Baby Formula

Baby Formula
Baby Formula

Baby formulas contain all the nutrients your growing baby needs, including calories, carbs, protein, vitamins, and minerals. When choosing a baby formula, you have many options.

Types of Baby Formula

There are four main types of formula to choose from:

  • Formula from cow’s milk: Products whose main ingredient is cow’s milk are the most common form of baby formula. The modified milk is easier to digest, so this formula works well for many infants.
  • Formula from soy milk: Soy milk formula is an option for a lactose intolerant formula baby or one with other food sensitivities.
  • Hydrolyzed formula: For babies with protein maldigestion, the inability to digest protein, the hydrolyzed formula is easier to process. Processing breaks down or hydrolyzes the protein, so your little one can easily get the nutrients they need. They're usually made without milk.
  • Specialized formula: Preterm babies or infants with additional medical needs can benefit from a specialized formula. It’s recommended for babies with food allergies, fat malabsorption, or protein maldigestion. These formulas have increased vitamins and minerals to overcome the symptoms of malnutrition.
Talk to your pediatrician to determine which formula is best for your child. Most baby formulas contain iron, but your doctor may recommend an iron-fortified formula with extra iron to prevent anemia. You can also find formulas without iron for infants with impaired renal function.

Powdered vs. Liquid Formula

Most types of formula come in both powdered and liquid forms. You can also use more than one formula form, such as a powdered formula at home and liquid formula when you’re out. As long as you use the same type of formula, you can use it in any form.

Powdered Formula

Powdered formula is the most accessible baby formula. It’s also the least expensive. Powdered formula is easy to store, and it’s shelf-stable. If you choose a powdered formula, remember that you need to measure it carefully, add the appropriate amount of water, and mix well before feeding.

Liquid Formula

Concentrated liquid formula is more expensive than powdered formula. However, it's more convenient, easier to prepare, and it doesn't get as messy. Remember that you will still need to measure and mix with water as directed. The premixed liquid formula is even pricier than the concentrated liquid formula, but it's very convenient because you don't have to add water or mix the formula. This grab-and-go option is great if you're in a rush.

Formula Feeding Tips

Simplify feedings with these tips:

  • Stick with one formula. When you find a formula that works, keep using the same formula to avoid stomach aches and fussy feedings.
  • Mix enough formula for the entire day. In the morning, mix a pitcher of formula so you're ready for the busy day ahead.
  • Try pace feeding. Use a bottle with a slow-flow nipple that slowly releases milk and gives your baby a more comfortable feed.
  • Takes breaks for burping. During each feeding, take one or two breaks and burp your baby to release gas bubbles in their stomach.