How to Pick the Best Formula for your Baby
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Once I found out I was pregnant with twins, all bets were off. My immediate mantra became “my plan is that I have no plan”. One of the areas that this especially played out in was how I would feed my babies. I knew I wanted to try to breastfeed, but I also understood that it might not work out with multiples. I knew that in the end, fed is best. There are so many opinions (and so much guilt) around breastfeeding and using formula. I wanted no part in it! Everyone’s situation is different and to say that one thing over another “is best” is simply wrong. What worked for you may or may not work for another family for a multitude of reasons.
Keep reading to find out why we chose Bobbie organic baby formula for our twins. Use discount code ELLEMULENOS10 for 10% off.
UPDATE: As of 2023, Bobbie released a new organic gentle formula!! All of their formula is made with gentle formulation in mind, but this new one has proteins that are partially hydrolyzed (smaller for easier digestion), making it a great option for babies who are having trouble with intact milk protein.
UPDATE as of June 2023, Bobbie is now FREE OF SOY ALLERGENS!
I’ll discuss my personal feeding story another time, but the short story is that my milk took a week to come in. In the meantime, my babies needed to start supplementing with infant formula due to weight loss. They are now 3+ months and still combo feed as I cannot produce enough milk for both of them.
Here are three main things I took into consideration when buying formula for my babies:
What are the key ingredients in your baby formula? Read the can and look at what is used to make your formula. Ingredients in baby formula are listed in order from the greatest amount to smallest amount, so the first few ingredients make up the bulk of the product. All of the formula offered at our hospital had corn syrup as its number one ingredient. Corn syrup is basically just sugar, and while it does contribute to weight gain (which babies need), corn syrup is not the sugar source we find in breast milk. . The bottom line is that while breast milk is in fact sweet, there are other, more desirable forms of sugar than corn syrup for your baby. Ideally, you’d like to see lactose as the first ingredient, as that is the milk sugar/main ingredient in breastmilk.
Where is your formula made? If it is produced in the United States, you have the peace of mind in knowing that it’s regulated by the FDA. A lot of European formulas are popular for what they don’t allow in it compared to U.S. formulas, but they are illegal to import and sell in America.. On top of that, you have the possibility of running into scarcity or shipping issues since it is produced out of the United States. Third party sellers can be sketchy and are unsafe.
What proteins are in your formula? You want a good protein/carb/fat blend. On top of that, where are the proteins sourced? Breast milk has around a 60/40 blend of whey to casein milk proteins. Finding a formula that has this is ideal, as it will be the easiest ratio for your baby to digest. If it has too much casein protein, it can be hard to process, as it turns to a solid in the presence of (stomach) acid. This information is not required on the label, so you will likely have to call the manufacturer to get the answer.
Another piece of information U.S. formulas are not required to disclose is the quantity of DHA present. Regulating bodies like the European Food Safety Authority requires 20-50 mg per 100 calories. You can inquire from the manufacturer about this as well .Go ahead and ask about their heavy metal testing while you’re at it! Heavy metals have been found in formulas and companies should be constantly testing to prevent their presence. Did you know Bobbie recently received the Pesticide-free certification from the Clean Label Project?
Ultimately, we chose Bobbie organic baby formula for our twins for a myriad of reasons. It is a European style, milk-based powder formula that is modeled after breastmilk and is made right here in the United States. Like all formulas legally sold in the U.S., it has the FDA green light. Unlike their counterparts, Bobbie’s first ingredient is lactose, which is the main carb in breast milk. Crafted with organic nonfat milk, it does not include corn syrup or palm oil. It does however contain DHA and ARA which are fatty acids found in breastmilk which promote essential brain development. Bobbie offers complete nutrition with a well-balanced blend of carbohydrates (57%), fats (28%), proteins (11%), and minerals (2%). Bobbie is USDA organic, gluten free, and non-GMO. Bobbie is also the only infant formula with both the Clean Label Purity Award and the Pesticide Free Certification. You can learn more about Bobbie ingredients and benefits here.
Another reason I fell in love with Bobbie infant formula is that it is female founded. I love supporting brands created by women! Moms Laura Modi and Sarah Hardy couldn’t find a formula they wanted to use for their own babies (5 between them), so they created it themselves. I also really like that Bobbie is a brand that gives back. They routinely give to Baby2Baby as well as provide formula to Brilliant Detroit. They also support mastectomy moms throughout their baby’s first year of life.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN BABY FORMULA:
USDA organic milk
Contains 20 mg / 100 Kcal DHA
Made in the USA
Tip: Pay attention to formulas marketed as "sensitive" or "gentle". Generally speaking most brands adhere to the industry standard of having easier to digest protein that coordinates with their name; however, those words are not regulated and anyone can use them. In the chance that your infant needs a special formula, your doctor will be able to point you in the right direction!
I want to make sure I'm not putting fear in the eyes of parents when it comes to legal and safe formula on the market. There is no downside to baby using speciality formula, it may just be unnecessary.
Bobbie baby formula has allowed me not to stress about my milk production and have other people assist in feeding the twins. The latter part alone is a huge relief!! I always knew it was a possibility that I wouldn’t be able to provide enough milk, so I’m glad Bobbie created a formula I can feel good about giving my kids. If you’re about to enter into breastfeeding or perhaps you are in the thick of it, please, please, please, don’t let anyone guilt you into sticking with something you cannot/are not able to do. My mental health has surely benefited from using formula, as I don’t feel anxious about providing for my kids. While I think it is amazing to be able to feed your kids with something you provide yourself, it is not the end all, be all. We’ve got enough to worry about. Thankfully, formula doesn’t have to be one of them.
If you would like to give your infant Bobbie baby formula to try, use code ELLEMULENOS10 for 10% off, even if you are an existing customer.
My only regret is that I didn’t buy Bobbie sooner. I wish I would have had it with me in the hospital when the twins were born, as we did end up supplementing while we were there.
Note that these suggestions tend to work best for full-term babies. Preemies often don’t have fully developed digestive systems, as they will have less of the enzymes to digest lactose. The same issue stands for those with a cow’s milk allergies. These babies may do better with a low lactose formula that has partially hydrolyzed protein. All babies are different! Talk with your pediatrician to find out what works best for you and your kids.