Feeding Formula is to suit every baby’s need and it is recommended to stick to a particular formula and should not change it frequently.
Feeding formula is a special nutritional mixture for infants under the 12 months of age. Experts believe that breastfeeding is very important for infants; however, some of the parents choose feeding formula due to some specific medical conditions or special nutritional requirements. The feeding mixture can be in a form of a powder or a liquid.
Parents often find themselves puzzled when they need to formula feed their newborn. They are filled with too many questions regarding different kinds of formula feed and the amount of formula feed to be given to the baby. The decision to breastfeed or formula feed the infant is a personal one, however, both the methods have their pros and cons. Breastfeed has a little edge over the formula feed as far as the immunity is concerned. Breast milk contains antibodies and other germ-fighting factors which help a lot in strengthening the immune system of an infant. Breastfed babies are more resistant to diseases like ear infections, diarrhea, meningitis, allergies, diabetes, obesity etc. There are lots of Breastfeeding Benefits, according to doctors Breast milk is often called as the “perfect food” due to its high nutritional value. Breast milk is composed of lactose, protein (whey and casein), and fat, a formula which is easy to digest by an infant. Companies manufacturing formula feed mostly ensure that their supplement contains all the essential nutrients so that it does not hamper the normal growth of a newborn, however, the commercial formulas can never replace the breast milk completely.
Choosing the right nourishment best formula for infants should be a wise decision as during the first 6 months, infants go under the tremendous adaptation of their gastrointestinal tract and it is very normal. Most of the babies need 150 ml-200 ml of feed per kilogram of their body weight. It means that a baby weighing 3 kg will need approximately 450 ml to 600 ml in 24 hours to satisfy his hunger.
However, a baby small as of one week may need less because of very tiny tummy. Try giving your baby 60 ml-70 ml at each feed for the first two weeks. The baby may need 450 ml to 735 ml in one day from the second week onwards for the next 6 weeks, this makes up almost 75 ml to 105 ml at each feed. The baby of two months to six months, he may need 105 ml to 210 ml per feed and the total formula intake might reach 900 ml a day. The formula feed reduces to 600 ml usually, when we start giving solids to the baby, however, the diet for every baby is not the same and it varies from baby to baby. Once the baby starts taking solids, the daily intake of formula may reduce up to 600 ml per day, gradually but never force a baby to gulp down all the formula feed, you can feed the baby with milk foods like custard, yoghurt or rice pudding. When a baby reaches the age of one, he can switch from drinking formula to full-fat cow’s milk.
If a baby sleeps more than 4-5 hours in his first month, then wake the baby up and formula feed him. If a baby gets distracted easily during the feeding, then he has probably finished eating and is full. If the formula is finished and the baby is still smacking his lips, then he is probably still hungry. It is best to feed a baby when he cries out of hunger initially. Soon the baby will develop a regular timetable of his own and the parents become familiar with his signals and needs, likewise, it becomes easy for them to feed their baby on time. Never overfeed your baby as this could harm the digestion process which is still in adapting mode, instead try distracting the baby with a pacifier or a toy. Babies gradually learn to make their parents know if they need more formula feed or less than what the parents has prepared for them. If the parents are still not sure of the exact amount of formula feed and baby feeding schedule, they can talk to the doctor. A baby of six months will not eat a wide variety of solids to fulfill all his nutrient needs; parents should keep formula feeding their babies until he is a year old.
Most of the formulas are cow’s milk or soybeans based, there are also formulas for babies who are allergic to soy proteins, cow’s milk or have a low birth weight. One thing that is to be kept in mind while buying a formula feed is that it should be iron-fortified to prevent anemia. Babies should not be fed cow’s milk until they are one-year-old because cow’s milk is too heavy for the baby’s digestive system and it lacks essential nutrients which are of utmost importance for the proper growth of the baby.
There is a formula to suit every baby’s need and it is recommended to stick to a particular formula and should not change it frequently. Wait for some time before changing your formula, if the baby is facing problems like spitting up, gas, colic, and then consult a doctor first. Doctors usually suggest a soy base formula for babies with mild rectal bleeding. If a baby is lactose intolerant, then soy-based formulas may work great because the carbohydrate in soy is sucrose or glucose, not lactose.
Half of the babies allergic to cow’s milk based formulas may be allergic to soy-based formulas as well. Consult a doctor in such case and switch to another formula accordingly.
In the extremely hydrolyzed formula, the protein is broken down into simpler parts so that it does not affect the sensitive digestive system of the baby. This formula is often prescribed to babies having a skin condition called ‘eczema’. This formula is also suggested by the experts to babies who have multiple allergies or problem absorbing nutrients.
There is a formula for premature and low birth-weight babies as well; they are richer in protein and calories as compared to other formulas. They contain MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) which is a type of fat that can be easily absorbed in order to gain proper weight.
There are other formulas as well, which cater to the certain condition or problem in babies. Some formulas have added nucleotides which help in immune system development. Rice starch is added to the formulas to aid in baby’s acid reflux, while amino acids are added to formulas to match the essential amino acids found in breast milk.
Now, if you have decided to formula feed your baby, but still baffled up with so many questions and options, consult the pediatrician. The doctor will consider your baby’s age, health, and nutritional needs to help you out with the most appropriate formula.