5 Tips for choosing baby formula for a newborn

Breastfeeding is recommended for babies during their first six months of being born. However, some mothers cannot or do not want to breastfeed. This leaves them the option of giving their newborn baby formulas. Baby formulas are designed to act as a suitable replacement for breastmilk and this contains all the essential nutrients needed by newborn babies. A newborn has a very weak immune system so baby formula products must have passed safety and quality standards set by the government. Still, some baby formula products have been associated with food poisoning and other complications which can be fatal to newborn babies. This leaves the parents with the task of carefully picking a suitable baby formula for their child. With that in mind, how do you choose the right baby formula for your baby? 

mum feeding baby with baby formula while child watches puppy dog posing for mums magazine

Photo by Sarah Chai from Pexels


Here are some tips on choosing the best baby formula:

  • Check for FDA approval

The first thing that would ensure the safety of baby formula is to check if it passed the FDA standards. FDA regulates the content and manufacturing of baby formulas to ensure that these meet the minimum food safety requirements. Baby formulas that do not comply with standards could pose safety risks and illnesses to infants when consumed.

According to this Similac lawsuit article from top law firm Schmidt & Clark, recent baby formula recalls were initiated due to cases of children who developed necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) or other severe food poisoning injuries after intake of certain brands. Infants that consumed the recalled baby formulas were reported to have developed NEC, a disease common to premature babies that is characterized by inflammation of intestinal walls.

Some baby formulas that are being sold or distributed may have higher risks associated if not proven safe and if not manufactured according to standards. So it is very important to always check FDA approval of baby formulas before buying them.


  • Meet nutritional needs

When choosing a baby formula, aside from the safety assurance, the nutritional requirements needed by babies should also be met. Babies with ages 12 months and below should be provided with formula milk that has adequate nutritional content since the baby formula is the source of nutrition for infants. 

The newborn formula milk usually contains enough vitamins and minerals which are given at tolerable amounts for the newborn’s body. The nutrition content of baby formula should also adhere to nutritional requirements in accordance with the set infant formula standards.


  • Consider the protein content

The protein content of milk formula for babies may affect the babies’ digestion and comfort. Baby formulas with full-size or standard proteins are harder to digest compared with formulas with hydrolyzed proteins. Hydrolyzed proteins are proteins that are predigested or broken down into smaller substances, allowing faster absorption. Full-size proteins can be seen in the ingredients list as nonfat milk, milk/soy protein isolate, or whey protein, while hydrolyzed formulas have a “hypoallergenic” or “hydrolyzed” label in their cans or packaging.

Fully hydrolyzed formulas are the best for babies who have allergies to proteins in cow’s milk and other milk-based formulas, as well as for babies who are having a hard time processing certain fats and proteins. For babies that have no problem with digestion, formula with standard proteins can be selected.


  • Do not buy damaged cans, boxes, or bottles

When choosing products for your baby, always make sure to purchase those that are of good quality. Very rarely, there are some baby products that have defects and damages that accidentally make it to the store shelves. These products must be avoided at all costs because these can be contaminated by bacteria which is very harmful to babies, especially newborns with a very weak immune system.

In choosing baby formula products, always check the packaging for dents, damages, holes, or rips, to avoid such damaged products. Also. try to choose the products with a later expiration date because these are the newly restocked products that can save you from buying expired ones.


  • Avoid buying illegally imported formula

Some people opt to buy baby formulas from foreign manufacturers since the prices are more affordable than other local products. This may save the customer some money but there are risks in buying imported or foreign products. Since the manufacturers are foreign, it will be hard to verify the authenticity of the product. 

The quality seals and signatures can be easily falsified and the customer cannot be fully assured that the product has passed its safety standards. This case is most common amongst illegally imported baby formula products. These products are the ones that fail to pass their country’s safety standards so the manufacturers will illegally export them and sell them to other countries at a lower price to still gain profit. To avoid such risks, always buy the locally produced baby formula from brands that are proven safe and have a good reputation. 


Since mums have different opinions on breastfeeding, some prefer to buy baby formula to ensure that enough nutrients can still be provided to their newborns. When buying baby formulas, it is a must to always check the expiration date. Even if the quality or brand is good, but if the formula is already expired, it could result in gastrointestinal issues or other health problems. If you are still unsure of what formula to buy, it is better to ask your pediatrician for advice to know what suits best for your baby, since they know more about the nutritional values required for babies’ health and growth.

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