The healthiest newborns can breastfeed within the first hour after they’re born. This is the most ideal scenario since the mother’s milk is the healthiest kind of milk for babies. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, some mothers aren’t able to breastfeed their babies. There are a lot of reasons why parents would choose baby formulas rather than breastfeeding the baby.
From birth up to 6 months, the baby formula will serve as your little one’s daily meals and snacks. If you opt not to breastfeed your little one, you need to choose the baby formula carefully as this is all that he will be needing to grow strong and healthy. After 6 months, you can start giving your little one solid food while supplementing his diet with an appropriate formula.
This infant formula is truly one of the best. It’s a non-GMO formula which will provide the nourishment that your baby needs. This is a nutritionally-complete formula that’s milk-based. It contains a unique blend of vitamins, lutein, and DHA to promote the overall growth and development of the eyes, immune system, and brain.
The Similac Advance Non-GMO Infant Formula contains carefully-selected ingredients which aren’t genetically-engineered, and which meet the highest standards. These nutrients are essential because they are the same ones found in breast milk. This formula comes from a well-known brand that has been trusted for years. And the fact that it’s still around already shows that it’s one of the best.
A lot of moms prefer this formula along with other products from the same brand because of the healthy, non-GMO ingredients. It’s also the #1 milk formula brand which is fed to babies in hospitals. When mixed according to the directions, you can make 29 bottles which contain 6 fluid ounces of the formula.
- Non-GMO formula which is already nutritionally-complete.
- Supports the overall growth and development of infants.
- Comes from a well-known brand of infant and toddler milk formula.
- Contains corn syrup.
- It’s quite expensive.
Here’s another non-GMO formula for you to consider. This superb formula is definitely an inspired way for you to provide nourishment to your baby. It contains lactoferrin and MFGM, two essential components which are also found in natural breast milk. This makes it one of the infant formulas which are closely similar to breast milk.
The Enfamil Enspire Infant Formula was created to provide your baby with complete nutrition for your little one’s first year of life. It doesn’t contain any genetically-modified ingredients which support the proper development and growth of babies. It also contains components which promote the health of the immune system.
The formula contains a special blend of dual prebiotics which supports the immune system. It’s also clinically-proven to promote the health of the digestive system. It contains vitamins, minerals, and other healthy ingredients making it an excellent choice for your little one’s formula.
- Non-GMO infant formula that’s close to breast milk.
- Supports the mental development of infants.
- Also, promotes the immune and digestive systems.
- May cause bloating and fussiness.
- Discounted formulas have short shelf lives.
This baby formula is also patterned after the gentleness and complete nutrition of breast milk. The Gerber Good Start Gentle Non-GMO Powder Infant Formula contains comfort proteins. These are small types of proteins which are easier to digest for the tiny tummies of babies. This formula also contains probiotics, prebiotics, DHA, and other essential components which are also found in breast milk.
- Non-GMO infant formula which contains healthy components.
- Also, contains comfort proteins which are easier to digest.
- Comes from a well-known brand which creates nutritious food items for infants and kids.
- Doesn’t mix with water easily.
- It’s quite expensive.
Here’s another excellent infant formula for you to consider. It contains ARA and DHA which are found in breast milk. The Earth’s Best Organic Infant Powder Formula also contains carbohydrates, high-quality protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and other special nutrients. All these are important in the visual and mental development of babies. The non-GMO, kosher formula is easy to digest too.
- Organic infant formula which contains essential ARA and DHA.
- Contains other components which are also present in breast milk.
- Doesn’t contain harmful components such as fertilizers and pesticides.
- Some babies may not appreciate the taste.
- May cause constipation in some babies.
This is different from other formulas because it’s made from goat milk. It doesn’t contain any preservatives or antibiotics which may be harmful to babies. The Meyenberg Whole Powdered Goat Milk contains folic acid, vitamin D, and other essential ingredients. It’s an excellent alternative for cow milk or soy milk. It’s a tasty and healthy milk that all members of the family can enjoy too.
- Calcium-rich infant formula that can be drunk warm or cold.
- Suitable for infants as well as the other members of the family.
- Suitable for children with a soy sensitivity.
- Has a fairly strong smell.
- The powdered milk tends to clump together.
The Plum Organics Grow Well Organic Infant Formula is another great substitute for or supplement to breast milk. It’s made with an organic formulation which is designed to nourish your baby. It contains high-quality ingredients such as proteins, carbohydrates, and other vital nutrients needed for the growth and development of babies. It also contains ARA and DHA without any dairy, gluten, or GMOs.
- A kosher, gluten-free formula which is modeled after natural breast milk.
- It will provide complete nutrition for the first 12 months of your baby.
- Doesn’t contain corn syrup solids or GMOs.
- May cause constipation in some babies.
- Contains some allergens.
This is another superb infant formula you may consider for your little one. It’s designed to meet your baby’s nutritional needs for his first year of life. The non-GMO formula is easy to digest. It also contains DHA which supports the healthy development of your baby’s brain. It’s made with high-quality ingredients taken from organic sources, so it also promotes the health of the immune system.
- Non-GMO formula that’s easy to digest because of the gentle formulation.
- Contains DHA which is important for the development of the brain.
- A great formula which will provide the nutrients for your baby for his first year of life.
- It’s quite frothy.
- May make some babies gassy.
You can confidently provide nourishment to your little one with this easy-to-digest and gentle infant formula. The Happy Baby Organic Infant Formula Milk-Based Powder with Iron Stage 1 is organic and is also modeled after natural breast milk. It’s nutritionally complete and it contains a special composition of ingredients to support your baby’s health. It’s gluten-free and it doesn’t contain corn syrup solids.
- The non-GMO formula which doesn’t contain corn syrup solids or gluten.
- Comes from cow milk from cows which were raised in organic farms.
- A gentle formula that babies can easily digest.
- Has a fairly strong smell.
- May cause an allergic reaction in some babies.
This is another great infant formula for you. The Baby’s Only Organic Dairy Formula will provide your baby with the right amount of essential fats and proteins which are also abundant in natural breast milk. It also contains carbohydrates and vitamins needed to ensure that your baby will stay healthy and grow well. The organic formula is also suitable for babies who have food sensitivities or those who are picky when it comes to food or milk.
- The non-GMO formula which doesn’t contain palm oil, corn syrup, gluten or hexane-processed DHA.
- The milk comes from cows which haven’t been given steroids, antibiotics, or synthetic growth hormones.
- Contains high levels of the essential fatty acids which the body converts to ARA and DHA.
- It’s not suitable for babies who suffer from acid reflux.
- May cause constipation in some babies.
Finally, the GoodSense Advantage Milk-Based Powder Infant Formula with Iron is a milk-based formula which will also provide complete nutrition for your little one. It contains lutein, DHA, vitamin E, choline, and other essential components which support the development of the eyes and of the brain. It’s patterned after breast milk and it even comes with a convenient scoop, so you can measure the powdered formula accurately.
- A formula that’s modeled after breast milk and will provide complete nutrition for your baby.
- Contains lutein, vitamin E, DHA, and other healthy ingredients.
- Clinically-proven to support the growth and development of babies.
- It’s quite pricey.
- May cause diarrhea in some babies.
Who Needs a Baby Formula for 0-6 Months Old?
There are many different reasons why moms choose to give infant formula to their babies. Some aren’t able to breastfeed their baby whether because they are sick, they don’t have time because they work, or they aren’t able to produce enough milk. In such cases, you can give your baby a formula for 0-6 months old to provide the nourishment he needs.
You can either substitute breast milk for infant formula or use it as a supplement if you aren’t able to produce enough milk to sustain your baby. Some parents even introduce the formula to make it easier for their babies to transition feeding on bottles. If you’re unsure, it’s best to speak to your pediatrician about your options.
Of course, breast milk is always the best option for growing babies. But if you choose to give your little one formula, then make sure you choose the best one. Also, keep in mind that if you give infant formula to your baby, your own supply of breast milk will decrease gradually.
What Are the Benefits of Baby Formula for 0-6 Months Old?
Although breast milk is still best, baby formula for 0-6 months old is also very beneficial. It’s especially essential for those who want to give their babies the nutrition they need to grow and develop when they can’t breastfeed. Let’s take a look at these benefits.
Baby formulas contain essential nutrients for growth and development. There are different brands which manufacture baby formula and most of them try to model them after breast milk. Also, most brands these days include some standard additives to the formulas to make them healthier for babies.
All baby formulas available are fortified with ARA, DHA or both. These are the synthesized versions of the important fatty acids which are naturally found in breast milk. These are essential for the development of the eyes and the brains of babies. Of course, these components don’t have the same chemical structures as those found in natural breast milk. But they do come pretty close.
Infant formulas also contain iron which can help prevent iron deficiency in babies. There are also organic formulas which contain ingredients derived from organic sources which a lot of people believe may be healthier. Some infant formulas even contain prebiotics and probiotics which promote the health of the digestive and immune system.
As you can see, such formulas contain a lot of healthy nutrients which will keep your little one nourished and satisfied. With these formulas, you don’t have to worry about feeding your baby even if you can’t breastfeed. This is a huge relief for mothers especially when they know that there’s a safe and healthy alternative to breast milk.
Just like breastfeeding, feeling your baby infant formula also promotes emotional feeding. This advantage allows for a closer connection between parents and their baby. As you feed your little one using the bottle, just gaze into his eyes and it will make your connection stronger. The sucking reflex also supports jaw development as well as the nutrition of your little one.
Another great benefit of infant formulas is that they’re safe for babies. Most formulas are made from cow’s milk but have been modified to make it suitable and safe for your baby. If your little one doesn’t like or is allergic to the cow milk-based formulas, there are other choices available.
Stage 1 formulas are the ones which are suitable for newborns until they reach 6 or 12 months. This means that you can keep on giving this formula to your baby all the way up to the time when you introduce solid foods to his diet which is when he is about 6 months old.
Unlike breastfeeding, infant formulas allow both parents to spend quality time with their baby. This is because you would have to hold your little one while feeding and both mommy and daddy can do the task. Just make sure that you’re sitting comfortably on a chair while feeding your baby, so you can enjoy the experience as much as your baby does.
When you hold your baby in your arms and look into his eyes while feeding, this will make your little one feel loved and safe. And as your baby drifts off to sleep, he will feel safe and have a stronger and more profound relationship with you. Just don’t force your baby to finish the milk in the bottle as this might create a negative feeling during feeding.
All these are the great benefits of baby formula. Just make sure that you prepare the milk properly and you feed your baby properly too. Do this so that your baby will continue to grow healthily and happily.
What Are Baby Formulas for 0-6 Months Old?
We’ve already mentioned how breast milk is still the best for babies. But of course, this might not be an option for some. Fortunately, there are infant formulas which you can give to babies to make sure that they’re nourished, healthy, and happy. Formulas come in different stages because breast milk also changes gradually as the baby grows.
For instance, formulas for toddlers contain the same nutrients which are also found in baby formulas. But the main difference is that toddler formulas contain more phosphorus and calcium. This is because they’re designed to meet the higher phosphorus and calcium needs of children as they grow. So, you can either stick with the same brand and simply move up the stages or change the brand as your little one grows older.
Most infant formulas are created and formulated to be similar to breast milk in terms of the nutritional composition. Typically, the main ingredients of such formulas are proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals which are all essential for the growth and development of babies. There are other essential ingredients too, but these vary from one product to another.
In the first 6 months of an infant’s life, he only needs to drink breast milk or, if this isn’t available, infant formula. After 6 months, you may start introducing solids as well as water to the diet of your little one. During the first 6 months though, the formula or breast milk would be enough.
What Safety Issues Should You Be Aware of for Baby Formula for 0-6 Months Old?
Some babies may have problems with different formulas. Such issues include lactose intolerance, allergies, and more. That’s why it’s very important to choose a product which will work well for your baby’s delicate digestive system. You can speak to your pediatrician about the best formula for your little one. It’s also good to consult if you’re planning to change your baby’s current formula.
There are some telltale signs your baby will manifest which indicate a formula intolerance. These include obvious discomfort or excessive crying and fussiness. Also, you might notice that your baby is colicky or excessively gassy. Other symptoms of formula intolerance include hard stools, diarrhea, vomiting, spitting up, and poor weight gain.
Keep in mind that the right baby formula would depend on the age and the needs of your own child. While a lot of babies are okay with cow milk-based formulas, you still have to check whether your own baby will be able to tolerate it. If there aren’t any problems, then you can continue with the product you’ve chosen. Otherwise, you have to think about making a change.
What Stages of Baby Formula Exist?
Before choosing a baby formula for your little one, it’s important to learn everything you can about them. Later on, we’ll discuss the different types and forms of infant formulas. Now, we’ll go through the different stages as this is also important information for you to know about. Knowing these stages and what they mean will also help make your choice easier as you’re browsing through different products.
Stage 1 formulas are suitable for newborns up to babies who are 6 months old. These are usually cow milk-based and have undergone significant modifications to resemble breast milk. In fact, these are also known as “breast milk substitutes” because you can give them to your little one in the event that you can’t breastfeed your own baby.
Stage 2 formulas are suitable for babies 6-12 months of age. These are follow-on formulas which are typical “casein dominant.” They contain different nutrient levels as compared to stage 1 formulas. Therefore, they aren’t suitable for babies who are younger than 6 months. To supplement these formulas, you can start feeding solids to your little one gradually.
Stage 3 formulas are for toddlers 12 months and over. Your infant would have already grown into a more active toddler who’s busier and who needs more nutrients and extra energy to grow, develop, and play. Just like infant formulas, most toddler formulas are also cow milk-based. By this time, your little one would also be eating more foods and the milk would only serve as a supplement.
Important Factors to Keep in Mind
Types of Baby Formula for 0-6 Months Old
The first factor on our list is the type of baby formula. Aside from the different forms of baby formulas, there are also varying types too. Of course, there’s no “best type” because the best one would depend on your own baby, his preferences as well as how compatible the formula is with him.
Therefore, it’s your job as the parent to find the best formula for your little one. To be able to do that, it’s helpful to learn all that you can about these products, so you can make a wise choice. So, let’s take a look at the different types of formula to give you a better idea of what’s out there.
First off, there’s cow milk-based formula which is the standard type which most babies drink. This type is made from cow’s milk, but it’s usually modified so that it’s more similar to natural breast milk. So, this type should give your baby the adequate amount of nutrients he needs. Most infants are fine with this type of milk but those with allergies may need other types of formula.
If your cow milk-based formula isn’t right for your little one, you can try soy-based formulas. This type is just like the cow-based one except it doesn’t contain any animal proteins. It’s suitable for babies who are lactose intolerant or who have milk allergies. However, there may be times when babies who have allergies to cow’s milk also have allergies to soy milk.
You may also consider organic formulas. This is a great option for parents who want to give their babies organic foods and drinks. When choosing this type though, read the label carefully to make sure that you’re really getting the organic type and it doesn’t contain any genetically-engineered ingredients.
If you want to avoid iron deficiency, then you can go for an iron-fortified baby formula. Or if your little one was born prematurely, there’s also a special baby formula you can choose. This type of formula contains additional nutrients and extra calories which are beneficial for premature and even underweight babies.
Other special formulas include those with added rice starch which are suitable for babies suffering from acid reflux. There are also elemental formulas which are for babies who are allergic to milk proteins and soy. Finally, there are amino-acid based infant formulas which are suitable for infants who can’t handle soy, cow milk, or elemental formulas.
Forms of Baby Formula for 0-6 Months Old
Now that you know the different types of formula, it’s also important to know that they come in different forms. Just like the types, there is no “best form” of infant formula. Each of them has their own pros and cons and it’s your job to find the product which would be good for your own baby.
By far, the most convenient is the formula which comes in powder form. This product usually comes in a canister which includes a scoop. So, you just have to scoop the powder into the bottle, add water, and shake it. This form is common, convenient, and readily available.
It’s also very popular because you can bring it with you wherever you go. However, it’s quite difficult to measure powdered baby formula accurately in terms of ensuring the right amount of nutrients each time. Also, it’s not as sterile as other forms of infant formulas.
If you don’t want a powdered formula, you can go for the one in concentrated form. It’s similar to the powdered one but it comes in a liquid form which is easy to pour. And just like the powder, you add water to this form of a baby formula. It’s also convenient and sterile not like the powdered formula.
Concentrated baby formulas are easier to prepare. However, they are significantly more expensive. Also, they aren’t very convenient especially in terms of bringing them along when traveling. When you think about it, it’s quite challenging to carry liquid concentrate while going on a trip, isn’t it?
There are also ready-to-feed baby formulas. This, by far, is the most convenient form of baby formula out there. These usually come in individually-packed servings and all you have to do is feed them to your little one. However, this is also the most expensive form of a baby formula, so you may want to choose this one when you really need a convenient option.
Preparation Method of the Baby Formula for 0-6 Months Old
It’s really important to know the types and forms of baby formula available so you know what to look for. After this, it’s time to consider the preparation method of the formula before you purchase it. Usually, the preparation method would depend on the form of baby formula you choose.
For powdered formula which is the most affordable option, it’s quite easy to prepare. These formulas come in canisters or boxes which already contain the preparation instructions. Also, they usually come with their own scoop to make it easier for you to measure the amount you scoop into the bottle. Then, you shake the bottle until all the powder is completely dissolved.
For the concentrated form, it’s very important to follow the instructions for preparing the milk. This is because the liquid is highly concentrated, so you need to dilute the formula with water so it’s not too rich or potent. The concentration needs to be exact for it to be beneficial for your little one.
Finally, the ready-to-use formula which is the most convenient form is the easiest and most convenient. You don’t have to measure or mix this with water. It already comes prepared with just the right amount of nutrients. So, all you need to do is give the formula to your baby whenever he wants or needs it.
Ingredients of the Baby Formula for 0-6 Months Old
Another important factor for you to consider is the ingredients of the formula. Of course, you want to give your little one the best possible product especially if you’re giving the milk as a replacement for breast milk rather than just a supplement. Fortunately, you can easily find the ingredients of the formula on the label of the product.
Nowadays, most baby formulas come with healthy ingredients as they are modeled after breast milk. Most common of which are ARA and DHA. These are essential nutrients which are important for the healthy growth and development of babies especially in their first few months of life.
Although you would like natural ingredients for your little one, there are some synthetics which can also be healthy for babies. These include lutein, lycopene, nucleotides, taurine, and l-carnitine. You may find these ingredients in some of the formulas and they can be quite beneficial. But if you don’t want any synthetic components, then you can avoid the products which contain them.
Another ingredient to consider is the sugar in the formula. It’s a fact that breast milk has a naturally sweet taste, so formulas usually contain some type of sugar too. Most parents prefer lactose because this is the one which mimics the sugar in breast milk closely. But since this is quite expensive, some manufacturers make use of plant-based sweeteners instead.
Ingredients of Baby Formula for 0-6 Months Old to Avoid
Finally, you should also be aware of some ingredients in formulas you should avoid. Aside from looking for the healthy ingredients, you should also know which ones won’t be beneficial to your baby. For one, try to stay away from formulas which contain palm oil. This isn’t absorbed by babies well and it may also cause a loss of bone density.
Another ingredient to avoid is carrageenan. This is a type of additive that’s derived from seaweed and it’s used to make liquid formulas more stable. However, it has some bad side effects such as intestinal inflammation. Also, look out for synthetic preservatives and nutrients. Sadly, these are found in a lot of formulas for babies.
Finally, pay special attention to ingredients which your little one is allergic to. This is very important especially if you’re already aware of your baby’s allergies. Stay away from any baby formula which might cause an allergic reaction or any other adverse reaction to your little one.
As you can see, there’s a lot to learn about baby formulas for 0-6 months old. Remember that babies are very delicate and sensitive, so you need to make sure that you choose a formula that will aid in the growth and development of your little one. Whether you give the formula as a supplement or as a substitute for breast milk, choosing the best is key.
We’ve already gone through some excellent products for you to consider. We’ve also included an informative buying guide which can help make your choice easier. That being said, keep in mind that breast milk is still the best milk for growing babies. But for one reason or another, you may need infant formulas. If you’re one of these parents, then make sure you choose the product wisely.