Find out how and why to supplement with baby formula.
To supplement is to feed your baby formula in addition to breast milk, either a few times a week or several times a day. Recent consumer studies show that 9 out of every 10 new mothers use formula at some point during their baby's first year for a variety of reasons, including to provide extra nutrition, to share feeding duties and to facilitate returning to work. Some babies take to the bottle right away while others are more reluctant. Introducing a bottle may take some trial and error. Here are some tips to help make the transition easier.
How do I introduce my baby to a bottle?
- Time it right. Try offering a bottle when your baby is hungry (such as after a nap) but not famished, so he's less likely to fuss.
- Let someone else, such as the baby's father or grandmother, offer the first bottle. Baby associates you with breast milk and may refuse the bottle.
- Introduce the bottle with breast milk first for a gradual transition. Allow him time to get used to a bottle of a familiar taste before introducing formula.
- Use a bottle nipple that resembles your baby's pacifier. Putting some breast milk on the nipple is another way to encourage your baby to accept the bottle. Once he tastes the breast milk, he may start sucking to get more.
How do I choose the right formula for my baby?
- Infants who are not breastfed should be given a formula that is iron-fortified with DHA and ARA (sources of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats) for the first 9-12 months. DHA and ARA are nutrients naturally found in breast milk that support normal brain and eye development.
- Experts recommend that all non-breastfed babies should receive a DHA-enriched formula with a DHA level of at least 0.2% of the total fatty acids. Enfamil A+® has a DHA level of 0.32%.
If I give my baby formula, will he receive the nutrients he needs to grow and develop?
Absolutely! Thanks to decades of research and scientific advancements, today's infant formulas are closer to breast milk than ever before and contain the nutrients your baby needs to grow and thrive.
How soon can I supplement with formula?
If you start breastfeeding (except for a bottle of formula per day or a few bottles per week), you may want to wait until your baby is at least 1 month old. By that point, your baby will likely have settled into breastfeeding and your milk supply should be well established. An occasional bottle shouldn't disrupt your routine.
How do you prepare a bottle of formula?
Different types of formula - powder, concetrated liquid or ready-to-feed liquid - are prepared differently. For powder or concentrated liquid formulas, follow the preparation instructions exactly as detailed on the packaging. For ready-to-feed formula, simply pour into the bottle and serve