Product Spotlight: Formula — The Bump
May 2021 Moms

Product Spotlight: Formula

Hello and welcome to Week 2 of our "Baby Feeding Products" series at Product Spotlight! Last week we discussed breast pumps and accessories, so this week we turn to FORMULA, for when we need a little hand from science to keep our babies fed! (Next week we will discuss bottles to figure out where to put all that pumped breast milk and formula, so hold on to those recommendations if you have them!)

What brand of formula do you use? Any help navigating the three million options of formula types within each brand? Do you transition through different ones as your babies grow? (Note: per doctors, formulas are very regulated in terms of nutritional setup so you won't choose a WRONG one, but people may have tips on different brands to help with, e.g., colic or gas or certain allergies!) If a family knows they are going to formula feed, what should they have ready beforehand? And if a family does not expect to formula feed, is there anything they may want to know ahead of time or have prepared just in case they do wind up supplementing or using formula?

What about the mechanics of formula-administration? Do you use pre-mixed or powder formula? What's your set-up at home, and what's your set-up on the road in your diaper bag? 

Where and how do you acquire your formula? Do you have a good source for coupons? Certain stores to keep an eye on? Mail-order options? Assistance from medical offices?

Whether you exclusively formula-fed, or supplemented for part or all of your little ones' babyhood, any experience is appreciated! Obviously we are here to support each other with useful info, and are luckily past the tedious "o no formula bad, only breast" stance from prior mommy wars: there are a thousand reasons why different families use formula, so let's help each other do it in an informed way! Please share!
mimseryellingbananaec1212nsk489

Re: Product Spotlight: Formula

  • yellingbananayellingbanana member
    edited December 2020
    I have a fun story about breastfeeding my first. When my milk came in, I had WAY too much. I’m talking changing the boob pads every hour, leaking through them every night, I had to sleep on towels too much. When I would breastfeed DD, and the letdown came on, she couldn’t handle it and would always choke, pull off, and my milk would spray several feet. It was a little crazy. The doctors kept saying that it would regulate and slow down. Well, it didn’t. So after about 4 or 5 months of milk-pocalypse, my Ob switched me from a mini-birth control pill to a regular one. She said it would help regulate my milk. And guess what? It completely dried up my milk supply within one month. (Just imagine how sad my boobs looked 😑). I wasn’t going back to crazy leaky boobs, so we switched dd to formula. 
    We ended up going with powdered Enfamil Soy for two reasons: DD was lactose intolerant, and we were on WIC. So that was the one non-dairy option for formula through WIC at the time. It did the job, and when we had to buy our own we would get the target brand of the same formula. 
    So not a whole lot of research behind our choice, but like @mrosek91 said - all baby formula is approved by the FDA and has to meet minimum requirements for nutrition. 
    Dd is now a happy, healthy, freakishly smart, 14 year old. 

    My other two babies were exclusively breastfed, apparently milk-pocalypse was only with my first. They were totally normal for the other two. 

    I was mostly at home, so preparing bottles was easy. When on the go, I would fill a bottle or two with hot water, and bring premeasured little containers of formula with. By the time dd needed a bottle, the water was warm. and I’d just dump the premeasured formula in, and shake. 

    Lilypie Pregnancy tickers


    mimsernsk489
  • I exclusively breastfed/pumped for the first 7-8 months but then I stopped being able to pump enough to send to daycare so we started supplementing with Similac and honestly I wish I had done it sooner because it took so much stress off of me! I am going to attempt to breastfeed again since formula is so expensive but we’re going to go ahead and have some formula around to start, especially since we’ll have two hungry kiddos and I don’t know that I can commit to being latched to 24/7.

    We tried Similac and had no issues so that’s what we stuck with and it’s also what our daycare provides (they provide one bottle of formula per day). The pre-mixed formula is AWESOME but it winds up being much more expensive.

    I’m not super well versed in formula so no tips on where to buy it (we just grab it from the grocery store) or set ups at home/away but will definitely be checking out to see if anyone else has tips!
    yellingbananansk489
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  • @texas_t the "LactoRelief" version of that formula is the only one that worked for a friend of mine (her boy is now 18 months). They tried so many brands, and that's the only one he didn't have issues with, so I've bookmarked. I'm hoping to BF/bottle-feed while I'm on mat leave and transition to a combo of bm and formula when I go back to work.
    texas_tyellingbanana
  • FTM question--i get the coupons from enfamil for $5 off $25...is it too soon to buy them?  anyone have experience with the formula and know if its okay to keep for that long?
    obviously it would be a gamble not knowing when i will start using it and if baby will like it, but seems like a good discount.
    Me: 29 | DH: 40 
    Married: June 2014 
    TW*
    TTC #1 Since: August 2019
    BFP#1: November 1, 2019 | EDD: July 11, 2020 | MMC: December 26, 2019
    BFP#2: September 15, 2020 | EDD: May 23, 2021
    yellingbananamimser
  • @asf0613 Honestly, I'd hold off a bit.  Especially since you're active in a mom's group, because if you do end up using a specific formula at some point, people typically have coupons they'll send you!
    *Loss 8/2014*
    *Rainbow 8/2015*
    *Expected Rainbows 12/2018*
    *Loss of Twin 5/2018*

    asf0613
  • @asf0613 I agree with texas. You'll get more coupons down the road and my last mom group shared coupons a lot. You might also be able to score some samples and try out some different ones before deciding on one (if/when you are ready to use).
    yellingbanana
  • thansk both for the suggestion!
    Me: 29 | DH: 40 
    Married: June 2014 
    TW*
    TTC #1 Since: August 2019
    BFP#1: November 1, 2019 | EDD: July 11, 2020 | MMC: December 26, 2019
    BFP#2: September 15, 2020 | EDD: May 23, 2021
    mimser
  • I'm planning on breastfeeding (I've never done it before so I don't know how that's gonna go though). Should I plan on having formula on hand just in case?
  • edited December 2020
    @mimser There are two sides to that. Some would say yes and others no.

    For example, like the others say, you may receive samples and some doctors and hospitals send you home with a lot of products.

    So I would say no you don´t need any ahead of time. Especially not a giant can of formula. However, if you do decide to buy a small can, and don´t use it, you can drink it yourself as a supplement for your breastfeeding. It never needs to be wasted. 
    mimser
  • @mimser I say no. We didn’t buy any ahead of time last time (but did have a few samples) and while we do already have 2 tubs this time, it’s only because a friend of mine had them leftover and they’re good for a long time. Plus I’m fairly positive I’m not going to be into tandem nursing so if they’re hungry at the same time I’ll nurse one and DH can formula feed the other. 
    mimseryellingbanana
  • @mimser my daughter was a month early and needed formula the first week until my milk came in. I never bought any and never needed to. The hospital gave what she needed and by the time we left the hospital my milk came in and made more than she needed. I wouldn’t want to be tempted to have it in the hole. Supplementing can be a slippery slope and lead to lower supply if you don’t pump for each bottle supplemented. I wouldn’t buy any ahead of time and I don’t plan to this time. 

    TTC #1 since August 2015
    BFP #1 January 28, 2016
    EDD October 3, 2016
    Felicity Joy, born September 2, 2016
    My Chart
    TTC #2 Since August 2020
    BFP #2 September 11, 2020
    EDD May 23, 2021





    mimseryellingbanana
  • FYI, even my ob's office has sample formula and the pedi office you choose will too, so it will be easy to get a few small cans if needed!
    *Loss 8/2014*
    *Rainbow 8/2015*
    *Expected Rainbows 12/2018*
    *Loss of Twin 5/2018*

    mimser
  • @mimser I was not really set on breastfeeding DS, but I did try it. I had formula from our pediatrician like @texas_t said so I did end up using that and we did have to send DH out in a panic when he needed a bottle, so I say it doesnt hurt to have some on hand just in case so it's not a midnight panic run.
    Me:29 DH:30
    Married:10/2012
    TTC #1: 12/2017
    mimser
  • My breastfeeding journey last time was really tough so I don't plan to do it again. We ended up using Similac pro-advance and eventually we used the sensitive one. I plan to start this baby on the same formula and honestly not planning to attempt breastfeeding again, it's just not for me. My breastfeeding journey in the spoiler if anyone is interested.

    When DS was born I breastfed him for 4 days. On day 3 I still wasn't producing much and during one feeding he sucked so hard he sucked out a blood clot of some sort and when he unlatched he was all bloody and proceeded to spit up blood for the next little while (which his pediatrician said was normal and happens). I tried again but was so scared it would happen again that I ended up exclusively pumping for 8 weeks. He projectile vomited almost every time he ate breast milk no matter what I ate or didnt eat. It was pretty traumatic for me because I was trying so hard and I became obsessed with it...reading everything I could, changing my diet, barely sleeping. DH finally convinced me to try formula and I'm so glad he did because DS became a dream baby after that! I'm not willing to put myself through that again.


    Me:29 DH:30
    Married:10/2012
    TTC #1: 12/2017
    ec1212mimseryellingbanana
  • @spartan4life I just hate that you had to go through that.  I feel like quite a bit of society is pushing us toward bfing and us poor moms who's hormones are completely out of whack after birth and filled with mom guilt are left with trying to take care of our baby and sort through our feelings.  I'm so glad you found something that worked for y'all and you don't have to deal with the extreme stress again.
    *Loss 8/2014*
    *Rainbow 8/2015*
    *Expected Rainbows 12/2018*
    *Loss of Twin 5/2018*

    gusgus14spartan4lifeyellingbanana
  • @spartan4life yikes that sounds awful... Glad the formula worked out for you guys. 

    FTM question: I've been eying up a baby brezza to add to my registry. Do any of you have one? Any thoughts on it? They are kind of expensive and I'm wondering if they're worth it... 
    spartan4life
  • @caroduke - giant grain of salt: I don't actually have nor have I ever had one so maybe not helpful. I was 100% planning on getting one this time around and love the idea of it but after spending hours reading reviews on different sites, I ultimately decided against it. The cons (cleaning, issues with it dispensing the correct amounts) just seemed to outweigh the pros to me with the amount of money it costs.
    spartan4lifecarodukeyellingbanana
  • @caroduke I came to the same conclusion as @gusgus14  I have the Dr. Brown's Formula mixer and make a day's worth of formula all at once and it's the bomb.  Got it with my first kid and still have it for my third! Probably one of my top best purchases. 
    *Loss 8/2014*
    *Rainbow 8/2015*
    *Expected Rainbows 12/2018*
    *Loss of Twin 5/2018*

    carodukeyellingbanana
  • @texas_t thank you, it was really stressful. I know it's really wonderful for many people but for a lot it's not too...and that's ok! 

    @caroduke I don't have one and like @gusgus14 I planned to get one this time because I know we will be formula feeding, until I read a few stories about the ratios not measuring correctly which can cause them to get too much water. I had a Dr. Browns formula pitcher which was awesome to make up a few bottles at a time and then keep it in the fridge. Then all you have to do is pop the bottle in the warmer and you're good to go! Also 100% recommend a bottle warmer, I was originally told it was a waste of money and it was definitely not. I thought we could just use water we warmed in the microwave to set the bottle in and warm up, but that took way too long when you have a screaming baby at 2am 🤣
    Me:29 DH:30
    Married:10/2012
    TTC #1: 12/2017
    caroduke
  • @spartan4life ohhh so glad to hear this! I was debating a bottle warmer but I think you've pretty much sold me. Definitely going to add the pitcher to my registry to get with my completion discount after you and @texas_t
    mentioned it!
    spartan4life
  • @gusgus14 It's seriously the best! I feel like we wasted less formula this way, too.  If baby is still hungry, you can pour a bit more in there.  Also, I feel like it causes less gas in babies bellies because it's stirring the formula and creating less bubbles than shaking it up.  


    *Loss 8/2014*
    *Rainbow 8/2015*
    *Expected Rainbows 12/2018*
    *Loss of Twin 5/2018*

    gusgus14spartan4lifeyellingbanana
  • ec1212ec1212 member
    edited December 2020
    Sorry wrong thread! Putting it in the bottle thread. 
    gusgus14mimser
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