Milk Baby Formula
Babies grow rapidly during their first year of life, typically gaining 10 inches of height or length and tripling their birth weights by the time that they turn 1 year of age. In order to properly grow and develop, babies need good nutrition. For parents who can't or choose not to breastfeed, milk-based formulas can provide all of the essential nutrients that your child needs to grow, and you can find an array of choices available for filling your baby's bottle here at Walgreens.
The Importance of Infant Formula
Many parents wonder if they can simply give their babies cow's milk during their first year of life rather than having to purchase special infant formula. While cow's milk does contain many important nutrients such as calcium, it does not provide all the nutrition a growing infant needs. In addition, it's hard for your baby to digest the protein and fat in cow's milk. Your baby needs a special balance of nutrients and infant formulas are made especially to provide all of those essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other nutrients needed for growth and development. As a result, infant formula can be a sole source of nutrition during the first few months of life. Most experts recommend that it be the only food given to bottle-fed babies until the age of 4-6 months and then combined with baby foods to continue to nourish babies until they are at least 1 year old.
What Kind of Formula Should I Use?
There are two main types of infant formula available on the market: milk-based and soy-based. A milk-based formula is produced from cow's milk that is put through a special heat treating process to make it easy for little ones to digest. It provides complete dairy protein and other nutrients that are added to the formula. Soy-based formula is produced from soybeans, a type of plant. While many babies tolerate milk-based formula, some do develop gastrointestinal side effects from the protein in the milk. Your pediatrician can help you determine whether milk-based or soy-based formula is the best choice for your child.
Forms of Milk-Based Infant Formula
Milk-based infant formula comes in different varieties to meet the needs of parents. There are three main varieties available. Ready-to-feed formulas are sold in bottles or cans and can simply be opened and given to your baby right away. This type of formula offers convenience, but it can require you to keep a lot of formula containers on hand and to purchase formula frequently. Concentrated formulas are liquids that are mixed with water prior to serving. They are easy to use and reduce the number of formula containers that you need to keep on hand. Both concentrated and ready-to-eat formulas must be consumed within 48 hours and refrigerated after opening. If you need to take bottles with you on the go, you will need to find a way to keep them cold to prevent spoilage. Powdered formulas are granules of dehydrated formula that are mixed with water prior to serving. This type of formula provides the largest supply in the smallest package and allows you to make one bottle at a time for easy feeding on the go. In most cases, you can switch between different forms of formula, provided you stick to the product that your pediatrician recommends.