Infant Formula Alternatives
Many parents today use traditional infant formulas to provide nourishment to their babies. There are instances, however, where this kind of formula is inappropriate. Some infants have intolerance to commercial formula. Premature babies often require specialized formulas to meet specific needs. Many parents choose to avoid commercial formula due to chemical contaminants linked to adverse health effects. Fortunately, there are alternatives that provide your baby with equal or better nutrition.
The majority of pediatricians recommend breastfeeding when possible. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies should breastfed exclusively until they reach 6 months of age. As long as the mother is able to produce adequate milk, breastfeeding should be continued in conjunction with solid foods up until the child’s first birthday. Mother’s breast milk is the most nutritionally adequate source of nourishment for infants.
The use of goat milk as infant formula is the most comparable to human breast milk. The goal milk supplies adequate amounts of fats and proteins, but falls short on supplying folic acid and vitamin B12. Supplementing with an infant multi-vitamin that contains folic acid and B12 should cover the deficiency. If calories need to be increased, adding rice cereal or corn syrup can help. While using fresh goat milk is best, condensed or powdered goat milk is available and sufficient for making infant formula.
Homemade Baby Formula
Your pediatrician may not always be on board when it comes to homemade baby formula. As parents, you have to decide what is best for your baby. If you decide that breastfeeding is not possible and formulas are not an option, homemade baby formula may be up for consideration. There are many recipes available for homemade baby formula, but you should keep a few things in mind when choosing one. Be sure that your baby receives enough calories, proteins and fat. You will need to commit to making most formulas daily for the best results and optimal freshness. Most formula recipes are constructed to provide optimal nutrition for infants. Modifying recipes should be avoided, so be sure to choose one you can commit to for the long-term.
When to Consult a Physician
Even if you fear opposition from your pediatrician, you should consult him or another reliable pediatric physician before starting your child on a new formula. If your child has special nutritional needs, talk to your doctor to be sure your formula alternative meets the recommendations set forth. If your child does not gain weight appropriately, consult your physician immediately as this may indicate malnutrition or be a sign of another health condition.