My wife and I decided shortly after bringing my daughter home from the hospital that we would be feeding her formula (the reasons I won’t get into here). Apparently, we weren’t the only ones:
According to Reviews.Com research “…two-thirds of American infants rely on formula for some or all of their nutrition by 3 months of age..”.
But once you decide to go the formula route, what’s next? There are so many brands and so many different types, choosing one can be very confusing. How do you choose the right formula for your baby?
I know what you’re saying: “Great! One more thing I need to worry about.”
Not so fast Daddy-O, keep reading!
NOTE: This post is based on an article by Reviews.Com. All quotes in this post are from the referenced article. I am not going to regurgitate all the information here, so I encourage everyone to click on the Reviews.Com link and read the entire article.
My friends at Reviews.Com did some awesome research on baby formula! After reading the article I lamented that it would have been great to have 2 years ago when I had my daughter. So I’m passing the article along to Unexpected Dad readers so that you can benefit from the information.
Baby formula was a life saver for my wife and me when our daughter was a newborn. She was a bit premature, so we were directed to feed her every 3 hours. This meant getting up multiple times in the middle of the night for feedings. Using baby formula gave us the flexibility to switch off in “shifts” throughout the day. My wife was able to sleep (“sleep” is a relative term when taking care of a newborn) and she didn’t have to get up for every feeding.
We had some digestion problems to deal with, so we ended up going with Enfamil Gentlease at the recommendation of our doctor. This brings up a very important point: Consult your child’s pediatrician before choosing a formula. You should not go it alone when choosing a formula no matter how many articles you have read. Always check with your doctor.
I have to hand it to the Reviews.Com folks, they really did their homework. They broke their picks down by best overall formula, best soy based formula, best formula on a budget, etc. There’s even a handy-dandy chart (I’m a data guy, and I love charts and graphs). And, I have to be honest here: I never did try the formula myself, but they did.
In addition to providing data on the different brands and types of formula, they also provide helpful tips and facts on baby formula in general.
One of the big takeaways from the Reviews.Com article was that you really can’t go wrong with today’s baby formula; the FDA regulates all baby formula in the United States. “…every commercially available formula has the same basic mix of protein, fats, carbs, and essential vitamins and minerals.” With this in mind, the main items that you will be looking for in baby formula is taste, consistency, ease of digestion and of course price.
“All formulas have added vitamins, minerals, and enhancements — they are mandated to by the FDA…”
This should give most parents a level of comfort that you really can’t go wrong no matter which formula you choose.
Another point the Reviews.Com article mentions is cleanliness when preparing the formula. This was something that my wife and I were always careful about. Wash and sanitize the bottles, wash your hands before preparing, boil and cool the water. I never wanted to take the chance of introducing something to my daughter that would make her sick at such a young age. Follow the directions on the label of the formula carefully.
We had a strategy around preparing the formula: Mix up 4 bottles and put them in the refrigerator. This way when we had to get up at 2:00 AM for a feeding, we could just stumble to the refrigerator and pull out a bottle. Minimal work in the wee hours of the morning.
Another point to note: If the formula you choose doesn’t agree with your baby, you will know pretty quick.
“Babies with food allergies or digestion troubles will show signs like diarrhea or constipation, gas, reflux, dry or red skin, or chronic fussiness.”
If you need to switch formula, do it slowly. Also, when it was time for us to move off the formula completely, we did it a gradual manner. We decreased the amount each week until we had our daughter off of formula.
I hope you found this article as informative and helpful as I did. I don’t have any affiliation with Reviews.Com, other than as a reader wanting to pass along useful information.
Please comment and let me know your experiences with baby formula.
Referenced article at Reviews.Com:
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