For most mamas, the goal with feeding is to successfully breastfeed your baby without having to supplement with formula. Sometimes, though, there is no other option.
Whether you are returning to work, your supply is low, or you are simply choosing to supplement for other reasons, you want to find the best formula available!
There are various bases used in formulas and some don’t sit well in some babies’ digestive tracts. Cow milk, soy milk, and goat milk are the three very popular bases used in formulas but there are also other bases used to create formulas for sensitive health situations such as premature babies, reflux, colic, and allergies.
If you’re able to wait until your little one is 3 to 5 weeks old before introducing a bottle, do that! Do your best to solely breastfeed until that point, when nursing is natural for both of you. Bottle feeding requires a different suck (babies “suck” a bottle and “suckle” a breast, requiring different muscle movements) and you do not want to confuse your brand new baby.
Before hopping on the crazy train of best-formula-searching, you should ask yourself these questions:
- How old is your baby?
- If your baby is premature or struggling with acid reflux, you will want to choose a formula for sensitive tummies. A great suggestion for this is: The Honest Co. Organic Premium Formula or Earth’s Best Sensitivity Infant Formula. If your baby is a toddler, you will want to purchase a toddler formula such as Earth’s Best Organic Toddler Formula.
- What form do you want the formula?
- There are 3 forms of formula: powder, premixed, and concentrated. Powder is where you will get the best bang for your buck; premixed is the quickest and simplest; concentrated is more work than powdered and less work than premixed.
- How well does baby digest it?
- Most babies have a hard time digesting formula, especially at first; it is a lot more difficult to process than breast milk. Watch your little one for the first three days of supplementing with formula. Your main sign will be: is your baby more gassy and fussy than before adding in this specific formula?
Two of the most popular formulas on the market are Enfamil and Similac; hospitals use these in premixed bottles when necessary. These two brands of formula offer a wide array of options for sensitive tummies, fussiness, cow’s milk allergies, and spit up. Something to keep in mind, however, is that both of these brands’ first or second ingredient is some form of corn syrup!
Corn syrup is not a natural or normal part of a baby’s diet!
So the big question remains: what is the very best formula to supplement a breastfed baby? The answer is: there is no one best formula to supplement with your breast milk. The problem with stating that one single formula is the best completely negates the reality that every baby is different with different needs, allergies, digestive systems, etc.
What we recommend is choosing an organic formula that is patterned after breast milk, making it much easier for your little one to digest and still providing the essential nutrients and minerals your baby needs in order to continue growing.
What is the best formula to supplement a breastfed baby? Depending on your baby and his or her needs, start with The Honest Co. Organic Non-GMO Premium Infant Formula (you can also purchase it
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Featured image source: www.webmd.com