NJMom wrote: My question is around formula and water. With my first baby, I breastfed until she was able to drink regular milk but with my second baby, she naturally weaned herself at 8 months is drinking solely formula. I am using the Nestle brand but saw recently that there is an organic product. Can you tell me anything about it or the differences in the formula? Also, what is the best water to use for the formula? I had been buying bottled water but realized how much plastic I was going through so I switched to a water filtration system and have been using that water. With all the water issues these days, which one is the best for my baby? Thanks for helping increase awareness!!
When I got pregnant the taste of my breast milk changed and my five-month old daughter refused to breastfeed anymore. It was a bummer because for a few happy days I thought I was getting the best of both worlds -- being pregnant and not having to give up breastfeeding -- but there was nothing I could do. I pumped and tried feeding her the breast milk in a bottle, but she let it dribble out of the sides of her mouth.
So I researched all of the options for organic infant formula, and found three that I really trust: Earth's Best, owned by Horizon (which is owned by Dean Foods), Similac Organic (new to the market), and Baby's Only from Nature's One. Baby's Only is called "toddler formula" on the label, but this is only for political reasons; they want to encourage breastfeeding for as long as possible. You can also investigate private labels (most of which are made by Parent's Choice) for individual supermarkets around the country like Wal Mart and Kroegers, but their nutritional ingredients often come up short when compared to the big three.
It turned out that my daughter liked them all equally, so it would be up to us to decipher the differences between carbs and fatty acids. The biggest difference I could find is that Earth's Best uses organic lactose where Baby's Only uses brown rice syrup. The argument for using brown rice syrup is that it's a higher quality and more complex carbohydrate, and therefore less likely to cause an insulin/blood sugar spike by keeping the blood sugars more level. As far as the dreaded food allergies its also very safe to introduce brown rice syrup because rice is a great first food. Earth's Best uses organic lactose from cows, which some might argue is bad for lactose intolerance and will burn more quickly than brown rice syrup. I had ferocious heartburn with our daughter and drank about a gallon of organic milk a day for relief, so it was no surprise when our milk-basted daughter had no negative reactions to Earths Best, and we have ended up using it the most. But I would use Babys Only equally. Similac has practically the exact same ingredient list as Earths Best, but it has a little more sugar, which is why we use it the least. I also dont love how it smells sweeter than the other two.
If this is still confusing, I would recommend going to this site and printing out this nutritional comparison report and talking to your health care provider about it. When you're having that conversation you might also want to bring up fatty acids, which are the other main difference in these three formulas. All three have DHA and ARA, which are good for brain and eye development, but Babys Only has more fatty acids than Earth's Best and Similac, and they don't treat them with hexane solvent, acid or bleach. Nature's One also sell a supplement that can be added to food or a bottle, which is essentially the equivalent of taking a fish oil pill.
I wouldn't use bottled water for the baby's bottle, it's too big a strain on the environment and there's the potential for plastic to leach into the water if it's stored in a hot place or used after the expiration date. (See How to Avoid Phthalates and Bisphenol A) I filter my tap water through my Brita and then boil it and keep that water in a jug on the stove for bottles. This might sound extreme, but maybe it helps a bit with the guilt I feel for not being able to breastfeed. I'm determined to get her back on the boob, but so far have had no luck. If anyone has any great tricks to share, Id love to hear them.
Also see DIY Organic Baby Food.
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