Feeding a baby can feel like something of an enigma for first time parents. There are so many options, so many things to know that it can feel overwhelming. As with most things when it comes to parenting, you’re often going in mostly blind.
Many of us already have a good idea about the nutritional benefits of breastfeeding, but most of the time parents don’t know as much as they should before their baby is born about the nutritional information of formula feeding since it isn’t widely talked about (Speaking of which, did you know that websites like https://sellformula.com/ allow you to sell formula that you haven’t used?)
If you are in the dark about formula feeding and nutrition, you aren’t alone. Thankfully, we’re here to help. Here’s your guide to nutrition when formula feeding your baby.
Formula vs Breastmilk – The Nutritional Differences
Formula feeding is a fantastic choice for many parents, and formula is just as good for babies as breastmilk is in terms of nutritional value. With that being said, they are not the same.
It’s worth noting that formula will usually contain a lot more protein. Likewise, it tends to be higher in vitamins and minerals since there can sometimes be a lower rate of nutrient absorption in formula.
Formula feeding is a great choice for babies that may struggle with the levels of protein or carbohydrates in breastmilk. It’s also good for mothers that may be unable to breastfeed, and for infants that are born premature or at a low birth weight. Some babies even do better when formula fed than they do when they are breastfed.
How Much Formula Does My Baby Need?
The amount of formula you feed your baby depends on how old he or she is and what stage of development he or she is at. If your baby is less than 4 months old, you will need to start out by giving him or her around 1-2 ounces of formula every 2 hours. This may increase over the next few weeks until you reach 3-4 ounces per hour.
It’s a good idea to make sure that you stock up on plenty of formula early on in your baby’s life, since as a newborn babies will typically eat around 8 to 12 times in the space of 24 hours.
Later in life, your baby will eat roughly every 3 to 4 hours, so not as often as when they were a newborn. Between the age of 6 to 12 months, your baby will need to be fed infant formula roughly 5 to 6 times in a day. This amount will gradually decrease as time goes on and your baby eats more solid foods.
By the time your baby gets to 12 months to 24 months old, you will likely no longer need to give them infant formula. Instead, they can have normal cow’s milk or some soy milk.
It’s always important to note that while these are guidelines, they are not set in stone. Always follow your baby’s cues as every baby is different, and thus will need different things.
How Long Can I Bottle Feed My Baby?
In most cases babies will be feeding off formula for the first 12 months or so, after which point they will switch to solids and plain cow’s milk. Again, this can vary from one baby to another.
How Formula Type Influences Nutrition
There are a few different types of formula, each with their own nutritional values. This is ready to feed formula, concentrated liquid and powder.
In reality though, these three types of formula don’t differ a whole lot in terms of nutrition. Instead, they primarily differ in their prices and convenience.
Liquid based formulas and ready to feed formulas are typically much more convenient since the parents don’t have to manually make up each bottle for a feed. Powder formula doesn’t cost as much because it doesn’t provide that same level of experience. Rest assured though, all types of formula are the same in terms of nutritional value.
Of course, there are some areas in which formula types will vary, and that comes down to the ingredients. In most cases formulas are often made from cow’s milk, which many infants will respond well to. Some formulas are made out of soy milk or other kinds of milk – the nutritional characteristics in these kinds of formula may vary since they are made from different ingredients.
Formula is an amazing thing to introduce into your baby’s diet. It provides them with nutrients that they would otherwise get from breastmilk or other food sources. However, if you’re unsure about whether or not you should go ahead and try formula, then you might want to talk to your doctor. They can help you decide whether or not it’s right for your baby.