Have you ever wondered what happens with a baby’s nutrition if breast milk is not available? What would you do if you were suddenly unable to breastfeed your child?
In this case, most parents resort to the best baby formula they can find on the market. Basically, the main task of this liquid nutrition is to act as breast milk.
It goes without saying that breast milk is the best and most natural option for feeding a baby. However, formula has proven to be of great help in cases when the supply of mother’s milk is low. Furthermore, it has helped babies whose stomachs are too delicate. Thanks to baby formula, allergies or introducing difficult foods too early are things of the past.
There is an ongoing dispute between those who are pro-breastmilk and those who are pro-formula. So, first-time users might run into an overwhelming amount of conflicting information. This buyer’s guide is an attempt to shed some light on the most important facts regarding the topic.
Types of Baby Formula
The best baby formulas on the market most often come in the following varieties:
- Powdered formula is the most economical type, as it comes in a can with a measuring scoop.
- The concentrated liquid formula comes in a container. It is usually a bit more expensive. Nevertheless, it is a great solution for long trips or when your child is tended to by a babysitter. The only thing you need to do to prepare is to dilute it in bottled water.
- Ready-to-use formula is the most convenient, but also the most expensive one. It is least likely to cause cramps and constipation.
- Cow’s milk protein formula mimics breast milk.
- The organic non-GMO formula is often dairy-based. It minimizes the risk of pesticides affecting your baby’s health.
- Soy-based formula is used in place of cow’s milk base when a baby is lactose intolerant. Namely, this soy is rich in glucose. However, experts do not recommend giving soy-based formula to premature babies.
- Dairy-free formula is given to babies allergic to milk. Aside from soy-based, there are also amino acid formulas.
- Hypoallergenic formulas contain milk, but it is partially broken down. Basically, that means that it will be easier for your baby to digest it.
How to Choose and Buy the Best Baby Formula
Before actually choosing and buying baby formula, you need to understand that every child’s taste is unique. Therefore, answers regarding the best baby formula are not set in stone.
You can probably begin to imagine how frustrating the process can be. Indeed, formula is one of the most difficult products to choose for a baby. However, there are a few things you should focus on in your search. The best baby formula will:
- Break down proteins and ensure easy digestion
- Include fatty acids and iron essential for the development
Additionally, if your baby is not allergic, be on the lookout for formulas that use cow’s milk. Finally, if you are unsure of what to choose, consult your baby’s doctor.
Best Baby Formulas to Consider
While not everything is in a name, we compiled a list that you can use as a starting point in your search for best baby formula. These are our favorite brands:
- Baby’s Only Organic Dairy Formula – Dairy-based, organic non-GMO formula. No corn syrup and gluten-free.
- Earth’s Best Organic Infant Powder Formula – Milk-based powdered formula that includes breast milk fatty acids. Does not contain corn syrup.
- Enfamil Newborn Premium Infant Formula – Ready-to-use formula. Somewhat expensive, but highly nutritious and GMO-free.
- Gerber Good Start Gentle Powder Infant Formula – Contains broken down proteins, so the formula is easy to digest. May cause constipation.
- Gerber Good Start Soothe Powder Infant Formula – Contains 100% whey protein. Very easy to digest.
- PurAmino Hypoallergenic Infant Formula – Not based on cow milk. Suitable for babies suffering from serious allergies.
- Similac for Supplementation Infant Formula – Contains 10% more probiotics. Non-GMO.
FAQs about Baby Formula
1. What are the ingredients used in baby formula?
We already mentioned that the most common bases are cow’s milk and soy base. While the former does a better job at mimicking breast milk, the latter is more popular among vegans and allergy-prone parents.
Aside from the base, there are several other ingredients that fortify the formula. They differ from one manufacturer to the next, but their overall nutritional value is strictly regulated by FDA. However, most formulas contain iron, vegetable oils, DHA/ARA, prebiotics, and probiotics.
2. Is formula lactose-free and dairy-free?
If the formula contains a non-milk base, then it is both lactose-free and dairy-free. Cow’s milk, however, contains both of these.
3. What kind of water is best for making formula?
As long as it is not rich in fluoride, it does not really matter if you got it straight from the tap or from a bottle. Just keep in mind to boil the tap water before you add the formula to it.
4. Does the water need boiling?
You do not have to boil the water in order to mix in the formula unless it came from a tap. In any case, make sure that the water is lukewarm once you start preparing the bottle.
5. When should babies stop taking formula?
Experts generally recommend weaning babies off bottles by the time they turn one. The same goes for the baby formula – it is a good idea to completely start using it between 10 and 12 months of age.
We completely understand how frustrating it can be to choose the best baby formula with limited knowledge on it. We know it is difficult to figure out what your baby likes if they cannot tell you themselves. Keep in mind that your top priorities should be their health and satisfaction.
Do further research if needed. Consult with friends who have experience in using formula. We hope that, if nothing else, this guide was a good starting point for finding the best baby formulas for your baby.