If you’re thinking about feeding your baby with dairy formula then you’ve probably got a few questions that you want to ask. How do you know which product is right for your child for instance? Which brands are the best and where can you buy them? Most importantly are they healthy for your child? Here are some answers to many of the common questions asked about dairy formula and other types of formula.
What types are there?
Dairy formula is the type of formula that many of us will be most familiar with. Dairy formula is derived from cows’ milk and gives a great balance of nutrients for growing infants. It’s the most popular choice for parents who are trying to keep their infants nourished, but it’s not always a viable choice. Sometimes when children have allergies or can’t tolerate dairy formula, other options may need to be considered. Soy is a common alternative and it’s also a popular choice for those who don’t consume animal-based products as it’s made from soybeans. There are also other types of specialised formulas that are available on the market or that might be prescribed to your infant depending on their specific health needs.
Infant formula is often purchased in powder form, but it’s also possible to buy it in liquid concentrate form or as a ready-to-use liquid. You’ll notice when shopping brands that there are generic types available and specialty brand names. There’s usually not a big difference between infant formula products, but some brands may have proprietary formulations. In Australia, infant formula is monitored closely and tested for safety for infants. You should be careful when buying new dairy formula to make sure that it is going to meet the dietary needs of your child. It’s usually best to opt for brands with added iron as this is the simplest way to nourish them with essential nutrients.
Where can you buy it?
It’s possible to pick up dairy formula in grocery stores, pharmacies and health stores. You can also purchase it online. Certain products might only be available with a prescription or should only be used on the advice of your doctor.
How important is the expiry date?
You should be careful to note the expiry date on your dairy formula. Once the expiry date has passed, formula’s quality might start to decrease and it could lack the nutritional value that your child needs. It could also make your child unwell. If your formula is out of date, throw it away.
How long should infants drink formula?
Generally, its recommended that infants use infant formula up until about the age of one, after that age they should start to use whole milk. It’s important that before the age of two babies are not given skim milk as this is thought to lack the correct number of calories and fat needed to help babies brain development.
Why use it?
Breastfeeding is not always a possibility. The reasons for using infant formula can be wide a varied but often its essential. Sometimes mothers are not able to produce milk, or babies can’t breastfeed for health reasons or due to their physiology. Sometimes it’s a personal choice or just a matter of practicality. These types of products are convenient and can help families who can’t breastfeed or who have chosen not to, ensure that their baby gets the proper nourishment required for growth and development.
If you’re not sure whether or not it’s the right choice for you then you should make sure you speak with your doctor about it.