How to Choose the Best Baby Formula for Your Child – 2024 Guide

Having a child is hands down one of the most beautiful, but also the hardest, things a woman can do. We are taught that motherhood is a seamless and natural experience that anyone can go through. However, this is not the case. Knowing what is the best thing for your baby 100% of the time is impossible, and motherhood can be a confusing and difficult time for any woman. There can be a range of different complications and problems that can arise.

Breast is best?

One of the biggest problems new mothers encounter is with breastfeeding. We are often told that ‘breast is best’ for your baby. But the issues and complexities that can arise from breastfeeding, from nipple soreness and a lack of milk to struggling to get the baby to latch, can mean that giving your baby formula could be the best choice for your child.

The baby formula as a milk substitute

img source:

For those inevitable times or situations where it isn’t possible to give your baby breast milk, you can give them baby formula. Designed to replicate the nutritional benefits of breast milk, it contains an assorted array of proteins (typically from cow’s milk but also sometimes soy or even goat’s milk), carbohydrates, fats and vitamins to support your baby’s growth and development.

Finding the right formula for your baby

The ingredients that formula milk contains does vary from brand to brand and ingredient, so it’s important to consider what you’re giving your child. Fortunately, there is a lot of information and guides available regarding the best organic baby formula on as well as the best value products you can find and buy.

How to choose the best formulas

img source:

When it comes to choosing a replacement for breast milk, there are a lot of baby formulas on the market to choose from. From different brands to different ingredients, it can be tough to settle on one. Luckily, we’ve got you covered and have collated these areas to think about to help you choose the best baby formula for your child.

Which type of formula to go for

Firstly, you want to think about the formula itself. Baby formula comes in many different formats including:

  • Powder baby formula
  • Liquid concentrate formula
  • Ready to drink formula

Each of these has its own advantages and disadvantages, which we’ll get into below. It depends on how much control you’re looking for in terms of how much formula and the concentration your baby will need.

Powder baby formula

img source:

This type of baby formula is usually sold in large canisters or cartons, and it needs to be mixed with water first before being fed to the baby.

The great thing about this kind of formula is that it’s the most cost-effective of the different types of formula. You can benefit from buying in bulk, and the powder format means it won’t go out of date any time soon, providing you don’t mix it with the water.

However, there can be some issues with using powdered baby formula. It doesn’t make a great travel solution due to the often large containers, and it can get a little messy if you’re trying to feed your baby on the go. Lastly, this kind of formula cannot be used if you don’t have access to clean drinking water, or for newborns or premature babies. This is because the powdered formula cannot be guaranteed to be sterile, and newborns and premature babies don’t have a strong immune system yet.

Liquid concentrate formula

img source:

This formula is similar to the powdered formula in terms of what it contains and how to use it, but some of the mixing has been done for you. This formula milk still needs to be diluted with water before being given to your baby, but it is a lot less messy than powdered formula.

The main advantage of using a liquid concentrate formula is, what we’ve already covered, much tidier. It is more travel-friendly too.

However, it is a more expensive option in comparison to powdered formula and has a much shorter expiration time. Most of the time, the formula will need to be completely finished within 48 hours of opening a container.

Ready to drink baby formula

The last type of formula you can buy is the ready-to-drink variety, which does exactly what it says on the tin (or bottle). There is no mixing needed, you can give it straight to your child.

The most obvious advantage of this kind of formula is that it is convenient. There’s no fuss or mess with preparing the mixture, you can easily give it to your child. It is also available in many different sizes to suit your needs, for example, if you are supplementing breastfeeding you can easily incorporate a bottle of ready to drink baby formula into your feeding routine. It also takes the pressure out of preparing the mix, with virtually no space for mistakes with measuring or accidents when mixing the formula. Storage for ready-to-drink formula is easy too, with unopened bottles not needing to be refrigerated either.
However, this is by far the most expensive formula type, and once opened, must be finished or discarded within 48 hours of opening.

Which brand?

img source:

Due to strict health regulations when it comes to baby formula, most baby formulas are made from the same ingredients. So there isn’t a lot of variation in terms of quality, apart from how those ingredients are sourced. Like with any other type of food product, there is a regular option and an organic option. Organic baby formula is, inevitably, the better choice due to it being made from the cow protein of cattle that has been reared and fed in the cleanest way. This means no pesticides or antibiotics.

But when it comes to nutritional value, there isn’t much difference between organic and non-organic baby formula.

You can also help to narrow down your choice of brand depending on what you need from your formula. There are brands that are made specifically for those supplementing breastfeeding, and for those with underweight babies – and even gassy babies!

So you should think about what you want and need from your baby formula when choosing, as that will help to give your baby exactly what they need.