We are SO excited to be Similac StrongMom Ambassadors and sponsored blog partners. This post is sponsored but please know that our opinions are our own and we write every post from the heart. Please see below for additional disclosure.
We are not strangers to how controversial a topic like formula feeding can be...or even breastfeeding for that matter. No matter what you do, someone will tell you that you aren't doing it right. We are so excited to partner with Similac to bring Moms helpful information to guide them through both breastfeeding AND formula feeding.
Long time followers of our blog know that both Ashleys have breastfed all their kids. So far we've each had 1 baby that required some formula feeding. In both of our cases it was our first and we were working but the decision to feed a baby formula comes in all shapes and sizes.
Feeding my daughter formula was a necessity after she refused to latch as a newborn. I made the decision to exclusively pump for her but I couldn't keep up with supply and demand in those first few weeks. We needed to use formula...something I didn't even look into before having her. I was so set on breastfeeding...why would I have researched formula?!
So I did what any new mom recovering from a c-section with no clue in the world what she was doing would do- I sent Daddy to the store for formula. He was gone for awhile, I'm pretty sure he just stared at the cans in amazement of what in the WORLD to buy. But when he got home he was sure proud to be able to feed his baby girl. :)
Luckily for you Similac, with the help of Dr. Sue Hubbard (aka "The Kid's Doctor"), have given us five helpful tips for selecting the formula that's right for you and your baby-
Figure out your lifestyle needs and which form of formula will support them.
In our case power formula worked well, but some families prefer the connivence of the ready to feed stuff. Some factors you may want to consider- price, how often you will use formula and what's best for you when you are on the go.
Understand the ingredients.
The FDA regulates all formula so you can rest easy there, but that doesn't mean all formula is created equal. Some formulas offer the basics (think carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals...etc) while others, like Similac, offer formulas with additional nutrients to support things like eye development.
Although my son never took formula, I'm also more aware of the need for formulas based on different ingredients like soy. My guy had a dairy intolerance (no ice cream for Momma for a year!) and would have had to be on a special formula to avoid having allergy issues.
Be mindful of your water source.
We used nursery water to mix my daughter's formula at first just because we had no clue what we were doing. After speaking with her doctor, we discovered our tap water was perfectly fine to use. If you are worried about your water source, talk with your baby's pediatrician and/or use nursery water until you get the "ok".
Watch and learn.
It can take your baby anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to get adjusted to a formula. If your baby seems uncomfortable, gassy, has a nasty diaper rash...etc they might be having a reaction to their food. These are the exact signs that my son had when we discovered his dairy intolerance. In my case a diet change was necessary but with a formula fed baby, consult your doctor and see if they have any suggestions for a gentler formula or different brand.
Consider your baby's age.
It's typical in the U.S. for parents to start introducing solid food to their babies as early as 6 months. Although breast milk and/or formula should still be their primary source of nutrition, baby will benefit from nutrients found in some of those first foods (think green beans, sweet potatoes, apples...etc). Stage 2 formulas have additional protein, vitamin C and calcium to complement the diet of a baby that has started solid food.
And one last piece of advice- try not to stress out about it too much. If baby is getting fed and seems happy - you are doing a great job!
Similac sponsored with bloggers like us for its StrongMom Ambassador Program. As a part of this program, we receive compensation for our time. Similac believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Similac's policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.