There are several varieties of formula available including basic cow's milk formula, soy-based formula and hypoallergenic formula, as well as special formula for babies with sensitive tummies or for premature babies. Talk to your baby's pediatrician about the best type of formula for your baby. Once you begin offering your baby formula, if he has trouble digesting it, you may need to try another type until you find the right one for your baby.
Pediatricians suggest that the best time to introduce your breastfed baby to formula is after four weeks old so baby can become accustomed to breastfeeding first. This is especially important if you are introducing formula as a supplement and plan to continue breastfeeding. Once your baby is breastfeeding regularly, you can begin introducing formula. Offer baby a bottle when he is hungry, but not overly hungry or fussy. Some babies take to a bottle of formula easily while others take more time to adjust to this new form of feeding.
Babies who are used to breastfeeding may be more resistant to the style of bottle and nipple than the formula. There are many styles of nipples available as well as bottles, so if your baby ultimately resists one style, try another one. Finding the right fit for baby will make introducing formula easier.
If your baby refuses a bottle of formula, try mixing breast milk with formula and then gradually increase the amount of formula in the bottle at each subsequent feeding. Adding a few drops of breast milk on the nipple of the bottle may entice your baby to begin drinking from the bottle. Warming the nipple by running it under warm tap water may also help baby become accustomed to bottle feeding.
It may be easier for dad or another caregiver to feed the baby a bottle of formula than for mom. Baby expects to be breastfed by mom and may fuss with a bottle at first. Also, try feeding baby in a different chair or position than you would normally do when breastfeeding. Babies learn routines quickly and may expect to be breastfed in a familiar location.
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