The nine months are over, and you have finally given birth to a lovely baby. The only thing on your mind right now is how to breastfeed your baby properly. The best thing you could ever give your baby at this moment is your breast milk.
The benefits of breast milk extend beyond nutrition. That is the main reason why paediatricians and nutritionist recommend that you should let your baby have your breast milk exclusively up six months.
However, this is not always the case in real life. This is because it is difficult to breastfeed your baby 100% of the time. It may be due to physical reasons, medical reasons or even work reasons. Good news is that there are baby formulas that you can use to supplement your baby’s breastfeeding.
One of the questions that most mothers in such situations always ask themselves is, “What formula is closest to breast milk?” The answer is a big yes. Choosing to introduce your baby to formulas is one of the big decisions that you will have to make as a mother.
Why Should I Choose A Baby Formula That Is Closest To Breast Milk?
We all know the importance of breast milk to a baby. With all the nutrients, minerals and vitamins packed inside the breast milk, you surely do not want your baby to miss out on them when you are in a position where you are not able to breastfeed your baby sufficiently.
To ensure that the baby does not become the biggest loser when you decide to introduce formula to your baby, you need to know what formula is closest to breast milk.
Formulas Closest To Breast Milk
If you have chosen to introduce your baby to formulas, here is a list of baby formulas that you can try out. They are formulas that are made in such a way that they are almost the same as breast milk to ensure that your baby’s nutritional requirements are met.
1. Similac Advance Non-GMO Infant Formula
This is one of the best baby formula brands. Its main ingredients include corn syrup, milk protein Isolate, sugar and mineral salts. It is made of all natural ingredients that are not genetically modified and are made to ease fussiness and gas in babies that have a sensitivity to lactose.
This formula is milk based and is iron-fortified and contains all the required nutrients for the baby’s development. It supports the baby’s brain and eye developments and also facilitates the development of your baby’s immune system.
2. Gerber Good Start Gentle Infant Formula
Inspired by the gentleness of breast milk, Gerber good start gentle infant formula is a favourite formula that is suitable for babies. It contains easy to digest proteins that will make your baby have soft stools.
3. Plum Organics Grow Well Infant Formula
This is a unique milk-based infant formula that is closest to breast milk since it contains organic lactose, unlike others that contain corn syrup. A mother’s breast milk contains lactose in large quantities.
Since Plum Organics Grow Well Infant Formula also contains lactose as its main components in abundance, this infant formula mirrors the breast milk. Other ingredients include whey proteins and plant based oils.
All consumers rest assured that this baby formula is GMO- free.
4. Enfamil Premium New-born
This baby formula is suitable for babies from birth to 3 months old making it one of the formulas that are specific to new-borns. It contains vitamins like vitamin D that will help the baby to grow strong and healthy bones.
Its prebiotic blend will help boost your baby’s immune system, the same as breast milk. The prebiotic blend introduces the good bacteria into your baby’s digestive system to facilitate digestion.
It also contains iron, choline, and DHA which are also found in breast milk. These nutrients facilitate the development of your baby’s nervous system.
5. Earth’s Best Organic Infant Formula
This formula’s nutritional package is complete and contains all the nutrients necessary for your baby’s growth. Nutrients like Omega 3 DHA and Omega 6 ARA which are found in breast milk are fully packed inside this baby formula making it one of the closest formulas to breast milk. It is packed with essential nutrients that aids in the development of the baby’s nervous system.
This formula is easy to digest, contains organic ingredients and is certified by the USDA.
6. Baby’s Only Organic Dairy Formula
This is the best organic and 100% natural baby formula that is preferred by most mothers. It also contains most of the nutrients that are found in breast milk giving the baby the privilege to enjoy the same health benefits they would have enjoyed under breast milk.
Its ingredients are strictly organic and are not genetically modified in any way hence it is good for parents who are concerned about their baby’s health. This formula also contains minerals like calcium and phosphorus for strong bones.
How Can I Introduce Formula To My Breastfed Baby?
A baby who is used to breast milk is likely to protest in the strongest way possible being introduced to infant formulas. Therefore, to fully integrate her into formulas, a little bit of patience and tactics will be required.
A good strategy will be to alternate between breastfeeding and formula feeding during the first days so that your baby can get used to formulas. Once she has gotten used to the formulas, you can now start reducing breastfeeding gradually. Babies adapt to new habits quickly, and it’s only a matter of time before your baby falls in love with the taste of infant formulas.
Mothers are advised against warming formulas using microwaves. This is because microwaves do not warm liquids uniformly and will create hotspots in liquids that can burn your baby’s mouth.
Baby formulas usually exist in powdered form or in ready to feed or liquid form. Should you choose to buy the formulas in powdered form, you will need to mix it with water before you can give it to your baby. It is always recommended to mix using hot water above 70 degrees Celsius after which you then cool it before the baby can feed on it.
Formulas in the liquid form are the most common since they are very easy to use since no further dilution is necessary.
What Should I Consider Before Introducing Formulas To My Breastfed Baby?
There are several factors you need to consider before you implement formulas to your baby’s diet. Let’s break them down for you.
1. When to Begin
No matter how busy your schedule will be after giving birth, it is recommended by paediatricians that your baby should be breastfed for at least two months before she can be introduced to formulas.
2. The Quantity
Since you don’t want to force your baby on formulas, it will be important that you start the introduction by feeding them small amounts of formulas so they can get used to it after which you can incorporate it fully into their diet.
3. Your Daily Schedule
When you come to the end of your maternity leave, everything will change. You will now be able to breastfeed your baby only twice a day; that is in the morning and evening. This is the right time to introduce her to formulas.
4. Your Budget
Readily made formulas are a bit expensive as compared to powdered formulas. You can, therefore, choose what type of formula to buy depending on what you can afford. If you need a formula that is easy to use, and then go for the liquid ones, but if you want to minimise on wastage, the powdered formula is the best.
In one word, the best alternative to a mother’s milk is infant formula. It can help a mother to supplement breast milk when breastfeeding is not possible due to various circumstances. What you should remember is that you can never replace breast milk with formulas, you can just supplement it.
You can choose from the above-listed infant formulas since they are the best formulas that are closest to breast milk.