And so it has happened. Introducing Bubba to Formula Milk.
I had been hopeful, wanting to exclusively breastfeed Bubba till she turns one. But then, work pressures, stress, insufficient sleep/rest, etc led to a decreased supply. At one point, I was going crazy, taking pills/ Fenucreek to keep up my supply, drinking nursing teas and watching the clock, ensuring that I squeeze in sufficient time for pumping. I guess when I sent Bubba off to infant-care as well, her teachers were concerned about her milk intake if she wasn’t eating well. So that created more stress on my part trying to keep up with her intake.
One day, I decided to put an end to my misery. I decided simply to let it go and introduce formula milk to her. Bubba has been exclusively breast-fed for 8.5 months and I guess that’s an achievement for me already, one that I should remember.
So the quest begins to find Bubba a suitable formula milk… like I said, there are so many brands available out there and it’s rather mind-boggling where one should begin. Because I’ve been quite lazy to do research on each of the individual brands. Here’s my quick 101 guide on how to introduce formula milk to your baby (if you are interested):
1) Ask around
I started to ask around the brands of formula milk my friends feed their babies with and did an informal market survey as to which are the popular brands. I also have some friends who are fanatical about doing research, so it’s good that they share their thoughts and I then can decide whether I want to go ahead with their recommendation.
Speaking of which, Enfamil came quite highly recommended by my Mama friends because it has the highest DHA content compared to the other brands available on the shelf.
If you are still unsure or have doubts, speak to your paediatrician. I’m sure he/she will be able to advice you what are some of the brands you could try.
2) Get samples
I hadn’t realised just how much a tin of formula milk cost until now. Yes, now that I have to pay for the formula milk for Bubba. So it’s true, you DO save quite a lot of money from breast-feeding!
Most of the major brands for milk powder do give out samples. So you can either hop on to their respective websites and request for a sample of the milk powder or get a sample from your paediatrician to let your baby try before deciding on the preferred choice of brand.
I did just that. I registered my details on to these various sites to request for a sample of the Nan Milk Powder, Dumex Mamil Gold (my sis likes this as she says the sugar content is lower compared to the other brands) and Enfamil A+ Stage 2.
I wasn’t trying to be cheapskate nor kiasu to take all these brands. I just wanted to let Bubba try out various brands to see which ones she would like. Also, because the Man helps with most of the night feeds so he ends up tasting the various brands of formula milk on behalf of Bubba. He says that the milk powder does taste rather synthetic but he definitely prefers the Enfamil A+ Stage 2 milk as well as Bellamy’s Organics at this point in time.
3) Going organic?
Another mummy friend shared that she only feeds her child with organic milk and organic food as she wasn’t ready to introduce her baby with mainstream foods that seemed more synthetic. Again, I wasn’t sure if I had wanted Bubba to go the totally organic route. I prefer a more balanced approach to that.
Also, one of the reasons for not going totally organic is because organic foods/ produce are usually a little more expensive. So it did come to a surprise when I so happened to check out the various brands of formula milk available out there and the price of the Bellamy’s Organic Follow-On milk powder is slightly cheaper than the Enfamil A+ Stage 2 milk. I figured no harm to let Bubba try this and then decide which brand we will eventually follow.
4) Buying in bulk to enjoy greater savings
Once you have decided which brand you would want to feed your baby with, you can then buy your tins of milk powder in bulk to enjoy greater savings. Thanks to this site that my sis shared, we did just that. The same tin of milk powder costs cheaper on this site compared to what you may get off the supermarket shelves. Delivery is free if you manage to hit the $200 mark. I used to think it was difficult but it’s not too difficult to achieve that after throwing in diapers into the order as well.
Alternatively, if you are adventurous, you can always take a road trip to Malaysia to stock up on milk powder and diapers. That’s what some of my friends do and I’m hoping one of them will bring me along on these cross causeway shopping.
5) Drink up..
As a child, I never really enjoyed drinking powdered milk. I remember my mom making sure that we have our cup of KLIM (is this brand still in existent?) everyday. I also remembered that if the milk was not made properly, ie: clumps in the milk, I would throw the entire cup away for the clumps would make me gag. Sorry Ma!
So testing the formula milk is kind of a challenge for me, for it brings back my childhood memories of me not liking processed powdered milk very much. Thankfully, the Man who’s responsible for Bubba’s feeds stepped forward and volunteered to be her taster. I leave it to him to tell me which brands taste better (ie: less sweet, less synthetic, etc) so we can eventually decide on the brand for Bubba. It’s now a half-fight between Enfamil and Bellamy’s. Bubba doesn’t seem to mind either of these brands as we do switch the brands around and she still finishes her milk. Not sure if there are any problems in doing so but let’s hope she won’t change her taste-buds suddenly for I just stocked up tins of milk from these 2 brands.
That’s all folks!
Well, I hope you enjoyed my 101 guide on introducing formula milk. If you have any other tips or recommended brands I should definitely keep on my radar, please do share them with me.