Formula milk can never take the place of breast milk or provide the child with a host of antibodies that build the child’s immunity. Nevertheless, formula milk remains an oft chosen option for women who cannot breast feed for medical reasons and for working professionals who simply cannot juggle the demands of breast-feeding and work.
All kinds of formula milk are made up of fats, proteins, carbohydrates, sodium, vitamins, minerals and water to provide the baby essential nutrients. Iron fortified formulas are reasonably sound and should be suited to the baby. While you choose formula milk for your baby, keep the following things in mind.
How to Choose the Right Baby Formula
The Baby’s Paediatrician
The baby’s doctor is the best bet in helping you choose the right formula for your child. Start with a call to him or her. The doctor can help you choose a formula that will not only fulfil your child’s nutritional requirements but will also be similar in taste to breast milk.
Cow’s milk is supposed to be good for the baby. However, it does come with certain modifications to suit your child’s needs and requirements. Do not feed the baby regular cow’s milk until after the child’s first birthday.
This is because of the widespread practise of milk adulteration that can play havoc with your child’s digestive system. Moreover, it is not as easily digested as formula milk. Infant formula has more milk proteins that are digestible and more lactose is added so that it remains closer to breast milk.
Soya Based Formulas
Some infants are also given soya formula. In this soya beans are given in the formula along with vitamins, minerals, carbs and proteins to give it the right composition. Soya formulas are heavy and are generally not recommended in young infants, as they are known to cause peanut allergies. The only time soya formula is given if, the infant has special health considerations such as a milk allergy.
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This formula is given to premature babies who show poor and stunted growth. Babies who suffer from metabolic disorders like PKU and lactose intolerance are also given special formula milk. These formulas are easier to digest than normal formulas and are hypoallergenic. They cause fewer allergies as compared to normal formula. They are more expensive and you need to use them only if the doctor has recommended them.
Iron Fortified Formulas
Most doctors recommend formulas for infants that are fortified with iron. These should be given to the child from birth until one year of age.
Ready to Pour formulas
These convenient formulas come in a pre-packed carton and can be poured into a bottle and given to the baby. They have special storage instructions are are more expensive because of their convenience.
These are the least expensive formulas. They come in small cartons with serving instructions along with the recommended dose. You have to dilute warm, boiled water into them and give it to the baby. They are more frequently used than other formulas. It also does not need to be refrigerated until it is mixed. The only hitch is that you cannot store used formula milk once it has been diluted. The remnants have to be discarded.