Choosing the Right Organic Formula

The number of decisions a new mom faces is seemingly endless. From selecting a diaper brand to the right crib and car seat, every choice seems critical and at the same time impossible to make (and you thought naming the baby was the hardest part!).  How does a new mom choose?

While we can’t help you in the name game, we can thankfully provide a little advice in helping you make the right choice in organic infant formula. From choosing between cow’s milk and soy milk, powdered and ready-to-drink, iron-fortified and sugar-free, this introductory guide will help familiarize you with the basics to make at least one of your many motherly choices a little more manageable. We’ve put together a few basic guidelines to make finding the best formula for your new family a little easier.

Go Organic

First and foremost, remember that organic is essential. Opting for organic infant formula ensures your baby has a diet free from GMO’s and caustic chemical fertilizers that are often unavoidable in the conventional counterparts.

Types of Formula

Infant formulas come in three forms, powder, liquid concentrate, and ready-to-drink.  These types are further distinguished by their ingredients.

Powders are often the least expensive of the three options.  With powder formula, you simply add in water to create a mixture your baby can drink.

The second option, and second most expensive, is the liquid concentrate variety.  Like the powder form, you dilute this formula with water before feeding your child.

Lastly is the ready-to-drink form.  Not surprisingly, this convenient option is also the most expensive.

All three varieties of baby formula can adequately provide all the necessary ingredients for growing infants so long as the ingredients measure up. Choosing the initial form is more a decision based on cost and convenience as well as the unique tastes of your tot.

Read the Ingredient List

Formulas can be further broken down based on their list of ingredients.  Typically, infant formulas are either organic cow milk for babies or organic soy. Either variety can work for healthy, full-term babies.

Milk-based formulas are usually made with cow’s milk, vegetable oils, vitamins, and minerals and are often fortified with iron as per the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Likewise, soy milk formulas are typically made of soy protein, sucrose, and occasionally fortified with iron. Soy milk formulas can also adequately provide for healthy full-term babies.  Moms with little ones that suffer from lactose intolerances, allergies to cow-based proteins, or for those seeking vegetarian diets often prefer soy milk formulas.

Doctors often recommend avoiding soy milk formulas if your baby was born with a low birth weight. Organic cow’s milk formulas are usually more popular than their soy counterparts, but again, both can cover the necessary nutrient needs as long as all the ingredients are in order.

Beyond these two basic distinguishing factors, the form and the primary ingredient, infant formulas can also come in a myriad of varieties.  New parents can choose between low sodium, sugar free formula, hypoallergenic, and ARA/EFA-enriched varieties.

Formulas that include these essential fatty acids are a good choice, as they aid in brain, nerve, and vision development. Scanning labels for sugar is also a good practice as many brands utilize different forms of sucrose to compensate for the different levels of lactose present in human versus animal milk.

As they say, you are what you eat.  For your baby, he or she is what you feed him or her.  Putting in a little extra effort when seeking out formulas is well worth it.

Confirm Your Choice with Your Pediatrician

Lastly, always check in with your doctor regarding your choices. He or she may be able to provide some recommendations as well as suggestions unique to your baby. No one else knows the specific needs and health concerns of your baby better than your pediatrician. He or she may also be at to give you free samples to try out.

Also remember to always chose formulas that meet all U.S. Food & Drug Administration requirements and never use damaged or opened products. Follow all directions carefully and abide by all expiration dates.

The decisions new mom faces are seemingly endless, but hopefully this guide will make one choice a little less burdensome. Now if only there were guides like this on choosing the right color to paint the nursery.

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