For many moms, either because they can’t breastfeed or they choose not to, infant formula is a viable feeding option. Nannies can support formula feeding mothers by being knowledgeable about formula storing, handling and preparation.
There are several types of infant formula available. These include milk-based formulas, soy-based formulas, lactose-free formulas and specialized formulas. While babies can absorb calcium and phosphorus more easily from cow’s milk formulas, parents may choose iron-fortified cow’s milk or soy formulas based on their doctor’s recommendations. Babies who have lactose intolerance may not be able to fully digest lactose, the sugar found in milk. In this case, their doctor may recommend a lactose-free formula.
Some infants formulas are hydrolyzed or predigested. In these formulas the protein is broken down into a more easily digestible form. These formulas are typically recommended by doctors for children who have a high risk of developing allergies or those who have food allergies.
While there are many types of infant formula, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that iron-fortified formula be used for all infants who are not breastfed, or who are only partially breastfed, from birth to one year of age.
Formulas can come in ready-to-use, powdered and concentrated forms. Nannies should always read the label on the formula to ensure proper preparation.
When it comes to bottle feeding, infants typically drink about two to three ounces at each feeding during their first week and increase their consumption to around four ounces per feeding when they are one month old. Formula fed babies typically eat every three to four hours because formula is not digested as quickly as breast milk. Around three months of age babies may drink between four or five ounces per feeding and at six months old may drink between six and eight ounces per feeding. During this time frame infants eat four or five times per 24 hour period.
Infants need about 2 ½ ounces of milk per pound of body weight per 24 hour period. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies should not drink more than 32 ounces in a 24 hour period.
Like breast milk, formula should not be warmed in the microwave as microwave heating may cause some hot spots in the milk that could burn the baby’s mouth.