Should You Mix or Switch Between Different Baby Formula Brands?

Mother feeding newborn a bottle

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In general, different brands of the same type of formula have the same basic ingredients. Switching between formula brands is not a problem, even though many parents wonder if doing so may cause fussiness or stool changes in their baby. In fact, you can even mix different brands of the same type of formula together if you feel that your baby responds better to a mixture of one brand with another.

Which brands you choose to mix together depends on personal preference — you just have to be aware of the basic ingredients found in the same type of formula. As long as you are following standard mixing instructions, it is safe to mix formula brands.

Does a Baby Notice When Their Formula Is Switched or Mixed?

For a milk-based formula, lactose is the carbohydrate and all will have cow's milk proteins. There are small differences, including different combinations of whey and casein proteins in different milk-based formula. Also, the fat sources in the various milk-based baby formulas are provided by different types of oil.

These small differences likely won't be noticed by most infants, so the big issue when using different formulas is usually taste. Some children are quite particular about what they eat and may notice the taste differences between different formulas, preferring one of the other.

However, if you consider that the taste of breastmilk likely changes depending on what a breastfeeding mother eats, taste likely won't be a big factor for a baby drinking different formulas.

Of course, if your baby was particularly gassy after using a specific brand of baby formula versus another, then that particular brand should probably be avoided. But if the baby really is doing great, then mixing or switching between brands is probably okay to do for her.

Why Would You Want to Mix or Switch Between Formula Brands?

Contrary to popular belief, spitting up or excess gas in your baby is usually not due to the type of protein in the formula, but even still, switching between brands can help parents to see if their baby has any reactions to particular brands or not.

Experimenting with formulas for your baby can help ease worries about food intolerances, burping, constipation, excess gas or spit up — But it’s not necessary. It all really depends on personal preference.

If your preference is for cost-saving and convenience, then she can even experiment with making a bottle that is ½ formula from one brand and 1/2 formula from another brand. It's fine to serve one brand this week and another brand next week as well.

If you are concerned about the gassiness, stick to one brand for at least a week or two, to see if there are any changes in excess gas, stool changes, spit up or burping. There is no big benefit to using multiple brands of formula and so with a little planning, even if cost and convenience are how you are choosing which formula to give your baby, you should be able to stick with one brand in the long run.

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