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Some mothers can breastfeed, but decide not to, and instead they choose to feed their baby formula. But other mothers simply can’t breastfeed, so formula is the only option for feeding their babies. In both cases, new mothers have a lot of questions that they want answers to before starting to feed their babies formula.

How do you choose the best baby formula?

You have most certainly already received some info from your neonatologist (especially mothers who can’t breastfeed) or from your pediatrician (for babies who have been breastfed for a few weeks). Parenting forums also contain a lot of opinions with regard to the formula recipes on the market. Even your friends with babies can most certainly offer some advice. All this information will help give you an idea about the top 3 most popular and recommended formula recipes.

But the decision will ultimately be made by the baby himself. Because, in spite of the fact that most formulas contain similar ingredients, with only very small differences in quantities, babies are in fact very sensitive to the taste of formula, so they might prefer one and not the other.

This is why you shouldn’t hurry up and buy many cans of the same product. You won’t know whether the baby will like it or, if he does, whether he will stick to it in the following months.

Can I prepare more than one feeding bottle in advance?

  • Even if you keep it in the refrigerator, old formula can cause your baby health issues. Unlike breast milk, that can be kept refrigerated (ideal 72 hours), as well as at room temperature (between 20 and 24 degrees Celsius) for up to 3 or 4 hours, formula must be prepared and consumed within 15 to 20 minutes.

For night feeding to be as quick as possible, a good advice would be to keep the right amount of formula already in the dry feeding bottle (or in a special recipient for formula), and the right amount of water in another feeding bottle (or a thermos). And when it is time to feed the baby, all you have to do it mix the two.

Why shouldn’t you heat the feeding bottle in the microwave oven?

Without entering the debate of whether microwaves are safe for babies, the simplest reason for not recommending heating the feeding bottle in the microwave is the fact that it can overheat in certain places, causing your baby burns in his mouth. Some children prefer the water at room temperature. But for babies who like warm milk, you can rapidly heat the water in a coffee pot or in a special feeding bottle warming device, or you can hold the feeding bottle under a stream of hot water in the sink.

Discover on page 2 other 7 handy tips for bottle feeding your baby

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Do you need any additional vitamins for children who are being fed formula?

The starting formulas, the ones dedicated to new-borns and babies of up to 6 months, contain all the nutrients that your baby needs. Of course, it’s incomparable to breast milk. And this only applies to a normal situation, when the child has no feeding problems, and when the parents respect the quantities of milk that were suggested by their pediatrician. After 6 months, when diversification starts, babies get iron from food, and the new formula, for babies over 6 months old, is adapted to this new stage in feeding. It is possible that, in the first 4 weeks after starting to diversify, your pediatrician might recommend iron supplements for the baby.

Is a baby being fed formula less attached to the mother than a baby that is breastfed?

Mothers should stop blaming themselves for their inability to feed their babies. You can be just as close to your baby, skin on skin, you can smile at each other, you can sing to him and you can comfort him, even if you are feeding him formula.

What does it mean if the baby regurgitates some milk after being fed?

You shouldn’t panic if the baby regurgitates some milk after drinking from a bottle. This is not an allergic reaction to the formula, but only a sign that he swallowed some air. Pediatricians recommend a break during meals, during which the baby must be pat on the back in order to help him burp (in order to eliminate the swallowed air, that can also cause him belly aches).

How can I tell if the baby has an allergic reaction to formula?

Some children are allergic to the proteins in milk. The signs that should worry you are: diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain, skin irritations, occasionally – blood in his stool. But allergic babies have their own types of formulas.

Do babies being fed formula eat more than breastfed babies?

The baby will stop eating when he is full, regardless of whether he is breastfed or formula fed. But there are babies who like to finish the bottle. When the baby refuses to take the bottle, it means either that he is full or that he wants to burp. In this case, the mother should pat his back for 5-10 minutes, and then try again, to see if the baby wants to continue eating.

If he doesn’t, then he is full and he shouldn’t be forced to eat any more. Even though they are tiny, babies know how much milk they need in one feeding, as well as how much sleep they need. The best thing parents can do is observe the babies, learn their behaviour and adapt to it, instead of pushing a certain sleep schedule, feeding schedule or amounts of milk that they need to drink.

 How dangerous is it if you don’t respect the preparation instructions of the formula?

Even if for you an extra half a spoon or an extra 20 ml of water don’t seem important, for the baby they are crucial. Each formula box has clear instructions about how it should be prepared. If you don’t follow the instructions, your child’s health may be in danger. If the milk is too concentrated (too much powder or not enough water), then the little guy can become constipated. And if you add too much water or not enough milk, the formula will be too diluted and, although the bottle holds the same amount of liquid, it will not have the same properties, and it will not be enough for your baby.

Can I mix breastfeeding and formula?

Alternating breast milk and formula will not cause your baby any problems. You should respect the same intervals between feedings. Also, you must take into consideration that formula is more consistent than breast milk, so the baby might not be as hungry after eating formula. Mothers should be aware of this, especially if they are just starting to breastfeed, which is when breasts are full of milk and they can become engorged.

The formula must contain iron! Check the expiration dates! Once opened, the milk should be consumed within 2 or 3 weeks! Don’t let prepared formula at room temperature for more than 30-40 minutes! Throw away the leftover milk in the feeding bottle!