Being a new parent is overwhelming. Plus, when you have an abundance of information floating on the internet, choosing a baby formula to feed your baby can often become quite a difficult decision.
But don’t worry! We are here to make this decision easier for you. It’s common for first-time parents to come across negative feedback, especially from pediatricians and experienced mothers, about feeding their child formula.
Remember, whether you choose to breastfeed or feed your baby formula, both are known to be healthy choices, as long as your newborn’s hunger is met.
Here are eight important things to consider when you are opting for baby formula. Keep reading.
According to mom loves best, there are many concerns that need to be addressed by first-time parents. One of the prime factors includes the nutritional value of your baby’s formula.
Your baby formula must contain nutrients that are necessary for the baby’s healthy growth and development. You have to check the list of ingredients on the packaging of the formula. It must contain calcium, iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and essential protein and carbohydrates.
For example, calcium strengthens your baby’s bones, while the iron is known to carry oxygen across your baby’s organs and muscles. You also want to make sure that your baby’s formula has ample protein and carbs to give them the energy for sufficient growth.
A good formula brand will also include folates to divide the brain cells and fats for your child’s healthy brain development.
Taking care of newborns is not an easy task. Understanding their needs and discomfort requires a trial and error process. Especially, when you are trying to match the right formula to suit your baby.
Fortunately, there are many options of baby formulas available in the market, the cow’s milk-based one being the most popular.
Baby formula made from cow’s milk is a great choice for infants unless your baby is allergic to proteins in the formula mix, and has a hard time digesting it. Lactose or protein allergy requires you to find alternate baby formulas to feed your baby.
For such cases, you need to opt for soy milk-based baby formulas containing soy protein. This is also suitable for infants with lactose intolerance.
There are infants who cannot tolerate soy-milk or soy-based formulas too. Due to the concentration of the mix, they find it difficult to digest it. In this case, you’d have to get your hands on special hydrolyzed baby formulas. This is very common among premies and infants that require special needs attention.
Formula feeding is a choice for some mothers, while a necessity for many. As we mentioned, getting through the first moments of parenthood is complicated.
Many mothers are unable to nurse their newborns due to a lack of milk supply and lactation issues. Breastfeeding has magical benefits for a baby’s healthy growth and development, but if breastfeeding is not an option, then baby formula is the next best option.
However, you should not make this transition before six months if you are able to nurse your baby, even if you’re tempted to do so.
Please note that both are healthy ways to feed your baby, and as a new parent, it’s important that you make the decision based on your baby’s nutritional requirements.
There are three different types or forms of baby formulas – powders, concentrated liquid mix, and ready-to-feed formulas.
The powdered formula is the most popular one due to being the least expensive. It is also easily available. They are also known to have a longer shelf-life.
Concentrated formulas are also easy to find in most stores, and have a similar price point as powered formulas. For some infants with a weak digestive system, concentrated formulas are the better choice, as they are easier to digest.
Ready-to-use formulas are convenient, as they are already prepared for you to feed your baby. There’s no preparation involved in this kind of baby formula. However, they are pricier than other ones.
Firstly, you have to ensure that your baby’s formula is sterilized before the first use. It means that you have to submerge the feeding bottle in boiling water on a stove.
Please carefully remove the bottle using tongs, to avoid germ contamination. You only need to do this once. After the first use, you can continue to wash it with regular water and soap.
Baby formulas ideally should be served at room temperature. It can also be served cold. You can, however, try to warm the bottle after preparing the formula – perhaps in a bowl of warm water or keep it wrapped in a hot towel.
But make sure that it’s not too hot. Otherwise, it can burn your baby’s throat.
You must get your doctor’s suggestions before you go out hunting for baby formulas. Make sure the selected formula has all the nutritional requirements for your baby’s physical and brain development.
As explained above, your baby may struggle to digest cow-milk-based formula, as the protein content can be difficult on your baby’s little kidneys.
Be sure to check for any changes in behavior, cries, poop, and skin after feeding your baby the desired formula. If you notice any issues, make sure you consult your pediatrician.
Firstly, check the flow of the bottle. It’s best to stick to the same brand of baby bottles and nipples. They usually fit together and allow the milk to flow easily.
Many new parents wonder if their baby is really being able to suck the nipple properly for a smooth flow. Hence, they often pierce the nipple hole. This is a huge mistake and can lead to babies choking on milk.
However, it’s important to check that the cap is tight and that the silicon nipple fits inside your baby’s mouth.
While trying to feed your baby, you have to be careful that he/she does not inhale excess air, as it can cause colic, gas, and bloating in babies.
Never ever keep or reuse leftovers. Formula feeds are meant to be thrown away after your baby has had it, even if there’s some leftover. It’s not safe to leave the leftover to feed your baby later on.
Yes, your baby can take small breaks in between feeds, which is completely fine. But remember to keep your bottle head covered when they do so.
If you are contemplating transitioning your baby from breastfeeding to formula feeding, or are a first-time parent looking for formula brands to ensure your newborn is growing properly, make sure you seek your baby’s doctor for advice.
Monitoring your baby closely is among the most important things to consider when you’re opting for baby formula. Remember, it’s common for babies to reject or refuse bottles due to the taste and due to ailments such as stomach irritations. You can always switch the brand of formula to suit your baby’s needs. Good luck!