Most babies are able to breast feed within an hour after birth. It comes natural to them because breast-feeding or nursing as it’s otherwise referred to has plenty of benefits for the baby. Breast milks packs a concoction of nutrients that are vital to the baby’s growth, development and immunity. Medical experts have also found that breast feeding also has a hand in reducing Sudden Infant Death syndrome (SIDS) among other problems. While breastfeeding remains the most beneficial way to feed a child over a period of the first six months, it is also the most economical compared to formula. That does not mean that some mothers don’t deem it necessary to include formula in the menu for their newborns.
There are a couple of reasons why some mothers would supplement breastmilk with formula. For some, they find it necessary when they’re not able to produce enough breast milk to match the demands of their little feeder. For others, it is a case of option more than necessity and others are reduced to formula because of their work situation and the messy nature of expressing milk. Regardless of the reason for you wanting to opt for formula, you have to understand one thing. The development, growth and wellbeing of your child will depend on this. Therefore, it could never be more important for you to make the right decision.
Types of Baby Formulas
There are mainly three different types of formula. Each of the types can be derived from different ingredients to make different types of formula like milk based formulas, specialty baby formulas and even soy based formulas among others. However, each of those formulas will fall in any one of these categories;
These are the most economical and also most affordable types of formulas. They are easy to store because of their powdered nature, are able to last longer and take longer to go bad. They are easy to prepare and only require you to mix one scoop to two ounces of water.
They’re pricier than powders and are generally diluted with equal parts of water. However, they do demand better storage and go bad relatively easily because of the high amounts of proteins that they have. Nevertheless, they are not the most costly and are relatively easier to prepare than the powdered option.
Ready-to-use baby formulas
These are the most convenient and easy to use formulas for babies. However, they have the highest price tag. You can literally pour them into the baby’s bottle and they’re ready to be fed. As much as they’re the most convenient, they also tend to go bad quick and as a result demand proper care and budgeting. You can’t buy too many of them for stock since they might go bad before the baby can consume them.
With baby formula and especially when it is your first time, you will definitely need to have more than just the types formula that are available in the market. You need to know as much as possible when dipping your toes in the market. Your baby’s life and future depends on it. While some of the lessons can only be impacted by experience, knowing what to look for and how to formula can save you a huge chunk of the trouble and give your results that you can actually be happy about. Here are a few tips that will definitely save you from most of the rookie formula mistakes and might potentially save the life of your child.
How to use Baby Formula Safely
Get the ratios right
Mixing baby formula does not require you to be a scientist. However, it does require you to pay extra attention to the ratios of formula to water to make sure that your baby is getting just about the right amount nutrients which is quite critical. You want your baby to have the right balance of nutrients and this will largely depend on your ability to mix the formula in the right ratio.
Check the expiration date
One of the most important things is to make sure that you don’t serve your child an expired product. With their infant immunity system, it would be impossible for them to overcome the effects. There is a requirement that has been put up by the FDA that requires all the infant manufacturers to inspect each batch and ensure that they have an appropriate use-by date. When you’re shopping in a rush, it might be tempting for you to just want to grab the can and makea run for it but checking the expiry date can prove to be very time and cost saving. If you’re doing this for the first time, you should first try and establish a feeding routine before can decide it is time to stock up.
Keep the cans cool but not frozen
A great proportion of baby formula is protein and other ingredients that are very sensitive to heat or cold. As such, you should not place the recently bought cans or any that you intend to feed to your child in a chilly place like in the freezer or near hot areas like close to the oven. The best place would be to choose a nice shelf that is far away from any heating ducts and stack your formula cans there. The ideal temperature for this would be between 55 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. This way, you not only ensure that the cans stay fresh for longer but you also ensure that the ingredients also keep their benefits and are not changed in any way.
It is also important to keep in mind that once you have opened a can of powdered formula, you should use it within a month regardless of the expiry date that has been printed on the can.
Don’t buy formula in dented cans
When buying formula, check to make sure that the can has not been dented in any way. There are a number of reasons why this could be hazardous. The first and the most likely, the dent appearing on the outside might have cracked the tin seal inside. The liquid part of the formula can then cause the exposed tin to rust hence causing food poisoning for your child. On the other hand, the dent could have also created a small hole in the can. This would introduce foreign air into the can severely reducing the shelf life of the formula. Even though the might indicate it might still be good for another six months, because of the air passing through the small hole created by the dent could make it go bad a lot sooner and in most instances you would never be able to notice.
Other than knowing what to look for when buying formula, you also have to know of the right protocol that you should follow when preparing and feeding the child formula. This quick five step check list should take care of that and ensure that you have the best possible experience with formula same to your baby.
Wash your equipment well: If your baby is younger than 3 months, you need to sterilize their feeding equipment. This would include the bottles, nipples, measuring cups, rings and even spoons. There are experts that advice sanitation even when the baby is older but in most instances, if the water in your locality is safe, then washing the pieces in clean running water should be more than enough. The best time to wash and sanitize the baby’s feeding items is after they have just finished using them. Just to be safe, you can run everything through the dishwasher then try to get into the tough areas by hand.
Clean and dry the top of the can: Since the cans are best stored in a shelf or cabinet, there is bound to be dust and spilled liquids that might have made their way to the lid of the can. Before you open it, clean it and dry it. This reduces chances of cross-contamination. It would also be a great idea to make sure that you also clean the can opener before you can use it.
Wash your hands: Once you have all the equipment that you will use ready, wash your hands once again with soap and water for about 20 seconds then dry them with a paper towel. Your kitchen towel might not be the best thing to use to clean your hands. In most cases, they are riddled with bacteria and this makes it easier for you to pass these on to your child’s meal.
Follow instructions: There are a number of factors that might affect the water to formula ratio that you can use while preparing the formula. One of these are the different types of manufacturers and whether the formula is powder or liquid based. You have to make sure that you read the label and follow the instructions to the latter. If you use too little water, you will make the baby’s little kidneys have to work harder trying to escape dehydration. On the other hand, if you put too much water, you will deprive the baby of any calories and other nutrients that they were supposed to enjoy. Which is why you have to make sure that you have the proper ratio.
Always use clean and safe water: The last step in your five-step checklist is the quality of water you use in the preparation of the mixture. The reason why this would be the case is that, you don’t want to go through all those processes only to mess it up in the last step. If you happen to use tap water and your local health department says it is safe, then you can go for it. Alternatively, you can also use bottled water. If you use water from a private well whose safety you’re not sure of, you should first boil it and let it cool down before using it.
You should be able to buy your first can of baby formula and prepare it properly without much problems based on that information. However, the purchasing part is not complete until you’re sure that you have the best formula for you baby. Instead of taking you through the rigorous and deep process of all the formulas that are available in the market and what each one of them has to offer, here are some of the best that have been handpicked for you. All you have to do is go through the reviews and you should be able to pick a couple that you will find would work wonders for your baby.
Top 5 Best Baby Formulas 2018
Some parents understand the need to breastfeed their little one. They also realize the need to supplement to introduce the child to new and different flavors that offer the same or even better benefits. For a parent that is looking for a powder formula that serves as a great supplement this would be a worthy selection.
This particular formula is great for children from birth up to the time they’re about 12 months. It has a great ix of nutrients that include comfort proteins, small proteins and a unique blend of DHA and probiotics that are important components found in breast milk for the best development of the baby.
Since not many parents would like to introduce their babies to GMO products at a tender age, it is another great reason to buy this formula. It is not made from any ingredients that are genetically engineered. You also get a 24 hour support infrastructure that you can rely on for any questions that you might have.
Because the product is powder form, it lasts longer and can make up to 40, 4 fluid ounce bottles. That gives you value for money especially considering that this is a 22 ounce contain. Other benefits that are associated with this formula is the articulate list of ingredients that it offers that are comprehensive and beneficial to the baby.
However, you will have to put up with mixing the formula and you have to do this in the right proportions which is synonymous with all the powder formulas. Other than that, this is great formula that will go along way in improving the development and growth of the little one.
2. Similac Advance Infant Formula with Iron Powder
Most experts advice when you don’t know much about baby formula, the best way to go about it would be to align yourself with a reputable company. If you’re one of those parents that is finding trouble getting the right formula, then going by the reputation of the manufacturer would be a better to give yourself some surety. Similac happens to be one of the top baby formula manufacturers in the country which is what makes this product such a stand out.
Other than being the baby of a giant company that has been in operation for a long time, the formula has other benefits that makes it even better. Among these is a unique mixture known as the OptiGRO. It is a blend of DHA, Vitamin E and Lutein all of which are important ingredients that are prominent in breast milk. They are essential in the growth and development of the child.
The product has also been optimized to support and develop the immune system of the baby. It also helps to develop the eyes and the brain of the child as well as build stronger bones. These are critical areas to the baby that take a lot of resources in terms of nutrients and this baby formula contains that and more. For the sake of the wellbeing of the baby’s dige
stive system which is quite liable to suffer from indigestion from time to time. To help with this, the product also comes with prebiotics that help with promoting digestive health.
If you want to be able to buy your child formula that looks as close to breast milk as possible, this would be the best option for you. From the ingredients to the benefits there is plenty to like about this formula for babies.
Some of the benefits that the baby and you can get to enjoy include the fact that it can be used for the first year of the baby’s development from birth. It is also a great product because it comes in packages that can be used for up to one month.
On the downside, you might have to pay a little more for this formula but you will be getting value for your money and aligning yourself with a guru in the world of baby formula.
3. Enfamil Infant Baby Formula
Another great formula company and another great formula that vast features that offer the baby almost the same benefits as breast milk. Some of the features that this formula has to offer include a Neuro Complete TM formula that features some important nutrients that helping in nourishing the brain like iron and DHA. It also has dual prebiotics to help with the body’s natural defenses. The formula has been made to support most babies through their first year and is the closest to breast milk that Enfamil have gotten thus far. It is also worth mentioning that this formula comes highly recommended by pediatricians.
With these features, you’re able to enjoy a couple of benefits that include having a wholesome product for your baby, the product is affordable and above all, you get a formula that is close to breast milk both in terms of nutrient composition as well as taste.
If you have not mastered the feeding trends of your baby, you might want to do that first before you buy this because it comes in packages of three. You don’t want to have to throw anything away because it has taken too long before it can be consumed.
4. Similac Advance Infant Formula with Iron
For a company that has created the same reputation as Similac when it comes to baby formula, you would expect them to feature more than once when it comes to the top products in their line of work. The case is not any different here and they have managed to greatly uphold their standards. Like many of their other formulas, this also comes with many nutrients and ingredients that are aimed at helping the baby grow and develop in the best way possible.
The first year of your baby is the most critical and he needs all the nutrients that he can get to grow healthy and strong. This formula is designed to offer your baby with that kick starter experience. The OptiGRO formula has a wide collection of nutrients that help in different aspects of the growth and development of the child. These include Vitamin E, Lutein and DHA. For babies that have a sensitive tummy, this could also be a great product. It comes with a tummy care guarantee and if you find that you child has a problem with this, you can return that and try another of their great products for free.
There is no doubt that dealing with a reputable company has benefits that are attached to it. Among them are the ability to try another product if this one does not work for your baby as well refunds that are guided with their terms and conditions. With this product, the child is also able to enjoy the different nutrients and the benefits that they all have to offer.
It would be hard to pick one consistent negative area on this one since there are any that are hard to come by.
5. Earth’s Best Organic Infant Formula with Iron
For parents that are in love with organic products, this is the best formula for you and your baby. It is designed for babies that are under one year until they hit their first birthday. The most impressive feature on this product is the whey/casein ratio that is almost identical to that found in breast milk. Other nutrients that are present in the mild include Vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates as well as essential fatty acids and DHA which are all critical in the development of the baby.
The formula also contains glucose, lactose all of which are organic and help in the development of the eyes and brain. The beauty of this product is that it does not come with artificial colors or flavors or preservative. It does not contain growth hormones either which makes it that much better for kids.
The fact that you get formula that does not have all the additives that make formula a huge concern for parents, that is a huge positive takeaway. The wide collection of nutrients available is also a great benefit not to mention that the product has been certified.
Because the product does not have any preservatives, this only means that it can go bad really fast which is a downside since you can’t stock on it.
Providing nutrition for your baby for the past year is very critical. Not only will it keep their tummy from growling and making them upset but these are the building blocks for their tiny bodies. You need to make sure that you have the right tools and above all the right formula. With these reviews, you should be able to find one that you’re going to like.