Baby formulas are nutritious and an excellent food supplement for your child- Read this article to know more.
A mother’s milk is indeed the best food for a baby, but a variety of milk formulas can also aid your infant’s development.
Some mothers can’t or don’t want to breastfeed their babies, and formula feeding can help them provide the baby with the required nutrients for their growth and good health.
Dealing with children and their food, especially infants, can be wearisome since they are young and growing and can get sick quickly from malnutrition.
It is essential to understand how you can appropriately mix formulas.
This article aims to show you why formula feeding is a good idea and how to make baby formula accurately.
We will also discuss a few of the Best Baby Formula Brands and everything you need to know about baby formula feeding.
Advantages of Baby Formula Feeding
As the baby formula is becoming much more popular these days, sales of them continue to grow. There are a lot of reasons why this product is advantageous.
Breastfeeding is said to create a spiritual bond between a child and a mother.
Unlike breastfeeding, formula feeding does not need to be done by the mother only. Anybody can feed the baby with formula. This also enables the creation of bonds between the baby and the rest of the family.
When a child is solely reliant on breastfeeding, a mother must ensure she is ready and available throughout the entire day and night.
However, with formula feeding, the mother can leave the feeding job to other caregivers; besides, feeding in this way doesn’t require a private nursing place, unlike breastfeeding.
Frequency of Baby Feeding
Babies can digest breast milk very fast, but formula milk takes longer to digest. That means that formula remains in the baby’s tummy for a longer amount of time. So the baby needs to be fed less frequently. As a result, you don’t have to worry about feeding your child too often.
Condition of Mother
The mother’s nutrition has always been a factor for her child’s health as the baby feeds on the mother’s milk. Thanks to formula feeding, now you can enjoy your favorite dishes without worrying about your baby.
Breastfeeding also requires a private nursing place. With formula feeding, you can do it anytime, anywhere.
Mothers need to be extra cautious while taking medications when they are breastfeeding. Since formula feeding is not linked to what the mother consumes, there are no restrictions for medications.
Food Consumption of Baby
You can easily track how much milk the baby is consuming as bottle feeders are marked with volume measurements. And since the labels clearly state each ingredient that goes in the formula, you know exactly what and how much your baby is eating.
Helps with Lactose Intolerance
Babies who are lactose intolerant are allergic to breastmilk. However, thanks to formula feeding, milk supplements with no lactose are being manufactured for these babies. Lactose-intolerant babies have no other source of nutrition but formula milk.
Ease of Travel
Traveling is so much more hassle-free with formula feeding. You can prepare the milk and feed your baby while you are traveling easily. Breastfeeding could be challenging here since many women aren’t comfortable breastfeeding in public transport and need privacy.
Proteins, carbohydrates, and fat are the main constituents of baby formula. Always check the list of ingredients before buying the formula to choose the right kind for your child.
Protein formulas come in both soy-based and dairy-based formulas. Proteins are large molecules, and the size of the protein your baby is consuming is important.
Standard Protein Formula
This type of formula does not process the protein. The proteins it contains are generally larger in size than that of breastmilk. You are looking for words like “whey protein,” “nonfat protein,” or “soy protein isolate” in the ingredient list to know if the formula contains full-sized proteins.
Partially Hydrolyzed Protein Formula
These formulas contain proteins that are comparable in size to breast milk. To look for them, search for words like “partially hydrolyzed.” This formula is particularly good for babies who have problems digesting full-sized proteins.
Fully Hydrolyzed Protein Formula
Proteins here are even smaller in size than partially hydrolyzed ones. This formula is hypoallergenic, which means that it is suitable for babies who cannot digest larger proteins.
Breast milk contains lactose as a carbohydrate. This will be the best formula option for your baby if they have no lactose intolerance.
Lactose-reduced formulas are essential for babies who have digestive problems. Also, babies who just recovered from diarrhea would need lactose-reduced formula. So lactose-reduced formulas, glucose, and sucrose are added as carbohydrates, and both are safe for your baby.
How to Choose a Formula
Always check the ingredient list of any baby formula when picking for your baby. This is the most important thing to do while finding the right formula. Protein mainly affects digestion, so choose the protein carefully and then move on to the carbohydrate in the ingredient list to find the most suitable combination. If you plan to change the formula in the future, this is how to do so.
Specific Points to Consider
Every baby is unique, and there is no “one size fits all” formula for all babies. Which formula would be the best for a baby depends on their health conditions.
If your baby has reflux now and then, you should go for a whey-based protein formula. Milk contains casein and whey as proteins. A higher whey content has been shown to help babies with reflux.
For babies who have eczema, the best choice would be partially hydrolyzed whey protein formula.
If your baby is constantly constipated, you should choose a formula with no palm oil. Check the ingredient list to ensure that there is no palm oil. Palm oil tends to harden stool and hence, worsen constipation.
Similac is the only brand that manufactures formulas without palm oil.
How to Switch Formulas
The stomach of a child is sensitive, and changes can be challenging. So any change made in their diets must not be abrupt.
If you plan to change a formula, you should slowly decrease the amount of the old formula while simultaneously increasing the new one.
Know that it is not guaranteed that your baby will have no negative effects from the new formula.
It takes time to adjust to a new formula, and some formulas just don’t work for some kids. It is best to consult with a nutritionist before you switch to a different formula.
How Much Is Enough?
Every baby has its own unique needs. Their requirements vary with age and growth.
Newborns have tiny stomachs and require 2 to 3 ounces of the formula every 3 to 4 hours.
For a 1-month-old baby, 4 ounces every 4 hours is sufficient. For a 6-month-old baby, you’d have to feed them 6 to 8 ounces 5 times a day.
For a one-year-old, feed 8 ounces along with baby food twice or three times a day.
How to Prepare Formula Feed
Knowing how to prepare the feed accurately is important. Always keep hygiene top of mind when handling baby foods.
Step 1: Take 1 liter of freshwater into a kettle. This water has to be taken freshly, and previously boiled water should not be used.
Step 2: Boil the water and then cool it for half an hour at least.
Step 3: Wash your hands and clean the place of preparation thoroughly. Always remember to maintain good hygiene.
Step 4: Rinse the excess water from the feeder.
Step 5: Pour the water from the kettle into the feeder.
Step 6: Take the required amount of formula into a spoon and put it loosely into the feeder.
Step 7: Shake well to mix the powder with water.
Step 8: Check the temperature of the milk by taking a drop on your palm.
Your formula is now ready to be fed to your baby.
Some Additional Tips
- Always read and follow the instructions printed on the feed’s bottle. They will tell you how much powder to add to what quantity of water.
- Do not add sugar or other ingredients to the formula without consulting a nutritionist.
- Adding too little powder will not nourish your baby properly. Similarly, adding too much of it will make them constipated. So, you should know exactly how much to add.
- Warming the milk in a microwave is a bad idea as it heats the mix unevenly and may burn your child unexpectedly.
- Do not make a large quantity of feed and store it. Bacteria will build up easily and can make your child severely ill. Prepare only as much as one serving requires.
Formula feeding can be an amazing food for your baby if done correctly.
If your baby is sick or you choose not to breastfeed your baby, formula feeding is the best option out there. Handling babies can be tricky, especially if you are a new parent.
This article is a complete guide for formula feed, and following the instructions here will surely help make your job easier.