Choosing the Right Infant Formula for Your Baby

Right Infant Formula

Whether you plan to exclusively formula-feed your child, combine breastmilk and formula, or simply keep infant formula on hand “just in case,” you are probably overwhelmed by the many choices available. Although there may not be perfect infant formula, you can find one to suit your baby’s needs.

What is baby formula?

 Formula is a breast milk substitute made of dried milk powder. Baby formulas are made of cow’s, goat’s, or non-dairy alternatives and contain all the nutrition a baby needs. 98 percent of infant Hypoallergenic Formula comprises protein, carbohydrates, and fat. While digesting, proteins and carbohydrates have the most significant impact on your baby’s comfort.

Different forms of baby formula

 In choosing a formula for your baby, you have three choices for preparation methods.

  • Powdered – Powdered formula must be mixed with clean water. The products can be purchased in large quantities, making them the most economical option; however, they are less convenient than pre-mixed ones.
  • Liquid concentrate – The advantage of liquid concentrate is mixing up a batch of formula and storing it in the refrigerator for 48 hours. It is slightly more costly than powdered formula.
  • Ready-to-feed – The simplest option to use is ready-to-feed since no mixing or measuring is required. You can store opened containers for 24 to 48 hours in the refrigerator. This is the most expensive option.

Different formula types

Infant Formula, Stage One & Stage Two

Regarding nutrition, first-stage infant formula and second-stage infant formula are similar. However, the proteins in them vary. The first stage of infant milk contains mainly whey protein, while the second contains casein protein. Casein digests slower because it forms a thicker curd in the stomach, so babies feel fuller for longer. This will not provide any more nutrition to a hungry baby, and in fact, a baby who appears to be hungrier, and is demanding more feedings or cluster feedings, may need more nutrition at this stage. Whey-based infant formula is the preferred alternative to breastmilk during your baby’s first year.

Infant formula based on goat’s milk

Infant formula containing goat’s milk is becoming increasingly popular, but from a nutritional standpoint, it is not better than standard cow’s milk-based infant formulas. It has been suggested that goat’s milk formula may be beneficial in reducing the incidence of milk allergies. A goat milk formula has a softer curd than powdered cow’s milk, which makes it easier for your baby to digest.

Formulas based on soya

 In contrast to milk-based formulas, soy formulas contain protein (soy) and carbohydrate (glucose or sucrose). Sometimes these formulas are recommended for babies who cannot digest lactose, the main carbohydrate in cow’s milk formula. The protein in cow’s milk formula causes an allergic reaction. A true milk allergy results in colic, failure to thrive, and bloody diarrhea. Soy formulas may be an excellent alternative in this situation. Approximately half of all infants with milk allergies are also sensitive to soy protein, necessitating the use of a specialized formula (such as amino-based or elemental) or breastmilk.

Hydrolyzed and partially hydrolyzed formulas

These formulas break down the protein in milk into smaller parts (partially hydrolyzed) or even smaller parts (fully or extensively hydrolyzed) that are easier for your baby to digest than larger molecules. 

Proteins in a fully hydrolyzed formula are entirely broken down into their building blocks (amino acids), which makes them more absorbable. Formulas that are fully hydrolyzed are hypoallergenic and are meant for babies allergic or intolerant to cow’s milk.

Formulas that contain partially hydrolyzed proteins aren’t hypoallergenic, so don’t use them if your baby is allergic to milk or if you suspect they might be. Formula milk of this type is sometimes referred to as comfort milk. No solid evidence supports its claims that it can ease colic, wind, and stomach pain in babies.

Final thoughts

 You should make an informed decision to find the right formula, purchase a box or two, and then try it out with your baby for fourteen days. It can take two weeks for your baby’s digestive system to adjust to a new formula! You should purchase a small amount of formula to start off with in case your baby doesn’t like it.