5 Tips And Tricks To Feed Infant Formula
When in their early days, children are always entirely dependent on their caregivers to provide them with the best nutritional options to cater to their daily dietary needs.
In the first few months after birth, children can survive solely on breast milk, which has all the requisite nutrients for their well-being. However, not all mothers choose to or are able to breastfeed right from the start. In such instances, they may opt to provide infant formula to keep the children healthy at all times. As with all aspects of child care, feeding infant formula to a child needs extra care and attention.
The following five tips and tricks will guide you on how to navigate infant formula for kids.
1. Choosing The Right Formula
Choosing the right formula for your child is very essential as it can affect their dietary needs from an early age. There are different categories of infant formula depending on the source of the formula. The first option to consider is the cow’s milk-based formula, including options such as HiPP Dutch. This option is quite common among many children as it constitutes 80% of the options in the market. Others include hydrolyzed formulas, soy formulas, and other specialized formulas which target specific nutritional needs in infants.
When choosing an infant formula, ensure that your option does not affect the child’s gut health. Similarly, only go for options that are easily accessible in the market. Children only flourish well if you allow them to have a steady diet. If you are unsure you can buy the same formula from the manufacturer every time you need it, you will be better off finding a different alternative. Lastly, to ensure that the product has the best health benefits for your child, only go for options regulated by the FDA.
2. Preparation Of The Formula
Once you have selected an infant formula, the next step is to prepare the formula for the child. This may seem to be quite simple for a parent or caregiver that is used to preparing food. However, failure to pay attention to certain details could make the formula dangerous for the infant. Before preparing the formula, you should always sanitize the feeding bottle and nipples. The best ways to do so are by either boiling the bottle and its components in water or using an electric steam sterilizer if you have one.
Next, focus on the water you will use to mix the infant formula. Ideally, the best water for the formula is fresh water that you have boiled yourself. Bottled water may appear clean but may have extra minerals, such as sulfates and sodium, which may harm the child. Never reuse water that was boiled earlier and left to cool for a long time.
Once the water is boiled and cooled to room temperature, place some of the water into the feeding bottle, then add the infant formula as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Finally, never shake the bottle to mix the powder with the water; this may introduce air bubbles that may cause your child to burp continuously. The trick is to stir gently until an even solution is formed.
3. Feeding Positions
When feeding the child, you should focus on your chosen feeding positions. The aim is to ensure the child eats comfortably without the formula returning to the mouth while avoiding choking.
There are three options to try while monitoring how your child responds. First, you can hold the infant in your arms, cradling the head so it is slightly raised. Alternatively, you can place the child on a nursing pillow with the head slightly raised to avoid choking. Finally, holding your child in a semi-upright position where the child’s upper body is slightly raised can help.
All these options can work for your infant. However, since children are different and may require different forms of care to help them feed well, you will need to pay attention to how the child eats to ensure that the position they are in is comfortable for them and is also comfortable for you to feed them well.
4. What To Do After Feeding
After feeding your child, you should first burp them to help dispel any gas that might have entered the stomach as they ate. The gas might make the child very restless and uncomfortable if the child is not burped.
Experts on children’s health instruct parents and caregivers to gently burp the child to ensure the gas escapes completely. To burp a child, place the child on your lap, facing away from you. Next, support the child by placing one arm on their chest, then rub the back or pat it gently with the other hand until the air has left completely.
5. Storage Of The Formula
The general rule with infant formula is never to store the formula for more than 48 hours. However, all the formula that remains in the bottle after the child is full should be discarded as the bacteria from the child’s saliva can contaminate the formula if stored after the child finishes eating. If you prepared ready-to-use formula and only placed a little in the feeding bottle, you can store the remaining proportion for up to 48 hours, after which you will need to throw it away.
Therefore, to know how long you have had the formula, you must label each bottle with the time and date you prepared it before storing it in the fridge. Always warm the formula before serving your child whenever you get the formula from the fridge.
When your children transition into infant formula, you must be extra vigilant to avoid feeding them a formula that can otherwise harm them. The basic strategy for ensuring your children benefit from infant formula is to provide high-quality formula depending on their nutritional needs, prepare it well, and serve it based on the tips and tricks listed above. You should also know when and how to store the formula and when it is better to dispose of it than to store it. Taking care of infants can be a hard task. However, if you follow the tips and tricks listed above for feeding the children infant formula, the process can be very simple and enjoyable for you and your growing infant.