Practical advice on how to switch from one formula to another

Breastfeeding gives your baby the best possible start to life, by making sure they’re getting exactly what they need to grow and develop in a healthy way. The NZ MOH recommend breastfeeding your baby exclusively for the first 6 months of their life. After 6 months safe and nutritious complementary foods should be introduced to supplement continued breastfeeding.  

You may make the decision to feed your child with formula.  This isn’t an easy decision, nor is the decision on which formula to choose.  And even once you’ve chosen a formula, you may even find that your baby isn’t tolerating it, or simply doesn’t seem to like it.  If it looks like there’s an issue with tolerance, it’s best to consult a health professional.  However, it’s reassuring to know that if you find that the formula you’ve chosen isn’t working for your child, there are some simple steps that can help with a smooth transition to another brand (you could also talk to your healthcare professional about this).

Firstly, it’s best to make the transition over at least a week – so check that you’ve got a sufficient amount of the formula you’re currently using on hand.  All set? Here are a couple of ways to ease the transition:

1.       Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to prepare each of the formulas individually in two different bottles. Then mix them together, gradually increasing the ratio of the new formula over a week, until the bottle is made up entirely of the new formula.

2.       Give your child a whole bottle of the new formula for one feed on the first day of transition, then use the previous formula for all remaining feeds on that day. Then gradually increase the number of times you feed your child with the new formula each day over a period of a week until all feeds are the new formula.