Basics for Formula Feeding Babies
- May 14, 2012
- by Melissa Lawrence
If you have decided to stop breastfeeding or are unable to meet your milk supply needs, talk to your doctor about formula feeding! It’s a great substitution for breast milk, but you’ll need to choose the right type for you and your baby! There are three main types of baby formula. In this video, I’ll walk through the details of each. Keep watching for more!
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Formula Feeding Babies
Here I have some examples of cow’s milk formula, including Enfamil and Similac. There are other varieties as well, including lactose-free formula and soy-based formula. When choosing a formula, you’ll also want to evaluate your own lifestyle. If you know you are going on a long trip and won’t have easy access to water, a liquid formula or concentrated liquid formula may be a better choice. Powdered formula, on the other hand, is great for making smaller or large quantities and is less expensive than liquid formula.
When you use formula, you’ll want to check that your bottles are properly sterilized. Check my videos on this for further instructions! Next, pour in the desired amount of water, then pour in the proper amount of powdered formula. Attach the top of the bottle and shake well until all of the clumps have dissolved.
For more on preparing formula, warming bottles, and how to bottle feed your baby, keep watching this and my other videos on formula! Thanks for viewing this formula feeding guide video!
Tips: Formula Feeding Basics
Choosing and preparing baby formula can be confusing, especially when you’re a sleep-deprived new mom! There are so many choices and it’s easy to get overwhelmed, so I’m going to walk you through all the basics, from types of formula to bottles and much more.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does recommend breastfeeding your infant exclusively for six months, but whether you breastfeed and supplement, formula feed from the start, or are in the midst of transitioning to bottles and formula feeding from breastfeeding, you are in the same boat as most parents who do give their babies formula at some point during the first year.
Types of Formula
- Cow’s Milk Formula: There are many different options within this category, including organic, so it’s all about finding what works best for your baby. It makes sense to buy small quantities to start out with.
- Soy Formula: This formula uses soy-based proteins and is an option for babies who can’t tolerate cow’s milk.
- Lactose Free Formula: All soy formulas are lactose free, and there are also cow’s milk-based formulas that are specially formulated to be lactose free.
- Concentrated Liquid
- Ready to Feed Liquid
Most moms I know use powdered infant formula for convenience and cost. You can control the measurements as necessary; it’s the cheapest option and it takes up less space storage-wise. Check with your doctor about whether you can use tap water for mixing — it depends on the purity and fluoride levels where you live.
The ready to feed liquid is more expensive but is a great choice for travel or if you’re someplace without access to good water.
Important Formula Feeding Tips
- Use Iron Fortified Infant Formula
Always make sure you use an iron-fortified formula per the recommendation of the AAP during your baby’s first year of life. Iron is very important to baby’s growth and development.
- Check Expiration Date
Always check the expiration date on the formula can. Formula can go bad and be unsafe for your baby, and stores don’t always clear the shelves of expired containers.
- Use Can Within One Month
Once a container is opened, it’s good for one month.
- Don’t Leave Mixed Powdered Formula at Room Temp for More Than One Hour
Formula has a very short shelf life at room temperature after the powder is mixed with water. Do not leave powdered mixed formula at room temperature for more than an hour and always throw out what your child does not drink.
- Safe to Store in the Refrigerator for 48 Hours
Once you mix the powder with water it will keep for up to 48 hours in the refrigerator.
- Begin with clean hands and a clean bottle and nipple.
- Add water to the bottle first to the measurement you desire, and then add the formula. If you add the formula first it can skew the measurement of the water.
- Typically one level scoop of the powder makes for two ounces of formula liquid. But make sure to read the instructions on the can just to be safe.
- Use room-temperature water, which will make it easier for the formula to dissolve. You cannot change quantities and add less formula per water, this is dangerous because your baby won’t be getting enough nutrients!
- Once you’ve added the formula to the water already in the bottle, put the top on and shake the bottle so that the powder and water mix thoroughly. Make sure the formula is completely dissolved and incorporated into the water before administering to your baby.
- Don’t warm bottles in the microwave, because this can cause “hot spots” or unevenness in temperature.
- You can warm the formula by leaving it out of the fridge for 1 hour, or placing it in a pan of hot water.
- Test the temperature on your wrist to make sure it’s not too hot before feeding it to your baby.
Do you have any advice or comments to share regarding formula feeding babies? Please add your comments below!
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