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4 Things About Formula Feeding That Parents Should Know

Formula feeding or breastfeeding; both are up to parents. Some parents choose formula feeding over breastfeeding and it is not wrong. Note that formula feeding is more than just mixing milk formula powder with water, it can affect your baby’s poop to how much your baby will eat. Below are 4 things you may encounter when feeding your child with formula.

1. Formula-fed babies have different poop

Whatever you feed to your baby will directly affect the contents of your baby’s diaper. Don’t be surprised if the poops turn slightly or greatly different if you switch from breastfeeding to formula feeding. Some babies experience a drastic change as in the smell, texture, consistency, amount, colour and even the frequency. All changed!

Why is it so? Margaret Morris, a paediatrician explains that it’s simply a matter of the body adapting to what it eats. “The flora of the gastrointestinal tract changes depending on what kind of food is running through it – and formula is a different food from breastmilk,” she adds.

Parents report that formula poop smells stronger, pungent, is darker in colour and thicker than breastmilk poop. Don’t be shocked as it is a normal transition when you change to formula feeding.

2. Babies don’t digest breast milk and formula at the same rate

Is it true that formula-fed babies can go longer between feedings than breastfed babies? The answer is yes! Breast milk and most formulas contain the proteins whey and casein. Breast milk contains more whey than casein. Thus, babies who are breastfed digest it faster and they tend to get hungry quickly. Formulas contain more casein and it takes time for babies to digest so the time interval between the meals will be longer.

That means I can get a good night’s sleep? Before you get your hopes up, remember that every baby is different. Jatinder Bhatia, chief of neonatology at Georgia Health Sciences University and spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics explains that each baby has his own unique caloric needs, personality and sleep patterns. As a result, some formula-fed babies feed and wake just as often as breastfed babies.

3. Your baby can be allergic to formula

Most babies easily digest formula but some have an allergic reaction to the cow’s milk protein in the formula. Baby’s bowel movements can serve as a major clue to how digestion is going, so if you are wondering whether your baby has a formula allergy, check things out down below.

“Blood or mucus in the stool usually means the bowels are inflamed, which is a sign of a possible allergy,” says Morris. Some red flags include diarrhoea, vomiting or a skin rash. If your baby continuously crying and feels discomfort, it can also be a symptom. “If a baby is persistently unhappy, there’s probably a reason and an allergy may very well be it. So it’s important to check it out.”

4. Different babies eat different amounts

Normally, babies will fall asleep after sipping 3 ounces of milk. But it’s all depends on the baby. “Formula portions are not one size fits all,” says Morris. “Some babies need more calories than others and what is sufficient for one child’s growth may not be sufficient for another’s.”

Formula intake will vary from meal to meal so don’t be shocked if your baby takes 4 ounces at one feeding and 6 ounces at the next. However, it is still important to follow some basic guidelines. You may refer to the amount of milk you should feed your baby depending on his body weight. Go to Novamil official website to get to know about the best milk formula for your child!


AAP. 2015a. Choosing a formula. American Academy of Pediatrics. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/feeding-nutrition/Pages/Choosing-a-Formula.aspx [Accessed January 2017]
AAP. 2015b. The many colors of poop. American Academy of Pediatrics. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/Pages/The-Many-Colors-of-Poop.aspx[Accessed January 2017]
AAP. 2015c. Pooping by the numbers. American Academy of Pediatrics. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/Pages/Pooping-By-the-Numbers.aspx[Accessed January 2017]
Nemours Foundation. 2015a. Formula feeding FAQs: Getting started. https://kidshealth.org/Nemours/en/parents/formulafeed-starting.html [Accessed January 2017]
Nemours Foundation. 2015b. Formula feeding FAQs: How much and how often. https://kidshealth.org/Nemours/en/parents/formulafeed-often.html [Accessed January 2017]

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