How you choose to feed your baby is a very personal choice. If you do decide to choose formula feeding, either exclusively or to supplement breast feeding, there are some things to keep in mind.
Things to know about baby formula
- Infant formula can be a safe and practical alternative to breast milk. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends iron-fortified infant formula if you are unable to breastfeed, if your baby is weaned before 12 months, or if your baby needs supplemental milk.
- Formula feeding is a great alternative for adoptive families, and it is easy for parents who are always on the go.
- Formula feeding is still a great bonding experience for you and your baby.
- Infant formula may be available for free at pregnancy care centers or food pantries.
- Many formula manufacturers’ websites offer coupons. Register at these sites, and formula coupons and samples will be sent directly to you in the mail. WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) also can help with the cost of formula in approved grocery stores.
- Don’t attempt to make your own formula. Formula must be made in a sterile environment and requires a specific, complex combination of proteins, sugars, fats, and vitamins that aren’t possible to create at home.
- Buy formula in bulk at warehouse stores or generic brands at discount stores. Be sure to do a little research to ensure the formula is similar to name brands, because many store brands are modeled after name brands and provide comparable nutrition for a fraction of the cost.
- Always prepare baby formula according to the directions. Never try to stretch your budget by adding too much water to baby formula. This can cause serious health problems for your baby.
Pick the method best for you and your child
Whether you choose to breastfeed your newborn or formula feed, choose the method that is the healthiest and safest option for both you and your baby. Once you’ve found the feeding method best for your child, enjoy this special and unique time of bonding.