Feeding Your Baby Formula

If you feed your baby formula, you can still bond with your baby. Other family members can hold the bottle and bond with the baby too. Remember to talk to your baby and cuddle. This is a special time for you and your child.

Formula Choices

The two most common types of formula are made from cow’s milk and soy. You should use only the kind that has added iron. About 80% of the formula sold today is a cow’s milk formula. Formula with iron is recommended for babies from birth to one year old so that they do not develop a low blood count.

Soy formulas are for babies who cannot digest lactose (the sugar naturally in cow’s milk), or have a milk allergy. If your baby is prescribed soy formula, your doctor will tell you when it is safe to try milk products.

All formulas, no matter if they are milk or soy, come in different packaging choices. Some of them are more convenient than others. Some of them are less expensive than others. You must choose which one best fits your lifestyle and budget.

Formula Packaging Choices…

  1. Ready-to-use: This is the most expensive kind of formula, but no mixing is necessary.
  2. Concentrated liquid: This is a less expensive formula. You mix the formula liquid with an equal part of water.
  3. Powder: This is the least expensive formula. You mix on level scoop of powdered formula with two ounces of water and stir well.

Be sure to talk with your doctor. He will be able to help you choose the formula that is right for your baby.

Formula Preparation

Mixing your baby’s formula the same way every time is very important. Prepare the formula according to the directions on the packaging. Follow the directions carefully and exactly. If you use too much water, the formula will be weak and your baby will be underfed. If you use too much powder, the mix could be dangerous to your baby.

Here are some additional tips:

  • Always check the expiration date on the formula. Formula can spoil.
  • Warm the formula by holding the bottle under running hot water or place the bottle in a pan of hot water.
  • Never use the microwave to warm the formula or breast milk. The microwave can heat the milk unevenly. It could feel just right on your skin, but be scalding hot in the middle of the bottle and burn your baby.
  • Never use leftover formula. Formula spoils very quickly.

—- from First5 Advice for New Parents

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