There may come a time 
Breastfeeding is the best way to feed your baby. However, there may come a time, for whatever reason, when you decide to switch to formula feeding or a combination of breastfeeding and formula feeding.

It is best to do this gradually. It is important to take this process in little steps to give your body time to reduce the amount of milk it makes. This will also give your baby's body time to adjust from having breast milk to having formula milk.  

If you are thinking about formula feeding your baby, always seek professional advice from your doctor, midwife or healthcare professional.

If you want to combine breastfeeding with formula feeding it is best to wait until around six to eight weeks, once breastfeeding has been firmly established. If you want to switch solely to formula feeding, you can do this at any time. Whatever option you choose, introducing formula feeding will lead to a decline in your breast milk production. Reversing this process is very difficult.

Switching

You can use this chart for switching. Introduce each step for at least three days – to give your child time to get used to the new schedule.

If you want to combine breastfeeding and formula feeding, you can follow step 3: start and finish the day with breastfeeding. Always do this in consultation with your doctor, midwife or healthcare professional. And be aware that some babies take longer than others to get used to formula feeding.

Here is another example of how to switch from breast milk to formula feeding. It is good to know that there is no standard switching chart. It is important that you and your baby feel as comfortable as possible – follow your own feelings.

Table 2: Introduction of baby food

Maybe you are considering a mix of expressed breast milk and formula feeding when you return to work. Some women express before or at work. You will soon find a routine that suits you and your baby. If you are planning on expressing at work, some companies already have programmes in place for this. If you plan to supplement with a formula, be sure to introduce your baby to the concept a few weeks before you go back to work.

Formula feeding

If you choose to formula feed your baby, there are many choices available. Consult your doctor or healthcare professional about how to choose an appropriate formula for your baby.

From breast to formula; change in stools

Switching from breast milk to a formula can influence the colour, frequency and consistency of your baby's stools. The stools may become firmer, have a stronger odour, be browner in colour and probably be less frequent. This is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about.