How do I switch my baby from breast milk to formula?

Transitioning from breast feeding to using a bottle and formula can be difficult for babies. See what moms suggest for making the transition as smooth as possible and share your tips for moms who are making the switch.

35  Answers

6 10

Ignore all the people asking why you want to switch. Its your choice and what works for you and your family. I can't believe some moms are so rude and condescending with their comments. Good for you moms that can breastfeed...it doesn't make you a better mom than one who bottle feeds! When I switched my kids over to formula from breast milk, I would slowly add a little formula to pumped breast milk. I think I started off with adding 1/2 oz then after a few days, I added 1 oz and so on. It worked with my girls and I'm getting ready to start the process with my son. Good luck!!

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9,145 21

Spot on, Sarah, spot on!

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0 0

God, you women are judgemental ass@#$holes.

Not every woman has the perfect, awesome time breastfeeding for 6 straight months or more.

We all have our own circumstances and needs. Stop judging based on your own personal experiences.

If you can't offer helpful advice, why bother making someone feel like crap???

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64 104

Agreed Sarah!

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40 22

I pumped and I had to give in a bottle that was 90% breast mile 10% formula for 3 days, then 85% breast milk 15% formula for 3 days...I kept doing this until it was full formula it took about 2-3 weeks. Also it has to be the right temperature, and the right bottle, my son liked the playtex drop in ones as the nipples are big its comforting like a breast, also they say they can smell breast milk so try and keep a fresh clean heavy sweater on seriously.

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9,145 21

Excellent advice, Britany!

9,145 21

If you cannot provide enough nutrients with your breast milk, do NOT feel guilty! Or, if you have another reason for wanting to switch, again, DO NOT feel guilty!

These "moms" who are so rudely judging your abilities as a mother by whether or not you whip out your boob to feed your baby are just that. Rude, insensitive, ignorant humans.

If you would like to switch, I've done 2 different methods, both with success. The first was to mix the bottle 50/50. Since my eldest was starving anyway, he didn't care what he got, as long as it was FOOD!!!

For the second one, since the hospital INSISTED that I only breastfeed, I did that once, and then my hubby brought the formula we had brought to the hospital with us, and never bf that one again.

As the mother of 2 VERY HEALTHY, HIGH INTELLIGENCE boys, I am proud to say that I never felt an instant of the guilt that the "very perfect" breast feeding mothers tried to instill in me after I refused to bf my youngest.

You do what's best for both you, and baby, emotionally, and nutritionally, and you will be fine!

8
0 0

i have been feeling guilty for stopping bf my one month old but he was never satisfy at the breast he was always still hungry and looking for more he would be on my breast for hour on one and then the other he also would be so fussy and very gassy cry for 20-30min from tummy pain i started him on soy formula and hes has alot less tummy aches reading your comment made me feel i was not a bad mom....not ever baby can handle breast milk and plus i didnt think i was making enough to satisfy his needs

9 15

I guess the question to ask would be why you want to stop breastfeeding. If your little one will take a bottle, I'd probably start introducing the formula slowly (mixed in with expressed milk, if you can). It's just my opinion, but if you're able to keep nursing, why bother with the added expense and time - not to mention all the icky formula bottles AND icky formula diapers. I was really lucky with both kids - one self weaned at 2 and didn't have formula and the other only needed some formula as a suppliment while I was at work (but he'd eat anything!). Either way, good luck to you.

8
9,145 21

Again, you haven't actually answered the question, just passed judgment on a person for asking. Refer to my comment on Rebecca Richardson's post.

10 0

At 7 weeks I started formula and stopped the breast cold-turkey. My daughter became unhappy and extremely fussy at the breast. I was desperate! I had my sister feed her her first bottle and all went well. I was a little emotional at the thought of stopping the breast but baby is so much happier. My breasts were VERY painful and rock-hard for about 2-3 days until my milk supply slowed down. It took about a week or so for them to go back to their pre-pregnancy size. My sister-in-law weaned her baby slowly over the course of a month. She started supplementing more and more meals with the bottle. This method is less painful for mommy! Good luck!!

6
0 0

Thank you for sharing a positive, HELPFUL comment.

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0 0

I refuse to argue with anyone on this matter. I will instead state plainly that I am a breastfeeding mom. I also have epilepsy. I have been off of medication for the entirety of my pregnancy and post pregnancy. Recently I have been dealing with break thru seizures and auras. Not fun. The anti epileptic meds come thru breastmilk and are very bad for my baby. The judgments and guilt so freely tossed about in forums such as this do not take into account that some of us either cannot breastfeed for whatever reasons or must make the transition earlier for whatever reasons. Are your kids happy, healthy and thriving? Great. Is it my business what they eat? No. Look, I am a firm believer in breastfeeding. Its free and for the most part, easy but I dont get to determine whats best for another mom. They shouldnt feel so free to say whats best for me. Moms, ALL moms should be able to look to each other for advice and support. Do you breastfeed? Great. Do you bottle feed? Great. My only suggestion with regard to formula is to read the ingredients. Try to feed your kids the best stuff if you can.

4
9,145 21

Megan, I'm sorry that you've been judged for doing what was best for your health. People seriously judged you for stopping in order to resume your essential medications? What assholes! You need to do what's best for your family, and part of that is keeping yourself healthy! Good luck to you, my dear!

0 7

It really depends on the baby. My son refused a bottle with anything in it (breast milk or formula) at 9 months. He would take a cup with water, but not milk or formula (his choice), during the day while I was at work and then breastfeed in the evenings and at night. My 8 week old daughter will eat anything you put in front of her. The only "practice" bottles she's had (since I haven't gone back to work yet) have formula in them and I breastfeed her. I will have to supplement her some, because I won't be able to pump enough for her while I'm at work. I'm a nurse and it's physically impossible to get away from my patients enough times to pump. Her "practice" bottles have been formula because I didn't want to use my stored breast milk and I want her to get used to the formula taste. I'm trying to stockpile, however its extremely hard. My body makes just enough for her and not much extra. Some moms are able to gradually make the formula switch, others are forced cold turkey. It really doesn't matter how it happens as long as the baby is okay with it. There's no right or wrong answer. Good luck!

4
345 20

I haven't tried it but would say that if you have already decided to stop breastfeeding, to do so very gradually so that you don't end up with mastitis. Drop only one feeding every three or four days, and make sure that it's at the same time each day. Hard to do if you're breastfeeding based on hunger cues, unless you have one of those babies who always gets hungry at the same times. Probably easier just to breastfeed unless you are going back to work, in which case you will have to pump to provide your babies milk, and allow someone else to feed your baby. Some moms I have known haven't weaned to formula, but instead to solid foods (starting after six months) and regular cow's milk (although usually you don't want to introduce cow's milk until one year).

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1 76

Just curious on why you want to switch?

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7 27

Yes, Why would you want to switch should be addressed first :)

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0 0

First, don't let other judgmental moms get you down. :). It's your decision - whether it is for medical reasons or just the fact that breastfeeding isn't your cup of tea. I breastfeed for 2 months and decided (because baby wasn't growing and eating enough and was also colicky) that maybe I should consider formula. I had never planned on giving her formula, but she's my first child and breastfeeding IS hard. Sure - it's got its benefits, but so does being happy and not stressed about breastfeeding!
So.... at 9 weeks, doc suggested a formula that's gentler on the baby's belly (Alimentum - Expert Care Similac). Hubs and I decided it was worth a shot. I wasn't so gung-ho about breastfeeding anymore anyway. We first started with a different formula (not the Alimentum) and did about a 70/30 pumped breast milk to formula ratio. She took the bottle. Next bottle, projectile vomited all over me. :(. Next bottle, took it no problem. However, by the second day of this, she just refused the bottle altogether. No idea what the issue was. Wanted the breast? Wanted Mommy (Daddy was giving the bottle)? Was having a negative reaction to the formula and knew it came from the bottle? Who knows.
We fought for 2 days to get her back on the bottle and allowed the breast when she refused the bottle. We DID find that if we gave her the breast for about 1 minute and then gave her the bottle, she took it without an issue! I know it makes no sense, but it worked! We also went back to only breast milk for a full day. Then we started the Alimentum. She didn't refuse it (3/1 breast milk to formula). Now we're on 50/50 after only 24 hours. She does fuss a little bit every once in a while, but we "shh" her and calm her and she ends up taking it. We only give her the breast for the mid of the night feeding.

Just remember - if you want to switch, it's really not that big of a deal. Your happiness matters and those other moms are just opinionated. Don't let it bother you.

3
7 8

You can also try mixing half formula and half breast milk and slowly decreases milk over a couple of bottles.

3
19 0

My baby wont take a bottle at all! :( x

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279 9

I'm also wondering why the switch?

The health benefits of breastmilk over any substitute for both your baby and you are so extensive that it would be worth considering staying with it if you can. I also fed right through a subsequent pregnancy, and now have a thriving 6 week old son and my 3 year old daughter is pretty much self weaned.

Formula commonly leads to gut problems like constipation, messy smelly poo, and a compromised immune system so you baby is likely to get sick more often and more seriously. These as well as the long term health benefits of breastfeeding to at least one and preferably two years old, are pretty compelling in my book!

Babies prefer breastmilk for good reasons :-)

2
0 0

well, arent you PERFECT.

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0 0

I have the same problem. I tried to breastfeed my baby but he would latch on wrong. I am now pumping and putting it into bottles. My supply went way down where I have to pump twice to get one feeding for him. I am gradually switching him over to formula because he does not like the taste of formula at all. I found on the Gerber website a transitioning breast milk to formula. Day1.2.3 Give your baby one feeding of formula. Day 4.5 Give your baby two feedings of formula. Day6.7 Give your baby three feedings of formula. Day8.9 give your baby four feedings of formula. Day 10.11 Give your baby five feedings of formula. Day 12 give your baby 6 feedings of formula. Day 13 give your baby seven feedings of formula. Day 14 your baby should hopeful take formula all day. Hope this helps! :)

1
0 0

I have had many people tell me I just was not doing something right because my first child started loosing weight after 6months. So we had to switch now I am at 6 months with my second child and again he is loosing weight. It breaks my heart to think that I can not supply him with all he needs. I have been so sick for two weeks that he has not been getting enough. I do not know if I can recover from this point. I wish it was not hard to ask for help. Everyone around here just tells me to keep trying but my baby is getting so thin. He went from 70th percent to15th. He is getting long but not gaining. If he does not pick up with the solids we will check on his blood work.
I hope you guys who don't have problems know how luck you are and that the other moms might just wish they were where you are.

1
0 0

I know you posted this over 6 months ago, but just wanted to let you know I'm in the same situation now! With my oldest, we didn't notice until she was 9 months that she was losing weight and unhealthy (it was our first child, so we didn't know anything!). Now I just noticed that my son is 6 months and beginning to lose weight. Hoping you got things figured out with your kids, and they are good now! It's so frustrating and saddening. I know how you feel/felt.

249 51

I had to transition my son at 8 months because I wasn't pumping enough to feed him and I was going back to college.
What I did was change 1 feeding every 4-7 days (depending on how well it was going) by replacing the breastfeeding with a fomula feeding. The transition took just over a month, and he never noticed a thing!!
Some moms pump their milk and use just a bottle first so the baby doesnt notice the breast-bottle transition when they switch the fluid from breastmilk to formula. But i didnt have to do that, my son would drink anything LOL All I did was make sure he wasn't falling asleep nursing OR on the bottle because these are very bad habbits that a child will develop if you let them. Because he was always awake for feedings (at the start and finish) He wasn't so much "comforted" by breastfeeding as much as he just wanted fluid :P So he was happy to take it in a bottle and never noticed the switch to formula. His stomache handled the transition well with only a few spit ups and now he's doing amazing at 9 months & 1 week old, he's on formula and never noticed a thing :)

1
0 0

Well my baby will be one on Christmas and she has been breastfed until now and its time for me to switch because work is calling ive been trying to find away to get her off my milk she drinks apple juice n water from a cup.yes a cup and i find it hard for her to switch because i don't want her using a bottle.Any other tips

0
0 0

It's tough. My daughter was drinking 4 ounces of breast milk when i had to start switching her to formula; and what i did was put 1 ounce of formula and 3 ounces of breast milk, for 3 days then 2 and 2 for 3 days and now we're at 1 ounce of breast milk and 3 ounces of formula. She didn't like it when we did half and half, but she got used to after the first 3 feedings.

0
0 0

can breast milk mix with formular milk?

0
6 0

What I did with my baby girl was experimenting with various bottles. We found that the Phillips Avent bottles did not work so we tried the Tommee Tipee ones from babybunting. Bub wanted to take the bottle and formula but only for 100ml maximum. We kept on with formula, getting bub used to the taste and smell. Then we tried on the NUK bottle. It is shaped like a teardrop ...bub loves the NUK bottle best and we are still using them now. My mother told me, babies will eat and drink when hungry so they will eventually give in to the formula. From then on, it is just trying to get bub used to it.

0
0 0

I hAve been trying to switch my daughter over and putting 2/3 breast milk and 1/3 formula but we are now on our 3rd tub of formula cause she is sick about 30mins after having it. She is sick about 6 times until she has nothing left in her tummy. Any suggestions!!!!

0
2 0

My goodness, whilst there is some great advice here there is also a lot of negativity :( I've made the decision to wean my 3rd child from BM. She is only three weeks old so I shall be gradually doing this over the next few weeks. This is not a decision I have made lightly as I love the time I get to spend with her (it actually breaks my heart a little to think about) but I have to think of my other two children, who are both boys and are at opposite ends of the autism spectrum, and I also need to go back on my medication (which is not suitable for BF). I can go on different meds but only in the short term - eventually, I have to go back to the stronger AD due to the stresses of the boys having autism.

It's not an easy decision and it is one that women should be supporting one another with, regardless of opinion. Although gut wrenching, I know I am making the right decision for my family.

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2 0

Does anyone have any thoughts on formula brands? We've tried similac and our daughter got constipated... we tried enfamil and we had some diahrea... Would like to continue breastfeeding as long as possible, but looks like we will need some back-up supplement.

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2 0

for some womens breastfeeding can be stressful and hurtful and your baby will notice it at first sight and im breastfeeding my two week old and everytime i feel depresed r sometype of way she cry her little eyes out and i was wondering what was going on and was she feeding enough some people go through things in their life everybody arent prefect at least for some moms their child did at least had some breast milk in their life....im just saying

0
1

My baby girl is 6 months old and I'm starting to dry up she has never took a bottle or formula
And I don't know what to do. I tried the pump to see how much milk I had and after a hour i pumped one oz from both breast! I don't know what to do. Does anyone have any advice

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3 0

maximum reduce ourselves. you take another persons, ex, grand father, grand mother and go to schools then extra curricular activities ex, dance, sports class is this age is allowed to that children.

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33 0

I wouldn't but it's your choice (although technically you should ask the baby's opinion but he or she doesn't know how to talk yet so it sucks for him/her. I bet they would answer breastmilk. :) I had friends that switched to formula simply because of it's convenience and ended up with a baby being fussy as formula is heavy and more difficult to digest.

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62 0

easy peasy - I just mix fed for a while with breast and bottle then gradually reduced the amount of breast feeding and she hardly even noticed :) plus by reducing like that you don't get sore boobs - because you can still breast feed or express milk when they get too full - and they start producing less if your using less..choosing a good formula is the hard part :) I'm using nurturecare gold digesti plus - its got prebiotics and probiotics for good healthy digestion and it's the only one so far I have found that has omegas in it for brain development - the other ones made her constipated or reflux..

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12 0

Main thing that helped me ween to formula: Patience. I am 100% all about breastfeeding and wasn't entirely sure either what to do. I would say, try to give formula at night. When they are hungry and tired, it wont really matter. I never used half n half cuz I couldn't pump. My breasts just didnt like it I g uess lol. So I gave her a bottle at night, in time I added a tsp pablum to help her tummy fill up to sleep harder. Just gradually do it :) Youll both do great. Just know you both CAN do it, and be patient. And itll work :) BE CONSISTENT :D

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0 0

Ok ladies, found this web site by browsing for my answers... My baby girl just turned 1 year few days ago, last 2 days she DOESN't eat at all! Only thing she is willing to eat is few crackers and gerber juice! My pediatritian is on my back, makes me feel like the worst mom because she is only 18 lbs... I was exclusively BF until 6 months, then introduces solids while still BF. Here I am today decided to switch to formula and she refused it! I don't know what to do, Im worried she is hungry, I coocked her puding, sup, cream of wheat, served light tuna, banana (she normally loves)... all refused without even trying! Vanila wafers, crackers and juice can't be enough! Feel like im doing something wrong. Im first time mom, have no experience. Will appreciate any advice from pro-moms like you ;-) And what about the formula? Just keep trying until she accept it? Thank you!

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62 0

have you tried eating in-front of her and make out like it's the best thing in the world and she will get curious and start wanting what you have - natural human behavior :) Might work - give it a shot.. Don't feel like a bad mum I know loads of people that have had the same problem - very frustrating... but try and make meal time really exciting for her and she will get excited about food?

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235 30

I would start by pumping breastmilk and fortifying it with a little bit of formula then gradually increase the ratio every week until they are drinking all formula. Most strictly breastfed babies will refuse straight formula at first because it isn't as sweet as breastmilk.

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126 21

If you need to make the switch, I would suggest getting a bottle with a slow-flow nipple similar to the sucking she'd be doing on the breast, and if you can, pump you milk and add a bit of the formula, then gradually reduce the BM amount and increase the formula. It'll cut down on wind/colic, get bubs used to the formula bit by bit. And it should decrease your chances of REALLY sore/hard breasts and mastitis! Best of luck!

0
1 0

I had no choice but to change my daughter over to formula. I had frozen breast milk that I would give her and slowly add formula until she was comfortable taking only formula. It did take some time though because she had a sensative stomach so we went through 4 different formulas until we found one she liked. I did waste a lot of breast milk doing this but I felt it was the best for my daughter.

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19 0

I am trying at the moment! It is not going well at all! I offered my six month old a bottle of formula 2 weeks ago and he refused, screamed and spat!... He then refused food from a spoon for 10 days after and now will only take food from his dad while he is eating! And he wont take a bottle of breast milk either now, so I cant leave him now at all!
But I am still thinking of Breastfeeding to 12 months, and weighing up the fact that we want to start trying for another baby before then and I think I still want to introduce some formula so I can leave him for a night......

0
58 10

i switched my son to so good strawberry soy at 8 mths. we got a rectangular nuby cup with slits instead of a bottle (would not take a bottle) and he was offered it after he had nursed, or at supper or when i was unable to be with him. it was a life saver. it offers alot more vitamins than cows milk and has only 2% more sugar, a small price to pay for a life change. he is now 14 mths and although he still bf at night and during the day at home he is quite capable of keeping himself hydrated while mommy is away. He actually perfers the strawberry soy (so good is the best tasting) over the cows milk.(he threw it across the room and yelled at me).. if baby is younger and you must use formula try using it in the cup i suggested, they are only $6 at walmart.

-4
137 16

#1 why are you giving a 8 month old something other than breastmilk or formula? #2soy milk is not the best choice for boys. #3 who would choose anything else after being given flavord milk? in my opinion this is horrible advice.

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