Are you looking for a no judgement complete guide on formula feeding? If so, you have come to the right place!
As I have said in many other articles, fed is best! Doing what's right for you and your baby is the number one priority.
As a mom of two wonderful children that were fed using formula more than anything else, I wanted to create this guide for you!
Formula Feeding Basics & Safety
How much does baby need?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 2 1/2 ounces of formula per pound baby weights every day.
This is a guideline though, so if baby is still hungry it's okay to give more. Just watch for the hunger cues.
Picking the right formula
Don't buy a bunch of one kind of formula until you know your baby tolerates it well.
Also, once baby gets used to one kind, try not to switch it up as this can make baby's tummy get upset.
There is one big difference from formula to breastmilk in that you won't want to leave formula setting out for too long!
In fact, most formula containers will tell you to dispose of any prepared formula after 2 hours because of bacteria growth.
Use your best judgement and also talk over any concerns you have with your baby's pediatrician!
Ready-Made Vs Powdered Formula
There are a few different ways you can buy formula. The most common way is the powdered formula that you can find in almost any brand.
Some brands like Enfamil and Similac also offer a ready made version where all you do is pour it into a bottle and your baby can drink right away. This is usually a lot more expensive though.
Another great option for when you are on the go are the on-the-go packets that are already measured out and all you have to do is pour them into a bottle with water. I always kept a few in my diaper bags for just in case moments!
Or you can pick up one of these cool formula dispensers and measure it out for yourself!
This particular one by Skip Hop is great because as your baby gets older, you can use the containers for snacks!
Benefits Of Formula Feeding
I actually wrote a similar article about breastfeeding vs formula where it talks about the good the bad and the ugly of both!
Here are two great benefits:
- Formula fed babies sleep longer- this is because it takes babies longer to digest formula than breastmilk, which makes them feel fuller longer!
- Dad can help feed your baby- this is a great way for dad to bond with your baby at an early age.
Formula Feeding Must-Haves
Here is a look at some of the products I used with my babies that were essential!
We specifically liked the Philips Avent Natural Bottles as the shape was easy to hold, and when your baby gets older, that is a HUGE benefit!
If you are going to be formula feeding, you will need a formula! The top three are Enfamil, Similac, and Gerber (although there are many more brands out there).
3. Bottle Brush
It's important to regularly wash out the bottles, and having a bottle brush will make quick work of it! All you need is regular dish soap and some hot water to rinse.
4. Bottle Sanitizer
Another possible necessity, depending on your water would be a bottle sanitizer. We have well water, so sanitizing was always a MUST for me.
5. Distilled Water
When we were formula feeding our kids, we used jugs of distilled water from the grocery store. This just gave me a peace of mind that my babies were getting the best!
6. Gripe Water
Formula feeding will make your baby a lot more gassy, and gas with babies spells trouble! That's why you will want plenty of gripe water on hand to help ease your little baby's tummy.
You might also want to do some bicycle exercises with baby to help baby push out that gas.
You can gently push one of babies legs in towards their tummy like they are riding a bicycle and alternate each leg until they start passing gas.
Misconceptions about Formula Feeding
There are a lot of misconceptions about formula feeding that make moms feel guilty for using formula, so let's set those straight right now!
- One misconception is that your baby will get a lot more sicknesses than a breast fed baby. While breast milk does have some of mom's immunities in it, it doesn't mean your baby will be any healthier or sicker depending on what they drink.
- Another misconception is about your baby's intelligence. Again, this is SO wrong! Breast milk has some properties that help brain development, but so do baby formulas so there's really no worry there.
Formula Feeding FAQ
You will need bottles, baby formula, distilled water, cleaning supplies for the bottles and also gripe water because formula tends to make babies gassy.
Absolutely! If you would like to start with baby formula right away, you can just remember to grab a bottle with a newborn nipple so that it has a slow flow.
Yes. Baby formula stinks, no doubt about it! The powder by itself stinks, and when it is mixed with water- it stinks.
Don't worry though, as this is just a common trait of formula. As long as your formula was completely sealed when you purchased it, and it wasn's expired you should be fine!
The answer depends on the baby.
If your baby is having trouble with the regular formula, and has a hard time keeping it down (ie. spitting up) you might think about switching to a gentler version.