Pediatricians unequivocally state that breast milk is the best food for young children. However, not all mothers can breastfeed their babies. Some are prevented from doing so by a lactation disorder, others by diseases in which breastfeeding is prohibited. Some women refuse to breastfeed their children for their reasons. But regardless of the reason in such cases, it is necessary to partially or completely transfer the child to the formula. And here are a lot of questions: how best to do it? What may be the reaction? What kind of food is better to use?
Starting formula feeding
The body of children, especially infants, is a fragile system in which many processes occur differently than in adults. It continues to form and gets many of the substances it needs from its mother’s milk. Its composition is ideal for the digestion of infants and is familiar to them from birth. It is therefore natural that most children react negatively to the introduction of formula into their diet:
- The baby may begin to cry often and a lot because of pain in the abdomen;
- Changing stools is common. They may turn green and include mucus;
- A rash appears on the skin;
- Strong regurgitation of food may occur.
- Sometimes it doesn’t happen right away but after a long time.
Any such reactions can greatly frighten young parents and make them immediately refuse to use baby food. The main thing here is to understand that the child’s reaction may be due to the non-acceptance of a particular type of formula. How do determine this?
Before you start complementary feeding, carefully observe your baby and describe his condition on paper. You should be aware of any problems with his health! After that, start giving your baby formula and watch how he will feel. If there is no deterioration, feel free to continue feeding.
If you observe any of the problems described above – do not rush to give up the formula. It should continue to use for another 2-3 days. If the baby’s condition has not stabilized at this time, change the formula.
How do I choose a baby formula?
Today the market offers a huge range of baby food. On store shelves, there are hundreds of different jars and boxes with not entirely clear labels and designations. In order not to get lost in this variety you need to have a good idea of what formulas exist and what their differences are.
For every age
Children are growing very fast and their bodies are constantly changing. The older a child gets, the more energy he needs to learn about the world. This increases the need for calories and minerals as well as vitamins. All the systems of a growing child are gradually adjusting to normal operation: digestion and metabolic processes are developing.
Because of this, children at each age need different nutrition and are marked with numbers on the formula:
- 0 – for babies just born, premature, or underweight;
- 1 – for newborns up to 6 months of age;
- 2 – from 6 months to the first birthday;
- 3 – for older children.
Sometimes there is no numerical symbol on the infant formula: they write Pre instead of zero. Such formulas are completely similar to each other.
Orientation on composition
All infant formula is made based on cow’s or goat’s milk. Depending on how the raw material is processed and what additives the food contains, it is divided into several categories:
Adapted. Such mixtures are made from cow’s whey, and sometimes goat’s milk, which has undergone maximum processing, and is purified of minerals. At the same time in their composition are saturated fat, vitamins, acids, and other trace elements necessary for the body of a newborn. Naturally, they cost more than others, but their quality is much better.
They are partially improved. They are not stabilized in terms of fat and other micronutrients. However, the composition of such mixtures is similar to the structure of breast milk.
Unadapted. Their main difference is that they are not made from whey but its protein. Therefore, they are much less digested and absorbed by the child’s body. In addition, most of these mixes contain almost no micronutrients essential for child growth and development.
When choosing, it is important to note that protein mixtures are completely unsuitable for the digestion of newborns. They can only be fed to children over six months of age.
Every child’s body develops uniquely and abnormalities can occur in this process. The special mixtures are used to improve the child’s condition or at least not to make it worse:
- If there are problems with digestion, a special food containing sour milk bacteria is used;
- If the baby burps food too much, he can be given a mixture with thickeners, which will help to cope with this problem;
- In hemoglobin deficiency, babies have often prescribed food with increased iron content;
- For those who are allergic, there are special food formulas.
- Separately, there are lactose-free mixtures made based on soy. They are given to babies who are allergic to milk protein.
Partially replacing breastfeeding with such food can improve your baby’s health and help him grow up strong and healthy.
Constipation in infants and ways to deal with it
Before listing the causes of constipation in an infant, it is necessary to become familiar with the peculiarities of the structure and functioning of its digestive system. This will help to better understand why constipation occurs in a newborn baby.
So, the first feature of the digestive system of infants is the small size of the stomach (in the first month of life its volume is about 100 ml, and then it gradually increases) and its horizontal position. Food in infants is delayed for about 2.5-3 hours, and with artificial feeding – somewhat longer. But the main feature contributing to such a problem as constipation in an infant is the long bowel and weak abdominal muscles.
Thus, the normal frequency of stool in babies in the first year of life may coincide with the frequency of feeding (up to 6 times). It decreases with age and before the introduction of complementary foods about 2 times a day, and for children on artificial nutrition – once a day. Normally, babies’ stools are mushy.
Therefore, constipation is mentioned if the interval between defecation acts of the child increases, if the bowel emptying is systematic but insufficient, and if the stool itself is not mushy, but dense and fragmented.
If the baby is artificially fed and suffers from constipation, it is worth trying the best milk formula for constipation. This will alleviate the baby’s suffering and bring peace back into the family’s life.
If the problem cannot be quickly resolved, you should consult a pediatrician or gastroenterologist. It may be some physiological problem not related to nutrition.
Also with constipation, there is a special massage of the tummy, which improves the condition of the baby. Moderate influence of the mother’s hands in the form of stroking and pressing on the abdominal muscles promotes relaxation, and gently stimulates intestinal peristalsis, getting rid of constipation. For proper stimulation, the baby’s tummy massage should be done in a calm environment and accompanied by a pleasant mother’s voice with kind words.