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Baby Formula and Milk Powder

Choosing the Best Infant Formula

Breast feeding is the preferred method of providing newborns with all the nutrients and immune system aids they require. But for many people - whether mother, infant or both - that simply isn't an option. Before, breast milk substitutes ranged from cow's milk based formula to elemental formula to soy formula. This limited number of choice for mothers has made choosing the baby formula easy. However, with the rise of different milk brands offering a variety of benefits for your babies, it takes a wise mom to look closely into what the baby formula can give her child.

Formula milk has been specially produced to provide all the vitamins and minerals your baby needs. Most formula milk is made from cows milk, which has been specially treated to make it easily digestible, and its nutritional quality as near to that of breast milk as possible. There are several brands to choose from and the midwife will be able to advise you. If your baby is known to have a lactose intolerance, or there is a strong family history of allergies that are connected to cows' milk, you may be advised to use an alternative to regular formula milk. Often this is a soya-based milk, but others are available. It is important that these alternatives are only introduced if recommended by your doctor.

Formula milk comes in 3 forms: ready-made, concentrate and powder. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Ready made milk formula is the easiest to use; all you need to do is open the container and feed your baby its contents. The main disadvantage with ready-made formula is it is the most expensive option, so if you're trying to save pennies it may not be the best choice. Formula concentrate is cheaper than ready-made, but you do have to add boiled water. The cheapest and most widely used form of formula milk is powdered formula. As well as having the advantage of being cheap, it is also the easiest to store. Both ready-made and concentrate need to be stored in the fridge whereas you only need to stored formula made from powder, after it has been mixed with water.

Prepare the formula milk according to the instructions, making up enough tor 24 hours. Store the bottles in the refrigerator until needed and make sure that any unused formula is thrown away after this time. Never reuse leftover milk because it is a potential breeding ground for bacteria. Some babies are quite happy to take their bottles at room temperature but it yours prefers warm milk, heat the bottle either in a normal bottle warmer, or by standing it in a jug of hot water. Always test the temperature on the inside of your wrist to make sure that it isn't too hot before giving the bottle to your baby to drink.

Check that the milk is coming through the teat at the right speed. If your baby is having to work hard to get the milk, the flow is too slow and you need a teat with a bigger hole. It, on the other hand, your baby seems to be gulping a lot and the milk is leaking out of the corner of his mouth, the flow is too fast and the teat should have a smaller hole. If the teat flattens while you are feeding, pull it gently out of the baby's mouth to release the vacuum, then insert it again.

You may want to encourage feeding by stroking the teat across your baby's mouth. Once his mouth has opened, place the teat between his lips and your baby should start sucking. Keep the bottle tilted so that formula fills the teat completely and your baby doesn't suck in air, which can cause wind. Never leave your baby to feed from a bottle on his own because he could vomit and choke. Don't add solids such as rusk, cereal, or baby rice to bottle feeds -this could cause choking.

The amount of milk your baby needs at feeds will change as he gains weight. At first he may take only a couple of ounces but this will increase. Your health visitor will give you a growth chart to check on progress. Lactose free formulas, such as Lactofree and Similac Lactose free are made without lactose, but do have cow's milk proteins in them. Babies are not usually thought to be born with lactose intolerance, so these formulas are usually not needed. If your child is experiencing problems with cow's formula, seek professional advice before switching to a lactose free formula or soy-based formula.

Other infant formulas include Enfamil AR (anti regurgitation), which is thought to be helpful for infants with reflux and premature formulas, such as Similac Special Care and Enfamil Premature. Again, you probably should never need to buy this type of formula as your baby's reflux is probably being caused by something else. Again, speak to your doctor before switching to this type of formula. Very recently, new infant formulas have been introduced that are supplemented with DHA and ARA, which are found in breast milk and are thought to help with an baby's development. Brands of these supplemented formula include Enfamil Lipil, Similac Advance, and Nestle Good Start Supreme DHA & ARA. Talk to your doctor about these and what benefits, if any, they could offer your child.

Other Related Brand:

Neocate Infant Formula

Enfamil Baby Care

Duocal Baby Powder

Similac Baby Powder

Nestle Good Start

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