If you’re planning to feed your baby infant formula, make sure you understand the type of milk you’re choosing for Your Child.
Although pediatricians recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, there are situations when you can’t do without formula. There are several types of infant formula in the market that come in many forms; ready-to-feed liquid, concentrated liquid, and powder. Please make sure you consult with your health professional before deciding on any formula. Here are the standard formulas you should know:
First infant formula: Also known as first milk, this is the formula to start Your Child on and is suitable from birth. It is made from easily digestible cow milk protein known as whey. You can feed Your Child this formula for the first 6 months until you start introducing solid foods. It is not suitable for babies who are allergic to cow’s milk.
Comfort formula: This is another cow milk protein-based formula whose protein component has been partially hydrolyzed (broken down). This formula is easier to digest, which reduces the chances of developing digestive problems such as colic and constipation. It is suitable from birth and is not for babies who have allergic reactions to cow’s milk.
Goat’s milk formula: Although it is formulated with goat’s milk, this formula provides the same nutritional standards and proteins as cow milk-based formula. It can also induce allergic reactions for babies who are allergic to cow’s milk.
Hungrier baby formula: This formula contains more casein than whey-based formula. So it takes longer to digest fully. Some people believe that this formula helps babies with big appetites to stay full longer, but there is not enough scientific evidence to support such a claim. And while it is recommended to be suitable from birth, please consult with your doctor before deciding.
Anti-reflux (stay-down) formula: The milk is thickened to prevent reflux (regurgitation) after feeding. While it may be suitable from birth and readily available in supermarkets, you should first consult your baby’s pediatrician.
Lactose-free formula: This formula is tailored for lactose-intolerant babies. Their body can not break down lactose for use – symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal gas, bloating, and abdominal pain. You can feed it to lactose-intolerant babies from birth and always consult with a doctor beforehand.
Hypoallergenic formula: Unlike in comfort formula, the proteins in this formula are fully hydrolyzed, so babies allergic to proteins can consume them. It is strictly recommended to be used when specifically prescribed by a pediatrician.
Follow-on formula: This is made for babies over 6 months, so do not feed it to babies who are younger. But you may not even need it since Your Child can continue with the First infant formula for up to 12 months. And the Follow-on formula and the First infant formula labels are very similar, so please be extra precautious when choosing.
Good night milk: This is a Follow-on formula that adds cereal into the mix. It is popularly given to babies before bedtime to stay full longer, so they sleep longer. However, no scientific researches have supported the result of this practice. This formula is not suitable for babies under 6 months. And always consult with a health professional before choosing.
Soy-based formula: As the name implies, the main ingredient is soybeans. For babies allergic to cow’s milk can have this as an alternative. It can only be used with babies over 6 months. Again, always check the label and consult with a pediatrician.
Growing-up milk or toddler milk: This type of milk is usually marketed as a choice of cow’s milk that is richer in nutrients and essential vitamins. There is a wide range of options in the market. They are recommended for children over 1 year old.
The types of milk to avoid
For babies under 1-year-old, don’t give them any of the following:
- condensed milk
- evaporated milk
- dried milk
- whole milk from goats, sheep, or cows
- other types of drinks made with soy, rice, oat, or almonds