Transitioning from Breast Milk to Neocate

Posted 8.22.13 | Nutrition Specialist

You have always enjoyed breast feeding your little one. What could be better than some quiet time bonding with a snuggly bundle of love as many as 8 times a day? What a bonus that it’s the best source of nutrition for your little one. Recently though, it seems that the thought of weaning has crossed your mind once or twice. Maybe you’re going back to work and the long commute, crazy schedule and pumping is just more than you can bear. Or perhaps you have a very faint memory of what a full night’s sleep used to feel like and you are desperate to experience it once more.

In addition, your child may have been diagnosed with a cow milk and/or soy protein allergy and, despite trying an elimination diet for yourself, your LO cannot tolerate your breast milk. Will the transition from breast feeding to Neocate be difficult? Not necessarily. If your LO’s healthcare team has recommended Neocate and you are considering a transition from breast milk, read on. Included are our best tips for a successful transition.

  • First of all relax and be patient. The more relaxed you are, the more relaxed your baby will be.
  • Feeding time is more likely to be a success if it’s a pressure free zone. Your baby may need time to get used to the new formula and bottle. If he doesn’t take it in 10 minutes, try again in an hour.
  • A baby may be more likely to refuse a bottle if he has a choice between breast feeding and the bottle. It might be best to eventually bottle feed exclusively.
  • A gradual transition may be best. For instance, you can prepare Neocate Infant and mix it with expressed breast milk, gradually increasing the amount of Neocate.
  • A baby may be more accepting of a bottle the first time from someone other than Mom.
  • A baby may have a preference for a particular nipple size and temperature so consider different nipple size, shapes and warming the nipple prior to feeding time.
  • Your LO may be more accepting of the formula if she gets a small taste of what’s to come. Try putting a small amount of formula on her lips prior to offering the bottle.

You can find some more transition tips in 'A Guide to Transitioning to Neocate' on this page, which includes tips from a Feeding Specialist.

Do you have any ideas that have helped make for a successful transition from breastfeeding to Neocate? Please feel free to share them here.



Read Comments (8)

  • 2014-09-04 | McCall Cravens

    Hello - I read somewhere that mixing with breastmilk can give it a metallic taste - is this true?  Also, does the taste differ any when Neocate is served cold or warm?  Is it ok to warm up the Neocate in a hot water bath in the bottle once it is prepared? Thank you!

  • 2014-09-05 | Rob McCandlish, RDN

    Hi McCall,
    Interesting question! We’ve never heard about the metallic taste before when mixing with breast milk, but some folks describe amino acid-based formulas like Neocate as slightly metallic. Yes, serving any food or beverage cold will dull flavor notes, so for older individuals an unflavored Neocate may be better served cold. Many infants, though, don’t notice the taste as much, as their palates aren’t fully developed. Finally, you can certainly warm Neocate, we just recommend against using a microwave.
    Based on your questions, you may want to take a look at our ‘A Guide to Transitioning to Neocate’ which can be found here:
    Best of luck!

  • 2015-01-25 | marisa garcia

    So it’s been 3 days of my lo being on neocate nd so far it’s helped in every way but she sometimes has burps wit spit up that seem to gross to her or might have Lil acid in it she seems to hold her breath or can’t swallow it down idk hard to explain but is this normal. I’d rather her do this than constantly be vomiting not spit up vomiting wit any other formula. She does have milk protein allergy nd soy they made me try next nd all she did was vomit nd fuss all day long never slept but wit this everything is so much better except the occasional burps she has.

  • 2015-01-26 | Rob McCandlish, RDN

    Hi Marisa,
      Good question. It’s not unusual for some infants to experience increased reflux when they initially transition to an amino acid-based formula. This can be due to the thinner consistency, the different taste to other formulas, or a combination of the two.
      The best thing to do would be to check with your daughter’s healthcare team for their guidance. They often recommend a 2- or 3-week trial of Neocate, so it may improve in that time frame. Best of luck, and call us with any questions at (800) 365-7354.

  • 2016-06-30 | Kyndal

    My daughter will only take max 4 oz of Neocate. Been on it for a week now, in 24 hrs she takes in total of 19 oz. She is 6 months and 16 lbs. Is this amount okay? If I try mixing breast milk with Neocate she refuses it altogether. It has a very soapy taste mixed together.

  • 2016-07-01 | Nutrition Specialist

    Hi Kyndal,
      4 ounces of formula at a time isn’t unusual, remember every child is unique! It’s hard for us, the Neocate team, to tell you what amount is “okay.” The best thing to do is to ask your healthcare team. They know her medical history and will take a look at how well your daughter is growing and what nutrition she’s getting from Neocate and other sources. If they feel she’s not getting enough nutrition they can suggest ways to make sure she meets her needs. Hang in there!

  • 2017-04-19 | Andrea Jakeman

    We have recently started with Neocate but not having any luck getting her to drink from a bottle. She is nearly 7 months, been breastfed up until now (I’m on a dairy free diet). She outright refuses a bottle, or sippy cup. In the past I’ve tried expressed milk in a bottle which was also refused.
    I have no idea what I can do. My husband is never home in time to bedtime bottle.

  • 2017-04-20 | Nutrition Specialist

    Hi Andrea,
      We’re sorry to hear that you’re having a tough start introducing Neocate. Older infants are often more resistant to change, especially if they’ve been in a stable routine. It may be best to discuss this with the pediatrician to see what suggestions they have. A lot of moms will have had your experience, for example needing to go back to work after a few months. They probably have tips for getting your little one used to the bottle, and it may be rough going the first few tries.
      Best of luck, and hang in there!

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About Us

Food Allergy Living is a resource for parents of children with food allergies, brought to you by Nutricia, the makers of Neocate. For more in-depth information about our purpose & authors, see our About Food Allergy Living page.