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Baby Formula

How To Choose The Right Baby Formula

The way you feed your baby is very important, as it influences his further development. Ideally, all moms should breastfeed their children for as long as possible. Breast milk is the healthiest nourishment, full of all nutrients the baby needs and perfectly suitable for the delicate digestive system of the little one. Unfortunately, not all women can breastfeed, therefore they need to find the best alternative for feeding their infants. Some moms still breastfeed, but they supplement with a baby formula, thus being able to go back to work.

Types of Baby Formulas

There are three types of baby formulas, based on their presentation form: powders, liquid concentrates and ready-to-use liquids.

Based on the ingredients, baby formulas can be milk-based, soy-based and specialty ones. Milk-based formulas are made with cow’s milk and fortified with iron. They also contain vegetable oils, vitamins and minerals. They are suitable for healthy babies without lactose intolerance. There’s a debate, though, whether feeding babies with cow’s milk increases their risk of developing various allergies later on in life. As there’s no solid evidence for that, milk-based formulas are quite popular among moms and doctors alike.

Soy-based formulas contain soy protein as their main ingredient. They are good for babies with lactose intolerance or those who are allergic to the protein in the cow’s milk. Babies on a vegetarian-based diet can also be good with soy-based formulas.

Specialty baby formulas are of several types. Some are made especially for low-birth-weight babies. Others are “predigested”, suitable for babies with allergies to whole proteins in cow’s milk. Some are low in sodium, suitable for babies who cannot eat salt. Some are enriched with DHA and ARA omega fatty acids. Apparently, they help the development of the baby’s brain. They can also improve vision.

If you don’t know which is the right formula for you baby, you should ask the pediatrician for advice. Actually that’s the correct way of choosing what to feed the little one. The doctor knows the baby, its intolerance to certain substances or its allergies, therefore this is the person you should ask for advice before buying and baby formula from the supermarket shelves. It’s good to know, though, that all baby formulas that can be found in shops within the US are FDA approved, hence meeting all FDA standards and guidelines for a healthy nutrition. Whichever formula you may choose, you only have to watch that the bottle or can is intact and it is not expired.

Should you notice anything strange with your baby after switching to a new formula, you should schedule an urgent appointment with the pediatrician. Babies have a very fragile digestive system and if they suffer from diarrhea which is not treated quickly, they may become dehydrated. This is a very hard to reverse condition, which may lead to severe health problems. In some cases, it may even be lethal, so never ignore it. The pediatrician should be your best friend and adviser when it comes to caring for your baby, therefore he should be aware of the baby formula you chose.

Baby Formula September 11, 2014
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