For new moms thinking about starting their infant on formula feeding, a lot of questions may immediately come to mind. These include: when is it safe to start using baby formula, what’s in the formula?, how often should I be feeding? It may also be intimidating to select the right baby formula because of the wide variety of brands and types available. In this article, we will be tackling the basics of what formula feeding is and how to properly and safely introduce it to your infant. Our goal is to help you become more informed on proper infant nutrition. We also want to help guide you through the different types of baby formula and what special benefits they may offer.
Formula vs Breast Milk
Often, the first concern is when to substitute breast milk with baby formula. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first 6 months of life. Breast milk contains complete nutrition, nutrients, and added benefits the baby needs for the first year of life. Breast milk also contains natural antibodies that help develop the infant’s early immune system. Immediate breastfeeding helps prevent hypothermia. Breastfeeding also helps develop a bond between mother and infant.
However, for some mothers, it may be difficult to do regular constant breastfeeding. It could be either due to difficulty producing sufficient amounts of breastmilk or time constraints. This is where baby formula becomes a possible alternative. Baby Formulas have been around for a long time. They are carefully manufactured and nutritionally balanced to help provide all the necessary calories and nutrients an infant will need during their early development.
While it is still encouraged to breastfeed as much as possible during the first few weeks of life, you may start slowly introducing baby formula. Some recommend adding formula milk to breast milk in increasing amounts per meal so the baby becomes used to its taste and consistency.
Types of Baby Formulas
There are 3 main types of baby formulas. They are categorized by what was used as the base for the formula.
Cow Milk Based
This type of formula is made from cow milk that has been altered to more closely matched natural breast milk. It is packed with nutrients and calories that are essential for good development. While they are easy to digest for most infants, it may be a problem for those who have developed allergic reactions to the proteins found in cow’s milk.
Soy-based formulas provide a good alternative for infants who are allergic to the proteins found in cow’s milk. It derives its carbohydrates from soy, as well as corn. It does not contain any lactose.
This has been specially formulated to have proteins broken down making it easier to digest for babies. It ensures that the proteins that cause allergic reactions and upset tummies aren’t present. It also serves as a good alternative to both cow milk and soy-based formulas.
Types of Baby Formula Preparations
Baby Formulas generally come in 3 different types of preparations. Choosing the right one depends on how much you wanna store and time you have to prepare it.
Powdered preparations are easy to store. The powder must be carefully measured then added to water as advised in the instructions. It takes a couple of minutes to prepare
These formulas are already in liquid form but must still be mixed with water and shaken. It is generally faster and less messy to prepare as compared to powdered formulas
This is the most convenient among the three. These formulas come in pre-measured portions and can be given to the infant directly without needing extra preparation. However, it is also the most costly and harder to store.
Benefits to Look For
Some baby formulas come with added beneficial nutrients and minerals that help promote better growth and development. Formulas that are iron-fortified are important especially for infants who are no longer breastfeeding. Some enhanced formulas contain the amino acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (ARA) which help eyesight and brain development.
BuyMedical.com only carries pediatrician-recommended trusted brands of baby formula to ensure you are getting the best and safest choices for your child. Browse our wide selection of available baby formula to help find the appropriate one for the needs of your growing infant. Get the best deals and offers when purchasing a ready supply of baby formulas to help give your infant what they need for proper nutrition and better growth and development.