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Switching Baby Formula

Switching baby formula may seem like a chore, but you might find that it may be less stressful than you thought. 

Parenthood is all about decisions, but in this case, you are making decisions that affect your little one. Perhaps you picked one brand of baby formula and you decided to make a change. Change can be good. There is more than one way to make the change, and the purpose for the switch can dictate how to do it.

Switching From Regular Baby Formula to Organic Baby Formula

Maybe you started with what was offered at the hospital. Maybe you tried nursing and you wanted to supplement. Or else you learned about the benefits of organic baby formula that far outweighed any benefits of standard baby formula. You are not alone. You could finish the container you started or dump it and start right away with the organic goodness in a bottle. Chances are, your baby will love the difference and will not miss the first brand. 

Switching From One Brand of Organic Baby Formula to Another

Knowledge will make you wiser. You love Lebenswert, but you think your baby will enjoy Holle better. You respect the organic standards of Bioland Association, but you want your baby to feed from formula that is made according to Demeter standards. Your baby may not notice a difference, especially if they are still only a few months old and have not refined their taste buds yet. You can consider going straight to a new brand after the original package is done. You could also transition slowing. Perhaps for a few days you can do half of one product and half of the other. Be sure that they are totally mixed separately before you combine the two. If your baby does not react to the new product, then you are free to start the second brand 100%.

Switching From Cow Milk Formula to Goat Milk Formula

Cow milk is great, but some babies can digest goat milk formula better. Milk proteins in goat milk are smaller than cow milk, so it is easier to break down. Another thing, the curd that is produced  when the goat milk reacts with the stomach acid is softer than cow milk. Goat milk also has less lactose and fewer allergens for babies who may be allergic to components of cow milk.

If your baby is dealing with allergies related to their baby formula, then quitting the first formula right away may be ideal. Monitor your baby’s behaviors and diapers to see if there are any improvements or concerns.

Switching From One Baby Formula to a Specialty Formula

Your baby may be allergic to milk proteins, suffer from acid reflux, or have digestive issues that require the delicate balance of a specialty formula. Just like switching from cow milk formula to goat milk formula, it may be better to quit the offending milk formula to the one that will provide them comfort. It is important to monitor any changes, hopefully for the better. Your pediatrician will want to know what kind of impact the change to a baby’s diet makes.

Can Switching Baby Formula Make Things Worse? 

In general, switching baby formulas should not have a huge impact on your baby unless you are changing major ingredients that can affect your baby’s digestive system. For example, some babies have immature esophageal sphincters that don’t keep the milk in their stomach. They are prone to spitting up no matter what brand of formula you use. A specialty formula that is thicker and stays down better would not make things worse. However, if your baby is vomiting forcefully and are under the age of three months, you should contact your pediatrician immediately as it can be a sign of something else.

Constipation can be a common occurrence for some babies. While a formula that promotes gut health such as Hipp can aid digestion with its combination of prebiotics and probiotics, belly massages and leg movements can help move the bowels as well.

Switching brands of similar formulas should not have a big impact on your baby’s digestion. A change from standard formula to organic baby formula may not seem to make a big difference, but you will know that your baby is getting the nutrition that is important without compromising on inferior ingredients, unnecessary additives, and ingredients that are not beneficial to a baby’s growth and development.

How to Switch Baby Formula

If you make an immediate switch, be sure to monitor any changes in your baby’s temperament. They may show signs of indigestion, constipation, and gas that they did not show with the other formula. Also check the diaper for constipation, bloody stool, or diarrhea. With organic baby formula, you may be less concerned with rash, eczema, and other allergy symptoms like wheezing. Still, know your baby and any changes they may exhibit.

If you make a gradual switch, it can take a few days. Pre-mixing formula can help with the ratio for the next few days of the switch. On the first day of the switch, start with 75% of the old formula and 25% of the new formula. If all is tolerated well on that day, switch to 50% of each type on the next day. The following day make it a ratio of 25% of the old formula and 75% of the new formula. By the last day, the switch should be complete and your baby should be content with the new formula.


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