Selecting a Baby Formula

It is best to breastfeed, but if you cannot, you want to get a formula to sustain your newborn. There are many different types and brands available. Your pediatrician may be able to help you decide exactly the type of formula you need for your baby.

Formulas are based on different ingredients such as cow’s milk according to WebMD, so you must choose what is right for you. They are also known to contain vegetable oils, minerals and vitamins. They also usually contain iron. Most parents of healthy babies who are not premature will choose this type.

Formulas also can come with soy protein instead of milk. Some babies can’t tolerate lactose or milk, and this type may be indicated in such cases. Preterm babies should not take these.

There are also many specialty baby formulas made for babies with specific issues such as babies who are preterm and/or underweight. There are formulas with low sodium for babies who have such requirements and formulas where the protein is predigested for babies who cannot digest protein. Speak to your doctor if you feel that your baby needs a specialty formula.  

You also need to consider the form of the baby formula. According to WebMD, these come in three different types, which contain much of the same nutrients but different in form, convenience and price.

Powders are very common because they are generally inexpensive, light to carry and do not require refrigeration. The Environmental Working Group recommends this type to avoid contamination. You can buy powdered baby formula in many sizes, from individual packets to large cost-effective tubs. Generally they are less expensive this way but you will have to combine the powder with water when you are ready to serve.

Formulas also come in liquid concentrates. These cost more than powders and must be combined with water. The priciest formulas are those that are ready to serve.

Once you know the basic type of formula, you will need to decide on the brand. Because baby formula made in the United States is regulated by the FDA, many of the nutrients are the same. You may want to consider the store brands in order to save money. They also sell organic versions, which have organic ingredients. You can look for brands with other money saving deals such as checks.

Talk to your child’s doctor when selecting your pediatrician so that you are sure to get the right type. No matter which one you choose, make sure that the can is not dented and use it before it expires.