Types of Formula
So now that we've covered the basics of formula, how do you choose the right one for your baby? The first question to answer when you're shopping for formula is: What form of it do you prefer to use: powder, liquid, or ready-to-feed, portion-sized bottles? Let's look at each type, in order of increasing convenience.
Powder: This is the most commonly used format for formula. All you need to do is measure out the powder, place it in a bottle, add the appropriate amount of water, shake until dissolved, and serve. OK, so maybe that isn't totally easy-peasy, but generations of moms have relied on powder formula to feed their babies. When you know that you'll need to feed your baby while you're on the go, powdered formula and water can be pre-measured and stored separately before you head out of the house. You can also pre-mix the formula, but keep in mind that you will need to keep it in a cooler at 40 degrees F until it's used. Once mixed and taken out to room temperature, you have between one to two hours to serve it to your baby before you need to throw it out. (Furthermore, you can keep prepared formula for only 24 hours in the refrigerator.)
As for what liquid to use, doctors recommend any tap water that doesn't have a high level of fluoride. (Large amounts of fluoride can lead to a condition called fluorosis, which affects and discolors teeth.) According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "You can use fluoridated water to prepare infant formula. However, if your baby does not eat or drink anything but infant formula that is mixed with fluoridated water, there may be an increased chance for mild dental fluorosis. To lessen this chance, you can use low-fluoride bottled water some of the time to mix with infant formula; these bottled waters are labeled as de-ionized, purified, demineralized, or distilled. If they have added fluoride, the label will say so."
Liquid Concentrate: Formula also comes in concentrated, liquid form; you need to add the required amount of water before serving it to your baby. As with powdered formula, it's essential to add the prescribed amount of water. Formula that's too diluted may not give your baby enough nutrients, and formula that's too concentrated might be hard to consume and lead to dehydration.
Because it's liquid, it's a little easier to prepare than powder; you don't need as much mixing and shaking to ensure that the formula is free of clumps. But there's still a certain amount of prep that needs to be done.
Ready-to-Drink: This is hands down the easiest version of formula for busy moms. As the name suggests, all you have to do is pour it into a bottle. Some brands make life even more convenient: all you have to do is twist off the cap and twist on a nipple that's provided. It's that easy. This option is ideal for those groggy middle-of-the-night or first-thing-in-the-morning-before-work feedings when you don't want to have to deal with measuring powder and water.
I hope this helps you too!
I hope this helps you too!
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