There’s hardly a mother who doesn’t understand the importance of breastfeeding. But sometimes, things just don’t go according to plan. Whatever your reason is, you want this transition from breastfeeding to formula-feeding to be as smooth as possible. As a mother, I understand this desire well. I’d like to share my own experience and observations on the matter. Hopefully, they’ll be helpful to many moms out there.
Mixed feeding for dummies
When it comes to feeding your baby, choosing the method of trial and error is a bad idea. Whatever decisions you make, let them be well-informed. When there’s a sliver of doubt or the smallest issue, see your pediatrician.
I had to switch to mixed feeding early. For those who don’t know, mixed feeding is when a baby takes breastmilk but also eats formula as supplementary feeding. Yes, mom’s milk is the best. But trust me: if you pick the right product for your newborn, they’ll be better off for it. This way you’ll just make sure they get all the nutrients they need. In my case, HiPP first infant milk was the perfect supplementary product.
So how does it work?
1. First of all, the transition must be gradual. Your baby’s digestive system must get used to a different type of feeding. You can find detailed recommendations on how much food you should give your baby per day on the package. These are helpful but asking for a pediatrician’s advice still works.
2. When the feeding type changes, the feeding schedule changes. I had to feed my baby 6 to 7 times a day. It’s approximately every 3 – 3.5 hours with a 6-hour break for the night’s sleep. Keep in mind it might be different for you. The length of intervals between feedings depends on your little one’s age.
3. If you experience a low milk supply, determine how much breastmilk your infant gets per day. You can do it by expressing your milk and measuring the daily amount. Once that’s done, you’ll know how much formula your child needs exactly to meet their daily requirements.
4. It’s very important that your child gets as much breastmilk as possible during mixed feeding. So breastfeeding comes first and formula-feeding second.
5. Even after you completely transition to 100% formula-feeding, keep that emotional bond alive. Hold your little one in your arms as often as possible.
Switching between formulas
This can’t happen on a whim. Your baby’s digestive system is extremely sensitive. So if you have to switch from one milk to another, there should be a good reason for it. They might be allergic or experience frequent diarrhea or constipation. Or their current food might make them vomit a lot. Whatever it is, talk to a doctor so they help you pick the right formula.
The first time I fed my little one with HiPP HA formula. But later, the doctor advised to use regular baby formula. And it worked.
Basic rules for changing your baby’s diet
1. Do it gradually. Even if it’s perfect for your newborn, a sudden chance might cause digestive issues.
2. Mix your formulas in separate bottles.
3. New milks must be introduced in small amounts only.
4. Give your baby new formula before giving the one they ate previously. All in all, it works like this: new milk for morning and afternoon feedings, regular milk for late afternoon and evening. Continue by giving them more of the new product bit by bit until you can completely switch to it.
Switching formulas takes some time, effort, and a lot of patience. But believe me; you got this. Be confident and don’t hesitate to ask for advice. A healthy baby is the best reward for your patience!