Baby Formula Choices
There are many choices to choose from when buying baby formulas. Walk down any grocery store isle and you’ll find whole shelves dedicated to them. Getting your infant the right type of formula is an essential part of infant care and therefore requires great thought, research and planning. Most infant formula are made for babies and infants under two years old and is an alternative to breast feeding. The reason it is such a good alternative to breast feeding is its ease and social stigma against breast feeding in public. All infant formulas are designed to mimic natural human milk and is very safe in general though there are cases of tainted milk. Formula is the only thing infants consume in their early months and choosing the right one is an important part of infant care.
Powdered formula is the most common type of formula found. Most household names in the infant formula industry like Enfamil produce solely powdered formula. Powdered infant formula is made by many firms and factories around the world but all their processes are very similar. All powdered formula comes in a metal can form you can buy in all grocery stores. Picking powdered formula has many advantages including choosing the size of milk you want. You can add as many or as little powder as you want. You just mix it with warm water and it is good to go. Make sure you do not mix it with cold water because it clumps up and becomes very hard to separate.
Ready-to-use formula is the easiest way to feed your child. There is no hassle or work involved. All you need to do is open it and let your child drink on it. However, you need to be aware of the price because it does get more expensive because of the convenience associated with it. Hospitals tend to charge steep prices on ready to use formulas and you should bring your own if you are worried about paying double the price of grocery stores. Ready-to-use formula does have its advantages. It can be a reliable source of food for your child in places where water is not clean to use to mix powdered formula. You don’t need to prepare it beforehand and it’s always there in emergencies.
Lactose Free Formula
Lactose intolerance is when a human body cannot digest the natural sugar in cow milk. If you or your spouse is lactose intolerant, there might be a chance your child will also be lactose intolerant and you need to consider lactose free formula. Lactose free formula uses other kinds of sugar like soy or syrups. Major brands sell many variations of lactose free formula but it’s also much more expensive because it is a premium item which cost more to produce. These products also might have less nutritional value to them than regular formula because the nutrients found in milk are replaced by less nutritious substances. You can always choose to breast feed or wet nurse.
Soy Based Formula
Soy based formula is made from plant based proteins. Soy is not recommended for general consumption because babies that are lactose intolerant are also prone to be allergic to soy proteins. A lot of the population that uses soy formulas are vegetarians who want to enforce their strict diet on their children also. If you are not part of that group, you should consider using other types of formula. There are also no proved benefits of using soy based formula compared to normal ones.
There are many niche and premium formula designed to attract certain segments of the population. These include formulas made to increase weight in early birth babies. These pack more fats and nutrients per ounce and is not suitable for an average child. If you child has any medical problems, remember to always consult your primary care provider or pediatrician to seek advice on the types of formula your child should have.