Infant Formulas - Topic Overview
What types of formulas are there? continued...
Other types of formulas are available for babies
who have trouble digesting cow's-milk formulas. These are for babies who are at high risk of allergies or with a cow's milk allergy. Talk to your doctor
before giving your baby one of these formulas.
- Soy formulas may be recommended for babies who are unable to tolerate
cow's-milk formulas or for vegetarian parents who don't want to feed their babies
animal products. Or soy formulas may be chosen for cultural, ethical, or religious reasons.
- Soy formula is not recommended for all infants. It should not be given to any infant who has a soy protein allergy.
- Lactose-free formulas are
used for babies who are
lactose-intolerant. This is a rare condition in
- Hydrolyzed protein or amino acid
formulas are used for babies who cannot
tolerate formulas made from cow's milk or soy.
Do not use homemade formulas, such as those that use
evaporated milk. These do not contain the nutrients and supplements your baby
needs. They could also make your baby sick.
How do I prepare them?
You can buy
formula as a powder or as a concentrated or ready-to-feed
liquid. Ready-to-feed formulas cost the most. But
some caregivers find their convenience worth the extra cost. You must add
safe water to powders and concentrates. Be sure to follow the
directions on the label and use the measuring device that comes with the
Cover and store your open
cans of ready-to-feed and concentrated liquid product in the refrigerator for
no longer than 48 hours. Cover and store both opened and unopened cans of
powder formula in a cool, dry place, not in the refrigerator. You can use the
powder product for up to 4 weeks, if it's stored right. Don't leave prepared
formula out of the refrigerator.
Also, follow-up formulas for
toddlers are available and usually contain more iron and other nutrients than other
formulas. They can be used for older babies who are
switching from formula to whole cow's milk. Most babies make this transition
In some cases, doctors recommend adding a thickening agent to a baby's formula. Before you use one, talk to your doctor about the risks and
benefits. If you have any trouble feeding your baby, talk to your doctor or nurse.