Most parents tend to stick to one formula milk but is making the switch to a new formula a wise choice? Learn about the right ways to make the smooth switch.
It’s recommended by almost all health
practitioners, and well understood by most parents, that infants should be
at least the age of six months. This is because it’s the best source of
necessary nutrition for your little one; it provides your baby with a
ready-made solution which helps to start building their immunity system, protecting
them from allergies, infections and diseases.
For medical or personal reasons, some
parents choose to use milk formula – either from birth, or after six months of
Generally, hospital staff provide parents with a particular brand of
formula in those first few days after birth – and once bub has gotten used to
that brand, the parents tend to keep using it. Later down the track, they may
come across another formula which may be better suited to their needs, but by
then, it could be problematic for them to switch their baby to a new brand.
If done correctly, this transition can
be smooth and easy – though great care must be taken, to avoid pain for both
yourself and your baby.
Why do parents stick with a brand?
There are a few reasons as to why
parents may stick to their brand – and usually, it’s because of a general lack
of knowledge of what’s available to them. There’s several different types of
formula available on the market, from a multitude of brands, including milks
derived from cow, goat and soya, as well as hydrolysed protein milk.
Another reason is the fear that their
baby may get sick if they make the switch. Some babies have delicate stomachs,
being unfamiliar with new foods, and so introducing them to a new diet or
formula could disrupt them, causing them to be ill. They also may have an
underlying intolerance that hasn’t been discovered yet, such as lactose
intolerance, so switching from a soya milk formula to a cow milk formula would
make a lactose intolerance to flare up, causing the baby pain.
Some parents also stick with a brand
due to habit; it’s what they’re used to, so they just continue doing the same.
Why try to fix what isn’t broken?
Why do parents want to switch?
Perhaps a different brand has more
health benefits than the one you’re currently using – it offers more vitamins,
minerals and nutrients that your formula simply doesn’t have. At the end of the
day, providing your child with the best nutrients would be any parent’s ultimate
Sometimes your health practitioner may
suggest you make the switch for a medical reason – there may be a brand that
offers one component that your child needs, which your current brand doesn’t
There could also be a cost-saving
factor – the two formulas could be identical in terms of benefits, but the only
difference is the one you want to switch for is much cheaper and readily
Or, quite simply, perhaps bub is a
fussy eater and doesn’t like the current formula, so you want to try something
There’s a multitude of reasons why
you’d want to make the switch; it’s completely personal.
Steps for a smooth transition
#1 First Method
Mix a small amount of the new formula with the current formula
Monitor your baby closely for any problems e.g. stomach upsets, doesn’t
like the taste
If everything is okay, then slowly increase the ratio of the new
formula, until your baby is completely accustomed to it
#2 Second Method
On the first day, give your baby the new formula for one feed, then the
current formula for the rest of the day
Gradually increase this to two feeds on the second day, and current
formula for the rest of the day.
Keep increasing the feeds per day until your baby has completely
adjusted to the new formula
#3 Third Method
Make both formulas in two separate bottles
Mix them in one bottle and give it to your baby to try for some days,
until your baby’s digestive system grows accustomed to it
Ideally, it’s best to switch to a new
formula gradually, so plan the transition period for when you still have one or
two weeks left of your current formula left. There are three methods you can
It’s always best to consult your doctor
before switching to another formula. Manufacturers typically provide nutrients
as required for a set age range, or certain health requirements, so take these
into consideration when reviewing new brands.
If you’ve already started weaning, it
may be easier to switch formulas faster.
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