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Breast milk is the universal the best source nourishments to a newborn baby. However, some children do not get a chance to breastfeed because of unavoidable circumstances. They have to depend on baby formula, popular amongst being baby milk powder. This powdered milk is derived from cow’s milk is equally ideal if manufactured using strict processing guidelines to ensure it has all the vital ingredients and if you safely handle it. Ensure the containers you are using are sterilized especially plastic containers, which are widely used, see my article on plastic containers to know how to choose, use, and a lot more.
Ingredients in Baby Milk Powder
Baby Milk powder comes in two stages. The first stage is the whey-based. It is more like breast milk and ideal for newborn babies. The second stage is the casin-based for hungrier children since its digestion takes much longer. Generally, the first stage is good for newly born babies while as they grow, the second stage will be ideal. Some manufacturers hardly mention these two stages of baby milk powder. However, it is important to be aware of the two differences since it affects the ingredients contained and child satisfaction.
In addition, to help your child get all the nutrients they require for growth, baby milk powder contains other vital ingredients for your child’s growth. Some of the common ingredients that most manufacturers add include FOS, ARA, DHA, GOS, lutein, B-Carteoene, Nucleotides, fortified iron, vitamin D, lactose, among many others. However, before buying baby mild powder with any ingredients, you need to get advice from your doctor on if a certain ingredients are important or you should avoid them.
Choosing Baby Milk Powder
The most important consideration when choosing baby milk powder is the nutritional benefit the specific brand you are considering will offer to your child and the child’s response to it. There are different types of baby milk powder brands available in the market and it can be very confusing in deciding which one to go for. Some of the important tips for choosing the right powdered milk for your infant include the following:
- Look at the nutritional value the milk has. Consult your doctor or dietician on each nutrients it contains and if they are suitable for your child.
- Watch for any negative response from your child the moment you start feeding him/her using a certain brand of baby milk powder. Your paediatrician should help you deal with any complications that might arise such as allergic reactions.
- While choosing milk formula, avoid changing brands so often. Stick to one brand since your baby will be better adapted to it.
- If you have a premature baby, go for specially formulated baby milk, as the ordinary baby milk will not be ideal.
- Price offerings should not carry you away. Ensure you look at ingredient and milk safety other than the price tag it comes with.
- Choose a baby milk powder brand that you can continue using for a long time instead of switching from one brand to another as your child grows.
Irrespective of the specific baby milk powder you buy, ensure it is age specific since what a six-month will need should be is different from a month old child in terms of ingredients, composition and so on.
Preparing Baby Milk Powder Tips
When you buy baby milk powder, you will get the general preparation procedure, which you have to follow. In addition to that, some of the important tips you need to follow to avoid contaminating the milk and ensure it is safe for your child include the following:
- Keep good personal hygiene by washing your hands and storing your baby milk powder in a cool clean place.
- Use sterilized or sanitized containers e.g. sterilized plastic containers.
- Use clean or boiled water in preparing the milk formula to avoid recontamination by some of the water borne illnesses.
- Each time, prepare a fresh baby milk powder formula and avoid reusing formulas you prepared earlier. Ensure you dispose any remaining prepared milk formula.
- Wash feeding bottles before reusing them.
- Check manufacturing and expiry dates to ensure they are still safe for use.
- Ensure your baby milk powder is homogenous (consistent) and comes out of the feeding bottle easily.
Warning on Baby Milk Powder
It is a fact that baby milk powder is the best alternative of breast milk. However, ensure you take precautions when using it to ensure it. Research conducted on various occasion have found some low grade baby milk powder to contain some disease causing bacteria such as salmonella and E. sakazakii. Ensure you buy this powdered milk from credible manufacturers. In fact, buy only milk powder for babies from companies, approved by various health organizations such as the FDA if you are in America, the European Food Safety Authority (EPSA) for those in Europe or the local food safety authority in your country.