With most domestic infant adoptions, parents will choose to feed their baby with formula. This may not be something that has even crossed your mind yet, but it is important to think about so you are ready to provide for your new baby.
For both of our newborn adoptions, my wife and I started our babies with whatever formula the hospital chose. Both times, we had to switch to another formula because of digestive problems.
You can be assured that you are providing the safe and proper nutrition for growth because the FDA regulates every baby formula on the market to make sure that infants are getting everything they need. According to the FDA, two-thirds of American infants consume formula by the time they are 3 months old.
Parents may choose to formula feed for many reasons, and for adoptive parents, formula is often the best choice for the health and convenience of their infants. All baby formulas are designed to mimic breast milk, so parents may want to know which products are the closest.
There are an overwhelming number of options of formulas from which to choose, along with a lot of information to absorb about the differences between the formulas on the market. There are specialty formulas, options in both powder or liquid concentrates, organic options, dairy-free options, fortified formulas, non-GMO, and more.
This choice is challenging to parents who are looking to just feed their baby in the healthiest way they can.
It’s important to keep in mind that what works best for your baby may not work best for another. The formula that your infant prefers the most will be the best pick for you.
According to The World’s Healthiest Foods, every formula is similar in terms of protein, fats, carbs, vitamins and minerals, but there are differences between formulas that affect their taste, digestibility, and consistency. While there is no one simple answer, here are some top picks that are recommended by pediatricians and food experts, according to a recent resource from Reviews.com.
A great starter formula is Enfamil Enspire. According to Reviews.com this product has been rated one of the best formulas for 2016. Based from cow’s milk, it partially breaks down milk’s protein, which leads to easier digestion.
This formula also includes prebiotice and probiotics, milk fat globule membrane, and lactoferrin, all of which are present in breast milk. Also, lactose is its only sweetener, while some other baby formulas are sweetened with corn products.
However, this is an expensive option, beginning around $40 for 20.5 oz. A similar, yet less expensive formula is Gerber Good Start Gentle Powder Infant Formula. This is also derived from cow’s milk and contains hydrolyzed whey protein. While some of its sweeteners do come from corn maltodextrin, 70% come from pure lactose. This formula costs about $24 for 23 oz.
For a soy-based formula, Gerber Good Start Soy is one of the few formulas that uses non-GMO soy. It also uses more corn maltodextrin than sucrose to add a sweet flavor, so is therefore not as sweet as some of its competitors.
If you are looking to go in the organic direction, Plum Organics Infant Formula if a great choice at $33 for 21 oz. This product uses only organic lactose as a sweetener, unlike its competitors that use glucose and corn syrup solids to sweeten their products.
The bottom line is that all infant formulas meet the nutritional needs of your baby. Aside from that, it remains a personal choice on which specific ingredients work best for you.
Starting with a gentle formula is a good idea (as we did for our kids) and then try some options until you find one that really works for both your family and your budget.
Obviously, you should always check with your child’s pediatrician. Hopefully this gives you some additional advice on which formula will work best for your baby.