Breast milk, of course, is the primary source of nutrients for the baby. It has a lot of advantages: a balanced set of nutrients, optimal temperature of the food, which is always ready to eat. And it is quite challenging to find a suitable alternative to replace breast milk. But milk formula is a real lifesaver for those mothers who, for whatever reason, cannot breastfeed their babies. However, formula feeding has its nuances, pros, and cons. So, where to start? The range of baby food is often overwhelming for many parents.
What do I need to look for when choosing a formula?
- The individual development of your baby (intolerance, digestive disorders, allergies)
It is essential to understand that a gradual adaptation (about 3-6 days) is necessary when introducing a new formula. You should not “jump” from one formula to another every 2-3 days. It is needed to increase the amount of new formula every day and decrease the amount of the previous one.
- Baby’s age
Every formula is designed for the needs of the child’s age and contains all the ingredients necessary for the harmonious growth and development of a child. As your baby grows older, the formula becomes more nutritious, the protein composition changes, and the number of essential minerals and micronutrients, especially calcium and iron, increases.
- Formula composition
Milk formula must contain the necessary vitamins and minerals to support a healthy digestive system.
- Shelf life
Generally, keeping the opened container for 2-3 weeks is recommended.
Types of formula milk: How to choose the best one?
The baby food manufacturers set themselves the task of producing formula as close to breast milk as possible. Of course, it is not technically feasible to completely recreate breast milk. And the lack of “perfection” they try to compensate for with additional properties of different formulas. How to choose a formula that works best for your child?
- Formula based on cow’s milk
In most formulas, cow’s milk protein is the main ingredient. It is easily absorbed by the baby’s body and usually does not cause allergies. Statistically, 90% of babies who have been given such formulas have had no adverse reactions during and after formula feeding.
- Lactose-free formula
Suitable for babies who are lactose intolerant or cannot digest it. In such cases, pediatricians recommend choosing a formula in which lactose is replaced by another sugar, for example, corn maltodextrin.
- Soy-based formula
Such formulas ease the digestive process and are suitable for babies who cannot digest the protein of cow’s milk. Soy formula is recommended for infants with lactose intolerance, as it contains other carbohydrates – glucose and sucrose.
It is worth bearing in mind that babies allergic to cow’s milk protein are often allergic to soy.
- Other specialized formulas
Such foods are designed to help with certain infant health issues (reflux, colic, etc.). Specialized formulas have slightly different compositions than regular formulas and include additional ingredients.
The indicator of the right choice of the formula is a child’s good tolerance of the product: the baby eats it with pleasure, and there are no symptoms of regurgitation, vomiting, constipation, or eczema. In addition, the baby puts on weight well, so it is necessary to control the weight gain.
Feeding your baby with the same type of formula is best. Don’t be tempted to switch to another kind of food as soon as you feel that your baby is not digesting well. However, it would help to talk to your doctor first before switching to new formula milk.
What makes one brand of baby food different from another?
It all depends on the key elements in the composition of the infant formula. Different brands of baby food use different types of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Figuring out the variety of ingredients and their characteristics can be difficult at first. However, it is worth paying attention to the formula composition.
HIPP produces high-quality milk formulas that provide your baby with the nutrients necessary for the infant’s development and growth. But breast milk is the best food for babies in their first year of life, and this should be taken into account when choosing the feeding method (breastfeeding, mixed, or formula feeding).
Talking about HIPP formula, always consider your baby’s needs: for example, products from the Combiotic line are suitable for healthy infants from birth, while for babies with digestive problems (for example, colic), it is better to choose the Comfort formula.