Baby formula, often known as formula milk, is a breast milk alternative intended for children under the age of 12 months. Formulas are usually powders that are combined with fluids for bottle-feeding. They provide all of the nutrition that a newborn requires and can be produced from cow’s milk or non-dairy alternatives.
Main Types of Baby Formula Milk
There are three sorts of baby formulas: cow’s milk format, soy formula, and specialty formula. These formulas are provided in three different formats: Powder that you mix with water, liquid concentrate that you mix with water, and prepared formulae that do not require mixing.
Made from Cow’s Milk
These formulas account for over 80% of all formulations marketed. Cow’s milk in the formula is processed to make the protein more edible, and lactose (milk sugar) is added to make it more comparable to breast milk. Because vegetable oil substitute for milk fat, newborns can absorb it more easily.
Protein in this sort of formula has been broken down for better digestion. In babies who are allergic to milk protein, these are less likely to cause an allergic reaction. They are generally more expensive than standard formulations.
Amino Acid-Based Allergen-Free
This is the most hypoallergenic type of european baby formula because it is manufactured with specific amino acids that are not derived from dairy or soy. Most babies with severe food allergies can tolerate formulas based on amino acids.
Soy-based formulations include no lactose and employ soy proteins. These formulae may benefit babies who are allergic to lactose, which is found in cow’s milk. However, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), up to half of all babies who are allergic to milk protein are also immune to soy protein.
Specialized formulae are created for babies who have specific diseases or disorders. Preterm infants, for example, require a specific formula. Because they differ from standard baby formulae, it is critical to follow all feeding guidelines and instructions. Do not use a specialty formula unless your pediatrician recommends it.
How to Select the Most Appropriate Baby Formula
While your baby’s precise requirements will vary, there are a few recommendations to help you narrow down your search.
Consult your Child’s Doctor:
Your baby’s doctor can advise you on the best type of formula for him or her.
Take into Account your Baby’s Diet or Allergy Limitations:
Is there any on your baby? If this is the case, consult your doctor to see if your child requires a special formula.
Choose a Reputable and Regulated Brand:
In addition to consulting with your physician, Dr. Abelowitz suggests selecting a brand that is FDA-approved (which, remember, all U.S. formulas are!) and has been on the market for some time.
Understand that you are not required to Follow the Instructions Given to you by the Hospital:
If the hospital offered you a specific type of formula after your baby was born, know that you don’t have to use it indefinitely, according to Dr. Feeley. “All of the hospitals I’ve worked at are literally contracted (with a company for a set period of time), so they give Similac six months out of the year and Enfamil six months out of the year.” As a result, one isn’t inherently superior to another.
Recognize that a Higher Price does not Always Imply a Higher level of Quality:
Again, all infant formulae sold in the United States are held to stringent standards, so you don’t have to worry about safety when selecting a formula manufacturer for your family.
In terms of ingredients, brand name and generic versions are equivalent, however, the generic version is less expensive. Organic baby formulas must adhere to the same baby formula regulations as non-organic brands, but they are free of GMOs and contain certified organic components. As a result, they are frequently more costly. Before giving your baby powdered or liquid concentrate, mix it with water. The liquid solution in ready-to-eat bottles has already been diluted with the required amount of water.