Whether to feed a kid with formula or breast milk depends on different reasons. It could be an infectious disease, allergy, lack of milk, etc. In general, there are many reasons why a family starts bottle feeding. In such cases, the most important decision for parents is to choose the best and most nutritious food for a newborn so that it grows and gains weight well. So let’s define what rules should be followed to pick up the right milk formula.
Types of Existing Formula
Before we start, let’s define the types of formulas. Each infant milk is divided into partially or completely adapted. If its basic content is as close as possible to breast milk, the formula is considered fully adapted. There are several types of baby food:
- powdered formula retains its basic properties much longer and is a little cheaper
- liquid or ready-to-use. This type has the advantage that such a formula does not need to be specially prepared and diluted, but its; storage time is longer than the first type
Pay Attention to the Content
Before buying any formula, you must carefully study its composition:
- Proteins. The World Health Organization recommends formulas with a large amount of whey.
- Fats. They are needed to maximize the caloric content.
- Carbohydrates. Breast milk contains lactose which is the main carbohydrate to support the baby’s immunity and health. A healthy baby can consume formula where the carbohydrates are present only in the form of lactose. Some breast milk substitutes may contain glucose polymers. Pediatricians also advise parents not to buy formula with sucrose.
- Iron. This component is very important and integral to any baby food.
- DHA. It’s an acid that is present in breast milk. It refers to fatty acids necessary for the normal development of vision and the formation of the child’s brain. For example, Holle manufacturer adds this element into the formula because it is especially needed in the first two years of life when the body is developing.
Those are the must-have elements every formula needs to have in the content. According to the market, you may also find such extra ingredients as L- tyrosine which is involved in lipid metabolism, regulates appetite, improves melanin synthesis, and normalizes the functioning of the adrenal glands, and the pituitary gland.
Age-Appropriate Formula Selection
One of the most important criteria when choosing baby formula is to check whether it’s age-appropriate or not, because a newborn will not be able to digest the food intended for one-year-old children, and, conversely, the formula for a newborn will not be nutritious enough for older babies. Typically, manufacturers indicate packaging with the numbers from “0” to “3” which means:
- “0” or “Pre” – food intended for premature babies or low-weight infants
- “1” – from birth to 6 months
- “2” – for kids aged 6 to 12 months
- “3” – for children from 1 year
How to Select Good Quality Formula?
To choose the most suitable formula, it is important to follow the advice, proven by experience and time:
- purchase baby food only in pharmacies or specialty children’s markets
- pay close attention not only to the content but also to the integrity of the package, shelf life, and storage conditions
- test the formula personally for smell and taste before giving it to your little one
- follow your pediatrician’s instructions
- monitor the kid’s reaction and well-being after feeding
- if a child has digestive issues or skin problems, consult a pediatrician so that a baby will be prescribed a treatment diet