Breast milk is no doubt the best source of nutrition for newborn babies and infants. But there are times, when breast milk is not available for various reasons, which is why parents opt for baby formula. Baby formula is defined as a food which acts as the primary source of required nutrients such as; vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats and carbohydrates, being a substitute to breast milk. Baby formula is available in liquid, powdered or concentrate forms, which can be provided to newborn babies till they are a year old.
When newborns and infants are deprived of the mother's milk because of several reasons like a premature delivery, death of the mother during childbirth, abandonment, or if the mother opts out of breast milk, these children could face severe health problems. To protect them from nutritional deprivation, they are fed with baby formula which has the same components as breast milk. There are many popular brands which produce baby formula and can be prepared at home in a few simple steps. Thus, if you want to know how to prepare baby formula, we have mentioned these steps below.
How to Prepare Baby Formula
Baby formula is a very useful source of nutrition for infants who can't receive the same from breast milk, as the components are known to be very similar. However, there are many differences in breast milk and baby formula, as the exact chemical properties found in breast milk could be absent in the formula. There are also many important factors such as mother's antibodies which are absent in formula, but are needed by the infant to strengthen its immune system.
Therefore, before you put your child on baby formula, it is essential to consult your doctor and use the formula only if prescribed. If the doctor advises it, you could purchase a pack or can prepare at home in a few simple steps. There are various types of baby formula which you can choose from, depending on your child's daily diet requirement.
Sterilizing the Containers
The first rule, while feeding a baby from the age group of 0 to 3 years is to sterilize every vessel that its food is served or eaten in. Add some water to a large container and bring it to boiling on medium heat. After the water has boiled, remove about 4 cups of water aside in another container. Add the bowls, spoons, water bottles, milk bottles and nipples to the boiled water, so that these containers are sterilized off the external germs and bacteria. This is done, because children of this age have a very weak immune system, which is usually developing. Thus, you have to take care, that no pathogens enter their body through food.
Making the Baby Formula
To learn how to make your own baby formula, you need to decide what type of formula you would use and in which form. As you get baby formula in the liquid, powder or concentrate form, you will need to read the instructions behind the packet carefully. To start with the recipes for making baby food, you can use boiled water that you kept aside in the first point, which will probably cool down.
With the measurements of formula and water mentioned in the instructions, mix both the ingredients well, in a sterilized mixing bowl, with a sterilized spoon. Pour this mixture in the milk bottle (also sterilized), and cap it up tightly with the nipple. Heat the bottle in a hot water vessel, never directly. Make sure you never heat the formula in the microwave, and test the temperature of the prepared formula on your wrist or palm before feeding it to your infant.
Storing the Baby Formula
Infants need to be fed after every 2 to 4 hours in a day and thus, you cannot keep making baby formula every time your baby gets hungry. To avoid delays, make sure you determine what is the capacity of your baby's feeding for one time and make only that amount of formula. To save time, you can prepare the same amount of formula at once and store it in your refrigerator. After the infant is fed, discard the formula that remains in the bottle, don't refrigerate it for the next time. Also, do not prepare formula for more than a day's time, as you cannot refrigerate it for more than 24 hours.
With these easy steps on how to make baby formula, you can provide all the required nutrition to your infant when breast milk is not an option. So, make your bundle of joy a happy and healthy baby with his/her favorite food!