Are you a formula feeding mom that doesn’t always use breast milk? If so, you may have considered switching formulas from Similac to Enfamil.
Babies are very sensitive, both emotionally and physically, so you want to be extra careful when you’re changing their milk formula. That’s right – even if they’re just on a milk-based diet, new changes can upset a baby’s tummy. H
ere are some tips to help make the change from Similac to Enfamil easier for both you and your baby, along with other tips to help you in your search for a good formula.
Consider Whether Your Baby Has Formula Intolerance
There are many infant formula brands out there, with Enfamil and Similac being two of the most popular ones. However, each baby is different, and each baby will have a different reaction to these brands. Here are some of the most common signs of formula intolerance:
- Crying and fussing for seemingly no reason
- More gas than usual
- Not gaining weight
If your baby shows these symptoms after switching to Similac, it may be time to switch to Enfamil.
After all, the best formula is the one that makes your baby happy. If you have any serious concerns about your baby’s health, talk to your pediatrician for advice.
Consider What Type of Formula Is Best for Your Baby
Simply switching brands doesn’t always help, so you’ll want to consider both the brand and the type of formula. Both Enfamil and Similac have different formulas to try out, each with different developing digestive systems in mind.
Here’s a quick list of some formula types that you might want to consider:
These formulas contain cow’s milk but are made to be easier on a baby’s digestive system. Most babies are okay with this type of formula. Enfamil Enspire and Similac Advance are both cow’s milk-based.
these formulas are tailored for babies less than a year old. Enfamil Newborn formulas include Enfamil Infant.
If your baby has extra gas, these lactose-light formulas might help them feel better. Enfamil Gentlease is one example.
If your baby is completely lactose intolerant, a lactose-free formula is what you need. Similac Sensitive is lactose-free, as is Enfamil A+.
Soy formulas are another good option for lactose intolerant babies. This type of formula is made with soy. Similac Soy Isomil and Enfamil Prosobee are examples.
Toddler/Next Step Formula
This type of formula is for babies transitioning into toddlerhood. Examples include Enfamil Enfagro and Similac Go & Grow.
Talk to Your Pediatrician Before Changing Formulas
Your pediatrician will surely agree that changing your baby’s diet is a big deal. If you have concerns about your current formula, they’ll be able to recommend something that would be better for your little one.
They’ll also be able to tell you how gradually or quickly you need to make the switch. An undeveloped digestive system should experience a gradual transition.
However, if your little one experiences a bad reaction to a formula or an allergic reaction, a quick change will be needed. For more information on signs of an allergic reaction in babies, check out this article!
Look at the Ingredients
Did you find a formula that might work for your little one? Not so fast- you’d better take a look at the ingredient list first to see if there’s anything your baby won’t tolerate. What ingredients your baby can have depends on your baby, since every baby is different.
Also, unless you’re changing formulas due to digestive intolerance, choosing a new formula with the same type of protein as the old one will make the switch much easier for your little one’s digestive system.
If you’re concerned that your baby is reacting to a certain ingredient, it would be wise to discuss it with your pediatrician.
Gradually Introduce the New Formula
Babies are sensitive and can tell when something’s different. Maybe they’ll decide that they don’t like the new flavor.
By mixing the new formula with the old one, you’ll know if your baby is having a bad reaction to the new formula. The reaction may also not be as severe since you only put a little bit of new formula in the mix.
Plus, switching completely right away can give your baby tummy troubles.
At first, try putting the new formula into ¼ of the bottle, while keeping the old formula in the rest.
After a few days, mix a little more of the new formula with your former brand, and continue until you’re feeding the baby only the new formula. This makes things much easier for both you and the baby.
Note: if your baby is switching formulas due to a medical condition, a quick switch is usually recommended.
Feed Them When They’re Hungry
Think about it – when some parents hear their little ones crying, they immediately rush for the bottle. Just because your baby’s crying doesn’t mean they’re hungry.
They could have a dirty diaper, are tired, desire to be held, or are too hot or cold. To get your babies to try their new formula, it helps to feed them if you know they’re hungry, rather than feeding them to soothe their crying.
If your little one is hungry, they are more likely to try their new formula, even if they don’t care for it at first.
Give your baby about three to five days to get used to their new formula. Babies are normally very sensitive, so it will take their bodies a few days to adjust.
Sometimes they’ll make the change with no problems, but other times they might protest or have a little trouble digesting it.
It’s normal to have a few tummy troubles at first, so give it some time before deciding that the new formula isn’t right for you or your little one. Remember that babies are used to routines!
Consider Your Baby’s Age
If your baby’s already beginning to wean, switching formulas may be easier for them. After all, they’re already getting used to different foods and how they taste.
However, if your baby is still only drinking milk, it may take them a little longer – their diets at this age don’t always vary, and they may not be used to change.
Since every baby is different, it’s important to watch how your baby is handling the transition.
Keep Track of Baby’s Weight and Health on the New Formula
It’s important to keep an eye on how your baby reacts to the new formula; a baby’s digestive system is much more sensitive than an adult’s. Look for symptoms of formula intolerance, as well as for abnormal weight loss and constipation.
Also, be aware of allergic reactions – signs can include hives, a rash, and blood in the stool (take your baby to the doctor immediately if you notice one of the symptoms).
Another symptom that you may not expect is irregular sleep patterns – yes, your formula can affect how your child sleeps.
If your baby is experiencing any of these symptoms, I suggest talking to your pediatrician to see if the new formula is the problem.
Watch How Your Baby Reacts to Their New Formula
Watch and see whether your baby likes the formula and whether or not they’re drinking the new formula.
If they look uncomfortable while being fed or make noises like they’re upset, it may mean that they’re not fond of the change.
Growing babies eat a lot, so if they’re not eating, that is cause for concern.
Don’t Worry if They Spit Up a Little Bit
Infants spit up sometimes – it’s just how they are. If your baby seems perfectly fine when they spit up, then there may not be anything to fear.
However, if they show signs of discomfort, it would be a good idea to talk to your pediatrician.
Also, keep in mind that spitting up is different from vomiting: vomiting is more forceful and projectile in nature while spitting up is a gentle flow. If your child is vomiting, see a doctor right away.
Not Affordable? Try Store Brands
You’d be surprised how similar store brands are to big-name brands. Not only do store brand formulas cost less, but it also provides the recommended amount of nutrition that your baby needs.
Since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates all baby formula, they make sure it meets the minimum nutritional requirements.
In other words, store brands are both nutritional and safe to use, which is good news for both your baby and your wallet. However, if you’d rather buy a name brand that you know you can trust, that’s perfectly fine too.
Work With Your Pediatrician and Practice Patience
Switching formulas can be a difficult and often intimidating process, but if you work closely with your pediatrician, the change will be a lot easier for your family.
It also helps to be patient – your little one may not get used to the switch right away. Your baby’s health is the most important thing, and what you feed them is closely related.
After all, a healthy baby is a happy baby, so make sure you’re feeding them what’s best for their growing body.
Good luck with the switch!