Milk formula for babies is an alternative to feeding babies for moms who cannot breastfeed. Even though breast milk is the best and most complete type of baby food, there are situations in which it cannot be provided or provided, and the mother should focus on milk or powdered milk formulas. With this option, the first dilemmas related to this mode of food appear: what kind of milk to choose, which is better, how to prepare it, what it contains, etc.? Here's what you need to know about baby formula!
What is infant formula?
Milk formula is an industrially processed food product, which replaces breast milk with which infants and infants are fed under 12 months.
The products marketed contain as many ingredients and compounds as breast milk, so that all the essential nutrients essential for the good growth of the child can be provided.
What contains infant formula?
Regarding the content of milk powder for babies, it differs depending on each manufacturer.
Most milk formulas try to imitate as much as possible the content of breast milk, even though no one has managed to copy it perfectly and there are major differences between the two variants.
Most milk formulas marketed on the market contain:
- cow's milk whey and casein (as a source of protein);
- mixtures of vegetable oils (as a source of fats);
- lactose (as a source of carbohydrates);
- nucleotides (uridine, inosine, cytidine - are compounds that are naturally found in breast milk and which can be imitated, even if on a lower level, and in formula milk);
- mixtures of vitamins and minerals, but also other ingredients, depending on each manufacturer.
How many types of milk does the baby formula have?
Milk formulas are divided into several categories or types, depending on the texture and the state in which they are presented or the content.
Depending on the state in which the milk formulas are found on the market we have:
- milk already prepared (it is more practical and easier to use, but more expensive and should be consumed within two days after opening the box);
- concentrated milk (it is prepared quickly and simply, it is cheaper than the milk already prepared, but more expensive than the powder);
- powdered milk (powder) - it is a practical and economical option, it requires a little more preparation time, but it is cheap and can be used for a month after opening.
Depending on the content, formula milk is divided into:
- normal milk, based on cow milk protein, fortified with iron supplements - the most popular type of milk;
- milk based on soy protein, enriched with iron supplements (often used as a substitute for allergic babies in cow's milk);
- partially hydrolyzed formulas (easier to digest);
- intensely hydrolyzed formulas (considered "hypoallergenic" - for children suffering from intolerance or allergy to cow milk proteins);
- milk formulas based on amino acids (slightly newer versions, very expensive, but safe and recommended for children with all kinds of allergies and intolerances).
How do you choose the right milk formula for your baby?
Among the many types and variants of formula milk found on the market, it is quite difficult to figure out which is best for your baby.
You don't even have to realize it yourself. The pediatrician is the one who prescribes the most appropriate milk formula, depending on the health and nutritional needs of the child.
For example, some of the milk formulas on the market are enriched with iron or other vitamins or minerals, while others are not. Some of them are "hypoallergenic" variants, specially designed for children who are allergic or intolerant to certain ingredients in cow's milk, which is made generally of powdered milk that is given to most children.
Depending on the nutritional needs of the baby, the doctor will recommend a suitable option for him.
Careful! Just because baby formula is made from cow's milk or soy does not mean you can replace it with cow's milk. The content of the formulas is adapted to the insufficiently developed digestive system of a baby, and cow's or soy milk is not "supported" or tolerated by the baby's body. The formula contains only certain nutrients from these types of milk, which can be easily digested and which help the baby to grow big and healthy.
The pediatrician will also tell you how many times a day to feed the baby with the milk he recommends, how to prepare it properly and how to tell if he is eating enough. Many of this information is also passed on to milk cans, but it is always good to consult your doctor first.
How do you realize that formula milk needs to be changed?
The pediatrician will recommend a milk formula, but cannot guarantee that it is the most suitable or that it will be tolerated properly by the child.
Therefore, it is important that when you first start giving him the prescribed medication, follow certain signs in his behavior and condition, which may indicate that the milk is not well tolerated and should be changed with another variant.
Allergies are the primary concern of physicians when it comes to introducing a new milk formula into baby's nutrition. The main signs of an allergy are:
- dry skin, skin irritation or redness;
- increased fatigue;
If you notice any of the symptoms listed above or you feel like something is wrong with your baby (don't gain weight or, on the contrary, take too much; get upset and nervous etc.), talk to your pediatrician to find out whether or not it is from the milk formula and to prescribe another option.
Have you fed your baby with formula milk? How did you handle it? Did you encounter any difficulties or problems? Share your suggestions in the comments section below!
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