Baby Formula Feeding
A nutritious alternative to breastfeeding can be feeding your baby formula. It contains the same nutrients as breast milk with the same percentage of proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates. There is not a single formula that is suitable for all babies. Feeding can be tricky and may require a "trial and error" process, as some babies have difficulty digesting certain kinds.
Giving Your Baby Formula: An Overview
Feeding your baby formula is a sound, nutritious alternative to breastfeeding. All commercial infant formulas contain ingredients that have been manufactured in such a way that your baby is receiving the best possible substitute for natural human breast milk. They contain the same nutrients as breast milk with the same percentage of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.
To give even the most skeptical person a little peace of mind, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) maintains strict requirements for the marketing, production, and contents of all infant formulas. This includes nutrient specifications with minimum amounts for 29 nutrients and maximum amounts for 9 of these. Therefore, your baby will not get any more nutrition from one brand or type over another.
Types of Formula
There are three types of preparations for formulas:
- Liquid concentrate
Ready-to-feed is the most expensive, with the powder formula being the most economical. With the formulas that require mixing, make sure that you do it exactly as the directions say. You should not dilute or make the formula weaker than directed.
Most formulas are made with modified cow's milk. Soy milk formulas are available if your family has a lot of allergies. Talk to your healthcare provider about which choice makes the most sense for your particular situation.