There can be an adjustment period when you first introduce formula! Here are a few things to keep in mind when you start supplementing.
You may notice these changes in your baby’s eating habits:
- Bottle refusal
- Eating faster
- Longer times between feedings
- Less frequent stools
Your little one may sense something has changed
Your baby associates your smell with breastfeeding, so it might be confusing if you are the one who gives them formula for the first time. Some moms find that the first bottle-feeding goes more smoothly if they aren’t nearby. If your baby senses your presence, they may be less likely to take the bottle and expect to be breastfed.
They eat faster from a bottle than from your breast
Some parents are surprised at how quickly their baby eats from a bottle. This is because your baby can better regulate the pace of feeding from the breast, compared to bottle feeding. Even though your baby may be eating faster, it's not always a sign that they are hungry for more.
Help your baby to burp midway through the feeding, if possible, and definitely afterwards. This will help relieve pressure that can build up in your baby’s stomach.
Baby can go longer between feedings without getting hungry
Formula takes longer to digest than breast milk. This means your baby may feel full longer, and you may notice them feeding less often. Regular feedings are still important, though. Waiting too long could affect your baby’s health or leave them feeling hungry.
Here’s an easy way to keep a record of feedings: Download and print our baby Feeding Tracker(PDF, 24.3 MB)
Stools might be firmer and have a stronger odor
Any time you change your baby’s diet, you may notice a change in stools. When you add formula or baby foods to your baby’s diet, you may notice your little one’s stools become firmer and change in odor.
If you have additional questions about your baby's health after you begin supplementing formula while breastfeeding, contact your pediatrician for more support.
Our Diaper Decoder can also help you answer questions about your baby’s stools.