[C]hoosing the right baby formula for your baby seems like an impossible choice. Before you had a child you most likely assumed that there was just one type of formula to suit all, but sadly things aren’t that simple. To be able to choose which formula is the best for your baby, you need to first know what types are available to you. Knowledge is power Dads/parents.

There are four different types:

  • Cow’s milk-based formula
  • Goat’s milk-based formula
  • Hydrolysed protein formula
  • Soya-based formula.

Baby Formula: Cow’s milk-based formula

The most common baby formula is made with cow’s milk because cows milk is more readily available than other types of milk. With this type of formula, you can also get a special version for premature babies.

Cow’s milk is split into two different types of protein: curds and whey. You may be familiar with this already if you know how cheese is made. Curds, or casein, is lumpy and whey is like water. In a baby formula, the ratio of curds to whey is what determines who it is suitable for.

First milk – First milks are largely water based and therefore contain a higher volume of whey than curd. The ratio is 60:40 which is the same as found in breast milk. The idea behind this formula is that due to there being fewer curds, it will be much easier for a newborn baby to digest than a formula which is higher in curds. This milk can be used with your baby for up to the first year of their lives.

Milk for hungry babies – Unlike the first kinds of milk, these ones have much more casein. The ratio here is 80:20 and is aimed at hungry babies because it will take longer to digest than the first milk. This is not something you have to switch to from the first milk, but if your baby seems very hungry you can use it.

Goat’s milk-based formula

Goats milk formula is not quite as readily available as cows milk, however, it adheres to the same nutritional standards and is great for babies and infants. Goats milk formula such as formuland kabrita goats milk formula is similar to cows milk, but cannot be used as an alternative for those with allergies because the compositions of the milks are almost identical.

Goats milk formula works in the same way as cows milk, and there are two different types you can use to suit you, baby. After the age of 1, your child can switch from the formula to goats milk.

Although not recommended for children under the age of 1, it can be used in cooking to help make baby food a little smoother for you baby after the age of 6 months.

Baby Formula: Hydrolysed-protein formula

The hydrolyzed formula comes in two different forms: Fully hydrolyzed and partially hydrolyzed.

Fully hydrolysed formula is what you will likely want to use if your child suffers from an allergy to either cows or goats milk and needs an alternative. It will also be used if your child is lactose intolerant.

The fully hydrolysed formula is based on cows milk, and because of this it also has the same nutrients as cow’s milk. The meaning behind hydrolyzed refers to the protein within the milk. Rather than it is in its natural form, it is broken down and this can prevent your baby having an allergic reaction to it.

If you are feeding your baby with cow or goat formula and suspect that they have an allergy or an intolerance, make sure that you check with your general practitioner before you go and change their formula. If your baby is allergic to cow formula, your doctor can give you some fully hydrolyzed formula, however, if it is lactose intolerant they may just give you a lactose-free formula.

Partially hydrolysed formula

Partially hydrolyzed formula is made solely from whey, and because if this it is the perfect formula to have for babies who struggle to digest the curds. It is great for babies who suffer from colic, stomach pain, and wind.

However, due to the fact that this formula does not have the essential proteins found in milk, it is not recommended as a stand-alone milk for your baby. You will need to see your GP if they are allergic to milk so that they can recommend an alternative.

Baby Formula Soya-based formula

The soy-based formula does not contain dairy, which is brilliant for babies who are lactose intolerant. It is made from soya beans and is packed with vitamins and minerals for your baby.

Before you choose to give your baby a soy-based formula, you will need to contact your GP and discuss it with them first. Even though they are marketed as being suitable for birth, doctors usually only recommend their use after 6 months of age.

It is not recommended to be used for babies who are allergic to cow’s milk purely because many who are sensitive to cow’s milk are also sensitive to soy.

If you do decide to use soy milk, because careful as your baby is growing their teeth because soy milk is sweet and can damage the teeth after a long period of time.

What about when the baby grows older?
There are 2 main types of milk to use for your baby after the age of 1 year.

Follow on milks

Follow on milk is high in protein and full of the essential minerals your child needs to grow strong. They are suitable from the age of six months depending on the child and have more nutrients than cows milk as they add in minerals and vitamins, as well as iron.

Goodnight milks

Goodnight milks are follow on milks which have added cereal in them. These types of follow-on milk are marketed as helping your baby drift off to sleep easier at night. If your baby has the tendency to become overweight, you will want to avoid this milk because it is higher in sugar than a regular follow-on milk.

What baby food did you use? What would you recommend?

Contributed post. Featured image via Flickr.