If you’re new mother, you already know that breastfeeding is best for your baby. But not everyone can successfully breastfeed. What’s important is that your baby gets the nourishment he needs to develop and thrive. If your baby isn’t thriving on breast milk, then you need to switch to formula. There are many different options to choose from.
The brand you choose isn’t important. All formulas are prepared according to FDA regulations which specify minimum and, in some cases, maximum nutrient level requirements for infant formulas, based on recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition. These regulations and the Infant Formula Act help to make sure that all infant formulas are nutritionally complete and safe for your baby.
The American Academy of Pediatrics does not endorse or recommend that your infant drink any specific brand of formula if you choose not to breastfeed, except they do say that low iron formula should not be used.
Baby formulas mostly differ in the type of sugar and protein that they have. Regular iron fortified infant formulas, such as Similac Advance, Enfamil Lipil, and Nestle Good Start Supreme are made with lactose and cow’s milk based proteins. Most infants who are not breastfeeding exclusively should be given a cow’s milk based iron fortified formula.
Soy formulas are made with soy protein and are lactose free. They are good for children who don’t tolerate lactose or milk proteins.
Elemental formulas are also lactose free and are made with hydrolysate proteins, which are easy to digest for infants with protein allergies. If you have a family history of food allergies or formula intolerances, you might choose to start your baby off with a soy or elemental formula if you do not want to breastfeed.