Considering switching from Breastfeeding to Formula?
We discuss some of the key benefits, reasons and some really useful tips for making the switch.
How you choose to feed your baby is a completely unique and personal choice. There are always articles surfacing in the media about which is best and which you should be doing.
Ultimately, it is down to your personal choice and individual circumstances. Whichever best suits your lifestyle and personal experience.
So should you switch? What are the benefits?
Breast feeding used to be the only way to feed a newborn baby, but nowadays, baby formula has become much more advanced to ensure baby gets every nutrient if he or she is bottle fed instead of breast.
No need to worry!
Often it is more convenient to bottle feed baby from birth.
It means that both parents can take equal responsibility for feeding the baby, if they want to.
It gives dads the opportunity for wonderful bonding time with baby, that they might not otherwise get. It also reduces the pressure on mums having to supply pumped breast milk to use on demand.
Bottle feeding also makes it easy and often more convenient for other members of the family to feed baby too. Without the need for breast pumps and having to store milk in between meals.
The other major benefit of feeding baby from bottles is that is makes the transition period for highchair feeding easier.
Getting toddlers to drink from a sippy cup when they start eating solid foods is far easier when they are already used to drinking from a plastic bottle.
If you are considering switching from breast feeding to bottle feeding, here are some top tips for making the process easier:
Every baby is unique and the some will happily switch from breast to bottle, whilst other babies will be reluctant to change.
Here are a list of simple changes which will make the process easier to break down and tackle step by step.
- Gradually drop the number of breastfeeds by swapping some for bottle feeds.
- Make the transition easier to using bottles by first using milk expressed into bottles before using formula.
- Stick at it. It may be a daunting process and yet another thing to think about but you will get there if you persevere.
- Try different teats and bottles. Be sure to sample a few different brands and types. Avoid buying the complete set of one brand and type before knowing if your baby will take to it. Sample and test out different bottles and brands to see which makes your baby most comfortable and the switch more natural.
- Try walking around whilst feeding from the bottle.
- Try not to allow baby to get really hungry or in need of comfort before using a bottle. If baby is anxious or tired, it will be more difficult to go through the new experience of using a bottle.
- Give baby the teat from the bottle to get used to, let baby put it in their mouth to get used to the feeling. – This will definitely make the process easier.
- You could try wiping some expressed breastmilk on the outside of the teat so your baby can smell it.
- You can use a piece of your clothing to help baby feel relaxed when using the bottle. (Some babies refuse a bottle if they cant smell their mothers.)
- Place the teat on your babies mouth and let him or her push the bottle in, this can be less stressful for baby that you guiding the bottle into their mouth.
- Give baby all the normal eye contact and talk to him or her, reassure them when giving them the bottle.
You could try some, or all of these points, or invent your own. Ultimately, you know your baby best.
The key is to relax, or try to. And to keep trying different things if what you’re trying isn’t working.
If you keep doing the same routine and it isn’t working, it will only cause stress and pressure and make the whole situation more frustrating for you and for your baby.
Sometimes a simple room change or even out of the house will get baby to feed from the bottle.
If your baby is older than six months, you could consider going directly from breast to cup. Even at 6 months, they can drink out of a sippy cup or through a straw.
This may save the hassle of having to change once from breast to bottle and then again later on to using a straw or training cup.