Before I ever got pregnant, I decided I was going to be a formula mom.
I was raised on formula, so I figured it wasn’t a big deal. Well, I got pregnant, had my baby, breastfed for five weeks with necessary supplementation, then went strictly to formula. It’s been a little over a year that my husband and I have been doing this, and along the way I’ve worked out a few tips and tricks that helped me become more proficient with the whole formula world.
I really didn’t get a lot of guidance in formula feeding, so I hope this list helps those who have decided formula is the way they want to go!
What to remember when you are going to formula feed…
1. It is okay to do this!
Baby will still get their nutrients through formula.
2. Formula is EXPENSIVE.
Budget accordingly. Name-brand formula can cost up to $35-$40 (or more!) for one 30 oz can!
3. Be aware of approximately how many ounces your little one is taking in, and how often.
This will help you predict when you will run out of formula and will need to get more. It will change based on baby’s needs as they grow, but it can be mostly consistent.
4. Speaking of expenses…
Enfamil and Similac both have clubs you can sign up with online while you are pregnant to get samples sent to your house and coupons that come monthly. Every. Little. Bit. Helps. Also, check with your baby’s pediatrician – they may have samples to give you!
5. Have different types of samples in the house BEFORE baby arrives
Not every baby tummy is created equal, and neither are formulas. You will be trying multiple brands, types, etc. When trying different formulas with baby, try them out for at least four days straight. Sometimes, baby’s tummy is unsettled, but needs that extra day to get used to the new formula.
6. Look at the ingredients
Most formulas seem to have the same basic “formula,” but have a different base.
7. Not all formulas are processed the same.
Some may have been bleached to look lighter than others, or may have been processed longer to get a finer grain.
8. Read the instructions
It’s water first, THEN dry formula. I’ll admit, I did it backward for a few weeks and it ended up giving my baby constipation. Ouch!
9. Keep at least one bottle clean with however many ounces of water to scoops of formula you will need.
2 fluid oz = 1 scoop of standard formula. This will reduce stress when you have to make a new bottle in the middle of the night. Just scoop what you need in, shake, and feed. Cue happy baby bliss, aka milk-coma.
10. Get a bottle brush
OH. MY. GOODNESS. I didn’t get one of these beauties until my kid was 10 months old. I cannot stress enough how WORTH IT that $3.50 was. Yeah, you can clean the bottles with your fingers and a rag, but that bottle brush…oh that bottle brush…it will make clean up go faster and it will clean the bottles better.
Lastly, be kind to yourself. You are doing the best you can for baby. While formula may not be the traditional first choice for feeding your baby, it is still a legitimate choice. You are Mama, and you ROCK!