Best infant formula for breastfed babies
The most common infant formulas are cow’s milk based or soy based.To date, none of these have matched breast milk. If you are using formula, your pediatrician will determine which formula is best for your baby.
Unacceptable formulas include regular store-bought cow’s milk, evaporated (canned) milk, goat, soy, rice, or almond milk. Cow’s milk, in particular, is an unsuitable substitute for breast milk because of its very different composition and allergenic nature. Store-bought milk, especially soy and almond, can be highly allergenic and do not contain enough protein or fat to allow the baby to thrive. Goat’s milk is more easily digested than cow’s milk but does not make a suitable infant formula as it is deficient in folic acid and iron.
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Choosing a best infant formula for breastfed babies
You’ve made the decision to offer your infant formula, so how do you choose a formula? While the number of choices may seem overwhelming, your formula options basically amount to the following.
Milk-based formulas are recommended for full-term and pre-term infants who don’t have any special nutritional needs. They are made from regular cow’s milk, but much of the protein found in cow’s milk has to be removed so that babies’ livers and kidneys can digest the formula. There is also a new generation of hydrolyzed cow’s milk formulas available for babies who have had difficulty digesting the protein in cow’s milk. (The protein is predigested.)
Soy protein formulas
Soy formulas are recommended for infants who are lactose intolerant, who have a milk-protein allergy, or who cannot drink standard cow’s milk-based formula for other (religious or cultural) reasons. These formulas are derived from soy protein rather than cow’s milk protein. Soy protein is not a suitable choice for all infants, however, as some babies are allergic to soy and some animal studies have indicated that exposure to soy may have long-term effects on the fertility and sexual development of rats. (No such effects have been found in humans, but these kinds of studies tend to make people, especially parents, understandably nervous, so some parents have decided to steer clear of soy for now.)
Formula for premature infants
These types of formulas are designed to encourage rapid growth in premature babies.
There are a variety of specialized formulas designed to meet the needs of infants with metabolism problems, heart disease, and other medical conditions. Some of the more specialized formulas are available only by doctor’s prescription.
Enfamil Gentlease infant formula helps ease fussiness, crying, and gas within 24 hours, while also providing the nutrition your baby needs for healthy growth and development
Most formulas are fortified with iron (critical for infant development) and some manufacturers are now adding DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and ARA (arachidonic acid), also known as omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. These fatty acids are known to contribute to brain and eye development; DHA and ARA naturally occur in breast milk.
Shaken and Stirred a formula milk for infants
Some babies have become seriously ill because their parents didn’t understand how to mix, store, and heat infant formula. If you intend to give your baby infant formula, review the instructions below and carefully research the formula preparation instructions for each brand of formula. Here are the key points to remember:
- Read the formula preparation instructions carefully. If you over-dilute your baby’s formula, she won’t be getting enough calories per serving. If her formula is under-diluted, your baby’s biochemistry could be thrown seriously out of whack, leading to dehydration and kidney problems.
Pay careful attention to hygiene when you’re preparing and storing infant formula. Sterilize all feeding equipment until your baby is at least five months old. Boil your formula-making supplies for about five minutes. Then tightly seal and refrigerate the prepared bottles of formula in the refrigerator. Use all formula within 24 hours. Discard any unfinished formula from your baby’s bottle.
- Don’t change from one formula to another, just because a particular brand is on sale. If you find a brand that agrees with your baby, stick with that brand. It’s worth paying a little extra to give your baby some gastrointestinal stability.
- We recommend reading the article: Best baby formula brands for breastfed babies reviews
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