The debate between breastfeeding and formula feeding continues to rage on even as medical science has determined that formula is nutritionally adequate for your growing baby. In many cases, mothers are unable to breastfeed for one reason or another. If you are choosing formula, however, it can be tricky to choose the best product for your child’s unique needs.
Before heading out to buy baby formula the next time your baby needs some quick and substantial nutrition, there are some essential things to keep in mind. Here, we outline the basics of baby formula products to give you a better idea of what to look out for when purchasing these products.
Let’s look at some specific things you should consider before buying baby formula.
Consider Your Child’s Nutritional Needs
Newborns and infants have specific nutritional needs that must be met for them to thrive. If you can provide adequate nutrition, either in the form of breastfeeding or formula, then you can be confident that you are doing everything in your power to ensure that your child is on track to hit the standard developmental milestones.
Babies need ample supplies of macronutrients like proteins, fats, and carbohydrates just like adults. However, infants also need a great deal of calcium, iron, and vitamin D to ensure that their bones and bodies develop rapidly. Folate is also critical to allow for healthy cell division, something that happens at a rapid rate in infants.
Make sure to look for infant formulas that contain all these things to avoid any dietary deficiencies in your child’s diet. It is also important to look for infant formulas that contain adequate amounts of DHA fatty acids which are critical for the development of your child’s brain.
Think About Your Reasons For Formula Feeding
There is often some guilt that follows the decision to opt for formula feeding instead of breastfeeding. However, this does not need to be the case. Formula feeding is a highly convenient and flexible way of ensuring that your child is properly fed. You can avoid some of the mental and physical strain of raising a newborn by choosing to use formula as easy as you would like.
Formula feeding is also a great means of measuring precisely how much food your child is consuming. With breastfeeding, you can never be completely sure if your child is receiving enough food each day other than by interpreting your child’s crying perhaps. As an added benefit for new mothers, formula feeding also allows you to relax your own dietary habits by removing the need to worry about how your diet will affect your child.
Look For Holistic Infant Formulas
There is some evidence that suggests antibodies and other immunity-boosting substances that are present in breastmilk are not found in infant formula. To ensure that a formula-fed baby’s immune system develops well, look for infant formulas that contain pre and probiotics. These gut-boosting substances will help build your child’s resilience and ensure that their immune system can protect them for years to come.
Consider Formula Variants
An important consideration when choosing an infant formula is the cost. To this end, buying powdered and concentrated formula preparations can be more cost-effective than premade varieties. While the latter is more convenient, with a hungry baby the former might be a wiser choice.
Consult Your Doctor
Ultimately, the best information on what is best for your child is your family physician. Always consult with your doctor before deciding on an optimal diet for your infant. Be sure to show your doctor what formula you plan on feeding your child and they will be able to ensure that it is adequate for your infant’s needs.