The Best Formula Feeding Guide: What You Should Know

As a new parent or a new-to-formula parent, you’re going to have lots of unanswered questions when it comes to formula feeding.

When do I feed my baby? What do I need to purchase for formula feeding? What is the best formula for my baby? How do I sterilize the formula bottles? Will I lose the connection with my baby by formula feeding? And the list goes on.

You’re not alone — motherhood can be confusing, overwhelming, and downright exhausting, at times. But formula feeding doesn’t have to be.

Today we’re sharing the best formula feeding guide to make your life a little easier.

1) Choosing The Best Formula For Your Baby

You only want the best for your baby. Which is why you should always opt for organic infant formula, when possible.

Non-organic formula is full of harmful toxins, additives, sugars, and may be genetically modified. Yikes!

Not to mention, the ingredients in non-organic formula come from pesticide-saturated crops and is full of other harmful ingredients.

But not all organic formula is created equal- some are full of sugars, corn syrup and other dangerous ingredients you wouldn’t expect from an organic brand. This is why it’s crucial to always check the ingredient list!

The best formula money can buy is any European formula, like Holle, Hipp, or Lebenswert. Because they’re European brands, they’re held to much higher standards than your typical organic formula. And they don’t allow any sugars or corn syrups in their products.

When it comes to choosing the best formula for your baby, there are typically three different varieties of baby formula:

  • Powder Formula.
  • Liquid Concentrated Formula.
  • Ready-To-Feed Formula

Powder formula is generally less expensive to buy because it does involve more work and prep time for you.

Liquid concentrated formula is almost the same as powder, except it’s in liquid form. You still need to add water like in powdered formula.

The ready-to-feed formula comes exactly how it sounds – ready to feed. This is the most expensive version, but it can come in handy in certain situations. Especially if you don’t have access to clean boiled water.

As a protective mother who wants the very best for her babies, you need to make an informed decision when it comes to the formula you purchase. Organic is by far the best option – but if you can manage it, an organic European brand is the holy-grail of infant formula.

2) Safe And Proper Preparation

No matter what type of formula you pick for your baby, it’s vital to practice safe preparation methods.

Babies (especially newborns) are more susceptible to germs and bacteria than older children and adults.

Before preparing your babies formula, there are a few things you will want to make sure to do:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly.
  2. Check the expiry date and check to make sure the formula hasn’t been opened or altered in any capacity.
  3. Sanitize the surfaces you’ll be using to prepare the formula.

When you’re ready to begin making your babies formula, proceed with the following steps to ensure safe handling and preparation:

  • Boil water. Make sure it comes to a complete boil. Never use a microwave! This can cause ”hot spots” in the formula that can badly burn your baby’s delicate mouth.
  • For powdered or liquid concentrate, pour the correct amount of boiled water in the bottle and let it cool. (If it’s a ready-to-feed formula, shake well and then warm the bottle if needed).
  • Pour the correct amount of formula into the bottle.
  • Shake or stir the bottle until the formula is mixed.
  • Always make sure to check the temperature of the bottle by testing it on the inside of your own wrist.

It’s important to always discard any unused formula.

3) Feeding Your Baby

Now that you’ve picked the best formula for your baby and safely prepared the formula, it’s time to feed them!

First of all, how do you tell if it’s time to feed your baby?

Here are a few tell-tale signs that your little one is ready to chow down:

  • Your baby makes sucking sounds
  • Your baby is putting their hands in their mouth
  • Your baby reaches towards their mother and may even extend their hands out
  • It’s been 2-3 hours since they last fed (if they’re in their first few months of life)

You’ll want to make sure to keep the same bonding and intimacy when feeding your little one, as you would if you were breastfeeding. To do this, you may want to try skin-to-skin contact. (When your baby is wearing only a diaper and is laying on your bare chest).

You can also hold your baby in an upright position where they’re face-to-face with you.

You may be wondering, how much do I feed my baby?

For the most part, you will take your babies cues on this one. But there are certain guidelines you can follow.

One-month-old: 2-4 ounces. (6-8 times per day)

Two-Months-old: 5-6 ounces (5-6 times per day)

Three-to-four months old: 6-7 ounces (5-6 times per day)

At around 6-months: 6-8 ounces (4-5 times per day)

Roughly, your baby should be consuming 2 1/2 ounces (75ml) per pound, every day.

This generally works out to every 2-3 hours as a newborn, and then gradually up to 3-4 hours after they’re a few months old.

Conclusion

Every individual baby is going to be completely different. Especially when it comes to formula feeding. What may work for one baby, may not work for another.

A few things to remember:

  • Choose the best formula. This means ensuring you purchase organic formula, and if at all possible: European formula. This will set your baby up for life.
  • Always use safe handling practices. Your little one is fragile.
  • Take your cues from your baby when it comes to feeding times. Baby knows best.
  • Make sure to take the time to do skin-to-skin contact with your baby, even with formula feeding. And cuddle, hug, and bond as much as possible – especially around feeding time.
  • Keep an eye on your little one’s diapers. If you notice there aren’t enough wet diapers each day, you know he or she isn’t getting the proper nutrition – and you need to see your doctor right away.

You’ll discover what’s best for your baby, and what your baby’s unique needs are.

You’ve got this, mama! You’re doing wonderfully.

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