There are a lot of scary things that have happened since I became a mom, but few of them have been able to compare with the day that I stood in the pediatrician’s office and heard her tell me that my daughter was failing to thrive. Those three words cut like a knife to my heart. After rounds of testing we realized it was because I was breastfeeding and my milk wasn’t giving her all the nutrition she needed. We had to make a transition to formula, and FAST. Baby girl had lost weight, and it was terrifying.
I quickly learned that switching from breastfeeding to formula isn’t always a smooth transition, as I watched my daughter flat-out refuse the bottle.
In situations like these it’s important to figure out other ways to get your kiddo the extra nutrition they need. When my daughter was diagnosed with failure to thrive and I was told I’d need to stop nursing for her own health.
I had to get very creative! I know that trying to get a baby to take a bottle when she doesn’t want it, is one of the most stressful things for a mom! Which is why I decided to share my tips with you!
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*disclaimer* I am not a doctor or a medical professional. I’m just another mom, sharing our personal experiences and nothing I post should be taken as medical advice. Always see a doctor and get professional advice when dealing with issues with your kiddo. Thanks!
- Formula in applesauce – This is something our pediatrician recommended and it worked great! I’d sprinkle liberal amounts of powdered formula into her applesauce, stir it all together and spoon feed it to her. She LOVED applesauce so I could usually get her a full bottle’s worth of powdered formula (2-3 scoops) in one serving of applesauce.
- Try sippy cups – If bottles are offensive to your little ones, try putting formula in sippy cups or mixing it with another drink that they enjoy.
- Formula Muffins –While we never personally tried this method (I didn’t know about it at the time) my friend Becky has a great recipe for baby formula banana muffins! Great way to sneak that extra nutrition into your baby or young toddler’s diet!
- Ice cube method – Freeze prepared formula into ice cubes using an ice cube tray. Then use one of the handy feeding mesh things that you can find on amazon or in any baby store. Stick an formula-ice cube in the mesh feeder and give it to your baby. Perfect for feeding AND nutrition!
- Half and half – If you are trying to stop breastfeeding, go half and half with the formula for awhile. Pump a bit of breastmilk and mix formula in with it. We did this for two weeks with donor milk from a friend. I was unable to pump and my milk was no good anyway, so our friend pumped for my daughter and gave me lots of milk for her. I slowly started putting less and less breastmilk in the bottles, increasing the amount of formula, until she was willing to take straight formula.
Most of all, remember that you are not a failure. Babies randomly stop nursing and taking bottles for reasons that we might never understand. Sometimes, people have medical issues (like I did) that make them have to stop breastfeeding before they intended to. The method of feeding your kiddo does not make or break you as a mama. You are doing great! It may take some extra creativity for awhile until you find the method that you sweet one will take the formula that he or she needs, but it won’t always be this hard. Before you know it they will be teenagers and you’ll be begging them to STOP eating for 5 minutes. Hold on to these precious times, although they are difficult. Motherhood is a beautiful, wonderful yet painful journey.
Don’t ever tell yourself that you are anything less than a wonderful loving mama doing the best for her kiddo. You can do this. Some seasons are harder than others, and I’m guessing if you landed on this post you’re in a rough one. But have some grace for yourself. You aren’t wonder woman or super-woman. You are so much more than that. You are mom. And your kiddos love you. Did you ever have to fight to get your baby to take the nutrients he/she needed? Share your tips in the comments!
If you are transitioning into baby food, try these recipes by clicking the images below: