What Are The Advantages To Breastfeeding?
Breast milk provides an infant with the proper balance of nutrients required for growth and development without straining an infant’s developing digestive and kidney systems. Breast milk also contains substances that help protect infants from certain infections. Nursing is convenient since breast milk is always available and does not require preparation or storage. Additionally, both mother and infant can benefit psychologically through this close and warm interaction.
What are infant formula products?
There is a variety of starter formulas based on cows milk protein (whey or casein). These formulas:
- Are suitable for babies from birth to 12 months
- Can be confusing – the label may list a number of additions such as LCPUFAs (long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids or omega-3 fatty acids), pro-biotics or pre-biotics. These ingredients are added because they are found naturally in breast milk. The most important thing to remember is to choose a starter or first formula if your baby is under six months of age.
‘Follow on’ formulas are suitable for babies six months of age and over. It is your choice whether you use them. ‘Follow on’ formulas are available based on cows milk, soy or goat’s milk. These formulas:
- Are made for babies over six months of age
- Contain higher protein and mineral content than starter formulas.
Why is infant formula the only suitable substitute for breastmilk?
Infant formula is the only safe alternative to breastmilk. A baby who is not receiving breastmilk should be fed infant formula (artificial baby milk). Babies under 12 months of age should not be fed normal cow’s milk, or skim, evaporated, powdered or sweetened condensed milk. Only use a formula specifically made for babies. Most infant formulas are based on cow’s milk, but contain other important ingredients as well. They are suitable for most healthy, full-term infants.
How can I be sure of the quality and safety of infant formulas?
The ingredients in infant formulas are strictly controlled and legislated in Australia and many other countries. Infant formula manufacturers and developers must comply with regulations and standards.
Is infant formula high in sugar or fat?
Infant formula contains a blend of fats that yield a fatty acid profile very similar to that which is found in breastmilk. This includes average percentages of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. CREATIVE Infant formula contains the two essential omega acids and linoleic, as well as DHA , the fatty acid vital for brain development.
Should I stop using formula when my baby moves on to solid foods?
No. The nutrient content of various baby foods, either commercially prepared or homemade, varies considerably. Additionally, during the period of transition when an infant is gradually increasing both the type and the amount of solids being eaten, the formula still contributes substantially toward meeting the infant’s nutrient requirements. During this time, either breast milk or iron-fortified infant formula can most appropriately meet these requirements.
How Long Can Infant Formula Be Kept After Opening?
Formula that is prepared from powder and placed in bottles for feeding should be refrigerated and used within 24 hours. The remaining powder should be tightly covered and stored in a cool, dry place and used within a month after opening. Please see our milk storage guide for more information.
Can I store prepared infant formula in the fridge?
Formula that is prepared from powder and placed in bottles for feeding should be refrigerated and used within 24 hours. The remaining powder should be tightly covered and stored in a cool, dry place and used within a month after opening. Baby formula that is removed from refrigeration should be used within two hours or discarded. Because of possible bacterial contamination, formula remaining in a bottle one hour after the start of feeding should also be discarded and never kept for use in a later feed.
How do I heat up infant formula?
Microwaving infant formula is not recommended for safety reasons, they do not heat the milk evenly and may create hot spots in the milk, which could burn the baby’s mouth. Formula should be warmed by standing the bottle in warm water (not boiling). Bottle warmers can be used, but they must have a thermostat control. Bottles should only be warmed for less than 10 minutes.
How do I know if my baby has any food allergies?
Infant food allergies can be mild or serious, and can be caused by any number of different ingredients. We advise you consult your doctor if you are concerned about your child having any reactions to infant products.
Can I give my baby water?
Giving newborn babies water can be detrimental to baby’s health as it could interfere with their ability to absorb nutrients in breast milk or formula. This is why it is so important to follow the instructions on the formula packet with regards to how much water to mix with the formula. Most babies will get all the hydration they need from breastmilk or formula for the first six months of their life and will not require any additional water.
At six months old, your baby is ready for their first sips, but if you give them too much water they can get a bad tummy ache or not eat properly. When baby is one year old and eating solids you can let them drink as much water as they like.
When to introduce solid foods?
Introducing solid food at the right time is very important. If you start too early, your baby’s digestive system is not ready for solid food. Starting solid food before your baby is four months old can increase the risk of allergies and rejection of the spoon. If you wait too long after six months, your baby will miss out on important nutrients needed for growth and development. It becomes harder for your baby to accept new tastes and textures and it can also
Increase the risk of developing allergies. See our weaning page for more information.
Best first foods for babies?
Any iron-fortified cereal, cooked, pureed meat or meat alternatives like meat, fish, chicken, pork, tofu and legumes/beans. Try cooked pureed vegetables like potato and sweet potato, pumpkin and carrot, and cooked pureed fruit like apple, pear, peaches and apricots. Other soft fruits like bananas and avocados are also suitable. See also this useful information brochure from the Department of Health
What is UHT milk? How is it different from pasteurised milk?
UHT stands for Ultra High Temperature processing, which is the sterilization of food by heating it for an extremely short period of time (1-2 seconds). It has the same amount of calories and calcium, and roughly the same amount of nutrients as pasteurised milk does.
How long can I store UHT milk?
UHT milk has a typical shelf life of six to nine months, until opened.
Does UHT milk taste different?
High heat during the UHT process can change the taste and smell of dairy products, however the milk is in no way damaged or of poorer quality.