We will just skip the never-ending debate about whether formula milk is as good as breast milk (it is a scientifically proven fact that breast milk is by far the best choice for any baby) because there can be situations where giving breast milk to your baby is just not possible.
Instead, we will explore the various aspects related to formula milk including what exactly is formula milk, what are the different types of formula milk and how to feed milk to your baby.
What is Formula Milk?
Formula milk is an artificially developed formula that is supposed to mimic the qualities of human breast milk. It aims to act as a source of nutrition for young infants that cannot feed on anything else. Usually, in most countries, formula milk is classified as a medical product and is heavily regulated by the authorities to ensure that high-quality formula is made available to the parents.
Usually, you can get the formula in three different types, such as –
- Powdered formula – It comes in a powdered form and all you need to do is mix it with enough quantity of water to make a formula-based feed for your baby. It is the most affordable option and is used by most people.
- Concentrated liquid formula – It comes packed in a liquid form; however, the way to make it is quite similar to the powdered form. You need to mix it in water before feeding the baby. It is a little more expensive than powdered form and is also sometimes a little difficult to store and carry.
- Ready-to-use formula – This is the most expensive, but, also the most convenient form of formula out there. It comes in a, usually, single-use pack and is ready to be given to the baby. You don’t need to mix water in it.
Common Varieties of Formula
The most common varieties of formula include:
- Milk-based formula – This is the most commonly used formula made from cow’s milk and usually has added nutrients like iron in it. It is as close to human breast milk as possible and contains easily digestible ingredients.
- Hydrolyzed formula – It is usually referred to as the lactose-free formula and the protein in this formula is broken down into much smaller parts so that it is even easier for the baby to digest.
- Soy-based formula – It is not usually recommended unless your baby has an allergy to cow milk-based formula because it significantly differs from human breast milk and might be difficult for the baby to digest.
How to prepare the formula to feed the baby?
Here are a few steps to remember when preparing milk-based formula for your baby:
- Remember to properly clean your hands before you touch anything that will come close to the baby. Also, clean their bottle and all the utensils properly that you will use to make the formula.
- Add the exact quantity of water in the bottle as per the instructions in the formula box. It is always advised that you first add the water and then add the powder. Once you have added the powder, mix it properly. Simply shake the bottle thoroughly to ensure that no lumps are formed in the mix.
Tip – Many people try to dilute the formula by adding a little extra water so that the box will last them a little longer. While it might sound like a tempting idea, please avoid doing it at all costs. It can have a dangerous consequence for the baby since diluting the formula results in a nutrient-deficient feed. It can cause the baby to get sick and even suffer from seizures.