Choosing And Using Baby Formula
While talking about feeding your baby, breastfeeding is generally considered the best option. However, in some cases, it might not be the option at hand, as the milk supply for the mother might be less or there might be some other medical or non-medical reasons. In such cases, it might be a good idea to introduce your baby to other food, apart from breast milk, to ensure overall development. There is a wide range of formula feeding options if you are willing to try for your baby.
Let us go through some of the things one should keep in mind while choosing a baby formula.
Even though breastfeeding is considered the best option, various medical concerns may prevent a new mother from breastfeeding. Besides medical reasons some moms do not choose to breastfeed as it may get too difficult or stressful. Some of the primary reasons why most mothers are choosing formula over breastfeeding are highlighted below:
- Convenience. Both the parents can get involved in the feeding experience and another caregiver, like the babysitter, grandparent or nanny can feed the baby a bottle at any time and this allows mom to share the responsibility, enabling the father to feel more involved.
- Time and frequency: Formula is not as digestible as compared to breast milk and due to this; the formula-fed babies usually do not need to be fed often as they remain full for longer compared to breastfed babies.
- Diet. Since the mother is formula feeding, she doesn't have to watch closely what she is eating, as it is an integral part of the child’s diet too.
As with the process of breastfeeding, formula feeding also comes with a few challenges which are highlighted below:
- Missing antibodies. No formula feed can replicate the antibodies found in breast milk, which provides the baby with the added protection against infection and illness that breast milk does.
- Static: Mother’s milk is complex in the way that the milk changes as the baby's needs change, which is yet to be done by the formula milk. reword
- Prepping: Unlike breast milk, formula feed needs to be prepared and served at the right temperature. And if you run out of formula milk, it means another run to the store. Also, the bottles, nipples, and vessels used need to be sterilized, clean and ready to go.
- Expense. The formula does not come cheap. and you need to shell out a significant amount in the name of feeding the child every month. If you are buying specialty formulas, the cost increases further.
- Gas and constipation. Not in all cases, but most formula fed babies have a higher risk of having more gas and constipation.
Things to remember while choosing formula
Go for the Brand Name
The formula isn’t the place to look for a bargain, so buy the kind which is most used. Even though most formulas have a similar ingredient list, a renowned brand would have done extensive research into clinical outcomes with babies and are hence accountable.
Approach Cow's Milk gently
Most of the formulas are cow milk based. It is recommended not to give cow’s milk to babies until 1 year of age. However, most of the formulas are appropriately adjusted with proteins, fat, and carbohydrate to suit the human infant. While a little bit of liquid cow's milk in a cooked dish is fine for infants six to 12 months, The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology and The American Academy of Pediatrics caution against offering cow's milk to your baby as a beverage till the time the baby turns 12 months old. Cow's milk, unlike the breast-milk or formula, contains no iron and can, in turn, increase a child's risk of developing anemia.
The Label Check is Important
It is essential to check the label because brands are less likely to deliver what they claim. They also bring out new additions and variations, which helps to boost nutritional value.
Specific Formula Needs
Every baby is different from one another and so are their internal systems. This is why it is important to adhere to their specific needs and avoid a particular type of formula feeding, which they are allergic to, by talking to a pediatrician.
You can either mixed feed or formula feed your baby for your child's best development. Choosing the best baby formula is important, and it depends on your baby's acceptability and developmental progress. Be in touch with your doctor and take suggestion before choosing a particular formula over the other.