Do I Have To Supplement With Formula?

Kathleen Tackett's picture


Dear Lactation Consultant,
Our baby is 4½ months old and was breastfeeding exclusively (from birth) until about 2 weeks ago, after she had her 4 month check up and shots. Our pediatrician told us after her first appointment out of the hospital that because she would be breastfed exclusively, that between 4 and 6 months of age, we would need to start supplementing with cow's milk formula, which we've done.

The purpose for this, as explained to us, is because we would need to address any food allergies before putting our daughter on any solid foods, after about 6 months of age. She's been very gassy since we put her on formula (she only gets 6 oz. per day) and I'm wondering what ingredient in formula would cause this.

We started her out on Similac Organic (the premixed stuff) just to see if she would readily take to the formula, and we had no problem with that particular brand. Since that wasn't a problem, we've tried a dry mix-with-water kind that is a generic. She seemed to get really gassy after that. I don't want to have to spend a bunch of money going through a plethora of formulas to find one that will work for us. Any suggestions?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!


Hi Lorie,
I have to say that I'm surprised by the advice your pediatrician gave you. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization both say exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months.

There is no reason at all to introduce formula to a breastfeeding baby, and there are a lot of good reasons not to. You might want to check out the AAP Statement on Breastfeeding. We have it on our site. (It's under "info to share with your doctor").

If your baby isn't doing well with formula, it's probably appropriate to not use it. But please don't take my word for it. Check out the AAP Statement.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

-- Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, PhD, IBCLC