As you know, we recently announced our partnership with Perrigo Nutritionals, a leading global healthcare supplier and manufacturer of infant formula and nutritional products. Perrigo Nutritionals is the largest supplier of Store Brand Infant Formula and nutrition products in the world. I had the opportunity to interview Dr. Lisa Thornton, who is a Pediatrician and Mom and I am excited to share what I learned with you. If you are expecting a baby or know someone who is this information will be useful to you.
Tips for Choosing Infant Formula
Q: Why are people so anti-formula?
A: The pendulum on this topic swings throughout the decades. In the 1960's, formula was a much more popular option. Of course I can’t argue with the nutritional benefits of breastfeeding. The main reason why breastfeeding is best is there are certain beneficial nutrients passed through breast milk (some not yet discovered) to the infant. The biggest one is immunity. Without being able to vaccinate newborns and infants, this is a way to protect them, which can result in fewer infections.
With that being said, Moms have to do what works for them. NO GUILT!! We have enough to feel guilty about, so drop the formula battle, and do what is best for you and your family. In fact, if you are stressed about breastfeeding for any reason, your baby knows it and you can actually decrease your ability to make milk (which can add more stress). If breastfeeding does not work, formula is wonderful and adequate and the perfect alternative for a mom who cannot (or chooses not) to breastfeed. Switching to formula in these instances can lead to much less emotional tension for some moms.
Q: Is one formula better than another (i.e. Store Brand vs. Name Brand)?
A: The important thing to look at when choosing formula is the type– soy, milk, etc. That’s all that matters. The FDA holds all formula companies to the same standards. They are all made exactly the same way; you just pay more for fancy packaging or "name brands". From a label comparison standpoint, there is absolutely no difference between Store Brand Formula and a name brand formula.
There have been studies done to see if switching brands affected children negatively and the results showed that it did not. You can change from name brand to store brand to a different store brand – allowing you to buy the least expensive brand if you want to. One thing I want to mention is that store brand infant formulas are produced in FDA-inspected facilities that are based in Vermont, USA. Store Brand Formulas are not manufactured overseas!
The most important thing to remember about any kind of formula, however, is to prepare it properly. Don’t dilute it! It is dangerous for your baby if you don't mix it properly. For example, don’t use 2 scoops to 24 oz. – it is diluted and has fewer nutrients. If you dilute powdered formula the baby will get too much water potentially causing water intoxication, which can be deadly. It is imperative to follow the package directions exactly. It is also important not to use hot water so you do not burn the baby’s throat. Be sure to use lukewarm or room temperature water when mixing.
Q: Can you leave formula out and then feed it to your baby?
A: Check the labels to know for sure. You can prepare formula in advance and keep it in your fridge for up to a day. The reason you should not to let it sit out for too long is that it can spoil and develop bacteria.
Q: Should parents put cereal in milk to help babies sleep?
A: It is not recommended to feed babies cereal until around 6 months. As far as placing cereal in the bottle, I do not really recommend it, but you should talk to your doctor.
Q: When should parents wean their babies off of formula?
A: Babies should be weaned off formula at about a year and transition to whole milk. Start with solids at around 6 months (one new food a week to watch for allergies). At 2-years old you can switch to 2% milk – but never skim. They need the fat until your pediatrician recommends differently.
Q: Is readymade formula better?
A: No, it’s convenient but more expensive.
Q: Do you need to sterilize bottles?
A: No – just make sure the bottle is cleaned with hot water and soap.
Dr. Lisa Thornton shared this final piece of wisdom. It is not one thing that makes kids one way or another! There are so many factors that make a good parent. We just need to lighten up and do our best to parent our kids.
I can personally attest that breastfeeding isn’t for every mom. As an adoptive Mom, I am so thankful for Store Brand Formula and the options that I had to not only provide Peyton with the nutrition he needed, but also save money while doing so. Using store brand formula definitely gave me peace of mind!
My son was born in Guatemala where he was bottle fed name brand formula. Once we met with his pediatrician here in the United States, we learned that name brand formula and Store Brand Formula used the same ingredients, so we weaned him from name brand formula to Store Brand Formula. We started with a ratio of 75/25 then to 50/50 and finally to 25/75. Peyton had no intolerance or reactions, but this is how our pediatrician suggested we switch.
Switching to Store Brand Formula worked really well for us and in the end, we saved hundreds of dollars. One tip I have for new moms using formula is to keep a bottle handy for middle of the night feedings. I always filled a bottle with room temperature water before going to bed, pre-measured his formula into a separate container and took it upstairs to my bedroom. When he woke up, all I had to do was mix and feed. This kept me from having to stumble downstairs, kept Peyton from crying for an extended period of time and we were able to feed and return back to sleep more quickly. It really worked very well for our family.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Perrigo; however all opinions are 100% our own.