Everyone should know that breast feeding is the gold standard in infant feeding. As there is a seperate breastfeeding page located on this website, simply click on this link http://www.PregnancyBirthAndParenting.com/breastfeeding to access the information.
ARTIFICIAL FORMULA FEEDING
Breast milk is always the best choice for babies as it is species specific. If you have decided to artificially formula feed for whatever reason, then others should respect your informed decision.
It is necessary to sterilize all the feeding equipment for the first six months only. The current trend past six months of age is to simply wash out teats and bottles with hot water, drain excess water and store in a covered container until required. This is because by six months of age, babies are down on the ground picking up all sorts of germs anyway, so washing equipment in hot water is all that is required. Up to six months of age, you still need to sterilize all bottles and teats.
Here are the sterilizing steps for the little bubs.
Steam sterilizers are great, you simply wash out your bottles and teats, place in the steam sterilizer, add the required amount of water, cover and microwave for the specified amount of time. Your bottles and teats are then sterile and ready to use.
Sterilizing tablets or liquid such as Milton’s can be used. Simply place the required amount of liquid or tablet into the sterilizing container with the required amount of water, immerse the bottles and teats and keep immersed for the required amount of time. These liquids and tablets do leave a very strong chlorine type of smell. They do not need to be rinsed off before feeding. Always use the amount indicated on the packaging to ensure the correct strength.
The old fashioned way, just clean your bottles and teats and immerse into a saucepan of water and boil for 5 minutes. You may need to use a bottle brush when cleaning teats to eliminate any milk residue.
Flow rate: make sure the teat is right for your baby’s age. Most teats are labelled according to age. The flow will then be suitable for your baby. Test the flow by holding the bottle upside down, the milk should drip out at a constant and steady rate. If it drips too slowly, baby will get tired before the feed is finished. If it pours out too quickly, baby may dribble and splutter during the feed.
Shape of teat: there are lots of different teats available which claim to be an exact replica of a mother’s nipple in the baby’s mouth. None have been shown to be of any particular advantage. ‘Orthodontic’ teats are no better than regular shaped teats. Over time you will discover which teat works best for your own baby.
Time: your baby should take from 15 – 30 minutes to drink a bottle of artificial formula.
Air: loosen the cap a little if the teat flattens during feeding. Air bubbles should rise through the milk as baby drinks.
ARTIFICIAL FORMULAS EXPLAINED
All artificial formulas sold in Australia, conform to the Australia New Zealand Food Standard Code (Standard 2.9.1 – Infant Formula Products). There is little difference in nutritional value or quality between differently priced brands. Infant formulas are made under very hygenic conditions from cow’s milk except for specialised formulas. The formula is heat treated so it is more easily digested by babies. Nutrients are added to make it as close as possible to breastmilk.
There are two major proteins in milk, whey and casein. Whey is the dominant protein in breastmilk whilst casein is the dominant protein in cow’s milk. Whey is more easily digested by a baby, so a whey dominant formula is recommended for babies less than six months of age. Casein dominant formulas are best suited to babies more than six months of age. Casein dominant formulas usually keep baby feeling fuller for longer.
Starter or step 1 formulas are usually whey based. Follow on or step 2 formulas are usually casein based so can be used from six months of age. Please note that a baby can stay on a step 1 whey dominant formula until 12 months of age. They do not have to change to step 2 casein dominant.
Gold Formulas: Gold formulas have omega 3 DHA (docosahexanoic acid) and arachadonic acid (aa) added. These are special fats found in breastmilk and oil fish. Omega 3 may be beneficial for a baby’s growth.
Neucleotides are building blocks of every cell in the body. Neucleotides assist in supporting development and maturing of the baby’s gastrointestinal and immune system.
Probiotics are bacteria found in the gut which encourage healthy digestion, and support our body against harmful bacteria. Formulas with added probiotic bifidus help to deliver this benefit to artifically fed infants.
Prebiotics are a type of fibre that nourishes friendly bacteria by boosting their growth.
There are a variety of formulas available and they include:
Standard Infant Artificial Formula: labelled suitable from birth, this is for babies up to 12 months of age. Standard infant artificial formula is usually cow’s milk based, but may be soy or goat’s milk based. Soy may be preferred by vegan mothers or if the baby cannot tolerate cow’s milk protein. However, unless there are compelling reasons against using cow’s milk based formula, it is the recommended choice.
Follow On Infant Artificial Formula: labelled suitable only for babies over six months of age, this is for babies aged six to twelve months only. There is no research to show these preparations are any better than standard formula, and they are not considered nutritionally necessary.
Thickened Artificial Formula: is sometimes recommended for babies who frequently posset or regurtitate large amounts of formula after feeding. However, a thickened artificial formula may not solve the problem and should not be used without guidance from a qualified health professional.
Amount Of Formula Required Each Day: a full term healthy baby will need on average 150 mls per kg of body weight per day from when they are five days old until they are three months old. As an example, a 3 kg baby would require 450 mls of formula per day.
From 3 – 6 months, this amount reduces to 120 mls per kg of body weight per day.
From 6 – 12 months, the amount reduces to between 90 – 120 mls per kg of body weight per day.
Premature babies need more than this. Initially, they would usually require 180 – 200 mls per kg of body weight per day. But always check with your own doctor or child health nurse.
Source: Better Health Channel – Bottle Feeding With Formula
Can I feed cow’s milk to my baby?
No, not until your baby is 12 months old. An infant should never be fed cow’s milk during the first year of life except on cereal from around 6 months of age. Unmodified cow’s milk is not suitable for infants as its concentration may cause gastrointestinal bleeding and provides a heavy load of solutes for the infants renal system. To put that more simply, it is too high in protein and sodium (salt), which can be stressful to your baby’s kidneys. Cow’s milk is too low in essential iron, lactose (a sugar) some vitamins and does not contain the correct amounts of fats that babies require to grow and develop.
If you are not breastfeeding, you must feed your baby an infant artificial formula for the first 12 months.
Reduced fat (lite) cow’s milk should not be given to children under the age of 2 as there is insufficient energy and the essential fatty acid (linoleic acid) needed for growth in the fat portion, is lacking.
Skim cow’s milk must only be given from age 5.