Choosing the right baby formula

Baby bottle feeding

Baby bottle feeding

Being parents of a new born, there might be several little questions that will come up in your mind about the specific care of your child. One of the major concerns is the form of feed you decide for your baby. Though breastfeeding is advocated by health experts and paediatricians the world over as the best source of nutrients for a newborn, there might be situations when a new mother has to look for other options to feed her little baby. It could be due to her health concerns or due to other reasons such as her work commitments. Several mothers today are opting for baby formula exclusively or as a supplement of their breast milk for their little babies. With a variety of options available, it becomes a difficult task for parents to choose the best baby formula for their child.

A baby formula has to supplement all the nutrients that the breast milk is known to provide along with being easily digestible. Another important concern is the price. Most babies in the initial few months are completely dependent on milk and hence, when you opt to formula feed your little one, you must bear in mind the extra monthly expenditure it will result in. The baby formula is available in three basic forms – the powdered version, the liquid concentrate and the ready-to-feed mix. The powder based formula is the least expensive however; it needs to be very carefully dealt with. The water should be properly boiled and brought down to the required temperature to mix with the powder. All this also needs to be done very hygienically so that your baby doesn’t have any health hazards. If the baby formula that you select for your baby is not mild enough for him, chances are that your baby will lose weight or become unhealthy. The liquid concentrate needs to be diluted before feeding to the baby and the ready-to-feed formula can be directly used. The ready-to-use formula is therefore, the most expensive.

To start with, it is best to put your baby on a baby formula that is based on cow’s milk.  However, there might be babies who develop lactose intolerance. For such babies, a formula based on cow’s milk will not suit. What they will need is a soy based baby formula.

It is always recommended that before you select a baby formula for your baby, you consult a paediatrician to discuss your baby’s nutritional requirements. Once you are sure about your baby’s nutritional needs being met, you will have to consider the cost and convenience factor. Here are few things that you can consider to make an informed choice.

  • Always opt for a baby formula for your baby and not directly cow’s milk. The baby formula is made in a way that it very closely resembles a mother’s breast milk and hence has all the specific nutrients that a baby needs in his or her growing years.
  • While selecting a baby formula, you should choose one that is a good combination of proteins, sodium, fats and sugar. Similac baby formula is one such baby formula that is greatly advised for newborns as a supplement to mother’s milk. It contains pre-digested proteins so your baby will not have any problems with digesting it. This also helps in minimizing food allergies. For babies with sensitive digestive system, Similac sensitive is a recommended option.
  • For babies who have problems in digesting the baby formula, a lactose free baby formula like the Enfamil baby formula will work best. This baby formula contains easily digestible milk proteins.
  • You will also have to decide between using a powdered formula, a liquid concentrate or a ready-to-use one depending upon the convenience you are looking at and your budget.
  • Lastly, it is extremely important to be very sure about the method of preparation of the formula. Hence, you should always read the instructions very carefully and follow the printed instructions diligently.

Finally, I would personally like to mention that you should try to breastfeed your child as much as is practically possible. Breast milk is the best for a newborn as it contains the right amount of nutrients that will give her a healthy start. Nevertheless, if you have to formula feed your baby – be again absolutely sure that what you get for him or her is nothing but the best!

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