To Top

OurStart’s Guide To Everything You Need To Know About Baby Formula

If you’ve had a hospital birth, you may be more confused than ever by all of the baby formula free samples you may have received.  With so many choices how will you know which one is right for your baby?  I’m going to go over everything that you need to know about baby formula so that you can make the most educated decision when it comes to feeding your baby.

Cow Milked-Based Versus Soy-Based Formulas

baby formula

There are two main kinds of formulas on the market.  The first and most well known is cow milk-based formula.  The second type is a soy-based formula.  Unless the parent wants a vegetable-based diet for their little one, or if the baby has allergies, most parents feed their babies cow-based formula.

Which Brands Are The Best?

baby formula

The Food and Drug Administration regulates baby formulas.  That means that they must follow strict guidelines to ensure that they meet all of the federal nutrient guidelines.  If you are choosing to feed your baby formula, it shouldn’t matter which brand you pick since all contain very similar ingredients.  Many parents decide to try the samples that they were given at the hospital and then go with one of those choices.


baby formula

Formula can be a major expense when you have a baby since you will need to continue to restock it.  The price factor can become a big influence on which kind that you pick.  In general, the powdered formula is the most affordable.  Of course, it will need to be mixed with water each time so it may require more preparation than the liquid type of formula.  Liquid concentrate also will need to be mixed with water, but it will be slightly easier to prepare.  Liquid concentrate will usually cost more than dry formula.  The most expensive type is premixed.  The premixed baby formula requires no special preparation other than warming it up.

How Long Will A Prepared Bottle Remain Fresh?

baby formula

Most formulas can be mixed ahead of time and then refrigerated for one day.  However, this does not apply if your baby has been drinking from the bottle.  If your baby has had any of the bottle, it should be dumped out.

How Much Formula Does a Baby Need?

baby formula

Because babies are all different sizes with individual metabolism requirements, it’s not possible to pinpoint an exact amount of formula that all babies need.  However, in general, newborns to 6 months of age will need an average of 2-2.5 ounces of formula each day.  The amount of formula that a baby takes will increase as he or she ages.  Newborns take on average of 1 to 2 ounces of formula at each feeding.  1-2 month olds take approximately 3 to 4 ounces per feeding.  2-6 month olds take about 4 to 6 ounces per feeding.  At 6 months to a year, a baby should be taking in approximately 8 ounces per feeding.

Supplementing with Formula

baby formula

There are many reasons as to why a mother may want to start supplementing her breast milk with formula.  One reason may be that the mother is going back to work and won’t have time to pump regularly.  Keep in mind that when you supplement with formula, your breastmilk supply will start to go down.

Is It Ok To Mix Breast Milk with Formula?

baby formula

Ideally, it’s best not to mix breast milk with formula; because you don’t want to waste precious breast milk and have to throw it away if your baby can’t finish their whole bottle.   It’s better to feed your baby the breast milk first and then offer a different bottle with the formula.  Because breast milk is so good for your baby, it’s best to get all the breast milk in first before you give your baby formula.

Will I Notice Any Changes In My Baby When Switching to From Breast Milk to Formula?

baby formula

Yes, you most likely will notice some changes when switching from breast milk to formula.  The first change is that your baby may go longer between feedings.  The reason is that formula is harder to digest than a mother’s milk.  Consequently, they may feel full longer.  The second change is that your baby’s bowel movements may change color from yellowish to brown.  The bowel movements may also be firmer and harder to pass.  You may notice your baby straining to have a bowel movement once on formula.  Also, the bowel movements will most likely have a stronger odor than when he or she was only drinking breast milk.

If your baby begins vomiting blood or if the stool contains any blood in it after introducing formula, contact a doctor immediately.  Bloody vomit or stools are signs of milk intolerance.

In Conclusion

There are two main types of formula, cow-based or soy-based, with several manufacturers of both types.  Many parents stick with a formula that they were given as a free sample in the hospital.  Because the Food and Drug Administration regulates all formulas, there is no consensus on which brand stands out as the best.

In general, they are very similar.  One of the biggest differences in formulas is the price.  Powdered formulas are usually the cheapest.  Some people choose to start supplementing formula after initially breastfeeding.  If you do that, make sure to be aware of the changes that you may notice in your baby including harder, foul-smelling stools.  While this is normal for formula fed babies, blood in the stool or vomit is not ok.  Make sure to contact your baby’s doctor if you notice any blood in the stool or vomit. I hope that my article has helped you to understand and learn more about baby formula!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More in Parenting