Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Picking formula for your child

By Mona Selinger

The first choice in bottle milk for your baby should be a cow's milk based infant formula suited to her age. This is of course unless your midwife has advised you not to due to possible allergies or another reason. Normally goats milk is not suited in a case of allergies either due to the fact that goats milk proteins are very similar to the ones found in cow's milk. The lactose content is also around the same levels found in cow's milk. Sheep milk and goat milk contain much lower nourishment levels, below what is required for a growing baby, especially iron unless they have been artificially added. These milk types have also not been approved for use within Europe. Should you consider these for any reason, you should consult with your family GP first.

If you are looking at powder formula as an alternative to breastfeeding, you may become overwhelmed by the wide variety of options on the market. With all of the marketing and different promises each of the brands have, it can become very difficult to single out the best brand for your child. There is however a silver lining. Due to the laws that regulate baby food, they are all in fact quite the same, with the most visible difference being in which direction the promotions company has taken and what nourishment information they want to highlight. If you are worried or feel your baby needs something a little bit more, do not hesitate to speak with your midwife for more advice as they will probably have a favourite to recommend to you.

When it comes to canned powdered formula, the costs may well be quite a bit lower than buying cartons of the ready made alternatives. The major problem being the preparation time. You can buy powdered formula for a variety of ages, right from new born through to toddlers and even older so you will want to remember this if you are new to formula milk. A very big plus side to ready-made carton milk formula is that it does not need heating. This may be great for times when you are out for a meal with family and friends or even the early morning feeds when you don't quite feel like fumbling around the kitchen in the dark heating up food.

It is very important to remember that other than breast milk, formula is the only alternative during the first six months of your childs life and it should be given for at least the first 12 months. It is not safe to feed an infant under 12 months old anything besides breast milk or formula. They are not able to digest the full fat milk adults would normally consume and does not contain enough nutrients for their growing bodies. Once they are passed six months though, you may begin introducing small amounts into any food you may be preparing for them.

If it is your first little one, it may be good to join a mums group so that you are able to discuss between you what to use and what to avoid. Even for a 2nd or 3rd time mom, the support of these groups can be priceless. You can speak to someone at your local clinic for information about baby groups in your town, or even at your widwifes office.

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