Do you wonder what the right time to introduce your baby to formula feeding is? In spite of all that unconditional love you have for your little angel, there might come a point when you wish to try formula feeding. So, when should you consider switching from breastfeeding to formula feeding for your baby? If these are questions swimming around in your head, you might want to read this post on breastfeeding and formula feeding.
What Is Formula Feeding?
Formula feeding is the process of supplementing your baby’s diet with additional nutrients and supplements along with breast milk. Typically, formulae include manufactured foods that you can bottle-feed your little one.
Formula Feeds- An Overview:
Infant formula is an umbrella term, which describes the many supplements for babies under the age of twelve months. Typically, a formula is a fine powder that you can dilute with water.
When your baby begins teething, six months or older, you can introduce your little one to a new food gradually, as a part of infant weaning. Weaning is the process of introducing your baby to a new food. Sometimes, babies as old twenty-five days old begin the formula feed. The supplement is an extract of cow’s milk.
Formula feeds contain all the necessary nutrients your infant needs and are healthy for babies. Typically, don’t feed your kids formula foods until he is six months old, or complications leave you with no other option but to feed him formula foods. Breastfeeding helps boost your baby’s immunity, and nothing can replace it.
Why Formula Feeding?
Nursing moms consider formula feeding their little bundle of joy for many reasons. For working mommies, it’s about getting back to work. Some mothers don’t replace formula feeds with breastfeeding and combine both to ensure that their baby gets the best of both worlds. For instance, if you are a working mom, you can feed your baby a formula when you are at work, and breastfeed your baby when you come back home.
Typically, Formula Feeds Feature When:
- Moms with HIV or tuberculosis can’t breastfeed their little ones due to fatigue and weakness.
- If your baby experiences discomfort in breastfeeding, you can swap breastfeeding with formula feeds.
- If your baby is prone to malnutrition and requires high nutrients, you can supplement his diet with formula feeds.
- Mothers who are unable to bear the nipple pain or mothers who are worried about their breast shape can also consider using formula feeds.
- If your baby needs to feed and you are stuck in a public place, formula feed can come to your rescue.
[ Read: Formula Milk Allergy In Babies ]
Gearing Up For Supplementing Breastfeeding With Formula:
Now that you decided to begin your baby’s bottle feeding sessions, here are some basics you need to know.
1. Research Options:
Conduct extensive research on all the supplements available in the market, and consult your pediatrician to determine the best choice.
2. Introduce Formula:
The step is quite crucial as shifting your little angel to supplements suddenly can create complications. Introduce formula feeds to his diet gradually and helps him feed through a bottle. There are many types of formula feeds available, including:
- Milk based supplements rich in fat and casein.
- Dried soy milk and standard milk fortified with minerals.
- Powders of ragi flour and other healthy grains.
[ Read: How To Prepare Formula Milk For Babies ]
3. Use Proper Technique:
Follow these simple steps to use the right technique to feed your baby:
- The most important step, use the correct technique and ensure that your baby is in the right posture while feeding.
- Don’t leave your baby alone with the bottle, at least until he is comfortable with it.
- Don’t let your little one use the bottle feeder as a chew toy.
- Sterilize the bottle and rubber with warm water after you wash them.
- Try to prepare a fresh feed, don’t store formula feeds. If you must store it, pick a cool and dry place.
- Ensure that the rubber nipple of the pacifier is comfortable for your little one to suck.
- Check how warm the formula is before feeding. Don’t pour hot feed into the bottle. It should be tenderly warm, but not hot for your baby.
- Ensure that the bottle supply is not choking your baby.
- Pick a peaceful place to feed your baby.
- For first-time feeders, insert your finger into your baby’s mouth and replace it with the rubber tip of the bottle.
- Let your baby find his way, gently direct his motion to allow better sucking.
- Feed your baby in installments. Allow him time to digest the formula.
- Remember to warm your baby up before and after feeding. A nice rub down stimulates appetite while a gentle massage after feeding helps your baby digest the food.
- As soon as your little angel completes a feed, set him down for a while and pat his back until he burps. Don’t let him sleep at once.
[ Read: Breastfeeding Tips For Working Mothers ]
4. Know What You Feed Your Baby:
Don’t go by the glitzy commercials when you are choosing a baby supplement. Understand the pros and cons of all types formula feeds before you begin formula feeding. Ensure you read up on constituent formulae of these supplements and understand how the contents can potentially harm your baby. If you have any doubts, speak to your pediatrician.
5. Feed Your Baby Yourself:
Feeding is a special time for your baby, and he might get cranky or uncomfortable if faced with other people. Whenever possible, try and feed your baby by yourself.
Disadvantages Of Formula Feed:
Although formula feeding has many benefits, some of the major disadvantages of formula feeds include:
- Your baby may need time to adapt to the formula feed.
- If he does take the formula feed, he may even stop liking your breast milk.
- Non-feeding lactating women face several complications.
- Your baby might suffer from diarrhea or vomiting when you begin his formula feed.
We hope you found this post on supplementing breastfeeding with formula informative! Tell us how was experience with formula feeds was? Leave a comment below. Fellow mommies would love to know.
- When And How To Introduce Cow’s Milk To Your Baby’s Diet?
- How To Prepare Formula Milk For Babies?
- 7 Different Types Of Infant Formula You Should Know About