If breastfeeding is not an option for you or not your choice, you can feed your baby formula. Infant formula is a healthy alternative to breastmilk and provides babies with the nutrients they need to grow and thrive.
Feedings can be a time of giving more than nutrients to your baby. Here are some suggestions for making this a special time for both you and your baby:
If you think your baby is having problems with his formula, talk with your baby's health care provider before you change formula. (Your baby will need two weeks to adjust to a new formula.)
Talk with your baby's health care provider about what formula is best for your baby. Although there are many types of formula, most babies do well with one that is cow-milk based.
Unless your baby's health care provider advises against it, choose a formula that is iron-fortified. This is important to prevent iron deficiency, which can slow development.
Once made up, all formula must be refrigerated. Formula should be thrown out after 24 hours if it has not been used.
The different types of formula are:
You will find many kinds of bottles and nipples at the store. Try several kinds and see what you and your baby like best.
Bottles are made of glass or plastic. When choosing a bottle, consider:
Nipples come in several shapes and sizes. They can be made of silicon or latex. Consider the following:
Don't add honey to the formula or put it on the nipple. Honey can make your baby sick.
You should never give honey to a child younger than one year old.
Here are the amounts of formula your baby needs:
As your baby grows, continue to increase the amount of formula based on his appetite and hunger cues.
Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Guide for the Care of Children: Ages Birth to 5 Years Old, fifth edition. To avoid awkward sentences, instead of referring to your child as "he/she" or "him/her," this guide will alternate between "he" or she" and "him" or "her."
Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts, including the Pediatric Department of Allina Health Coon Rapids Clinic