Ideally, mothers will not have any problems with breastfeeding until their child’s first birthday since the American Academy of Pediatrics highly recommends it. Well, that’s in a perfect world. Breast milk is rich in nutrients, which is what our babies need.
However, there are times when mothers feel sore and painful breasts due to the babies feeding on it. They also need a break. Some working mothers are also unfortunate that some offices aren’t breast pump ready. Some mothers are sickly or are undergoing treatment. Babies need their milk, so despite all these challenges, mothers need to find a way to supply it for their young ones.
Baby formula has been improved over the years, adding more nutritional ingredients to resemble breast milk closely. These milk formulas have carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and varieties of proteins from animal’s milk. Some are from soy or goat’s milk. Most baby formula has DHA or also known as probiotics.
The FDA strictly regulates the contents. The United States Food and Drug Administration ensures that nutrients found in all infant formulas are acceptable. Baby formulas come in varying levels of nutrients, and most of the time, there are only a few grams of difference. Still, it does affect a mother’s buying decision or the pediatrician’s advice. Read on to know more about the many types of formulas to help you decide on which is best for your baby.
Kinds Of Baby Formula
There are plenty of choices, and it can be very confusing. To start with, let’s get to know the types of infant formula: liquid concentrate, powder, and the ones called feeding-ready. Some mothers prefer one or two types depending on their choice, but it is always better to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each of the formula types.
Powdered Baby Formula
This type is the most common baby formula and stored in cartons or canisters. It is supposed to be diluted with water as instructed on the directions.
Most brands are not too expensive, and some are affordable. Most people can afford it.
When it is not yet in the water, the product lasts a few months but have a habit of checking the expiration date.
When trying to fix a bottle of milk, it can become a bit messy, especially when you’re mobile or traveling.
Some brands sell travel packs, but that’s an added cost, and it becomes expensive.
You may have more to wash – the scoop and the milk powder container is extra washing work.
Ensure that the water is clean.
Powder formula is not suggested for premature babies because powder food is not safe.
Baby Formula Liquid Concentrate
This type also needs water, no scooping the formula with just a bit of mixing and bottle shaking.
It is less messy because there’s no scooping involved.
It has a higher cost than powdered milk.
The milk needs to be refrigerated in 48 hours once opened, which may be an issue if it is a breastmilk supplement.
Ready-To-Consume Baby Formula
No scooping here too. You just have to open the bottle and feed the milk to your baby.
This milk is the easiest to prepare among all the types of formulas.
It has a minimum level of contamination at the same time, almost zero mess when it comes to preparation.
Unopened bottles are still safe, and there’s no need to have it refrigerated.
Well, it may be the most convenient baby formula, but it is also very costly. At most, this type of milk formula can be around 35% more expensive than the powdered version.
If the bottle has is open, then it has to be consumed or refrigerated around 48 hours.
Top Baby Formula
Some babies may have particular needs, so we really cannot rely on just about any milk formula offered in the market. Your hospital may provide you with a milk formula along with the baby-care package that is from the cow’s milk protein. Its nutrients are closely similar to breast milk nutrients. However, you may need to consider trying other formula types, which could be better for your baby’s health.
Newborns Best Baby Formula
It is always necessary that newborns get breast milk. Breast milk nutrients change based on the growing needs of the baby, while milk formulas have fixed ingredients. However, if the situation calls for it, milk formula can still be fed to healthy newborns. Premature babies are the exception. Those born between 28 up to 32 weeks need breastfeeding, or if the mother is unable to provide it, the NICU or the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit will look for a breast milk donor. Your pediatrician will also recommend the right feeding routine.
Nevertheless, for premature babies born between 32 to 37 weeks or for those full-term babies who are underweight, try also Similac NeoSure Formula for Premature Babies or Enfamil EnfaCare Infant Formula. These are helpful for newborns with issues that need proteins, calories, vitamins, and minerals. Also, they have ARA and DHA that supports the baby’s eye health and the brain. Though they have little difference in formulation, the two brands have two similar nutrients.
Breastfed Babies Best Baby Formula
Although there’s no such thing as the best baby formula, there are brands that offer something unique or a little more than others.
One of them is Similac for Supplementation Infant Formula, which has 10% more prebiotics. Prebiotics are responsible for softening the baby’s stool, and some mothers may need this type of formula to make sure that their babies won’t have a hard time when pooping.
Babies should get breastfeeding as much as possible. Mothers who are not able to breastfeed for too long may eventually be unable to supply milk to their babies anymore. The milk ducts will produce less milk since it detects that there’s no more demand to produce milk. Breast pumps should happen once in a while to ensure a continuous supply of breastmilk.
Best Baby Formula Organic
These organic baby formulas are from cows that have a natural diet. However, even though it is natural, they may still have ARA and DHA, corn syrup. Some parents do not prefer Hexane, a petroleum refining byproduct, but it is considered safe as a processing agent by the FDA. There’s no conclusive study that proves that organic baby formula is far better than the others. What is apparent is that it is more expensive, and your baby gets the same nutrients as other formulas.
Some of the best organic formula is Plum Organics Infant Formula which uses lactose as carbohydrate. However, it contains hexane-sourced Omega-3s (it is safe.) Next is the Honest Company Organic Infant Formula, which doesn’t contain extracted components, but it has glucose syrup. Lastly, we have Similac Organic Baby Formula, which tastes sweeter but does not contain palm oil at all. The sweetness comes from organic sugar, that is a worry for some parents.
If you have a tight budget and you feel that organic formula is the best for your baby, then you can try the cheapest one, which is Earth’s Best Organic Infant Formula. Some mothers rated it at three stars, but it is the most affordable of all at around $22 for a 23.2-ounce can.
Best Baby Formula For Colic
If your baby has gastrointestinal issues, then you may need to switch to a suitable formula. A visit to your pediatrician will identify if the baby has a protein allergy or any problems with digestion.
Some formula to consider is Gerber Good Start Soothe Powder Infant Formula. This one contains whey protein, which is easier to digest compared to casein proteins. It also has L. reuteri, which is the probiotic that could help colic.
Another one is the Similac Alimentum Infant Formula. The first one didn’t work, formulas with carefully hydrolyzed proteins may be able to assist. Its protein content will be good for your baby’s immune system since it breaks down into smaller units. It doesn’t have palm oil as well to avoid stiffening your baby’s stools.
Only babies diagnosed with a full-on milk protein allergy should consider switching to the fully hydrolyzed formula since they have a foul smell and somehow tastes bitter. Bear in mind that babies with a full-on milk protein allergy can also be allergic to soy proteins.
Best Baby Formula For Baby Gas Problems
For some reason, babies can be extremely gassy. Before changing formulas, make sure that the babies are fed upright with their heads above the tummy. Try to check their bottle nipple if the milk is flowing slowly. If you are using powder milk formula, allow the bubbles subside first before feeding the milk to your baby.
The liquid concentrate can be a better option as well. Bottles that are vented or angled are recommended more compared to regular shaped bottles for gassy babies. After the feeding, try to help your baby with his burping.
Some of the recommended formulas in the market are Similac Total Comfort Non-GMO Infant Formula, which is low-lactose and partially hydrolyzed. Total Comfort is a non-GMO formula that is preferred by most mothers with baby gas issues.
Best Baby Formula For Baby Constipation
Since babies poop, while lying down, this can cause strain to some babies lasting for about 10 minutes. If your baby poop much less, then it is possible that your baby is constipated. Before buying a different milk formula, try to ease your baby by adding an ounce of apple to the formula. Also, when pooping, try to move his legs as if pedaling a bicycle.
Enfamil Reguline Infant Formula has received many positive online reviews as the best formula for constipated babies. It has hydrolyzed protein and two prebiotics for easier digestion.
Best And Most Economical Baby Formula
Protein, fats, and carbohydrates are the core contents of all milk formulas, may it be generic or branded. This one is a requirement by the FDA, and if you do not see any them on the generic formula list of nutrients, then it may be too risky to feed your baby.
There is also a lot of variation of generic baby formula to choose from, just like the brand-name formulas. There’s a generic edition of Gerber Good Start you can try. Another one is Kroger Comforts for Baby Tender Formula, which has a lot of lactose content, less corn syrup and has all the essential nutrients.
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