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How to Safely Switch Baby Formulas

Mild digestive challenges are common in babies and typically not a cause for concern. However, if your baby is experiencing severe digestive issues or showing allergy-like symptoms, it may be time to switch their baby formula. Switching baby formulas can be intimidating and even scary for parents who have never done so. Below, we’re sharing some tips on switching baby formulas and some signs that may indicate that a switch is needed.

When is it time to switch formulas?

If your baby shows any of the following symptoms, it may be time to talk with their pediatrician about changing formulas.

Allergy symptoms

Allergy-like symptoms such as a rash, vomiting, swelling, or hives could indicate that your baby is allergic to one of the ingredients in their formula. If your baby is showing these types of symptoms, visit their pediatrician first to rule out other causes and to get professional guidance in changing their milk source.

Inconsolable crying

Obviously, some fussiness is a normal part of infancy. If you’re noticing a significant change in your baby’s demeanor that isn’t clearly related to anything else (such as teething, growth spurts, or sleep regressions) then it may be related to their formula.

Severe constipation

Constipation is another symptom that can range from normal to concerning. If your baby hasn’t had a bowel movement in a day or so and they seem comfortable, then this may just be a normal symptom. However, if they seem uncomfortable and have gone more than just a few days without a bowel movement, their formula may be the source.


If your baby is spitting up large amounts after every feeding or if they are forcefully vomiting after feedings, they may be having a negative reaction to their formula. Vomiting or spitting up is likely not a cause for concern if your baby is still hitting growth milestones and producing enough dirty diapers.

Tips for Switching Baby Formulas

We always recommend consulting with your baby’s pediatrician to determine if a formula switch is warranted. If it is, then your pediatrician will likely offer advice to help guide you through this process. Below, we’ve broken down some tips for switching baby formulas but always follow your pediatrician’s advice over anything else.

  • If you are switching formulas due to a severe allergic reaction, then you may have to stop cold turkey and switch your baby fully to a new formula.
  • A slow switch may be necessary if your baby is not experiencing a severe allergy to their old formula. If you’re going to change your baby’s formula progressively, slowly mix the new formula into the old formula so their body can slowly get used to it.
  • If you’re sticking with the same brand of baby formula but just switching to a different type (such as lactose free or hypoallergenic) it shouldn’t be too dramatic of a change. Different formulas from the same brands typically contain similar enough ingredients to make switching pretty simple.
  • For more dramatic changes, such as going from cow’s milk formula to goat’s milk, switch slowly to give your baby time to adjust.
  • Always watch for reactions to the new baby formula. Mild symptoms with new formula are expected, as your baby will need time to get used to it but if they have a severe reaction to the new formula then you’ll likely need to contact their pediatrician for further guidance.

Best Hypoallergenic Baby Formulas

With allergies becoming increasingly more common amongst babies, many formula brands are offering hypoallergenic versions of their formulas. Keep reading for a few of our favorite hypoallergenic and specialty baby formulas.

  • HiPP Baby Formula offers a hypoallergenic, anti-reflux, and comfort formula. These specialty formulas are all made from organic ingredients and are made free from harmful ingredients such as GMOs and other chemicals. 
  • Holle Baby Formula is an organic baby formula that is available as goat’s milk formula as well as cow’s milk. The goat’s milk formula may work well for your baby if they have a cow’s milk allergy. Always navigate a formula change with the guidance of your pediatrician.

As parents, we want nothing more than for our sweet babies to be comfortable and happy. Obviously, our babies can’t be happy all of the time so we have to be patient during challenging moments. It is important to pay attention to your baby’s demeanor and take action if you’re noticing any severe issues. Switching baby formulas isn’t always warranted but in some situations, a new formula may be all your baby needs to thrive.