Find the right formula for your baby.

Can You Switch an Infant's Formula?

by Barbie Carpenter

Choosing formula for your infant might seem like a simple decision -- until you browse through the many options of formula available online and in stores. During the period that your infant consumes formula, you might choose to change brands for a variety of reasons. Fortunately, you can mix and match formula to your -- and your baby's -- liking.

Looking for an Allergy

One reason why you might opt to switch infant formulas is because your infant is showing signs of an allergic reaction to his current formula. Vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and a rash may develop if your baby is allergic to formula, according to child development experts at the Kids Health website. Ask your baby's pediatrician to evaluate your hiss symptoms, and consider making a formula switch if an allergy is the culprit. A switch to a soy or hypoallergenic formula might eliminate your little one's allergic reaction.

Saving Money

Infant formula is not cheap, and you might look for ways to make formula feeding more budget friendly. For example, you might switch from a name brand formula to a generic or store brand, which can save you some money every month. While saving money is important for many new parents, your budget should be just one factor when considering a formula switch.

Evaluating Side Effects

While switching formulas is possible, that doesn't mean that this shift comes without side effects. Your infant's stomach is sensitive, and a switch in her nutrition can result in some side effects. Gassiness, fussiness and spitting up are common side effects no matter the formula. When you switch formulas, your little one's digestive system has to readjust, according to Dr. Gian Musarra of St. Louis Children's Hospital. For some parents, this digestive upset might not be worth the formula switch.

Mixing Formula

Since formula can take a bite out of your budget, you might not want to let a half-full can go to waste during your switch. If you're planning on switching formula but want to use up what you have, you might get to the point where you don't have enough of one brand of formula for a bottle. According to Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson of Seattle Children's Hospital, mixing and matching formulas is acceptable as long as you mix the formula with the appropriate amount of water. In fact, mixing old and new formulas can help ease any tummy trouble that your infant may experience, according to the Kids Health site.

About the Author

Barbie Carpenter worked as a technical writer and editor in the defense industry for six years. She also served as a newspaper feature page editor and nationally syndicated columnist for the Hearst Corp. Carpenter holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Florida and a graduate certificate in professional writing from the University of Central Florida.

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