F is for Formula
The “big bad wolf” as it has been come to be known in many mom circles, by many professionals, and oftentimes by families themselves. Formula, or Artificial Baby Milk as it’s also known as, was first created in 1867 as an alternative method for providing nutrition to one’s infant. Over time, the formula of Formula has changed. Formula has changed in composition. It has changed in methods of preparation. It has also changed the stigma surrounding the choice of usage.
With so many brands of formula on the shelves, what brand does one choose? With so many types of formula, what type is the best for my baby? How much formula does my baby need? And so on and so forth. Let’s talk about some of these questions that swirl around in a parents mind when they make the decision to provide formula for their baby.
What brand of formula is the best?
Just like with anything raising a bebe, what works with one baby may not work well for another baby. Brand are often pre-chosen by the hospital and will have them in-stock. We know that all brands are subject to the same USDA guidelines. Therefore, you may choose to utilize or boycott a brand for their political stances. You may choose a brand that has a more holistic and organic company presence. You may choose a brand that your family has known through the years. All would have been tested and reviewed equally. So what’s the best brand? The brand that works with your baby’s digestive system the best!
What type of formula is the best for my baby?
From cow-milk based to soy-milk based to protein hydrolysate based, deciding what is best for the gut of your baby can be trial and error. If you tend to eat a vegan or vegetarian diet, stick to soy and protein based milks.
Powered, concentrate, and ready-to-feed. Powdered formula is that we know of the standard powders that are scooped and shaken in a bottle. Make sure to read and follow the instructions of the can exactly. Most powdered formulas need to be sterilized before use. Concentrated formula is in liquid form that still needs to be mixed with water before feeding. Check the instructions as concentrated formula may require sterilized water with its use. Ready-to-feed formula has the availability of being pre-measured, pre-sterilized, and ready-to-feed at any given moment.
How much formula does my baby need?
Typically, 2.5 ounces of formula per pound of body weight in a day is a good gauge for how much your little one should intake.
From birth to 3 month, on average expect baby to eat 2 to 3 ounces every 3-4 hours.
At 4 months to 6 months, on average expect baby to eat 5-7 ounces in 4 to 5 feedings a day.
Around 6 to 9 months, on average, expect baby to have 4-5 feedings a day intaking 6-8 ounces. Commonly with the addition of solids at this stage.
From 9 to 12 months: expect baby to eat a maximum of 32 ounces per day in addition to solids.
How to feed my baby a bottle?
Paced bottle feeding is your best friend when giving your baby a bottle. Paced bottle feeding is the act of feeding baby at a pace that is controlled by the baby. Why is this helpful? We don’t drink a bottle of water lying on our backs, right? Imagine trying to do so! Same thought process. Sitting the baby up, supported, hold bottle perpendicular to baby and allow the baby to suckle on the nipple.
Burp the baby half way through the bottle, to allow air to escape and allow room in the belly.
Watch baby, not the bottle. Forcing baby to complete a bottle, is planting the seed not to listen to what your body is telling you. You may see an influx of spit up and reflux issued develop if baby overeats.
What is the best bottle to feed my baby?
Guess what?! The best bottle is the bottle your baby will take! Some companies make claims that their bottle will reduce this or prevent that. Truth be told, allowing baby to intake and burp frequently, will have the same affect. Bottles don’t cause colic. Bottles don’t cause reflux.
Wide-mouth bottles help with the transitions from nursing and supplementing, as this allows the baby to open mouth wide like at the chest.
Making that initial decision to formula feed your baby is not always a cut-and-dried decision for every family. Researching and knowing your options can assist in making your journey more understandable. The bottom line is to feed your baby. I highly recommend reading Guilt-Free Bottle Feeding: Why your formula-fed baby can be happy, healthy, and smart By Madeleine Morris for all bottle feeding parents. Enjoy!
For more information and/or support involving feeding your baby, schedule support with our Infant Feeding Specialists!