Baby Formula is a life-saving invention for without it, there would be no way to feed your baby if you couldn’t produce breastmilk. But there are so many of them which makes it hard to decide: how to choose baby formula?
- How to choose baby formula?
- Types of Baby Formula
- What to Know About Baby Formula
- Things to Avoid with Formula Feeding
While it’s recommended to breast feed exclusively for the first 6 months of a baby’s life¹ , some moms don’t have that option or they choose not to. For moms that aren’t breastfeeding, baby formula nourishes your baby and gives him what he needs to grow.
But really, it doesn’t matter why you’re going with formula. What matters is feeding your baby when he’s hungry. You’ll want to focus on giving your child him those nutrients he needs. If you’re unable to breastfeed in those first few hours and days, formula is critical to fueling your baby.
For moms that aren’t breastfeeding, baby formula nourishes your baby and gives him what he needs to grow.
Most newborns are able to use any standard formula, though some will make their preferences known. If you have a preemie though, you should go with what the NICU ( Neonatal Intensive Care Unit ) recommends you use. The NICU² publishes updates its recommendation regarding how to choose baby formula every year.
How to choose baby formula?
Types of Baby Formula
As a new mom, things can be pretty hectic. If you planned on breastfeeding and can’t, you’re now standing in a supermarket aisle with tons of choices for formula.
Here’s a rundown of what you’ll find:
You mix this with filtered water to create the formula. It’s a cheap option though it can be messy and isn’t the best for preemies.
– Liquid concentrate
You’ll still need to mix and shake it with water but since it’s liquid, there’s no mess like powder creates. It’s more expensive though and you need to refrigerate any that remains. Also, it must be used within 48 hours of mixing or else you’re wasting it.
– Ready-to-feed formula
The easiest option and the most expensive one too. You don’t need to refrigerate any unopened bottles but once you open them, the same rules as liquid concentrate baby formula apply.
What to Know About Baby Formula
Always ask your pediatrician for recommendations on formula, especially if your baby has an allergy. For most babies, one made from cow’s milk will be fine, but if it doesn’t agree with your child, you can use a soy formula or other option, like a hydrolyzed formula.
There are so many of them (baby formula) which makes it hard to decide: how to choose baby formula?
There are some formulas with probiotics and prebiotics in them. Early studies about these benefits are promising but having a recommendation from your doctor is best for choosing one of these. For all formula, choose one fortified with iron (unless otherwise guided by your doctor). Iron is a key nutrient your baby needs to prevent anemia.
Things to Avoid with Formula Feeding
Whatever you’re recommended for formula, be careful of the following:
– Use clean water
Either choose purified bottled water or boil tap water and allow it to cool.
– Watch your measurements
Follow the instructions for preparation on the formula for power and liquid choices. For ready-to-go formulas, you can simply give it to your baby as-is.
– Never warm it in the microwave
This results in uneven heating. You should submerge the baby bottle in warm water for several minutes or run hot water on it from the tap.
– Use the right bottles
Bottles can control flow and help your baby feed properly. Make sure you fill the nipple with formula to keep your baby from gulping air and getting gassy.
– Never use expired formula
Those dates are there for a reason. As a matter of fact, the FDA requires baby formula manufactures to not only use the “Best by date”, but also ass “Use by day” so the message will be more strict. If the formula expired don’t use it and don’t take the chance!