You want the very best for your beautiful little baby. Who doesn’t?
And as any mama knows, making sure your baby grows up to be healthy and strong starts with what you’re giving your little one to eat.
Unfortunately with so many baby formula brands and products on the market these days, this can be a daunting task and an unnecessary added stress to your life. And we’re all about reducing your stress.
You’ve already got enough on your plate without having to do in-depth research about which is the best baby formula for your little one. To help you on your way, we’ve given you a complete breakdown on your formula options, as well as how to choose the right baby formula for your little bundle of joy.
Three Forms to Choose From
Let’s start with the basics. There are three forms in which formula comes in:
- Liquid concentrate
Powdered baby formula generally comes with a scoop, and is needed to be mixed with water. It’s the least expensive option out there, but keep in mind it can be a hassle to constantly measure and mix. Unfortunately, doctors recommend that it’s best not to prepare several bottles at a time.
A concentrated liquid formula is generally a bit more expensive than powder, but slightly faster and easier to prepare. You still have to mix it with water, but it’s much more convenient than measuring with a scoop.
Last but not least is a ready-to-feed formula. It’s known for its no-fuss convenience because you don’t need to add water and there’s no mixing involved. It’s a great option for the woman who is always on the move. Another added bonus? It’s less likely to leave your baby constipated than powdered formula.
Now that we’ve covered your options in terms of what forms of baby formula is available, let’s get down to the nitty gritty ingredients of the formulas out there, so you choose the best option for your baby.
Cow’s Milk-Based Formulas
The most common type of formula on the shelves today is based on a cow’s milk protein. They’re made with cow’s milk (duh), vegetable oils, vitamins and iron-fortified minerals.
If your baby is milk-intolerant, and becomes gassy or develops a rash from cow’s milk formula, a soy-based formula is the next best thing. This could be a temporary issue, or it could be ongoing.
Soy-based formulas are good for babies who are on a vegetarian-based diet, but they aren’t recommended for low-birth-weight or preterm infants You’ve also got to keep in mind that soy formulas often replace lactose with glucose, which is why organic baby formula is the better, healthier option.
Organic Baby Formula
Without a doubt, the best formula you gave give your baby is the organic kind. Organic baby formula is made from cows raised on an organic diet, with no pesticides or antibiotics, so you’re giving your baby more natural ingredients.
Non-organic baby formulas have a whole host of nasty ingredients that are not the very best for your baby, such as processed refined sugars, synthetic DHA and ARA and synthetic preservatives. The cows producing the milk are not given any unnatural, harmful hormones, so you know it’s the good stuff.
One of our favorite brands on the market is HiPP formula, which has a whole host of products to choose from. Their products cater to a variety of sensities that your little baby may be enduring, from acid reflux, to sensitive stomach, to gas or constipation.
Not only does it eliminate harsh chemicals, added sugars, and GMOs – it contains increased vitamin content, a greater number of antioxidants, and more healthy polyunsaturated fatty acids
If your baby has any specific medical conditions, specialized formulas are the way to go. You may have to get a special prescription to get your hands on them, but if your baby is suffering from any diseases, it can be necessary.
Some specialized formulas made specifically with nutrients for premature babies. Don’t give your baby specialized formula without talking to a pediatrician first.
This type of formula is generally easier to digest, as the cow’s milk proteins have already been broken down into smaller proteins to make them easier for your baby to digest. It’s a great option if allergies run in your family, and can even prevent your baby from suffering from allergies in the future.
Factors to Consider When Making the Right Baby Formula Choice
- Look for a formula that has plenty of iron. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, all babies less than one years old who aren’t being breastfed should have a formula with iron in it. Even if your baby is older, iron is great for preventing anemia.
- Always keep an eye on how your baby is responding to the formula you’ve decided to go with. If your baby has trouble breathing, breaks out in a rash or red spots, has diarrhea or itchy, swollen eyes, they may not be handling the formula too well. This could be due to the protein in the formula, or even an intolerance to lactose.
- Keep an eye on your baby’s weight. Make sure that they’re steadily gaining weight in a healthy way. You can always check with your doctor in this regard.
- Is your baby excited about meal times? Does he/she seem gurgle with happiness when they see the bottle coming their way?
Give It a Go
It’s clear to see that not all baby formula varieties are created equal, with each kind of formula having their own pros, cons and specific purposes.
At the end of the day, it’s all about how your individual baby responds to the formula you give them. Just as you like to keep yourself healthy, you want to make sure you keep your baby 100% healthy too.
Be prepared to try a couple of different options and see which your baby responds to best. As time develops, your baby’s needs in terms of formulas will develop too.
Don’t beat yourself up if it takes a while to find the best formula for your little baby – you’re an amazing mom with plenty of love to give, and that’s what matters most.