Transitioning from breast milk to formula

April - posted on 12/23/2009 ( 11 moms have responded )

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I am a working, breast feeding mother of a 4 1/2 month old. She takes a bottle of expressed breastmilk at daycare for the sitter twice a day while I am able to pump at work. We are planning a vacation next summer and aren't planning on taking the kids (anniversary) and would like to get her weaned to formula by then. I realize this is a ways off, but I also know we have a long process in front of us, so we are starting to introduce formula now. The thing is....she absolutely refuses it all together! She knows the difference in the bottles, and will get mad and fuss at the formula bottle. I just need some tips from any moms who may have been through this. Any ideas on what formula to use? How long should we really expect this to take? I wasn't able to pump with my first child, so she was on formula very early on, and we never experienced this with her! Help!

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Erin - posted on 12/24/2009

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I was unable to keep up with my son's milk intake so my ped recommended that I start supplementing with formula. I started with Nestles Good Start and mixed the bottle half with breastmilk and half with formula. Once he was taking formula well, we switched to Similac.

Tanya - posted on 12/23/2009

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Okay! My son was alergic to like every formula out there and finally we have found one that works! We started him on formula at just over 3 months. What we did was the first bottle we mixed 4 oz breast milk and 1 oz formula. I did this for one week. Than once he was used to that I did 2 oz formula and 3 oz breast milk, and did that for another week. Than half and half for another week, and so on until it is all formula . Now (at 5 months) he is on full formula and happy as a clam! Don't do it all at once it is too much for them, has to be gradual, so that she wont even notice the change.

It took me a month to get the full transition. We started on regular nestle good start but that caused so many problems for him, like gas and constipation. So we are on Enfamil Lactose Free A+. It is AMAZING, it is special for common gassy problems, and has worked wonders. But expect some constipation when you do the change, their bodies take some time adjusting, so have some sepositories at hand!
If you guys are not going until next Summer, your baby will most likely be on normal baby food by than too, right?

Good luck!

Paula - posted on 12/23/2009

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when i transitioned my son to formula we used the Similac Sensitive formula. he took to it well and its easy on the belly like breastmilk. also, you could start by mixing the formula and breastmilk. try 3/4 breast 1/4 formula then switch to 1/2 and 1/2 until you work your way to just formula. hope this helps!

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Ashley - posted on 12/28/2009

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i was very lucky in that my daughter didnt care what she got as long as she was getting fed lol. i have a family member who experienced a hard time switching tho. her daughter would refuse so she let other family members help out eventually she took it with some patience. if you child is hungry they will eat but sometimes its hard for the baby to take a bottle from the mom because its confusing. try letting others help out!

Janice - posted on 12/27/2009

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I agree with those who mixed formula with breastmilk. I don't plan to wean my daughter for a while but my friends with older children all did it that way. Good luck.

Stephanie - posted on 12/26/2009

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a friend of mine had the same problem she just kept giving it to her baby she eventually took it. i never had the problem my baby loved the formula as soon as i gave it to her

Angie - posted on 12/24/2009

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Try different formulas, My daughter refused similac but took good start very well. All babies are different and like different formulas so try a few.

April - posted on 12/24/2009

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Thanks for all the advice so far! We really are hoping that when it comes down to it, she will be eating more food and be more open to taking formula. I wasn't ever planning on breastfeeding past 6 months, but I just might HAVE to! I know it's best for her, but I would also like by body back! LOL! I think it's more frustrating for Dad, as he is home with them during the holidays while our sitter is on vacay. She won't even take a bottle of breast milk from him now! She is eating more cereal and fruit in the meantime! I guess if she gets hungry enough for it, she will eat! Keep the advice coming...Thanks!

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Hmm, I never had a problem with my son taking a bottle of formula when needed. I breastfed, but when I found myself in the ER one day my boys were with our neighbour and she fed my youngest a bottle of formula and he sucked it right down!

I've used S26 Gold with both my boys. Both were breastfed, but in emergencies and when they weaned they'd both take that one with no problems. No big transition was necessary. Not sure if that's helpful or not, but I think if you find a formula she likes it'll be easy.

Brianna - posted on 12/23/2009

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try nestle good start i recently have been having problems producing milk and had to start give formula my daughter who is 6 weeks took to it right away with no stomach problems at all

Jaime - posted on 12/23/2009

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You don't have to quit. Pump Pump Pump, and then you will have enough to get her through the vacation. And while you are on vacation, you can pump. Sounds a little inconvenient, but it is worth it!

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