How Long Does it Take for Baby to Adjust to Formula Change?

Reasons for Changing Baby Formula

Adjusting to something new might be difficult, especially for babies who are adjusting from one formula to another. It can be challenging to determine which works best for your baby; it’s always a matter of keen observation paired with trial and error. It is always important to choose only the best baby formula milk.

Negative effects on the baby

This is a very important reason why you need to change your baby’s formula milk. An indication that your chosen formula milk harms your baby is that they might get gassy and have frequent spit-ups. Irregular bowel movements and extreme fussiness, discomfort, and crying might also be indicative of unpleasant effects from the formula milk. If your baby only shows irregular bowel movement or abnormal stools, try to check the cleanliness of your baby bottles and if your baby formula maker is functioning well.

Baby might need special or more nutritious ingredients.

Some babies might need special formula milk that is more nutritious and contains a particular or specific vitamin or mineral. If you are changing formula milk, for this reason, you must consult your pediatrician for orders and instructions in finding a formula that will meet your babies needs.


It’s not a secret that formula milk can be a bit pricey, and this is also one of the major concerns and reasons why parents need to switch. However, a cheaper baby formula milk does not mean that it has low nutritional value and low quality too. You can always find suitable formula milk which is cheaper but with the same nutritional value and will work best for your little one.

Allergic Reaction

Some babies develop an allergic reaction to particular brands or ingredients in milk. Signs that your baby has an allergic reaction include rashes, hives, excessive sneezing and coughing, eczema, and difficulty in breathing. If the allergic reaction is severe, immediately take your baby to the nearest hospital and health care facility. Consult an allergologist and pediatrician to have your baby tested to identify the allergens that triggered an allergic reaction. This will then serve as a guide as to what formula milk you will be buying next.

Personal Preferences

There are times that parents prefer formula milk that is organic or non-GMO. So if you may have bought formula milk that will not fit your personal preferences, you can always change them. However, your baby must prefer it too.

How to Switch Baby Formula

  1. If switching formula due to medical reasons or due to drastic negative effects on baby, always consult a pediatrician before buying a new one.
  2. When switching from one formula to another, you must do it slowly and gradually. It is also suggested that you consider a new formula with the same protein type to the old one. Pediatricians suggest that you introduce the new formula milk during times of the day when your baby is generally happy and in a good mood.
  3. Always read the formula labels, both old and new. If you are switching to another variant of milk but of the same brand, it is okay to introduce the new formula milk at once. However, when changing from a very different brand with different content and ingredients, it is important to give it to your baby in smaller amounts and observe their reaction towards the new formula milk.
  4. If the new formula you’re choosing has a completely different protein type, gradually change from the old to the new one. Start gradually transitioning with three parts of the old formula and mixing it with a part of the new one. On the next day, try feeding your baby with half of the old one and half the new, and so on.
  5. You may notice a few changes in bowel movement after switching to a new formula, but this is completely normal. Only consult a pediatrician or try changing to another formula if irregular stools last for more than three days.

Transitioning from Breast Milk to Formula

Reasons for transitioning

There are few main and common reasons why mothers might need to change from breast milk to formula milk s

  • Some mothers do not have enough breast milk supply.
  • Due to medical reasons, some mothers might need to take medications or undergo medication which is harmful to breastfeeding babies.
  • Sometimes breastfeeding as a career woman who works five days a week can be very draining and tiresome. Mothers who return to work after maternity leave often starts transitioning from breastfeeding to bottle-feeding as well.
  • Pumping becomes painful and overly exhausting.
  • Having decided on a cut off point. Some mothers have already planned to breastfeed their babies for a certain period of time only and switch to formula milk after.

Partial weaning

Partial weaning works when you plan on continuing to breastfeed during the night or during your vacant time of the day, and supplementing with formula milk. For this weaning strategy, it is also recommended that you try a few different brands or types of formula milk, so that you can identify which formula milk that will be taken the most easily by your baby.

Gradual weaning

This method is best if you plan to stop breastfeeding completely. Gradual weaning works through slowly incorporating formula milk into your baby’s diet, simply giving your baby a little less breast milk every day or every other day until you reach to the point that they are already taking in a hundred per cent formula milk only. This method can be best done by dropping a session of breastfeeding and replacing it with bottle feeding. Another technique is mixing formula milk and breast milk, in different ratios, and observe how your baby takes in the flavour and taste of new milk.

Go Cold Turkey

Going cold turkey is not very much suggested when it comes to transitioning from breast milk to formula milk. However, there are unfortunate instances when the need for an immediate switch arises. This includes medical reasons that may require the separation of mother and child, and the death of the mother.

Final Thoughts

Every baby is different; it may take a day for two for one baby to adjust to a new formula and may take a week or more for another. It is important that you do a keen observation or maybe even keep a journal to make a list on how your little one reacted to the new formula milk, and you’ll be surprised if in just a short span of time the new formula milk is now running smoothly with your baby’s taste and preference.

Don’t speed things up; if the process is gradual, then effects and improvement are not supposed to appear immediately. Give your baby some time to adapt and give yourself a break too! Every solution and formula milk preference is unique; what’s good for the other baby might not be good for yours. So it is important that you listen and feel your baby’s needs and follow your instincts too! Truly, a mother knows best.