Choosing the Best Formula Ingredients for Your Baby
There is no one-size fits all formula that’s ideal for every infant. Some infants are sensitive to certain ingredients. Children’s caloric and macronutrient needs as they grow. Therefore, the best formula for your infant depends on your child’s age, dietary needs, medical history and general health.
Some baby formulas contain ingredients that are potentially harmful to your infant’s health, such as corn syrup, carrageenan and preservatives. Therefore, switching away from one of those may be your best bet.
In Europe, corn syrup and many other toxic ingredients are not allowed in organic infant formula. Therefore, if you want to switch baby formula, choosing an organic European option can give you peace of mind.
Is Your Child Sensitive to the Baby Formula?
A newborn’s digestive system is immature. Young babies may have trouble digesting certain ingredients. This is especially true if they consume a formula with additives and other artificial compounds.
Sometimes, gastrointestinal distress can occur just because the baby’s digestive system needs more time to mature. Other times, symptoms such as vomiting, abdominal pain, colic-like symptoms and diarrhea can be signs of a milk allergy.
In either case, you might want to try switching formula types to see if the problem improves. A formula that is based on a different type of milk, such as goat’s milk formula, could soothe your infant’s tummy troubles.
When you make the switch, try to use the new formula for at least two weeks before gauging the infant’s response. It can take some time to eliminate gassiness or abdominal distress that’s caused by the diet.
Switching Baby Formula Can Help You Nurse Longer
Is it ok to switch baby formula if you’ve been nursing? While introducing formula can affect your milk supply in the early days, it can actually help you breastfeed for longer in some cases.
Sometimes, nursing gets off to a rocky start or you have to go back to work and don’t pump enough milk. If you have to supplement with formula, a practice that is referred to as combination feeding, you want to choose the highest quality product that you can afford.
When you remove some of the stress that’s associated with breastfeeding, you may increase your supply. Many mothers nurse when they’re around their infants and offer formula overnight or while they’re at work.
Will Your Baby Notice if You Switch Formula?
Some babies are picky about what goes into their mouths. Others will suck down any formula that you offer them.
Milk-based formulas contain lactose, a milk sugar, which makes it taste somewhat sweet. Whether your baby has been drinking breastmilk or another type of formula, they’re likely accustomed to this sweetness and won’t notice much difference when you change brands.
Plus, babies that nurse are used to the way that breastmilk changes flavor with the mother’s diet. They may not notice the flavor shift when you introduce formula.
If you’re switching between brands of formula, you might consider choosing the same type at first. For example, if your infant is used to cow’s milk formula, choose that type when you switch. Some parents change brands or types gradually, mixing the two together and reducing the amount of the original product over time.
Switch Formula for Different Stages
Some brands offer distinct formulas for different stages of your infant’s life. They do this to mimic the way that breastmilk changes as a child grows.
If you use a brand that offers various stages, choose the one that matches your child’s age. Your little one will benefit from the specific blend of nutrients that’s in the product. As your little one gets older, you’ll have to switch formulas. For example, if you’ve been using a stage 1 formula that’s designed for infants from 0 to 6 months, you’ll need to switch to stage 2 at 7 months.
Save Money by Switching Baby Formula
Are you concerned about the cost of formula? Some families save money by combining a less expensive formula with a more costly option. This can be helpful if you’re experiencing financial issues or have a child that prefers a specific brand but you want to streamline your budget.
There aren’t specific advantages or disadvantages to using different brands of formula. As long as the ingredients are high-quality and your baby tolerates the product, use whatever works best for your family.
- Jennifer Akiyama