Everything About Baby Formula

Baby formula is given to newborns as an alternative to breast milk. Baby formula contains complete nutrition and can be given as the only diet to a child during the first half of the year. The content is adapted to what the child’s body can take care of and metabolize.

There are many different reasons why the baby formula is given. For example, it may be that you cannot breastfeed because the milk production is too low or you simply do not want to breastfeed the baby for private reasons.

No matter what the reason why you choose to give baby formula, the decision is entirely yours. You have the right to get help and instructions on how to do it, either at the childbirth or from your midwife.

If you do not want to breastfeed, it is good if you write it in your birth certificate or in some other way tell the staff at the birth.

Children need closeness, security, and that you touch. Even if you give baby formula, it is, therefore, good to be as close to the baby as possible. Skin contact is preferable and feels free to make eye contact with the child with whom you give the bottle.

Take care of the hygiene and cleaning of bottles, pacifiers, or cups. It is also important to follow the dosage and instructions on the baby formula as incorrect dosing may be harmful to the baby.

Everything About Baby Formula

Boil the water before mixing your baby formula

The water used to prepare the baby formula should be boiled before use. The reason for heating the water is that you then kill all possible bacteria that are in our environment. Boiling water is a recommendation given by both the WHO and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Most importantly, this is during the first two months of the baby’s life. The water used should not be left on for more than 30 minutes. Store the boiled water with a lid in the refrigerator if you are not going to use it immediately.

It is important to note that it is the powder that must come into contact with hot water (at least 70 degrees). Therefore, do not allow the water to cool before preparing the baby formula.

If you want to speed up the preparation process, it is good to store the hot water in a good thermos that keeps the temperature. You can also use a kettle. Normally, it is recommended that the water should always be boiled for children until they are just over three months old.

Can a baby formula be saved after it is mixed?

After the baby has eaten, the remaining baby formula in the bottle should be discarded, as bacteria easily grow in it.

For the best quality, the baby formula should be served as freshly prepared as possible. Substitutes and supplements that are on the table should be eaten within an hour.

Different types of baby formula

Baby formula has been developed to be as similar to breast milk as possible and is constantly evolving and getting better.

Baby formula can be used as the only nutrition during the baby’s first four to six months. At the latest from the time the child is six months old, it is recommended that you gradually start giving the child smaller amounts of food, so-called taste portions.

What does baby formula contain?

Baby formula is made from controlled and approved milk, usually cow’s milk. It is treated so that the protein content is lowered and then fat, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins are added in amounts that are as similar to breast milk as possible.

The body is slightly worse at absorbing protein and other nutrients from replacement than from breast milk and the content of these is therefore often slightly higher in replacement than in breast milk.

In the supplementary industry, several levels are even slightly higher than in the baby formula to meet the growing needs of the growing child. Nutritionally, it is the same content in powder, as it is in the vacuum-packed substitutes and supplements that are available to buy ready-mixed.

The ready-mixed substitutes are recommended when traveling or if you have difficulty dosing the powder correctly.

How much baby formula should the baby eat?

How much baby formula your child should eat is very difficult to say as all children are different. On the packaging, however, there are recommendations on how much baby formula is appropriate for different age groups.

In general, however, just as with breastfeeding, the baby’s appetite and hunger should control the amount. Therefore, pay attention to the baby’s signals about when and how much they want to eat.

Everything About Baby Formula

Mixing baby formula

We have touched on this point earlier on this page, but here are some tips to keep in mind when mixing baby formula.

  • Only buy approved products of baby formula and do not try to make your own.
  • Wash bottles and pacifiers thoroughly. Boil and sterilize them before first use, then there is no requirement. Make sure that the pacifier for the bottle has a reasonably small hole.
  • Always wash your hands before cooking.
  • Use cold water from the tap and let the water run for a while so that it does not stand still in the pipe, no chemical substances may remain in the water. Then boil the water.
  • Follow the measurement instructions on the package. Do not take too much or too little powder. Too much powder can cause constipation and / or dehydration with too little powder can cause malnutrition in the baby.
  • Baby formula that have been left over must be discarded.

How to do when giving baby formula

There are many opinions on how to do when giving baby formula to supplementary nutrition. As always, however, it is most important to listen to the baby so that it is comfortable and calm enough to be fed. Here is at least some good advice to make feeding easier:

  • Sit comfortably in a chair or armchair that you enjoy.
  • Make sure that the hole in the pacifier is the right size so that the baby formula does not flow too fast. One guideline is that it should only drip if you hold the bottle upside down. Change the pacifier as the baby gets older.
  • The baby’s body should be close to your own body, much like when breastfeeding. Lay the baby horizontally, but keep in mind that the baby’s head should not be lower than the rest of its body.
  • Try the temperature of the replacement by pouring a few drops from the bottle on the arm, it should be lukewarm.
  • You can stimulate the baby’s search reflex by touching the baby’s cheek with the bottle pacifier.
  • Do not force the child to take the bottle, wait to insert the bottle until the child opens his mouth.
  • If the child has the right suction technique on the bottle, the child’s lips should be unfolded so that they close around the pacifier.
  • Angle the bottle so that the pacifier is constantly filled with baby formula, otherwise the baby may swallow air.
  • Do not screw the cap on the bottle too hard, as this can create a vacuum.
  • Let it take time and pick up the baby if it becomes whiny. It may need to belch.
  • It is usually best if the child is allowed to suck until it releases itself. You should preferably not pull out the pacifier.
  • Those who are to give the child food should preferably be known to the child so that the child feels safe with the person who is feeding.
  • If you only temporarily give baby formula, you can give substitute in a cup, spoon bottle or in a snipe, a kind of drinking bowl. If you stop breastfeeding, the baby may otherwise have difficulty with the suction technique, and it may be difficult to start breastfeeding again.
  • If you give compensation in a cup, you should keep in mind that it flows faster out of the cup than out of a baby bottle, and you may therefore need to take it at an extra slow pace.

Everything About Baby Formula

Changing baby formula

Sometimes, for various reasons, you may have to change the baby formula. However, a study conducted in the UK shows that several babies’ stomach problems have worsened when parents have changed baby formula several times.

If you need to change products, start carefully by using the different products in parallel for the first time. Start by giving day 1 only the new baby formula at 25% of feedings. On day 2 you can then increase to 50% of each new and old product and on day 3 you can then give the new baby formula 75% of the time.

From day 4 you can then give only the new product. This provides a smooth transition between the different products. If you have been diagnosed with a milk allergy, you should, however, switch to the milk-free replacement immediately.

The poop from children who receive baby formula

The first poop that comes after birth is called meconium and is very dark. After one week, the baby’s poop usually turns light yellow or yellow-brown.

Newborn babies often poop every time they eat and the stool is usually loose if they are breastfed. In the children who only receive baby formula, the poop is often a little firmer than in the children who only receive breast milk.

The color is usually yellow, but it can also be a little greenish. Many parents become worried if the child suddenly does not poop on any given day, but this does not normally have to be the case as long as the child eats and sleeps well and is as usual otherwise.

Children who receive baby formula or supplementary nutrition can sometimes have problems with sluggish stools. It can sometimes be experienced as the child shaking without any stool. The first thing to check if the baby seems to have constipation is to mix the baby formula exactly according to the instructions on the package.

Taking too much powder makes it easier for the child to suffer from constipation and it can also suffer from dehydration. Constipation often passes quite soon, but if it does not do so within a week, or if the child seems to be in pain or has difficulty pooping, you should consult a midwife or a doctor.

Tips when giving baby formula

  • All children are different, and the appetite can vary from time to time. The fact that they do not eat as they should for any day does not mean that you should change your diet or start giving regular food.
  • During the first two months, it is only natural that the baby gets a lot of gas. Feel free to help the child get the gases out. Laying the baby over his shoulder can help the baby to burp or to let go so that air that the child swallows can come out.
  • At first, children are not disturbed by the environment when eating, but when the child grows up, it can be disturbed if there are too many activities around.
  • If children catch a cold and stuffy nose, it can be difficult to eat from a baby bottle. Then you can give saline solution in the nose just before the child is to eat.
  • Children need closeness even when giving a bottle. Feel free to take off your upper body so that the child makes skin contact and keep the child close to you.
  • Feel free to take breaks in feeding, so that the child is given time to eat.
  • The length of the meal varies, and it is important to let the child decide the pace. 30 minutes per meal is a guide.
  • Does the child get enough food? The fact that infants urinate so that you can change the nappy at least six times a day, and that the nappy is then soaked with clear yellow or pale-yellow urine, is usually a sign that it is eating enough.
  • It is quite common for children to vomit when eating. This is because the upper stomach, between the esophagus and the stomach, is not fully developed and does not close tightly when the baby is born.

Those who read the section on baby formula also read more about breastfeeding and the section on the baby’s diet during the first 6 months.

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