Changing infant formula

Can I change to a cheaper infant formula?

It is perfectly reasonable to switch to a cheaper brand of infant formula as long as it is the same type. Mothers may also consider changing brands if the baby is unhappy, but they need to make sure the infant formula is the reason for the unhappiness. Many infant formula brands advertise that they can decrease crying and tummy pain and gas, but this is not supported by good evidence. To change formula, simply try the new formula and see how the baby responds. If you notice adverse reactions such as a sudden increase in spitting or crying within a day or the baby develops constipation, return to the original formula. Mothers can also change infant formula forms, such as from ready-to-use liquid to powder. Health-care providers should be consulted regarding any infant formula changes if the baby is allergic to cow’s milk protein or has other conditions requiring special nutrition.

A) Describing infant formula choices

There are many choices of infant formula (formula). They vary by:

There are several different types of infant formula (formula) such as regular, extensively hydrolyzed, soy-based, and other specialty types. Each type of formula can be made by different manufacturers resulting in different brands. Changing types of formula can result in problems for the baby. Changing formula brands but keeping the same type is less likely to do so. Mothers can also change formula forms.

B) Changing infant formula to save money

Parents often consider switching to a cheaper brand of formula if they were started on a more expensive product in hospital or by their health-care providers.

They may also change formula forms from using ready-to-use formula to liquid concentrate or to powdered formula for this reason.

This is perfectly reasonable as long as it is the same type of formula and the baby is well.

C) Changing infant formula brands because the baby is unhappy

The choice of the best formula for a particular baby is often made by trial and error.

Many formulas advertise that they can decrease crying and tummy pain and gas and but this is not supported by much evidence. For example, some parents of healthy babies use lactose-reduced or lactose-free formula or soy formula to decrease fussiness.

If you feel you need to change formula brands because of the baby’s behaviour, compare the ingredients listed on the package. Different brands may have very similar ingredients, which would make change pointless.

If the baby is frequently or very unhappy, make sure the formula is the reason for the baby’s unhappiness before changing. There are many reasons for normal babies to be unhappy or the baby may be sick. Please see your health-care providers if the baby is consistently unhappy.

D) Changing infant formula when the baby is sick

Occasionally, a certain type of formula makes a baby sick. This includes babies who have specific health challenges such as:

If your baby has any of the above, only change formulas after discussing this with your health-care provider.

E) How to change formula

To change formula, simply try the new formula and see how the baby responds.

Signs that the new formula is not agreeing with the baby include a sudden and significant increase in spitting or crying within hours and days or constipation. If this occurs, return to the original formula and ensure that your baby has settled. Wait a few weeks before trying another new formula. Frequent formula changes can be hard on the baby.