Can I transition to a new brand of baby formula or toddler milk formula?
Yes you can!
Before switching formula brands, we suggest speaking to your Health Care Professional for advice as every baby has unique nutritional needs and it important to sure they are met.
Transitioning formula brands can feel like a daunting process, especially if it’s the only food that your little one has ever known…..but changing formula brands happens for many reasons so we talked to our expert to get all the answers.
When is the most suitable time to start a baby formula or toddler formula transition?
The most important recommendation is that, where possible, undertake a formula change when there’s little else happening in your baby’s life.
You’ll want to assess how well the change in diet agrees with your baby, but if your baby is tired from starting daycare or is just getting over an illness, it will be difficult to assess what side effects are a result of the formula change, and which are a result of other factors.
It’s also recommended starting a formula change early in the day when you can monitor your baby’s reaction, as opposed to just before bed when you may not notice side effects as quickly.
How do you make the transition from one brand to another?
There are two common methods for changing formula brands…. the ‘fast and functional’ and ‘slow and steady’.
- Fast and functional Many babies aren’t phased by the change in formula flavour, with this is mind, many parents have successfully finished a tin of one brand, then started with another, with few, if any, problems. This method works well if you are changing formula for personal preference, and may also work well if you are changing formula with a clear knowledge of the ingredient in the current formula causing your baby problems (for example, if your baby is displaying signs of a lactose intolerance and you change to a lactose free formula).
- Slow and steady – Babies who have a history of gastrointestinal side effects and/or colic, may better tolerate a slow and steady infant formula transition. This can be a little more complicated for sleep-deprived parents, so I usually recommend the ‘fast and functional’ method is attempted first if possible.
Example of a slow and steady transition
Before we start, it’s essential that both infant formulas are prepared separately according to the brand instructions on each tin to ensure each formula is correctly prepared.
Traditionally, you can start by mixing 75% of the old formula with 25% of the new formula. Once your baby has nailed this combo, move on to a 50:50 ratio. You may then decide to progress to a 75%:25%, new:old formula combination, or skip this step and move straight to the new formula at this point.
Are there side effects of transitioning baby formula or toddler formula?
As all infant formulas are different, you may notice a slight change in your baby’s poo for a week or so, but if your child is on a cow’s milk formula, you shouldn’t see any significant side effects switching over to another cow milk-based formula.
If your baby is crying, losing weight developing rashes or constipated or pooing less than twice per week speak to your pediatrician or health care provider and they will advise what is normal.
Every baby is different, so if you are hesitant about making the swap, it can be helpful to undertake a short log.
There are many apps available these days to make tracking your baby’s responses much easier. Consider logging factors such as their crying frequency, frequency of bowel motions, consistency of bowel motions, sleep times and/or rashes. Track details for up to a week prior to the swap, followed by at least a week after the swap. It’s always a good idea to take photos of any poos or rashes that you’re concerned about in case you need to show them to your health care professional.
All in all, do your research to ensure that you feel as confident as possible about the brand that you’re going to use, and if you have any hesitations, seek the advice of a paediatric dietitian or Heath Care Professional.