Saturday, June 2, 2012

Tips for New Formula Feeding Moms

One of the many aspects of parenting that it took a little time to navigate was feeding my baby infant formula. I had a lot of questions about how to prepare it and how much to feed her, but these were easily answered by my doctor or a quick Internet search. What I had to learn on the fly were ways to make formula feeding efficient and functional in my life. Here are some tips for moms who are just starting to feed their babies infant formula.

Use a generic brand

When I first started feeding formula to my baby, it was a hard sell for me to even consider using a generic brand. We'd been given Similac in the hospital, so I didn't want to change things up, and I was also under the impression that because the bigger brands were more expensive, they were somehow better. What I learned is that all infant formula of the same type is essentially equal - it's just that some companies spend more money on packaging and marketing than others, raising the retail price. It took a few days for our daughter to get used to the generic brand we chose, but she ended up seeming to like the taste, digesting it well, and continuing to grow like a weed. We're saving about $80 each month on formula, and my doctor said at our last appointment that she was glad we switched and that she recommends that all parents do so.

Make it ahead of time

If I'm being candid, it is a bit of a pain to make a bottle of formula. I have to get the level of water exactly right, measure the powder correctly, and then shake it thoroughly enough to get the clumps out. Instead of making each individual bottle separately, my husband and I now make a big batch ahead of time. It's good for 24 hours in the refrigerator, so we use a blender bottle to make the amount she will consume in that time. This makes things easier for our childcare provider, as we simply send the pre-made formula each morning rather than asking her to make each bottle up on her own. It also keeps us from inevitably putting more formula in a bottle than we intend, since the addition of powder raises the water line higher than it was before it was mixed.

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