Baby Formula

Tips for formula feeding

Baby formula is a manufactured approximation of breast milk that can be used to feed infants who are less than six months old. Typically, baby formula is made from cow's milk and casein, vegetable oil, and lactose. These three compounds contain proteins, fats and carbohydrates, respectively. Then, the mixture is fortified with a variety of vitamins and minerals.

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Numerous kinds of formula are available on the market. Organic baby formula is made with only 100 percent natural ingredients, and lactose-free baby formula is also available for infants who show sensitivity to lactose or have a lactose-triggered baby-formula allergy.

Why Use Baby Formula?

Most pediatricians suggest that mothers should choose to breast-feed their children whenever possible. Baby formula is an imperfect approximation of breast milk, partially because some of the properties of human breast milk are still a mystery to doctors.

There are times when it is unsafe for a mother to breast-feed; for example, if she is undernourished, or has a condition such tuberculosis, HIV, or a drug or alcohol dependency. Certain medications also affect breast milk production; ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about prescription drugs and their effects on breast milk.

Some babies have metabolic deficiencies which make it unhealthy or impossible for them to breast-feed. In some cases, a woman's diet may promote the presence of allergens in her breast milk, triggering an allergic reaction when she breast-feeds. Formula-feeding may also be necessary if the mother experiences pain during breast-feeding. Using a baby bottle is, in some cases, the only way to alleviate this discomfort.

Finally, some mothers use formula at least part of the time because it is a better fit for their busy lives, especially if they often use child care providers: it can be simpler to prepare a bottle of formula for use in their absence, put their little one in the car seat and go.

Popular Baby Formula Brands

Many companies produce quality baby formula and feeding products, and you should always follow the advice of your family doctor or pediatrician. That said, some of the leading brands in terms of enduring popularity include Carnation baby formula, Enfamil baby formula and Similac baby formula.

Using baby formula coupons or buying in bulk is a good way to save money. The cost of baby formula can add up over time, particularly if you rely upon it as your infant's sole source of food. However, it is important for your baby's health and development that you buy quality baby formula products; cutting corners on your child's nutrition is never a good idea.