New parents are consumed with concerns for their children: which are the best diapers, what kind of schooling will be necessary, what is the best choices for feeding baby?
While some of those concerns will take several years to resolve, feeding baby is not something that should cause an undue amount of stress. A baby’s diet goes through some significant changes during the first year of life, but with a few simple guidelines parents can be confident they are giving their children the very best.
When it comes to selecting food for the newborn there is really only one choice: milk. The form this milk takes is up to mom and dad. Parents have three options when choosing their baby’s all liquid milk diet: breast milk, formula or an alternative milk product.
Pediatricians agree that breast milk is the best option for babies. It has all the components needed for the healthy growth and development of growing infants. From the moment of birth they body begins producing colostrum, the pre-milk, if you will, which provides baby with anti-bodies and fatty nutrients which prevent substantial weight loss.
When the breast milk comes in around days 3-5 after delivery it has all the rich calories, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients baby requires. In fact breast milk changes constantly to meet baby’s changing needs, for as long as mom nurses. Nothing is more adaptable or ideal.
Unfortunately, breast feeding is not an option for all mothers and babies. Various situations make nursing difficult: insufficient breast milk supply, nursing difficulties with latch on and pain, and a mother’s working schedules that doesn’t allow for nursing.
Formulas are getting better all the time. New research is unraveling some of the complexities of breast milk. Although formula doesn’t offer the flexibility of breast milk it offers good nutrition for millions of babies and allows dad to be involved in feeding in a way breast feeding doesn’t.
Although standard formulas are made on a cow milk base, there are several that are made on soy or denatured proteins. For babies who can’t digest regular formula properly, these options are usually acceptable. Babies don’t get enough nutrition from straight milk products, such as goat milk or even regular cow milk, so make sure that you consult with your doctor if your child is having difficulty digesting the formula you selected.
If your baby is still struggling with alternative formulas, there is another option. With the rising awareness of the benefits of breast milk for new babies, breast milk banks have become more common. These institutions provide breast milk to new babies when their own mothers are not able to provide it themselves.
These facilities are not regulated, so parents need to be careful. To find a milk bank search online. It is also a good idea to do a bit of due diligence and check out sources, complaints, and track records to be certain the milk is properly handled and screened.
In the end parents need to decide which is the best choice for their baby. When making this decision many factors need to be evaluated. Nutrition, convenience, price and availability all affect the final verdict.
What ever choice is made: here’s to health, cheers!