Now that I have a new baby, I have had to immerse myself in the world of baby formula all over again. One year ago today I was going through the same phase with my first daughter, giving her different formulas and searching for the perfect mixture that made her feel great and gave her the right level of nutrition. She has now moved on to ordinary food but the newborn is, of course, drinking formula and this has presented some new opportunities to try out some new brands/styles. One formula I got from the pediatrician and tried on my little one for the first time this past December is
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Enfamil A.R., an infant formula blended with rice starch to help prevent spitting up.
Facts About This Product:
This formula is sold in either powered or a ready to serve bottle. My experience is with the powdered variety and it has a similar look to other powered formulas. It is less fine in texture but it has the same yellowish color and cardboard- like aroma when dry.
The A.R. in this formulas title stands for Added Rice starch and it is this ingredient that helps prevent spitting up. This added ingredient helps to thicken the formula. And thicker formula in a babys stomach means babies will have an easier time keeping the formula down.
Enfamil A.R contains DHA and ARA (Docosahexaenoic Acid and Arachidonic Acid) fatty acids for better overall health. These fatty acids are also found in natural breast milk and they help aid in a childs development, particularly the brain and eyes. Breast milk is still best according to the experts but these added nutrients make this baby formula a close second- best.
Directions for Use:
Like other powered formulas, this one has to be mixed with water in order to serve. Each unpacked scoop (about 8.7 grams) needs to be mixed with 2 fluid oz. (60 ml) of water and the mixture then needs to be shaken to get the dry particles dissolved into the water. After sitting for five minutes, the bottle will be ready to serve. The formula should be fed immediately or stored quickly in a refrigerator, but for no longer than 24 hours. If formula has been refrigerated for more than 24 hours or left sitting out for more than two hours, it should be discarded. One 12.9 ounce (366 gram) can is good for mixing about 93 oz. of formula.
Enfamil A.R. is made using nonfat milk, vegetable oil (palm olein, soy, coconut, and high oleic sunflower oils), rice starch, lactose, maltodextrin, plus less than two percent mortierella alpina oil, crypthecodinium cohni oil, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D3, vitamin E acetate, vitamin K1, thiamin hydrochloride, riboflavin, vitamin B6 hydrochloride, vitamin B12, niacinamide, folic acid, calcium pantothenate, biotin, ascorbic acid, choline chloride, inositol, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, sodium selenite, sodium citrate, potassium hydroxide, taurine, and L-carnitine.
Each 5 oz. serving of Enfamil A.R. contains the following nutritional values:
Linoleic acid...860 mg
Vitamin A.......300 IU
Vitamin D.......360 IU
Vitamin E.........2 IU
Vitamin K.........8 mcg
Vitamin B6.......60 mcg
Folic acid.......16 mcg
Pantothenic acid..500 mcg
Vitamin C.........12 mg
Customer Service/Product Information:
Enfamil A.R. is a product of Mead Johnson & Company of Evansville, IN. The company web site for more information is Enfamil.com. Customer service inquiries should be made to 800-BABY123 between the hours of 9am and 5:30pm, Monday through Saturday, Eastern time.
Enfamil A.R. is a specially made formula to help prevent babies from spitting up. Some babies have a habit of spitting up due to acid reflux and other diseases. Others spit up due to temporary stomach problems that gradually go away over time. Enfamil A.R. helps to keep these problems under control, leading to better health for your baby and less messes for you.
The way Enfamil A.R. accomplishes its goal is through the addition of rice starch. You can tell there is something unique about this baby formula when you open the container and use it for the first time. The texture is coarse and you just know, before you make your first bottle, that its going to be a thicker formula when mixed. Most infant formulas have a very fine consistency and this helps them to dissolve better when mixed with water but this formula has larger particles.
A few uses confirms that Enfamil A.R. is, indeed, more difficult to mix up. Even if you shake it extra well and then shake it some more, it will still not be completely dissolved and it will leave lumps in the bottle. Pouring the mixture from a large plastic container/shaker into bottles, I felt like I needed to add more water and re-shake because of the lumps. There is probably nothing wrong with doing this except that it means there will be less nutrition per serving than usual due to the dilution of the power in a greater amount of liquid.
Besides the difficulty in mixing, there is one other potential problem that Enfamil A.R. directly causes: Constipation. I noticed that, after my little one had been drinking this for a while, she would often squirm and cry when it came time to relieve herself. I didnt think anything of it at first, but then I checked her diaper and found out what the fussing was all about. Her potty, which is usually runny and soft, was harder and chunky. No wonder the little baby girl was making all that noise. She couldnt relieve herself without it causing some pain.
At this point it might seem like Enfamil A.R. is deserving of a bad overall review and possibly a one- star rating. But there are many positive things to mention about this infant formula and depending on the problems with spitting up and various stomach issues, the constipation and lack of mixability might be unimportant. First and foremost, Enfamil A.R. has been clinically proven to reduce instances of spitting up by more than 40 percent. If youre baby has a serious stomach problem and a chronic case of throwing up his/her infant formula, then Enfamil A.R. could be just the formula youre looking for. Yes, you will still have to deal with the lumpy formula and the constipation but these could quickly become minor concerns for a baby with a bad spit up problem. Second, this formula contains DHA and ARA, along with a well- balanced list of nutritional ingredients, giving well- intentioned parents peace of mind.
My little one doesnt have acid reflux but she does spit up and Enfamil A.R does make a noticeable difference. But it also leads to constipation so what I found works best is to combine this formula with regular Enfamil. A 50/50 mixture gets rid of a good deal of the spitting up and it eliminates the problem of constipation. There is still a small issue with the lumps in the bottle but it is reduced enough to make it tolerable. This is where your personal judgment must come into play. If your baby has a serious spit up problem, Enfamil A.R. will work well used full strength. If your baby has a moderate to minor spit up problem, this formula will work but it should be mixed with another formula to help negate the negative effects. And, if your baby has no significant spit up problem, you will have no need for this formula at all and using it will lead to more grief than good.
Overall, Enfamil A.R. is a useful formula for babies with specific health issues that cause digestive problems in the stomach. I didnt know about this special type of formula until this year and it has helped to educate me on the different types of formulas that manufacturers continue to create to address specific infant problems. When I see A.R. on anything, I think of Accounts Receivable, not Added Rice Starch. But Enfamil has shown that, once again, it is a leader in infant health products. Its A.R. formula helps reduce spitting up and it can prove to be a godsend for parents whose baby has a chronic problem.
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