Last Updated on May 12, 2021 by Ed Joven
Get to know about all the little details about formula feeding your baby with this complete guide to baby formula.
Starting to formula feed your child is not an easy decision. It can be baffling for many parents. That’s because you need to consider many factors when you choose between breastfeeding and formula feeding. Though it allows you more freedom when it comes to the feeding routine and how you feed them, you need to pay attention to see if your baby is digesting it well.
Whether you choose breastfeeding or formula-feeding, there are specific guidelines to success for each of them. Hardships and triumphs are just parts of it, and they are sure to come. If you are a new mom, breastfeeding might exhaust you, and you could find it hard to keep. In that situation, bottle feeding might seem like the only solution. That’s not how things are.
Sure measuring and mixing up formula in a bottle is not that hard. But searching for the right formula is very hard. Even after you find the right baby formula for your child, you will need some practice to master the dos and don’ts. To be honest, it can be pretty stressful.
But still, many women nowadays choose to formula feed their baby – some supplement breastfeeding, while others have switched to 100% formula feeding. For some, breastfeeding can be too exhausting. At the same time, others suffer from low milk supply or can’t keep up with their child’s growing feeding needs. No matter why to start formula feeding your baby, remember that doesn’t make a bad mother. Motherhood is a lot more than how you feed your baby.
No matter why you switch to formula feeding, be sure to remember that neither breastfeeding nor formula feeding is something you need to depend on 100% of the time. You might notice many parents depend entirely on breastfeeding or formula feeding. That’s just because that’s how it works for them. Not because they have to. Moreover, you can’t switch to (or from) breastfeeding entirely in a day.
When you start breastfeeding, you must give some time to your child so that they can get used to it. Start by giving them small portions once a day along with breastfeeding. Monitor their reactions and daily activities, and try to identify if they can digest them well or not. If they show no signs of irritation and their digestion seems fine, you can then continue with the formula and gradually increase the feeding frequency.
Things to Keep in Mind
When you bottle-feed your baby for the first time, they might refuse to take it. This is because they are not familiar with the taste and texture. In fact, they might refuse for the first few attempts. That is completely normal. Don’t lose hope or give up too quickly. Babies are naturally used to breastfeeding, so adapting to something new can be hard for them. To mimic the breastfeeding experience, hold the bottle in an upright position. The feeding time should be about 10-20 minutes.
When you bottle-feed your baby, it’s very important to pay close attention to prevent overfeeding. Ten to twenty minutes of feeding time is adequate. Depending on your child’s age and hunger levels, this might vary slightly. So be sure to monitor their actions and recognize their signs of fullness and hunger patterns. This will help you maintain a healthy and proper feeding schedule that will aid in the development of the baby.
Because you want to mimic the breastfeeding experience while you are bottle feeding, you can make a few things to make the experience more realistic. Make sure you don’t let your child gulp from the bottle. This is not something to worry about when you are breastfeeding. Mothers have natural “let down” periods. This is when the milk flow slows down. To mimic that, you should make small pauses in between. Otherwise, your child may develop confusion when you switch between bottle feeding and breastfeeding.
Ensuring their baby is getting the proper nutrition is a primary concern for all new moms. It is justified because it’s pretty normal for you to stress about what they are eating when it comes to your little one. Moreover, there are so many myths regarding baby formulas that they might overwhelm you. We have all heard the critics propagate myths like “ baby formulas are harmful” or “ baby formulas hamper child growth.” Just remember, these are just myths and not facts.
The truth is every baby formula that is sold has to be approved by FDA. the formulas have to be manufactured according to their guidelines. Guidelines also determine the number and types of nutrients a formula must include. According to the FDA, a baby formula should include at least 20 different nutrients. And the density of the nutrients is fixed by them too.
Because it is made for infants, baby formulas are handled with a lot of care. They are made so they resemble human breast milk as much as possible. So your child doesn’t miss out on any essential nutrients, even if you are solely dependent on formula-feeding them. Just like human breast milk, most baby formulas contain protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins A, B, C, D, E, K, linoleic acid, niacin, folic acid, calcium, iodine, phosphorus, among many others – these are the basic nutrients all baby formulas include.. Apart from these, many companies include nutrients like probiotics, iron, DHA, and lutein. They are great for your child’s physical and brain development.
Formula Feeding Benefits
We understand that formula-feeding your baby is not something most parents want to do. It’s not the first choice for most of them. However, it’s also not something to stay away from. Formula feeding has many benefits that make them practical solutions. Because you are reading this article, it’s pretty evident that you are considering formula feed your baby, or you might have already started. In both cases, looking at the potential benefits of formula feeding will boost your confidence.
If your child is used to just breastfeeding, it goes without saying that mealtimes are only associated with baby and mommy. However, if you are switching to baby formula, mealtimes don’t have to depend on just the mom (dads can do it too). It gives dads some chance to bond with their baby. They can take charge and bottle feed the baby (thus giving mom a bit of respite). This way, the baby would be able to bond with their father from an early stage. Bottle feeding can bring an exception to that. Moreover, it will also give the mommies a much-deserved break from the responsibilities of caring for a newborn.
The next benefit is the freedom to eat (or drink) whatever you want. As you know, nursing moms should be cautious about what they consume as it might affect the baby as well. Moms are often asked to abstain from spicy foods, dairy, coffee, tea, sushi, alcohol, etc., at least until they stop breastfeeding. So if you are switching to bottle-feed your baby, you can start enjoying these foods and beverages again – especially coffee. It’s much needed when you are dealing with an infant.
Disadvantages of Formula Feeding
Just like anything else in the world, formula feeding your baby has some disadvantages too – the first being the cost of formula milk. Baby formulas are expensive, very expensive, to be honest. On top of that, you would definitely want to get the best one for your baby. In that case, the prices will increase with quality as well. In contrast, it wouldn’t cost you anything if you breastfeed – provided that you can produce the milk your baby needs.
No matter how hard humans try, they can never make things as easy as mother nature. Infants need to be fed within short intervals throughout the day. It could range up to eight to ten times a day. And if you didn’t know already, it is essential that you maintain proper hygiene when you are formula-feeding your child. The bottles and nipples need to be sterilized after every use. That’s a lot of work – especially for new mothers. They have a lot to deal with as it is with the newborn So adding this one on top would make things even more exhausting.
If you are traveling with your baby, carrying all the different bits and pieces to make the formula, cleaning, and sterilizing the bottle is not very convenient. Moreover, it’s not very easy to get your hands on sterile warm water to make the formula everywhere. In contrast, you don’t need to think about any of these things if you are breastfeeding.
The other concern is the nutrition factor. Though baby formulas are enriched with nutrients, they can never be the exact same as breast milk. Though they contain basic nutrients like protein, fat, and carbs, they miss the immunity-boosting factor breast milk offers. Breast milk is known to improve immunity in infants. That’s how they get most of their immunity from the early stages. Baby formulas have not been able to include this factor yet.
To Sum Up
New moms have a tough time learning to cope up with all the things that come after the baby arrives. It might seem baffling sometimes – and that’s also when the new mommy blues hit hard. The physical demands of raising a newborn can often interfere with milk production.
This is where formula-feeding can lighten the burden considerably for a struggling new mom. Because each child is different, you need to monitor your child’s progress when switching to formula. We hope that this guide helps you figure out the best nutritional options for your baby.
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