Formula milk is designed to give babies the necessary nutrients they require as an alternative to breast milk. The three primary sources of formula milk comprise of Soya-based formula, Hydrolyzed protein formula and cow’s milk-based formula.
Formula Milk Based On Cow’s Milk
This is the case for most formulae on the market and they are your best option if you are not feeding your baby breast milk unless dietary, allergic or health setbacks give a reason not to. The cow’s milk in these formulas is specially treated to make it appropriate for infants and has casein and whey protein.
First Infant Milk
If you are looking to buy this type of formula, the label should be written ‘first-stage milk’ unless otherwise advised by your child’s pediatrician or doctor. It is supposed to be the sole formula milk that the baby needs and it can be used up until your baby progresses to whole cow’s milk.
Soya Formula Milk
These are of course made from soya milk, which is obtained from soybeans it is additionally tailored to suit babies by adding nutrients, vitamins and minerals. It could also not be the best option for babies with allergic reactions to cow’s milk because more often than not they are also allergic soy milk. It is also not recommended for children under 6 months of age unless recommended for your baby by a doctor. Chances are if your baby has an intolerance towards milk, he/she may not be able to handle soy milk as well, so a doctor’s prescribed formula with especially hydrolyzed protein may come highly recommended. It has no specific health advantages and can even damage your baby’s growing teeth seeing as lots of soy formulae make use of glucose syrup. You will as such have to take extra care in teeth cleaning for your baby.
Marketed Formula Milk
Some formula milk labeled ‘formula for hungrier infants’ have higher levels of casein protein and this, in turn, makes digestion difficult, hence they are not acceptable for very young babies due to this fact. Other formulae you may see will be named ‘follow-on milk or ‘growing up’ milk for those babies above the age of 6 months but under a year old. You can slowly switch to these types with time when the baby reaches the right age, but be warned, the child may end up experiencing constipation if the transition is done too fast.
Hydrolyzed Protein Formula Milk
This type of formula milk is also termed as ‘lactose-free’ because the proteins in the formula milk have been digested or already broken down to ensure your baby handles it better if the baby has lactose intolerance. Also, if your infant is allergic to milk, you can get a prescription from your doctor for a protein formula that is specifically hydrolyzed. Basically, both these types of formula milk have no lactose.