The World health Organization advocates that the best food for a 3 month old baby is the mother’s breast milk. Exclusive breast feeding is needed for babies especially in their first six months. It is even recommended that in the first few weeks, the baby should live on only breast milk, without even drinking water or other artificial foods. Having a sufficient 3 month old feeding schedule is also has a huge impact.
However, there are situations where this may not be feasible. In a case where the mother has an ill health that prevents her from breast feeding, the baby would need to live on some well chosen artificial formula. Such conditions that could make it impossible to feed the baby with breast milk include inability of the mother to produce breast milk, health challenges like tuberculosis, breast cancer, puerperal psychosis, severe anemia, retracted nipples, HIV/AIDS, cosmetic reasons, and other forms of droplet infections or contagious infections.
A 3 month old baby has peculiar needs, which are different from what a month old or a six month old baby would need. So, those peculiar needs must be recognized and respected, including their feeding. 3 month old baby food is prepared and specially formulated to be easily digested by the immature digestive organs of the baby.
Best Formula for 3 Month Old Feeding Schedule
Not every formula in the market is suitable for 3 month babies. The feed should be carefully selected based on what is acceptable in the specific country, putting into cognizance that feeds vary from country to country. Whatever be the case, the food you choose must fall within what is recommended by the World health Organization, and the health department of your country.
In choosing the best formula for a 3 month old, you must understand that basically, baby feeds come in four different types:
- Cow’s milk-based formula
- Goat’s milk-based formula
- Soya-based formula
- Hydrolyzed protein formula
Why is it important to mention the above-listed formulae? Mentioning them becomes necessary because of the fact that some of these formulae can be potentially hazardous or harmful to your 3 month babies. For instance, the cow milk contains proteins that can cause allergy to some babies. Goat’s milk can also cause allergy in children that are allergic to cow’s milk because they contain similar proteins as found in cow’s milk.
Besides, the casein in Cow’s milk could be difficult for your 3 month old baby to digest. So, such milks with casein are not recommended for babies below one year. Unfortunately, soya milk is not a better alternative for babies with an allergy to cow’s milk proteins, because up to six in ten babies with cow milk allergy are also allergic to soya milk.
What then is the safest formula for 3 month old babies?
Cow’s first milks
Looking at the four classes of infant formula, cow’s first milks contain more of whey than casein, in the ratio of 60:40, making it about the same as breast milk. Because of the higher whey and lesser casein, it is easy to digest. They are therefore, okay for babies from birth up to about a year. The cow’s first milks contain a lot of the essential nutrients required by your baby for growth and immune system development.
Goat’s milk infant formula
The goat’s milk infant formula can also serve as a 3 month old baby food where the cow’s first milk is not available. The proteins are similar, and they are formulated to be of the same standard with the cow’s milk formula. However, you must remember that it does not serve as an alternative for babies with cow’s milk allergy. Feeding a 3 month baby that has allergy with this milk could produce anaphylactic reaction which can be potentially life-threatening. It is therefore advisable to avoid such formula under such circumstances, except it is otherwise prescribed by a health professional.
Hydrolyzed-protein formula comes in two forms:
- Fully hydrolyzed formula
- Partially hydrolyzed formula
The fully hydrolyzed formula is specially prepared to provide the needed nutrition for babies with intolerance or an allergy to cow’s milk. The fully hydrolyzed formula milks are made to contain the same proportion and quality of nutrients as standard formula milk. The only difference is that the milk protein is hydrolyzed, meaning that the protein is broken down so as to make is easy for your baby to digest and also reduce allergic reaction characteristic of cow’s and goat’s milk. If your baby has an allergy to cow’s milk protein, your doctor may ask it to go on a fully hydrolyzed protein formula. However, if the problem is an intolerance to cow’s milk, your doctor may advise that be baby be fed on a lactose-free formula. They are available over the counter.
Partially hydrolyzed formula
Partially hydrolyzed formula is made from whey protein only. Manufacturers give the assurances that this formula is best for babies with colic, wind, and stomach ache, as they are easier to digest. Sometimes, this formula is said to be an ideal formula for babies who suffer from allergies to cow’s and goat’s milk formulae.
Nevertheless, there are no concrete evidences to support these claims that the milk is easier to digest and allergy-free. Since the proteins are only partially hydrolyzed, not all the proteins are completely broken down. Therefore, it is advisable not to feed your 3 month old with this formula, especially if they have a milk allergy.
Soya-based formula is prepared from soya beans. Some minerals, vitamins, and nutrients are then added to it in order to fortify it and make it okay for formula milk. Soya milk is not to be given to your baby if the baby is known to have an allergy to cow’s milk. It is only recommended to start the baby on soya milk as from the age of six months. You must seek the doctor’s opinion before commencing the baby on soya milk.
Selecting your 3 month old baby food from the market
Having known what to expect in the ideal baby formula, buying your 3 month old baby food from the market should be relatively easy. There are different manufacturers and several brands in the market and over the counter. So, when about to make your purchase, always ask yourself if the formula is cow’s milk-based formula, goat’s milk-based formula, soya-based formula, or hydrolyzed protein formula.
Besides, the issue of allergy and digestion must be taken into cognizance before proceeding to make your purchase. In addition, you need to know if what you are about to buy is a ready-to-use formula, liquid concentrate formula, or powdered formula.
3 Month old feeding schedule
Like earlier stated in this write up, it is ideal to feed your baby on breast milk if it is not contraindicated. As your baby grows, it may need to feed more often. Naturally, the mother’s system responds to this increased demand by producing more milk. During the day, the baby eats frequently, but also wakes up intermittently to feed at night. The 3 month old feeding schedule would therefore be to feed the baby more during the day and less at night. You must however, know when the baby is hungry and feed it on demand.
If you are placing your 3 month babies on baby formula, it may need up to 6 or 7 ounces at each feed. Your baby needs to take about 32 ounces of breast milk or formula in a 24-hour period. If using a feeding bottle, care must be taken in order not to overfeed the baby, as it is usually easy to do so since it takes less effort to suck from the feeding bottle than the breast. The milk should drip slowly from the feeding bottle hole to prevent choking and overfeeding. You must also observe when your baby is satisfied, and stop the feeding at that point. It is not compulsory that the baby must finish the content of the feeding bottle at each feed.
A 3 month feeding schedule should be spread out through the 24-hour period. Ideally, feeding should be done at 5 am, 11am, 2pm, 5pm, 7pm, 9pm, and then, once or twice at night as the baby wakes up to eat. The baby should have enough sleep. The ideal length of sleep should be around 15 hours in a 24-hour period.
Some baby formula Brands available in the market
Here are a few examples of baby formula brands you can easily purchase and use for your 3 month old baby feeding.
Enspire is one of the best brands in the market. It is manufactured by Enfamil, the second largest baby formula manufacturer in the USA. The formula is produced in such a way as to make it similar to the breast milk in composition. It has the addition of milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) and lactoferrin, two naturally occurring nutrients in breast milk that helps in brain development, gut health, and the immune system. It is approved for babies from 0 – 12 months. So, it is suitable for your 3 month old baby.
Gerber Good Start Gentle Infant Formula
This formula is ideal for babies who are unable to tolerate other brands. It is made up of small, easy-to-digest proteins and probiotics that help to minimize gas and colic. The formula is a non-GMO. It is recommended for infants with sensitive tummies. The formula is suitable for babies from birth to 12 months.
Similac Advanced Non-GMO Infant Formula
This is the best Non-GMO formula for 3 month old baby feeding. Similac is the number one baby formula brand in the USA. The Similac Advanced Non-GMO Infant Formula is the best-selling infant formula and the first Non-GMO. It does not employ the genetically-altered corn and soy seeds. This is why the product is $2 more expensive than the regular Similac Advance. It is the moms’ choice when it comes to feeding 3 month babies, as the product is suitable for babies from birth to 12 months.
Plum Organics Grow Well Organic Infant Formula
This formula is unique because, instead of using corn syrup solids that are part of other baby formulae, it uses organic lactose as its only carbohydrate. It is close to the human breast milk due to its abundant lactose. It also contains some other USDA-certified organic ingredients such as plant-based oils, whey protein, and nonfat milk, which are all Non-GMO.
Enfamil Premium Newborn
This formula is specially made for newborns, from birth to 3 months. It is the only formula that is specifically made for newborns. One thing that makes it so newborn-friendly is the addition of extra Vitamin D which is needed for the development of strong bones. The probiotics blend in the formula helps to maintain the healthy bacteria in the baby’s tummy.
Bright Beginnings Premium
This product is not particularly popular. However, apart from the usual constituents of other formulae (Iron, DHA, ARA), it is fortified with probiotics, which is similar to those in breast milk, to aid digestion and strengthen the immune system. You can easily find it on Amazon.
There are still other brands that are suitable for your baby. You can get them online or in stores across the country. But before buying any of those products, be sure they adhere to the rules we have listed above, and that they will be tolerated by your 3 month old baby. Otherwise, it would be wise to go for any of the brands listed here. They are quite safe.
In the first three months of life, the babies eat intermittently because of the rate of growth that takes place. To meet up with the demand of nutrition required for brain and other organs development, it is advisable to provide the right formula for the babies. Providing the right feeds will help minimize discomfort, ensure adequate sleep, and promote growth.
But before buying any feed for your baby, be sure you go for the best formula for 3 month old. The 3 month old feeding schedule should as well be respected. Creating a balance between good food and rest will help your baby transition fast from one stage of growth to the other.
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