The best source of nutrients that develop the baby’s immune system is breast milk.
This is why all pediatricians and neonatologists recommend breastfeeding, at least for the first six months.
It is an essential physical and emotional factor for strengthening the maternal bond between mother and baby. Breast milk is the best food and excellent protection for the baby from illness and psychological discomfort. But breastfeeding is not always possible.
Some mothers have to use formula or switch completely to formula feeding for many reasons.
Introducing formula or switching from breastfeeding to formula feeding is always stressful for your baby, but sometimes it is unavoidable. It’s no secret that babies are so individual that they react differently to it even though the formula is safe and reliable.
It is crucial to understand how to introduce the formula to make the transition to it as gentle as possible.
Making the decision to switch to formula feeding, every parent wonders how to do it correctly and whether the milk formula will meet all the needs of the child’s body.
However, only a pediatrician should recommend a suitable baby formula. But knowing the basic rules and understanding the basics of baby formula composition will not be superfluous at all.
Common reasons for switching to formula feeding
- A mother has been recovering from difficult labor for a long time.
- Treatment with medications that are contraindicated for the baby. If the medicine is taken for a short time, milk can be decanted to preserve lactation. At the end of the course of treatment, you can breastfeed your baby.
- Hormonal disorders in which lactation does not occur – no milk at all or not enough for adequate nutrition.
- Due to any circumstances, the mother and child are separated for a long time.
- Parents themselves choose in favor of formula.
Basic rules for the safe transition
Even though modern baby food is entirely suitable for the growing body’s needs, there are some important rules to follow when switching to mixed or formula feeding.
- Consult with your doctor
If the reason for changing to bottle feeding is insufficient lactation, the specialist can give necessary recommendations to increase and restore lactation.
- Choose the right formula
If breastfeeding has not improved, your pediatrician will advise you to introduce a milk formula and help choose the best option for your little one. Babies have different nutritional needs depending on their age. Therefore, it is important to have a formula that suits the baby’s age, health issues, and weight. And it is necessary to follow all the given instructions to prepare the product. You need to be careful to choose a quality formula that meets your baby’s needs.
- Keep an eye on your baby’s reaction to the formula milk
The introduction of milk formula, like any new product, should be gradual. Your pediatrician should tell you about the recommended proportions. Check the correct dilution of the formula, as written in the instructions on the package.
At the same time, it is essential to check the reaction of the baby’s body after feeding. If the baby has signs of digestive disorders (regurgitation and vomiting, bloating, loose stools, or constipation) or other unpleasant symptoms (redness of the skin, rashes), you should visit your doctor.
In such cases, you may have to switch to a new formula if necessary. If your baby is gaining weight well and is in good health with no bad reactions, it means that the choice of the formula is the right one.
How to switch your baby to a new formula?
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If the decision is made to change the formula, you should also do it gradually. Give your baby a chance to get used to the new formula.
Babies sometimes accept the new formula right away, but it sometimes takes a week to a month. Don’t rush to change the formula if you don’t think your baby is eating very well.
Issues that require a change of infant formula to another formula are as follows:
- The appearance of allergy symptoms to the first formula;
- The need to give the baby a therapeutic formula due to a disease in the child;
- Milk protein intolerance or lactase deficiency;
- Insufficient weight gain;
- The need to switch to a new stage of nutrition due to reaching a certain age (6, 12 months).
The reasons for switching from one formula to another must be strictly defined. Usually, the pediatrician recommends a change of formula if the child’s health requires it.
Frequent and unreasonable switching to a new formula is a real stress for the child’s body, and such transitions can cause digestive problems in the baby.
If your baby’s behavior is not a cause for concern, there is no need to change the formula. The baby’s body will have to get used to the new food.
How to choose a formula?
- Choose baby food products that are appropriate for the age of your baby. Newborns and babies under six months use formula marked “1”, formula labeled “2” is given to babies aged 6-12 months, and formula marked “3” is suitable for babies from 12 months. Premature infants, weak infants, and low-birth-weight babies are assigned formula marked “0” or “Pre”;
- Healthy infants under six months of age should receive regular milk formulas. These have a composition optimized to the best possible extent for the composition of breast milk. Therefore the contents are easier to digest and do not cause upset stomach in babies;
- After six months, you can switch to casein formulas. They already differ in composition from breast milk and contain cow protein, which can cause allergies;
- Separately there is a therapeutic food, which a doctor can only prescribe. For example, the hypoallergenic formula for allergy-prone babies has been marked “HA.” If indigestion is impaired, constipation or colic, or if there is frequent and abundant regurgitation, antireflux can also be prescribed;
- Before buying the baby food, check the composition, expiration date, and completeness of the package carefully;
- The formula must not contain preservatives or chemical compounds, soy, or lecithin and should be marked as organic baby formula. For children under one year of age, buy food without gluten, sugar, or fructose;
- It is good if the formula contains vitamins and minerals, pro-and prebiotics, and fatty acids.
Organic baby formula can be found from a variety of manufacturers. Check the babymilkbar.com and find the best organic baby formula for your little one.
About The Author:
Anne Kamwila is a freelance content writer and a digital marketer. She is passionate to write on health, technology, and business-related guides, news, and books.