There is no denying the fact that nothing is more nutritious and benefitting for a baby than the breast milk. However, many parents prefer to introduce their baby to the formula (after the first six months) in addition to the breast milk. The formula particularly comes as a blessing for women who are unable to breastfeed their child due to health problems. However, the real struggle is in selecting the best formula for the baby. For all those parents planning to introduce their baby to formula milk, here's a complete guide to ensure that you choose nothing but the best for your baby.
The formula comes in four different types- Cow's milk-based, Goat's milk-based, Soy-based, and Hydrolyzed protein-based.
Most paediatricians suggest that for first-timers, it is best to start with cow's milk-based formula which seldom poses any serious digestive problems (such as gas formation, vomiting, stomachache). For babies who have lactose intolerance or if the cow's milk-based formula triggers gas formation or rashes in the baby, the soy milk-based formula or the lactose-free formula comes across as a healthy option (only after consultation with the paediatrician).
While selecting the formula, read the label carefully. It is a well-known fact that breastmilk is laden with a myriad of essential nutrients, including iron. Iron plays a pivotal role in the growth and development of the baby. Thus, formula milk that comes with a low iron content should be rejected from the word go. Always go for the ones that are fortified with iron.
ARA (Arachidonic acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) are fatty acids that are essential for Neurodevelopment in infants (especially for the proper development of the eyes and the brain). The baby formula that you choose should not be devoid of these vital fatty acids.
If you want to start with the formula before your baby has reached six months of age, the First-stage baby formula (mostly whey based with a 60:40 ratio of whey: casein) is a good buy. With a higher whey content, the first-stage baby formula gets digested without any struggle.
The casein based formula (Second-stage formula), on the other hand, contains a 20:80 ratio of whey: casein. With a higher casein content, the second-stage baby formula usually takes a longer time to get digested and is, thus, unsuitable for newborns or babies below one year.
When it comes to your baby health, taking a risk is just not an option.Thus, while selecting the baby formula, never go for the cheap brands. Instead, opt for the famous brands (approved by the Food and Drug Administration) that are being trusted and recommended worldwide.
Today, there are different baby formulas available on the market based on the different age groups (nutritive values and the composition of the baby formula are adjusted keeping the age of the baby in mind). Selecting the baby formula based on the age will ensure that your baby gets the nutrition necessary for his/her age.
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