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.

Do Babies Notice Formula Changes?

All milk-based formulas contain cow's-milk protein and lactose as the carbohydrate. There are small differences, including different combinations of whey and casein proteins, in different milk-based formulas. The fat sources in the various milk-based baby formulas may be provided by different types of oil.

The big issue when using different formulas is usually taste. Some children are quite particular about what they eat and may notice the difference between different formulas, preferring one or the other. However, if you consider that the taste of breast milk changes depending on what a breastfeeding mother eats, taste likely won't be a big factor for a baby drinking formula.

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 your baby is doing great, then mixing or switching between brands is probably okay to do.

Why Mix or Switch Formula

Contrary to popular belief, spitting up or excess gas in your baby is usually not due to the type of protein in the formula. Still, switching between brands can help parents see if their baby has a reaction to a particular brand.

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 experiment with making a bottle that is half formula from one brand and half 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 gassiness, stick to one brand for at least a week or two to see if there are any changes in gas, stool, spit-up or burping. There is no big benefit to using multiple brands of formula. With a little planning, even if cost and convenience are how you are choosing a formula, you should be able to stick with one brand in the long run.

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