Ease into the formula introduction
Try to ease into bottle-feeding since this can make it easier for your baby to adjust. It’s also okay to alternate between breastfeeding (or breast milk in a bottle) and formula. You may find that your baby prefers one or the other, but many babies like both.
Can formula be mixed with breast milk?
If needed, to help your baby accept formula, you can mix breast milk and prepared formula in the same bottle. Just make sure that you follow the formula mixing instructions and add the appropriate amount of water to make formula from powder or concentrated liquid before you mix with breast milk.
You can then gradually increase the amount of formula you add to the bottle. As you add more formula to your baby’s diet, you may notice some changes in your baby’s stool.
See our Diaper Decoder for answers to questions you may have about your baby’s stools.
Pump up your milk supply
Sometimes transitioning from breastfeeding to bottle-feeding means you’re transitioning your baby from breast milk to formula. But if you still want to feed with breast milk, make sure to continue pumping. The more frequently you pump with complete milk removal, the more milk you’re likely to make.
Make a plan
If you’ll be away from your baby for a short amount of time, pump before you go to have a bottle ready for your baby to drink when you’re not there and to help keep you comfortable.
Pass it on
If you’re trying to transition from breastfeeding, let family members help! Give close relatives and friends a chance to bottle-feed baby. It’s also good for your little one to feel comfortable being fed by others.
Try Similac® 360 Total Care® Ready-to-Feed baby formula. It’s premixed and comes in convenient, portable 2-, 8-, and 32-fl-oz bottles for baby’s changing formula intake.
See how baby responds
If you’re introducing a new formula, there will be some changes that are normal, like changes in stool color, frequency, and odor. Look for any tolerance issues: If you notice any changes, check with your baby’s doctor, as there are different formulas for different needs like food allergies and sensitive tummies.
Is there a best way to introduce formula?
Check with your baby’s doctor on the best formula for your baby. They may recommend a standard, milk-based infant formula, like Similac® 360 Total Care®. If your baby seems to need a different formula, consider talking with your baby’s pediatrician about Similac® 360 Total Care®Sensitive or Similac Pro-Total Comfort®.
As for milk temperatures, some babies like their formula warm, as it would be from the breast. Other babies are fine with milk at room temperature or straight from the fridge.
For more tips on choosing the right formula, the right bottle, and making a bottle, see our section on Formula Feeding.