Discover The Different Types Of Baby Formula


If you are a new parent buying baby formula, you may be surprised at the variety available in your supermarket or baby store, and choosing the best formula for your baby take some research. Formulas comes in three main types – ready to use, liquid concentrates and powders, and although all are regulated by the FDA to provide all the nutrients a baby needs, there are some differences. Generic formula brands are perfectly safe but may not have the same supplements as a familiar name brand.

Powders need to be mixed with water and are often the cheapest option, and can also be ideal if you are breastfeeding and only need to supplement that occasionally. However, if you are looking for convenience, ready to use baby formula requires no mixing or preparation, although tends to cost more. Ready to use is probably a better option if you are sending formula with your baby to day care, although it has to be used within 48 hours of being opened and many parents point out that it stains clothing easily.

Liquid concentrates fall somewhere in the middle as far as pricing, and still need to be mixed with water. Sterilizing the water during your baby’s first few months is recommended by many doctors, and if you use well water, it should be boiled and then cooled.

Although the information on formula labels can be confusing, look for a product that is iron fortified. Getting the recommended daily intake of iron is important for a new born baby, right up to the first birthday. Parents may also want to look for the fatty acids DHA and ARA listed on the label; these are plentiful in breast milk and are beneficial in developing the eyes, brain and bay’s nervous system. It may be worth the extra cost for baby formula that contains these extras, although not all formula products do.

Some formulas contain soy milk, which has no real dietary advantage, although many parents who are vegans opt for this type of baby formula. You can also buy lactose free formulas and formula that is aimed specifically at babies who weigh less than usual at birth, or who are premature. And a formula containing rice starch may be on your shopping list if your baby is prone to acid reflux, as it can help to prevent this.

Most formulas comprise about 40 percent of the protein casein, and about 60 percent whey, which is close to the same percentages as are found in breast milk. However, reading the labels is again important as some formulas contain 100 percent whey. Other ingredients you may see on the label include various vitamins, such as B and C, fats to match the makeup of breast milk, and amino acids, also present in breast milk.

As a parent, you have many important decisions during your baby’s first year or two, and buying the right formula is one of them. A little research ensures you buy the product that is healthy, safe and effective.