Are you planning to start feeding your baby with formula, and you’re worried about what could go wrong?
Or maybe you’re already using a particular formula, but your baby doesn’t seem to respond well to it.
Either way, wrong formulas are dangerous to babies because it disrupts their digestive system and its process.
In other words, wrong formulas can result in constipation in babies.
And that’s what we’re here to prevent by setting up this guide, also to help you understand more ways you could tell when your baby is on the wrong formula.
If a child suddenly starts constipating or rejects a particular formula, it is ideal to consider changing it or call for a pediatrician.
Well, you might be asking,
How will I know the right formula for my baby?
But not to worry. We’re going to deal with that later in this guide.
I keep seeing people mistake formulas for solid food or cereals like oatmeal Baby Cereal, but that’s the wrong idea.
When a mother can’t breastfeed her child for specific reasons, formulas can serve as a healthy substitute because they provide babies with nutrients (equivalent to breast milk) needed for growth and development.
That said, formulas are manufactured food designed for feeding babies under one year of age. It is usually prepared for bottle-feeding from powder, mixed with water, or liquid with or without water.
And the U.S. Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) have considered infant formula a good substitute for breast milk.
In other words, formulas are equivalently healthy as breast milk.
FFDCA defines formula as a food that is represented for particular dietary use, mainly as a food for infants because of its partial substitute for breast milk.
Infant formula is made from cow’s milk with added vitamins, minerals, iron, and fats that aids their growth and development.
Types Of Formula
Formulas can either be in liquid or powdered form and are grouped differently. We have;
The cow milk in formula contains two types of proteins – whey and casein which are thought to be easy to digest. Cow-base formulas are likely to make babies gain weight more rapidly than pre-digested protein formulas.
This type is suitable for babies that are lactose intolerant, babies who can’t absorb lactose. Lactose is a sugar that is generally present in milk and dairy products. Although, lactose intolerance is rare in babies.
Soy Infant Formula
This type of formula uses processed soybeans as its source of protein.
How Do I Know If My Baby Is on The Wrong Formula?
There are a couple of ways one could conclude a baby has been on the wrong formula, which we will discuss in this section.
Sometimes, you might notice some awkward signs in your baby after taking a particular formula, yet you’re not sure if your baby is reacting to the formula or may be sick.
But that’s okay because here is a list of signs to look out for before concluding that your baby is on the wrong formula;
Very Slow Weight Gain
Naturally, baby formulas are designed to aid in their growth and development. But if you begin to notice a delay in your baby’s weight gain and growth, it could be a sign that the formula is wrong for the infant.
When constipation occurs, it becomes pretty difficult to pass out stools. If it happens just once, it might not be the formula, but in a situation where it becomes recurrent, you might want to start considering an alternative formula for your baby.
Extra Fussiness After Feeding
Your baby starts acting cranky or irritated after feeding or during feeding.
Allergies are conditions in which the immune system reacts abnormally to a foreign substance. Your baby might have symptoms of food allergy because of the wrong formula.
Some of the symptoms of allergies include; An itchy mouth, difficulty swallowing, swelling of the mouth or other parts of the body, and even experience shortness of breath.
It is usual for babies to spit up due to their underdeveloped digestive system, but when it becomes excessive, a wrong formula could likely be the reason.
Also, frequent puking/throwing up after a meal due to the introduction of a formula that the infant’s system doesn’t accept is another sign that your baby is on the wrong formula.
It is characterized as a loose or watery stool. A wrong formula can cause this. When you notice signs like this, you should stop the formula and look for a better one that suits your baby. If you are confused about the appropriate formula for your baby, ask a pediatrician for guidance.
Healthy Brands of Formulas for Infants
Below is a list of some of the most beneficial brands of formulas for babies;
- Enfamil Neuropro
- Similac pro advance
- Earth’s best organic infant formula
- Gerber Good start soy
- Parent’s choice of soy
- Enfamil infant formula
Similac, Alimentum, and Elecare is also healthy formula brand, but recently, the FDA (Food and drug administration) advised consumers of their usage.
Reports claim that they were made at an Abbott factory in Sturgis and were linked to some reports of bacterial infections in four infants, including one death.
To that effect, FDA is alerting consumers to avoid purchasing specific powdered infant formula produced at the Abbott facility.
It shouldn’t be used if the first two digits of the formula’s product code run from 22 to 37 with an expiration code of April 1, 2022.
Although there has been a comparison between Similac and Enfamil, as you might guess, each of these top-quality formulas does have its advantages and disadvantages.
But the significant difference is that Similac is a better source of copper, having a higher level of vitamin D and riboflavin. At the same time, Enfamil contains more vitamins C, B12, E, and K.
Advantages of Formulas
- Lactose Intolerance: This is a rare case where a baby can’t process breast milk due to the level of sugar. Some specific formulas could come in handy, formulas as soy protein.
- Reduces The Risk of The Baby Getting Infected: In a case where the mum suffers from some medical illnesses, formulas are encouraged because they reduce the risk of the child being infected.
- It’s Convenient: As a breastfeeding mum, you don’t have to worry about your clothes getting stained.
- Your partner can help with nighttime feedings and share that bonding experience with your baby.
- Breastfeeding mums, most times, avoid particular food that their babies can’t tolerate. Using formulas to feed your baby allows you to eat what you like.
Disadvantages of Formulas
The major disadvantage is not able to find the right formula for your baby. Babies react differently to different formula brands.
Feeding your baby on the wrong formula can negatively affect your baby.
Another disadvantage of formulas is giving your baby a diluted formula (Mixing too little water/too much water)
“If you’ve fed your baby diluted formula a couple of times by mistake, there’s probably no harm,
but over time, the diluted formula will cause your baby’s growth to slow, and they can even lose developmental milestones.” Says Dr. Winkelmann.
Breast Milk or Formulas, Which Is More Preferable?
It is indisputable that breast milk is safe, pure, and more nutritional than formula.
Compared with formula, the nutrients in breast milk are better absorbed and used by your baby.
These include sugar (carbohydrate) and protein. Breast milk has the nutrients best for your baby’s brain growth and nervous system.
Breastfeeding is positively associated with excellent IQ performance in children and adolescents.
The report shows that babies breastfed very well during infancy have much better IQ and brain performance than other babies fed synthetic alternatives.
Trusted health organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) strongly recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of the baby’s existence.
When the mum can’t breastfeed her child for medical or professional reasons, formulas are a good substitute.
That said, it is obvious breastmilk is way preferable to formulas. Yet that doesn’t negate that formulas are second to none when it comes to synthetic foods for babies.
Disadvantages of Formulas Over Breast Milk
Reasons you should consider choosing breast milk over formulas.
- Formulas may contain nutrients needed for babies’ growth and development, but they do not have all the nutrients provided by breast milk.
- Breast milk is light on the stomach of a baby than formula. A formula-fed baby is most likely to get obese than a breastfed one.
- Breastfeeding creates a stronger bond between the mum and the child.
- A formula-fed baby needs a sterilized bottle, which could be additional work for the mum. If the bottle isn’t properly sterilized, it could risk the baby’s health.
- Breastfeeding limits the risk of a mum developing ovarian or breast cancer.
- A breastfed baby has a lower risk of developing certain illnesses like diarrhea than a formula-fed one because breast milk improves the baby’s immune system.
- Breastfeeding reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death (SID), especially exclusive breastfeeding.
Do You Know?
Healthy breastfed infants typically put on weight more slowly than formula-fed infants in the first year of life. However, formula-fed infants usually gain weight more quickly after about three months.
To reiterate, the formula is a healthy substitute for breast milk, and the Enfamil Neuropro is considered one of the best brands of formula out there for newborn babies.
Formulas can either be in liquid or powdery form. They contain nutrients like iron, vitamins, minerals, and fats. Knowing the quantity of water added to a formula is essential to avoid giving your baby a diluted formula.
Giving your baby the wrong formula can cause food allergies, diarrhea, constipation, and other things. Although I don’t expect you to know the right formula for your baby right off the bat, consider asking a pediatrician for help if you get confused about the formula to give your baby.
Breastfeeding remains the best option for babies, but if you can’t breastfeed your baby, using formula is okay.
Breast milk has more nutrients than formulas, and they help to improve your baby’s immune system and give them a higher IQ.
The World health organization (WHO) recommends breastfeeding babies for two years.