Parents who decide to use formula for their new born exclusively, or have to do so for whatever reason or those that supplement breast feeding with formula would be anxious to know how to choose the right formula for their baby.
The following should be kept in mind when choosing sustenance for your new born baby:
It is differently constituted than cow milk and is more suitable for an infant. Babies have specific nutritional requirements that, after breast milk are best met by formula.
Powdered or Liquid? Ready to feed baby formulas, which come in liquid form usually come packaged in metal cans with lids. It is believed by some experts that bisphenol-A (or BPA a toxic chemical) could possibly leech into the liquid from the metal can and so powdered formula is usually a better bet.
BPA may also be present in certain plastic feeding bottles, posing the same dangers of leeching. So look for feeding bottles that are BPA free.
What kind of water to use for the formula? Of course when using powered formula one needs to use water to mix it, the quality of which may be another concern.
Tap water and even packaged water could contain contaminants such as lead and perchlorate and may have levels of fluoride that may be too high for a neonate.
In the event it is best to use filtered water or water that has undergone the reverse osmosis purification process from which these contaminants have been largely if not completely eliminated.
Choose the right type for your baby:
- Soy based formula is available but is not necessarily better unless so indicated or advised by the doctor. Galactosemia, milk protein allergy or lactose intolerance could be indicators for use of soy formula.
- If your baby was born prematurely, specifically formulated formula with more calories and nutrients should be used.
- Those babies with lactose intolerance should be offered formula that is lactose free (Lactofree or Sensitive may be included in the brand name).
- If there is no reason not to, cow based formula can be chosen which is the most common.
- If regular formula does not work for a baby because of colic, gas or general fussiness, use “Gentle formula”.
- Some babies have problems with acid reflux, for whom formulas that have rice starch added could work well.
- If your baby has both soy and milk protein allergy, use “Elemental formula”. And if even elemental formula does not work, use, Amino Acid based formula.
Whatever kind of formula you use, make sure it is age appropriate and made according to directions. Too concentrated could mean it is too much for the digestive system, and too dilute could mean not enough sustenance!