If you have decided that the way you are going to go is to bottle feed your baby then you will be faced with another decision and that is what type of formula you will feed him or her. There are several different types of formula made by a number of different manufacturers. For this reason it will be important to do a little bit of research when considering what the best choice will be for your baby. There will be a number of factors involved with making the best selection in terms of nutrition and tolerance. Ultimately, the best way to decide which milk formula to feed your baby is to consult with your pediatrician to find out what he or she suggests. The following information may help you make a better educated decision by explaining some of the different types of formula as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each.
The most convenient type of infant formula to use is ready-made formula as there is nothing involved in the preparation of it. Ready-made formula comes in a can that you simply open and pour the contents into a bottle. There are no powders to worry about and no need for boiled or distilled water. Convenience is obviously the major advantage to using this type of baby formula. However, price is a definite disadvantage where ready-made formula is concerned as it is the most expensive type you can buy. Obviously, if you have determined that you will be feeding your baby infant formula and your budget allows for the ready-made variety then this would be the best solution. Storage is another factor to consider when using ready-made formula as it comes in a can. Therefore, you will want to figure out an alternate storage method as it is never safe to store any type of food, especially baby formula in a can. It must also be refrigerated at all times once the can has been opened.
Concentrated Baby Formula
Another form of infant formula that is also sold in the can is concentrated baby formula. This formula is much like ready-made baby formula except it is usually mixed with equal parts of water. When using this type of infant formula you will need to have distilled or boiled water available in order to mix the formula and make it safe for the baby. In terms of price this would be the second most expensive type of infant formula. Storage considerations are the same when using concentrated baby formula as it also comes in a can which does not allow you to store it safely in the refrigerator without using an alternate container. Both concentrated and ready-made formulas seem to have a higher waste factor as they can only be stored for so long before they must be discarded. Like the ready-made formula, this type must also be kept in the refrigerator all the time once you have opened the can.
Powdered Baby Formula
Last but certainly not least is the powdered variety of baby formula. This is not only the least expensive type of baby formula you can buy but it is also quite convenient as you can mix as little or as much as you would like at one time. This helps eliminate occasions in which you would have to throw baby formula and good money down the drain. Storage is also very convenient when you’re using powdered baby formula as it can be stored anywhere and does not need refrigeration until after it has been mixed. This type of baby formula is ideal for people who are traveling or who take their infants to daycare facilities or babysitters on a regular basis. This is the most common type of baby formula which is used by most parents who are bottlefeeding their babies.
Specialized Baby Formula
In addition to the three main types of baby formula in terms of how they are prepared, there are also many variations that are used for a number of specific reasons. For example, some babies are lactose intolerant and cannot drink any type of dairy products. For those babies there are soy based infant formulas that are sold ready-made, concentrated and powdered. There are also some varieties of baby formula that are higher in iron or certain vitamins and depending on your babies needs, your pediatrician may recommend one of these.
Choosing a Brand
The preferred brand of baby formula will vary depending on who you are asking. Some pediatricians are more partial to one brand while others prefer another. It is important to remember that some brands of baby formula contain a higher amount of sugars and fats than others. In addition, some babies tolerate specific brands much better than other brands. In order to choose the best brand of baby formula to use for your infant it is important to do your homework and research on each and every one. Many parents wind up making the ultimate decision based on trial and error where their baby is concerned. If you start with one brand but find that your baby is having episodes of colic or other digestive problems then you may want to switch to another brand to see if that will eliminate the issue.
Whenever possible, breast-feeding your baby is the best option in terms of nutrition as well as protection from a number of different illnesses. When a mother breast-feeds her baby she passes on a number of antibodies which help ward off a variety of illnesses and diseases. Studies have shown that breast-fed babies are much healthier as a whole and all the way into adulthood. However, if breast-feeding is not an option for whatever reason then finding an ideal infant formula for your baby’s specific needs will be the next best thing you can do in making sure that your baby is well fed and healthy. You may also want to look into the possibility of getting a breast pump and feeding your baby milk which has been extracted from you if scheduling is your biggest issue.