• DHA/ARA ““ These are omega-3 fatty acids, substances that are thought to promote normal eye and brain development.
• Prebiotics and probiotics ““ These formulas contain added healthy bacteria to simulate the natural composition of breastmilk. The thought is that the added healthy bacteria will colonize the intestines, aiding in normal digestive function.
• Iron-fortified ““ Iron is an essential nutrient for developing babies that needs to be supplemented if you’re not breastfeeding. Using an iron-fortified formula is an easy way to ensure that baby is getting enough iron.
• Organic ingredients ““ Some formulas are made with only organic ingredients to reduce exposure to pesticides or added preservatives. These formulas tend to be more expensive.
Does the Brand Matter?
Unless your doctor prescribes or recommends a specific formula or brand, using the generic instead of the brand does not make a difference because they are nutritionally equivalent. Every infant formula sold in the United States must be regulated by the FDA, or Food and Drug Administration. There are strict guidelines in place that determine the minimum, and maximum amount of each nutrient found in the formula.
Whichever formula you choose, it’s best to not change types or brands without speaking with your doctor first; your baby may have difficulty digesting his new food.
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Iannelli, V. (2009, May 22). Choosing a baby formula. Retrieved from http://pediatrics.about.com/od/infantformula/a/09_baby_formula.htm
Infant formula: your questions answered. (2010, October 16). Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/infant-formula/PR00058