What Type of Formula Is Best?

Updated on September 07, 2008
J.K. asks from Renton, WA
19 answers

I am back to work and pumping three times a day. I had quite a stash of frozen breastmilk prior to returning to work, but my four and a half month old is a super eater and he is quickly going through my stash. I have tried increasing my milk supply with fenugreek, but he is going to catch up with me next week and I am going to need to supplement a bit with formula. We have started some rice cereal too. Thanks in advance for your recommendations of the best baby formula to supplement with.

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M.C.

answers from Seattle on

I highly suggest Goodstart this formula breaks down so much easier then others and is easier on the babies tummy.

1 mom found this helpful
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J.T.

answers from Portland on

I think avoiding formulas with corn syrup or corn syrup solids would be a great goal. It is horrible for metabloism and if you do a little research you will be convinced too!

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C.A.

answers from Portland on

I also used the Target brand, but I found that it does clump up a little bit so put it in the bottle slowly and shake often. If you cut open the top of the nipple a little bit you can thicken it up with rice cereal which keeps baby satisfied longer and will allow you to slip in more breastmilk (some peditricians are against this some are for it - my mom did it with me and my three sisters and we have all done it with our babies and it let all of us get more breastmilk in than formula with absolutely zero side effects other than they quit eating every single hour on the hour). I know one of my sisters like the Costco brand formula (Kirkland) for price and it was smoother than the Target brand, but this was after my kiddos were past bottle stage so I never got to try it, but she swears by it.

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K.T.

answers from Portland on

Hi J.,
I would recommend using only ORGANIC formula. We use Nature's One Baby's Only formula. It is $5 less/can than Enfamil and if you order by the case online you can save $10! I also considered Earth's Best, but is was the same price as Enfamil. As for ingredients, our pediatric nutritionist said all formulas are comparable in what babies get from them. The FDA has established minimum guidelines. On the Nature's One Baby's Only website you can do a side-by-side label comparison. The Baby's Only formula can does say on the label "for toddlers" but that's because their philosophy is breast milk is best for the first year of life. Baby's Only cans don't even have a plastic scoop inside them because the plastic breaks down...very earth and baby sensitive. We went out and bought a set of metal measuring spoons that I use only for her formula.
Best of luck,
K.

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A.W.

answers from Seattle on

I used similac, however I think each infant is different and it might take a few attempts to find what works best for your son. We tried a few different ones until we found that similac was what our daughter tolerated the best.Others gave her really bad gas. All formulas are regulate, so they all have the same nutritional values as a standard. So, unless you are really picky or your son is lactose intolerant, I'd start with a lower cost one (and probably organic if you can) and then go from there.
I'd also try and mix in as much BM as possible to continue the benefit as long as you can. Like start with 80%BM and 20%formula, then slowly increase the formula levels. That is what I had to do with my daughter as I never, no matter what I did, produced enough BM. So, I gave her what I could and supplimented the rest.
:-)
Enjoy your little angel.

1 mom found this helpful

M.B.

answers from Seattle on

J.,

You might want to talk with your doctor first, but we used the generic Target brand of formula when we had to use it with my now 17 month old daughter. The major brands, Similac and Enfamil were at least a dollar more expensive than the Target brand, and the had the same ingredients.

We used the second stage (for older babies) and she had no problems with the formula. Now we have the problem of her not liking white milk at all. Give her a 12oz cup of white milk and she'll drink it in a day and a half or so. Give her a 12 oz cup of chocolate milk and she'll drink it in about 10 minutes or less. Doc said as long as she's getting milk it doesn't matter what flavor it is. ;-D

Hope this helps,
Melissa

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E.B.

answers from Seattle on

Just don't use commercial baby formula! Its loaded with corn syrup and other unhealthy things. Soy is very bad for boys especially. I have an oatmeal milk recipe you can do yourself...did it primarily with my second son. If you want to instead increase you milk production, homeopathy may help that.
In health,
Liz
Classical Homeopath

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M.K.

answers from Seattle on

We've used a combination of breastfeeding and formula for most of 9 mos. My son was born early and had formula after 3 days of not being able to breastfeed at the hospital (Similac). it took us almost 6 weeks until he could breastfeed.

anyway, i was able to get him to 100% breastfeeding until i went back to work at 3 mos, but after about another month at work i had to start supplementing with formula again. i've tried 2 pumps, one commercial, and different size cups but the number of times a day i had to pump was prohibitive to me getting any work done or sleeping at night.
Anyway, i've decided not to feel bad about supplementing. my son is 9 mos and is also a super eater- he's huge! he breastfeeds multiple times morning and night and takes a couple of bottles of formula during the day and we've had no problems from this- it can work very well.

i didn't read all of your posts so if im duplicating i'm sorry, but one thing i didn't realize early on is that you need to drink a lot of water! so, if you are trying to increase your milk supply instead of using formula, i found that fenugreek and LOTS of water did help quite a bit.
good luck!

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J.O.

answers from Corvallis on

The best way to increase your milk supply is to pump more often; herbs are good but stimulation of the breast is best. (I have been pumping exclusively for almost 10 months now and I work about 50-60 hours per week, I pump 3x at work and several times at home in the evening, night and morning). That being said we used Enfamil with DHA early on when my milk supply was low after her birth. It just depends on what your baby likes. We found if we had to give formula, being able to add some breast milk into it really helped her tolerate it more (less gas, etc) I agree with getting a pediatrician suggestion. Please don't worry about giving your little one commerical or non organic formula as someone else posted. There have been generations raised on just regular plain formula and they did just fine. Good luck to you!

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Z.A.

answers from Seattle on

When my son was little, my co-workers at the NICU/PICU all recommended both Enfamil Lipil and the "try everything but avoid soy" method. :) So we did both.

I can tell you that we ended up exclusively using the Enfamil Lipil, even though we DID try everything. One reason is that all the half digested proteins in many of the other brands went bad FAST. YUCK YUCK YUCK. IF you think bad milk smells awful....phew! Ugh. Sorry...still getting shrudders. It would go bad within an hour. We were traveling at the time and it was the ONLY formula available in the middle of nowhere (where my Dad's family is from) So we had no choice for 2 weeks. Yuck! (The half digested proteins tend to have little broken up hearts on the labels....eeeeewwwww. Broken hearts? I've felt LESS nauseas after a real broken heart then when I test sipped a bottle after 1/2 an hour. :P Granted, they're okay when fresh...you just have to keep a REAL sharp eye on how fresh they are.)

My son was a huge eater, too. As a one month old he was consuming an average of 23 oz of breastmilk in one sitting (our lactation consultant used the super sensitive scale to weigh him before and after several feedings). This trend continued when we had to shift to [email protected]____.com'd drink a can and a half to 2 cans a day in addition to his food. Talk about an expensive habit!

Good Luck to You!!! & Nurse for as much and as long as possible!! (It's not only best for babies, it sure saves the pocketbook too!)

;)
~Z.

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G.S.

answers from Portland on

Hi J.,
We used Enfamil because it was what the NICU recommended for our preemie triplets. They are now 3, bright, and no signs of prematurity left. That's the best reference I can give. If you go with Nestle or Carnation, check the sugar content.

Take care!

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R.B.

answers from Seattle on

First of all, I'm a lactation consultant in private practice. Remember your milk supply is based on demand. pumping at work is good, but are you breastfeeding exclusively when you're home? DHA in formula is not the same as DHA in your milk. It's artificial and many people think possibly even dangerous since it hasn't been really tested. It's being tested right now on our babies! YOu should have enough milk for your baby if you've been breastfeeding all along. make sure you're taking enough fenugreek--3 caps, 3x/day and I hope you have a good pump. the american academy of pediatrics recommends holding off on solids till at least 6 months.

let me know if you need more help.

R. Beebe, M.Ed., IBCLC
www.second9months.com

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C.S.

answers from Medford on

Hi J., my first baby was born with a cleft lip and palate and could not breastfeed so I had to pump for him from day one. The first 4 months I had way more than enough milk, but then sometime between 4-5 months I started having to give him 1 bottle a day of formula, and by about 8-9 months I was so low on milk he was down to about 1 bottle a day of breastmilk (however, I did get pregnant again when he was 6 months so that might have had something to do with reduced supply). Anyhow, in the beginning the hospital gave us a pre-mixed similac, and I thought that tasted better than others but also way more expensive. So I used the Enfamil with Iron for him, and started with some cereal around 4 months. With my second son I used Similac. I don't really notice much of a difference with either one except the Enfamil poured out of the scooper and mixed up a little better. Nutrition wise I would guess they are all pretty much the same (except obviously organic would be organic). I remember comparing the vitamins on those two brands and they were the same. Hope that helps.

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M.J.

answers from Seattle on

Whatever you decide, remember not to use soy unless your child is clearly intolerant or has an allergy to the milk-based formula. Kids don't digest soy as easily as the other kind. I foolishly used a free sample of soy formula with my daughter when she was 4 months old and we ended up in the emergency room because she vomited until she was dehydrated.

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L.H.

answers from Seattle on

Hi J.,
I used both Similac Organic & Parent's Choice Organic (sold at Walmart). The second one was significantly cheaper - only around $14-15 per can. My son didn't have any problems with either one. They are both made with organic cane sugar or organic lactose. I would never buy anything with corn syrup. There are some recipes out there for homemade formulas, however, I would be very careful. I am not convinced that all of the required nutrients & their right amounts would be included (including proteins, fats, carbs & many of the essential vitamins & minerals necessary for growth & development). My baby's health is not something I want to gamble with. I've tried soy-based formula, however, it gave him foul-smelling stools & much gas. Good luck.

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L.J.

answers from Portland on

We love Nestle Good Start. It is so gentle on babies tummies. We tried Enfamil and Similac with our kids and they got tummy cramps and fussed all the time. As soon as they were on Good Start, things were wonderful. Don't feel guilty or bad if you need to start using formula for your child! I did at first because some people are so pro-breastfeeding. But my milk supply was low, I did EVERYTHING under the sun to increase my milk supply with all 3 of my kids to only fall way short of enough milk to fill up my kids tummies. They are all happy and healthy and Nestle Good Start was a wonderful formula for them.

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C.P.

answers from Anchorage on

Formulas with the DHA is top priority for formula. And also doctors and researchers have said don't give your baby anything but formula until they are 6 months or older. Their tummies and digestive systems are not mature enough yet, and it could cause earlier alergies to foods.

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D.B.

answers from Richland on

With my now 2 1/2 year olf we started out acassionally supplementing the Enfamil Lipil with Iron and DHA and ARA, then a when my son self weened at 5 months we tried the Costco brand Lipil formula. The ingredients are the SAME and the Costco brand has some higher amounts of nurtients than the Enfamil. My son was fussy for about 2-3 days and once his little tummy adjusted we never had another problem. It is only $10 a can versus almost $15/$17 for the Enfamil and Similac. So if you have a Costco card, you can try it, it will save you a TON of money!! I know it did us! Good Luck!

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D.D.

answers from Seattle on

One of the formulas has DHA which is vital for brain growth. I don't remember which formula it was. If it were me, I would use that one. I don't know if all the formulas have that or not.

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