New parents often face difficulties when it comes to feeding the little one. There might be tons of questions in mind especially when it comes to buying baby formula. What to consider when buying baby food? Is baby formula a good replacement for breast milk? And So on. Follow the below guide and find out more about buying the best baby food formulas.
What is a Baby Formula?
A newborn cannot eat anything mainly because he does not have the teeth nor can he swallow easily. Most newborns are fed on mother feed for straight 4 months before any kind of solid food is given. Baby formulas are used as a supplementary option for babies. Not all mothers want to breastfeed their child while many of them adopt children as well. In either case, since the baby is not being breastfed, an alternative is essentially needed which is present in the form of baby formula.
Baby formulas have various advantages. They are especially helpful for working moms who don’t have time to breastfeed their children. Moreover, these formulas have the essential nutritional components required for the healthy growth of babies. Problems such as gas, crying, stomachache, and fussiness are also resolved with the help of baby formula. These baby formulas are easy to carry and prepare so if a mother is going to a mall, she might not be comfortable publicly breastfeeding the child. Therefore, she can use a baby formula in case the baby gets hungry.
Should You Completely Shift to Baby Formulas?
The answer is No. According to one study, there are significant risks associated with children who have been formula-fed as compared to children that are breast-fed. This study concludes on the basis of evidence that the children who are made more dependent on the baby formulas have issues such as infectious morbidity, otitis media, gastroenteritis, and pneumonia, and even have an elevated risk of childhood obesity. Therefore, unless there is no other choice, mothers should always prefer to breastfeed for the child at first while starting the formula as a side dose and not a primary food.
While shifting to baby formula, some parents may not be aware of the tips to feed a baby in the right way. Here are a few ways to make sure that your baby is fed the right way – Is There a Wrong Way to Feed a Baby with a Bottle?
Important Things to Consider for Buying Baby Formula
Certified Formulas Only
Your baby is at a very crucial stage which is why no risk can be taken upon the health of the baby. Therefore, don’t just buy any other formula from the market rather look for those which have been certified by the United States Department of Agriculture or Food and Drug Administration USA. Brands having these labels have been tested and verified before being put up in the market. They are safe to consume for babies.
Since you are spending a good sum of money on the formulas, it is important that you get those that have the important nutritional content as well. Most brands of baby formulas now use DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and ARA (arachidonic acid) as standardized ingredients for baby formulas. These are synthetic versions of fatty acids which are found in breast milk as well. The reason why they are used as an important ingredient for the baby formulas is so that they can become a close substitute to breast milk and the baby does not miss out on anything important.
These acids also have a crucial role in healthy eye and brain development. Furthermore, look for baby formulas that have been fortified with Iron and Omega-3 fatty acids. In addition to that, any formula that has been Non-GMO Certified is going to become an extra plus. Keep in mind that the more organic baby formula is, the better it is going to be for you.
In addition to that, make sure that the baby formula you are buying does not have any kind of artificial growth hormones. These hormones are helpful in triggering the growth of babies but since they are artificial, doctors do not recommend them as they carry their own set of drawbacks.
Price is one of the most influential factors when buying baby formulas. This is because the price is not competitive and you can see a major gap in the price range. It is always better to compare the volume of powder and price to see which one is a better choice. Make sure to specifically look at the cheap baby formulas to analyze what is missing in them. The expensive ones usually have all the certifications and healthy nutritional content. Nonetheless, this is not a must.
Do not Buy in Advance
One of the most critical mistakes that many new parents make is that they purchase baby formulas in advance. This means that parents buy a baby formula either too much or they buy it even before the birth of the baby. If you buy a baby formula before the birth of your child, you won’t be able to know whether he or she is going to react well to it or not. Sometimes, babies don’t respond well to formulas, and parents are advised to stop consumption.
In case you have bought bulk and the baby does not respond well, both time and money would be wasted. Furthermore, expert pediatricians recommend that in any case, the baby formula should be as fresh as possible so buying too much in advance won’t work well. Having a total of 5-pound stock at one time would be quite sufficient.
Manufacturing and Expiry Date
The baby’s health is something on which you should never compromise. Therefore, one of the most important aspects to check is the manufacturing date as well as the expiry date of the baby formula. In case you are buying it physically from a store, take a look at the expiry right from the shelves. Buy a baby formula that has the most recent manufacturing date. On the other hand, in case you buy it online such as from amazon.com, please carefully check the expiry date before opening the packaging of the baby formula. Once the seal is opened, returns or claims might not be honored by the company.
Do Not Change Formulas
One major mistake that many parents make is that they change formulas quickly. For example, two couples that are friends with each other might get influenced by each other’s opinions and change the formula that is already being given to their baby. The most common influencing factor is that some parents believe that a particular formula has been good for the growth of the baby while the other baby has not been growing well because of a lower quality baby formula.
While the type of baby formula may be a reason why one baby is growing faster than the other, there are other factors too that should be considered before reaching a conclusion. Some babies have a slower body response and absorption rate compared to others. Every baby has a distinctive human body with unique responsiveness as well. Therefore, changing the formulas might not work as well. Moreover, changing the formula poses a risk that the baby might not be responding well to a new formula.
It is always better to fix one formula and not change it just because other people say so. For expert advice, you can consult a nutritionist or a pediatrician who can guide you with regards to the circumstances of your baby.
Suggested Reading – All About Paternal Instinct
Buying a baby formula is not that difficult especially if you consider the criteria we have mentioned above. Keep in mind that the baby formulas work differently for different babies based on their health conditions. For the first time, you can try 2 or 3 baby formulas and go with the one that suits your baby the best. Formulas should always have the label by FDA or USDA as they will be certified best baby formulas.