Advice on giving formula instead of breastmilk

Jayde - posted on 02/17/2010 ( 16 moms have responded )




Hey everyone .. I have been breastfeeding my 3 month old baby .. And lately i have been having trouble with her feeding alot and my maternal child health nurse told me yesterday that it is beacuse i dont have much milk left and its drying up. So now i have to switch over to formula .. And i just needed some advice on whats the best way to give it to her so she takes the change ok .. Thanks :)


Cassie - posted on 02/17/2010




What evidence does your health nurse have that your breastmilk is drying up? Is your daughter losing weight? Not having enough wet diapers? These are the only indicators of lack of milk supply. Frequent nursing on your daughter's part does not point towards you drying up. What it points towards is the fact that she is most likely going through a growth spurt and is nursing more so that your body can adjust to her new needs. Once her growth spurt has completed, her nursing frequency will most likely regulate again.

Many doctors and health nurses are actually not knowledgeable about breastfeeding at all. They have very little if no training during their education about breastfeeding and often, should not be giving advice about it to mothers.

If you want to switch to formula, that is completely your decision to make; I just wanted to make sure that you know that it is not necessary at all to wean your daughter onto formula. If you are able to continue breastfeeding, you will at least save a lot of money on formula. If your daughter is gaining weight and having plenty of wet diapers, your supply is not drying up and you don't need to switch to formula.

Good luck on whatever you decide.

Pamela - posted on 02/18/2010




Firstly, talk to a professional! Sooo important. Ask your doc or lactation consultant on what they recommend. Secondly, did your doc happen to put you back on the pill or another form of birth control? That will affect your milk production. It happened to my sis in law. But whenever you are switching feeding methods, etc you should always consult a doctor or equivalent. And never, never, never dilute formula more than the directions say to prepare, unless a doctor tells you to do so. It is not good for your baby.
All my babies were formula fed when they got home from hospital (I did not produce enough milk, latching problems), the one thing you have to remember with a formula fed baby they need at least one bottle of liquids other than formula a day, as formula does not contain the same amount of water content as breast milk. If you use baby juice, dilute it so it is not so hard on the tummy. If you make 4 oz bottles, approx 1 oz juice to 3 oz previously boiled water. The juice/water bottle should be the same amount as a regular feeding, should be given in place of a regular feeding time (baby will have next formula bottle a little earlier). Also when you start to give water/juice try it for a morning feeding the first few times (not the first feed upon wake though) just to make sure there are not tummy upsets. As it will be easier for you to deal with it during the day, rather than the middle of the night if baby is upset. Warm it like you would formula too. Some babies like water, and if your baby will drink it, water is better. But my babies did not like water at all, no matter what I did. I had to use juice. Just make sure it is baby juice, pear or apple is good, but I did find pear juice easier on the tummy.
Good luck with everything, and be sure to talk to your doc before you make any changes. :)

This conversation has been closed to further comments


View replies by

Karina - posted on 01/25/2016




i have a 5 month baby and is being exclusive breastfeed how do i switch to formula ? ive tried different bottles and she wont even take it from my sister

Jayde - posted on 02/20/2010




Thanks heaps everyone .. But yeah she is underweight and not many wet nappies .. ill book an app with the lacation consultant :D

Kourtney - posted on 02/17/2010




If you're really set on switching to formula, it's not a hard thing to do. My baby had trouble nursing because she has Down Syndrome, so I pumped for six months, but it started to take a real toll with trying to spend time with baby with all the feeding (she's 11 months and still takes 30 minutes to take a bottle!) and pumping and going back to work. What I did was pumped an extra supply. When we first started the formula, I did the bottles 2/3 milk and 1/3 formula. I slowly decreased the milk and increased the formula. Now she is taking 6 oz bottles... 1 ounce milk, 5 ounces formula.

That said, it's very uncommon for milk to just "dry up." If baby is nursing all the time, your supply is probablly very good. The whole supply and demand thing. If you still think you're drying up pump for a few minutes after you nurse, even if nothing comes out. It will increase your milk supply. Trust me, I was getting 50-55 ounces a day just from the pump.. no baby involved at all. Good luck!

Renee - posted on 02/17/2010




If you are wanting to go to formula I had to put my boy on it before 2 months... It is a little bit for trial and error to get to one that agrees with then you way be lucky and get the right one straight away. If later you are wanting to use formula it does not hurt to give one or two bottles a day so they get use to it and do not reject it when you need to give just formula. I tried a few bottles but found for my boy the cheap ones worked better... but if you are still breast feeding i agree with Julie the Tommee Tippee ones seem to be the pick from my mothers group!
Good luck!

Becky - posted on 02/17/2010




Yes, Cassie said pretty much what I would've said. Nursing more often does not mean your milk is running low. I think it is unusual for a woman's milk to dry up while her baby is still nursing regularly, unless there is a medical reason for it. Unless you really want to switch anyways, I would talk to a lactation consultant.

Jaime - posted on 02/17/2010




I would have to agree with Cassie as well...try and get a second opinion if you're not sure. I stopped breastfeeding at 6mths because my milk supply had run very low (my daughter was starting to lose weight and had dropped the number of wet nappies (diapers) before anyone asks, so she definitely wasn't getting enough from me). I did a full breast feed first thing in the morning, did the 1/2 breast milk 1/2 formula combination during the day and the last feed at night was a full formula feed. This worked really well for us and I think it helped make a smoother transition from breast to full formula for Emily. Hope that helps a little? Good luck!! :)

Julie - posted on 02/17/2010




I reccomend the Tommee Tippee bottles if you want to go for formula feeding. They have very 'breast like' teats and my baby took to them straight away. As for the choice of formula I dont think it really matters- Just try one and see if your baby likes it :)

Theresa - posted on 02/17/2010




I agree with Cassie. Call your hospital and see if they have a lactation specialist. Make an appt to see that person. She will be better qualified to help you out. If you need to switch, or want to, it may work best to pump and mix half formula, half breastmilk. Have someone else feed her the first few times. Babies take first bottles from someone other than mom first when weening. Good luck.

Grace - posted on 02/17/2010




I have to go with Cassie on this one... There are so many reasons why medical professionals give poor advice when it comes to breastfeeding... If you want to continue breastfeeding, then DO - it is the BEST thing for YOU and BABY!!! :) I had issues with weight gain issues with my son and his Pediatrician recommended formula so I went to my lactation specialist and she informed me that my baby was just a lazy eater so we did some things different to adjust his habits and he is nursing and gaining weight beautifully. My son was nursing for an hour to an hour and a half at a time with about a 45 min break and then nursing again and NOT gaining weight and I DID NOT have a supply issue! I suggest you see a lactation specialist if you haven't already. You likely have PLENTY of milk and your little one is going through her 3 month growth spurt. Breast is best so, if that is your desire, don't allow someone to take that away from you!

Jodi - posted on 02/17/2010




I started with organic formula when I wanted to ween. It tastes a little better, then later I switched to regular.

How do you know it tastes better? Sorry, but I cracked up when I read this, because the only way you could know is if you went around and tasted a whole lot of different formulas yourself...... You can't possibly know what tastes better to your baby's taste buds!!

Anyway, back on topic, I agree with Cassie. At the very least, get a second opinion, or see a lactation consultant, because they are specialists in this area and can help you if you would like to continue breastfeeding.

Jeni - posted on 02/17/2010




I without A doubt agree with Cassie.

I didnt want to give up breastfeeding but had no choice as my son is intolerant/allergic to milk proteins, He took to formula no trouble as did all the other babies i know.

All i can add to Cassie's replie is atleast get a second opinion.

Emilie - posted on 02/17/2010




I had trouble breastfeeding, I used Similac Advance to start off with, but it became expensive. I started getting WIC and they only provided Enfamil products, so I used Enfamil Lipil.

I liked to use the Avent bottles because the nipple base is wider and round like a breast, both my kids took Avent bottle very well.

Saundra - posted on 02/17/2010




I started with organic formula when I wanted to ween. It tastes a little better, then later I switched to regular.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms