When I was pregnant with my each one of my children, I knew from the beginning that I was planning on breastfeeding my babies. Breastfeeding was a personal preference and I realize that not everyone wants to or can breastfeed their baby. I am the type of person who urges new mom’s to try breastfeeding your baby if you are willing to try it. I also understand that if you don’t want to attempt breastfeeding your baby that it is ultimately your baby and your choice. When I was walking down the baby isle at the store while grabbing some more diapers for my son, I decided to look at the formula section. After seeing all of the choices and varieties of formula on the store shelf I immediately became overwhelmed. If I had to choose formula for one of my children, I wouldn’t know where to begin or what formula that I should choose.
Disclosure: This post is for informational purposes only. The opinions reflected in this post are my own. Please contact your child’s pediatrician if you have any questions about the type of formula that you should use for your baby.
I remember vaguely that my mother had to use some formula when my twin sister’s were babies. She breastfed them for a few months and decided to switch over to formula. I didn’t ever pay attention when she made her decision on what kind of formula to purchase; in fact, I was still a teenager at the time and that didn’t matter to me. When I was looking all of the formula selections at the store I decided to see what types of formula was available on the market. Here is what I found:
Ready to Feed Infant Formula
Ready to feed infant formula is the easiest type of formula to prepare. It comes packaged so that all you do is have to pour the formula into your baby’s bottles. There is no mixing or measuring required making it very convenient for parents to feed their baby. You can even pour the formula into a bottle based on the exact amount that you need, using as much or as little as you need for each feeding. However, this type of formula is more expensive per ounce and takes up more storage room in your pantry. Once you open a can of ready to feed formula you have to use it all within 48 hours. After 48 hours, the formula needs to be poured down the drain and should never be given to your baby. Refrigerate any unused formula once it has been opened. Once you begin feeding your infant, you can leave the formula sitting out for up to an hour before it needs to be discarded. If you have ever looked at the color of this formula, it is pretty dark so it is more likely to stain your baby’s clothes.
Liquid Concentrate Formula
Liquid Concentrate Formula is a condensed version of liquid formula. This formula has to be mixed with equal parts of liquid formula and water. Compared to powdered formula this type of formula is more expensive but it is cheaper than the ready to feed formula. When mixing the formula it is very important to follow the directions on the label so that your baby is getting the right amount of calories. Adding Too much concentrate would add additional calories to your child’s bottle and adding too much water would make the formula to thin and would decrease the amount of calories that your infant needs. Once you open a can of liquid concentrate formula you have to use it all in 24 hours. After 24 hours, the formula needs to be poured down the drain. Once you begin feeding your infant, you can leave the formula sitting out for up to an hour before it needs to be discarded.
Powdered Formula is the most popular choice of formula among parents because it is the most cost effective way to feed your baby. You can easily prepare how much or how little formula that you need during each feeding. It does take the most amount of work to make each bottle because you have to carefully measure out the correct amount of formula to water ratio so that your child is getting the right amount of calories per ounce. Always follow the instructions on the back of the can when preparing a bottle for your baby. Once a can of powdered formula is opened it needs to be thrown away after one month. You can also prepare bottles ahead of time so that they are already ready when your infant is ready to eat. If you prepare bottles ahead of time, you need to refrigerate them immediately after making them and they have to be used within 24 hours. If you like to stockpile large amounts of formula, always check the expiration date on the can before giving it to your baby. If the formula is expired do not feed it to your infant. They even make infant formula dispensers to carry in the diaper bag for you to store a small amount of formula in so that your baby gets the right amount of formula without having to carry around a huge can of formula. Make sure that you toss the formula in the dispenser if it has been in the diaper bag unused for one month.
What type of formula did you feed your baby?