly, sometimes you can. Since the digestive system of a baby is very sensitive, the instant changing of formula may harm their stomach.
But the first and foremost question that can arise is how much it will take for a baby to adjust to the new infant formula?
A straightforward answer to this question would be a week, give or take a couple of days from that. But exceptions are to be noted. Sometimes a formula might not suit a baby and might cause digestion issues and many other health conditions. A few facts are there that you should know before changing your baby’s formula.
Hey, don’t be scared. Your toddler will be alright if you know the proper ways of maintaining the food habit. And with a bit of help from us, you can choose and change the formula without any hassle.
Why do you need to change formulas?
If you have already started using infant formulas, either full-time or as a supplement to breastfeeding, you must be thinking, why would someone change the formula?
Well, several reasons are there for a formula change.
- Baby’s negative reaction:
It is tough to tell which formula suits and which doesn’t while speaking of the little one. Generally, it is a matter of cut and tries. Sometimes you might see your little one accept a particular formula, but later, you find an adverse reaction to it.
The most common symptom of your baby’s discomfort would be allergic reactions to the formulas. However, consulting a physician is the wisest decision at that time.
Sometimes, your little one may react vigorously to a certain formula. Babies may get gassy feelings, spit up, or even may cry. At times they may get uncomfortable bowel movements. You should understand by these symptoms that their stomach is simply not accepting the formula.
Keep a close eye on your baby’s reaction to a specific formula. If you notice some of the symptoms mentioned above, you need to take immediate action and take the situation seriously.
- More feeding:
From the sixth month onwards, you will notice a rapid change in the food habit of your bay. They will require more and more infant formula several times a day. You will have to face the situation until your baby starts to take solid food along with liquid food.
You might have a question, why would that be a reason to change the formula?
The infant formulas can be a bit costly. And the top-rated ones provide your baby with all the required nutritional elements. But to meet the demands of that little stomach, some parents might find the expenses overwhelming.
It is a wiser decision to switch the formula at that time. Make sure to choose an alternative that comes at a cheaper price tag with almost the same nutritious values as the previous one.
- For more nutrients:
It is needless to say that every infant formula is differently made. They might contain some similar nutrients, but in the end, they are solely different. Various formulas are made to meet the requirements of a particular nutrient or several specific nutrients. Your little one’s needs are the most notable thing at this time.
Sometimes you might see the pediatricians prescribe a formula for iron deficiency or some other nutritious element. And at that time, changing the formula is pretty normal.
So, remember one essential thing that your baby’s needs should be the priority. And to meet that, if you feel you should change the formula, do that without any second thought.
How should you change the infant formula?
Even if you think of changing the formula for some good reasons, you should not do that overnight! Sometimes a rapid change of compositions may affect the babies and their stomach. They might react more outwardly to the new formula.
So, what is the solution here?
Well, let me tell you some tricks and ways through which you can change the formula for your little one without any obstacles.
- Should you mix the formulas?
If you are looking for a straightforward answer to this question, I would say no! It is not a good decision to mix two formulas because their components might be different and simply not work with each other. And think once, how peculiar the taste would be! If you do not want to get a d grade from your toddler about food, you better skip mixing the formulas!
Let’s say you have mixed two formulas and notice that your baby is not accepting the new mixture. It will be tough for you to detect which one is creating an issue. You will simply be confused about which one to blame! Therefore, it is recommended for you not go on that path.
That being said, some people claim that the mixing method has worked well for them. While introducing a new formula, they have mixed the two for the baby to experience somewhat of a familiar taste. If you also plan to do the same, I would recommend you to talk to the pediatrician once and then mix them.
- Be gradual while changing the formula:
As I stated earlier, your little one may not accept the rapid change overnight because of their sensitivity. You should introduce the new formula to your toddler gradually.
Try to give the formula in the middle of the day when your baby is surprisingly calm or happy. This would seem to your baby not much of a change.
Try to feed them smaller amounts of the new formula while introducing it. Try to do it in a playful gesture and see the magic!
As I have stated earlier, you should not mix two formulas together, but people do that in some cases. Some mommies combine the two formulas for their babies to experience a familiar flavor.
Even if you are doing so, you should maintain a specific ratio and gradually reduce the old formula’s part. You can take the new and the old formula for the first day in, let’s say 30 to 70 ratio. In a couple of days, you might make it a 50-50 ratio. Gradually within two or three more days, you can make the ratio 100 to 0, which means you can strike out the old formula.
But, you should always pay attention to what your baby’s health or behavior is suggesting and then only decide to take the activity further.
But if it is required to change the formula immediately, you should not waste more time in gradual feeding.
Keep a close monitor on the baby to notice their reactions to the new formula. After a couple of days, you will expect an increased appetite if your baby accepts the new formula.
How long to observe a real change?
Well, now I have come to the crux of your query. You have successfully bought a new formula, and you think that is the ultimate solution to your problem.
Wake up! Because that little tummy is very sensitive and can give you hard times initially. Even if you have bought a similar product, that tiny human stomach may not accept it or may show tantrums and be fussy!
Usually, it takes about one week to ten days for your baby’s digestive system to accept the new formula that you have decided to introduce. You may get an instant reaction from your baby while introducing the new formula for the first time. That little tongue has got some active tastebuds! Therefore, your little one might easily detect the change of flavor and taste at first.
Initially, you might have to face many tantrums and fuss due to the immediate change in taste. They might cry and simply reject the formula if the flavor is not acceptable to them.
Do not panic because the unwelcoming reaction is quite normal for the babies. In most cases, babies usually become very moody while taking the new formula. Just wait for a week or few more days than that. Keep a close eye on the reaction of the baby while feeding. If you see no negative reactions after seven to ten days, you can comfortably continue with the new formula.
But there are cases where the baby has displayed rashes, spit-up, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, excessive gas, hives, and many other allergic symptoms. If you also witness the same allergic reaction even after a week of trial, you should visit a doctor.
Formula preparation: powdered, concentrated, and ready-to-feed
There are three types of infant formulas.
- Powdered formulas
- Concentrated formulas and
- Ready-to-feed formulas
All of them are healthy and provide nutrients for your baby’s growth.
The primary difference between the three of them is the preparation process.
Usually, while preparing the powdered ones, you should take two ounces of water and one scoop of the formula and shake it well.
For the concentrated ones, the water and formula ratio should be one-to-one.
And finally comes the ready-to-feed formula. I guess you have already understood its function from its name.
Yes, they do not need extra water or any medium to prepare as they come ready-made.
Things to focus on while depending on a formula:
Your awareness and focus play the key card while speaking of your baby’s health. Often people make mistakes while introducing their babies to a new formula. There are some precautions you should maintain while feeding your baby.
- Always remember that you should not keep a bottle of prepared formula for more than one hour at room temperature. Even if the formula has been warmed, you should not keep it for more than one hour at room temperature. Refrain yourself from rewarming the same formula repeatedly because that increases the chances for your baby to be affected by the bacteria.
- Sometimes you might have to face situations where your baby drinks from the bottle, but there is more milk left. Do not make the wrong decision of reusing the leftover milk as many people do! You should discard the remaining milk after one hour, which is not supposed to be given to the baby.
- Nowadays, some mommies depend on ready-made formulas (that are ready-to-feed). If you are one of those moms, you should focus on how you are keeping them. The concrete formulas, once opened, should be kept in refrigerators and used within 48 hours.
- If you plan to buy a powdered formula for your baby, you also have to refrigerate it within 24 hours of opening it. It is best to use all of the powdered formula before 30 days. Try to finish them as early as possible.
Since your baby’s tummy is sensitive, it can not withstand any serious effects. Hence, you should try to avoid every complication that can come while feeding your toddler.
How many types of formulas are there?
This might sound like a crazy question, But no! It is not. Many of the new moms do not know the different types of formulas that can be fed.
In case you are also discovering this fact for the first time, we would like to let you know about the types of formulas available in the market.
- Cow’s Milk Protein :
These types of formulas are made and purified from whole milk. Since the protein of cow’s milk is adequate for a baby’s growth, these formulas are safe to feed. In most cases, mommies depend on the formulas from cow’s milk. And usually, babies do accept these formulas easily.
- Amino Acid:
These formulas are made from the smallest units of protein, namely, Amino Acid. These formulas are for those babies who spend a hard time adjusting to the milk protein formula. One beneficial point of these formulas is they are lactose-free.
- Soy protein formula:
These types of formulas are for infants having rare metabolic disorders ( such as galactosemia). These are different from the cow milk formulas because soy protein formulas are lactose-free. You can use them if your baby is suffering from diarrheal illness. But of course, consult a doctor first.
- Partially Hydrolyzed Protein:
These types contain smaller parts of the protein. But you can expect larger milk protein as well. These are claimed to be easy to digest.
- Extensively Hydrolyzed Protein:
These formulas consist of smaller protein parts. And these are easier to digest. These are fed to babies having issues with cow’s milk protein or general milk protein–induced proctocolitis.
Taking care of a baby is easier said than done. And for the first few months or years, a mom’s responsibility is huge. Since that little heart of yours can not utter any word, you need to understand each and every problem and obstacle that your baby is facing. Be it about feeding, be it about sleeping, you are the only savior. So you must do the obvious.
Choosing a formula or changing it sometimes becomes a daunting task. But you should not worry if you know all the pros and cons associated with it.
One more suggestion, do not throw away your old formula soon after replacing it with another. Because you never know when you might need the old one!
With all the information and tricks mentioned above, you will face no more challenging time while changing the formula for your little one.