Adults try new dishes with ease and interest, but for an infant, with its immature digestion, such ease is unacceptable. Disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, skin rashes, restless sleep — these are the consequences of an incorrect transition to a new mixture. How to change the baby’s diet without harm to his health?
How to transition a baby from breastfeeding to formula
If the baby received breast milk after birth, the need for a mixture may arise in two cases: when you need to introduce supplementary feeding, that is, supplement the main food, and when you need to completely switch to artificial feeding. In both cases, before the introduction of the mixture, a doctor’s consultation is necessary. The main rule when switching to a mixture is gradualness. When introducing supplementary feeding, before giving the mixture, the mother needs to attach the baby first to one, then to the other breast, and only then add the mixture from a spoon or bottle. For the first time, the child can be given no more than 1–2 teaspoons of the mixture in the morning and observe how the skin and digestive tract respond: whether there will be redness, rashes, regurgitation, loose stools, constipation or more than usual anxiety. If everything is in order, the next day you can give twice as much mixture and so on — until the volume recommended by the doctor is reached. If undesirable consequences are manifested, it is impossible to increase the volume of the mixture. With moderate symptoms, you can again give 1–2 teaspoons of the mixture the next day and beyond — and observe how the child’s body behaves. If the manifestations have disappeared — increase the volume of the mixture according to the scheme, if they remain or even become more intense — consult a doctor. With a strong negative reaction to the mixture, you should immediately consult a pediatrician. Ideally, it is also necessary to transfer the baby completely to artificial feeding gradually — within one and a half to two weeks, and the longer the younger the child. First you need to supplement with the mixture after the main feeding, starting with the same one or two teaspoons of the mixture. Then completely replace part of the feedings with a mixture suitable for age and purpose. For example, for healthy children from 6 months to a year, Nutrilak Premium 2 is suitable. It is important to consider that with a complete transition to artificial feeding, it is recommended to establish a strict feeding regimen. The intervals between them will be 3–3.5 hours with a 6‑hour break for a night’s sleep, since it takes more time to digest the mixture, compared to breast milk.
How to transfer the child to another mixture?
There are different schemes for transferring to a new mixture, but in any it is recommended to introduce it from a small volume — 10 ml, or 2 teaspoons — in the morning. This helps to track possible adverse reactions of the child’s body to a new product. If everything is in order, then further the volume of the new mixture and the number of feedings with it are increased, for example, in this way:
- 2 days — 10 ml of a new mixture in 3 feedings,
- 3 days — 20 ml in 3 feedings,
- 4 days — 50 ml in 5 feedings,
- Day 5 — 100 ml in 4 feedings,
- Day 6 — 150 ml in 5 feedings
- Day 7 — 180 ml in 5–6 feedings.
Important! You need to dilute the old and new mixture in different bottles. After dilution, you can mix for feeding in one bottle only mixtures of the standard line of one manufacturer, as well as a standard and anti-reflux mixture of one manufacturer. Other mixtures, especially specialized, medicinal, should not be mixed for feeding. It is strictly forbidden to mix standard mixtures with mixtures based on hydrolysates, such as hypoallergenic, amino acid, “comfort” and others in one bottle.
Errors when transferring to a new mixture
- Abrupt transition to a new mixture. An unprepared body will not have time to adapt to a new diet and may fail.
- Frequent and unreasonable mixture changes. New food — stress for the baby’s digestion. Without serious health-related reasons, trying new mixtures, no matter how wonderful they may seem, is not worth it.
- Transfer to the next age mixture from another manufacturer. The difference in components in this case will be greater and adaptation may be more difficult.
- Refusal of a new mixture at the first sign of indigestion. Deviations may be temporary. If they do not seriously affect the well-being of the baby, you need to inform the doctor about them, but still do not rush to cancel. It is worth watching for two or three days, whether the condition is normal. The volume of the mixture at this time is not increased.
When it is undesirable to change the mixture
A new mixture is introduced when the baby is completely healthy and calm. Any stress can make it difficult to get used to a different diet. Do not change the mixture if the child is sick, if he is teething, while traveling, before and after preventive vaccinations. Thus, transferring the child to the mixture and changing the mixture to another should be gradual and under the supervision of a doctor in order to avoid digestive problems and allergic reactions.