If you’ve read any literature about raising babies to become adults, you likely know that breastfeeding your child is the way to go to maximize the nutrition they receive. However, there are situations when that just isn’t possible or feasible, whether due to physical difficulties within your body or the many time constraints of life. With modern technology being what it is today, we have synthesized a product that replicates the nutritional benefits they receive from breast milk in a more convenient formula. You might not be fully aware, but there are a number of differences between infant formula and breast milk.
This article will touch on the things every parent should know about formula, so you can make the best nutritional choices for your children and their future.
Formula Fed Babies Don’t Need to Feed as Often
Formula made from cow’s milk doesn’t digest quite as easy as milk made by Mom. It stays longer in a baby’s tummy giving them a fuller feeling that can last several hours. This spreads out the time between feeding, which can give you back several hours of the day. It also potentially increases sleeping periods in smaller babies – giving exhausted moms and dads a chance to relax.
Toss Out Any Leftovers
It might be pretty tempting to keep any residual formula left in a baby’s bottle after a feeding, but try to avoid this. There are bacteria from a baby’s saliva that can germinate inside the bottle and cause all sorts of problems. Tossing out any leftover formula is a great way to make sure that none of that happens and that your baby stays healthy. If you’re concerned with waste, simply use a smaller portion of formula if you start to notice that there is consistently some left over – and give smaller servings if they are still hungry later.
All Formula Contains the Same Essential Ingredients
When it comes to selecting formula, there are a huge variety of brands, types, and price points to compare. You can take solace in the fact that the FDA regulations require manufacturers to include particular amounts of 29 specific nutrients in each serving – from fats and proteins to calcium and iron (HealthyChildren.org suggests an iron-fortified diet for the first twelve months of life). There are many brands that go above the pre-required ingredients, and include extras like fatty acids DHA and ARA – which studies show can boost brain function.
There are even specialized formulas for infants with a low birth rate, soy-based formula for lactose intolerant children, or some made for children who have reflux – even through all of these different specializations, they are still regulated to contain the same base ingredients across all brands.
Formula Feeding Allows for Open Family Participation
When you breastfeed, unless you pump, the only person allowed to feed the baby is Mom. With formula, Grandma, Dad, an older or younger sibling can all take part in feeding the baby – ushering in the life with a real sense of communal family time. Not only does this give family close and personal time with baby, but it gives mom a chance to take a quick break.