What are the different types of baby formula available?
All baby formulas are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Three main types of formula are available:
Cow’s milk formulas
Most baby formula is made with cow’s milk that has been formulated to resemble breast milk, ensuring baby gets the right balance of nutrients and making it easier to digest.
Most babies thrive on a cow’s milk formula. But some babies, may need other types of baby formula due to allergies .
Soy-based formulas are used if you want to exclude animal proteins from babys diet. Soy-based baby formulas might also be an option for babies who are intolerant to cow’s milk formula or lactose.
Some babies who are allergic to cow’s milk may also be allergic to soy milk.
Protein hydrolysate formulas
These formulas contain protein that have been broken down into smaller particles than those found in cow’s milk and soy-based formulas.
Protein hydrolysate formulas are meant for babies who don’t tolerate cow’s milk or soy-based formulas and are an option for babies who have a protein allergy.
Formula vs regular milk
Baby formulas provide all the nutrients that most babies need.
Milk from animals or milk substitute from plant sources don’t contain these nutrients in a healthy balance for a baby.
Babies younger than 1 year old, who drink cow’s milk exclusivly are at risk of iron deficiency.
Baby formulas come in three different forms.
Your choice will depend on your budget and convenience need.
This is the most common form of formula and is the least expensive. Each scoop of powdered formula must be mixed with boiled water that has been left to cool.
Concentrated liquid formula.
This formula is also mixed with water, but is concentrated in a liquid state.
Ready-to-use formula is the most convenient type of Baby formula avaliable, although not all brands produce a ready -to-use option. It doesn’t need to be mixed with water and is however, also the most expensive option.
Be sure to follow any mixing instructions carefully.
Generic vs name brand
Even though a manufacturers might vary in their formula recipes, the FDA requires that all formulas contain the minimum recommended amounts of nutrients that Baby’s need.
Iron–fortified Baby formulas
Baby needs iron to develop and grow during infancy. If you’re not breast-feeding, using iron-fortified formula is the easiest way to provide baby with this essential nutrient.
Enhanced baby formulas
Some baby formulas are enhanced with omega-3 fatty acids found in breast milk and foods like eggs and fish.
Baby formulas may also include prebiotics and probiotics to promote the presence of healthy bacteria in the intestines and mimic the immune benefits of breast milk.
Don’t buy or use baby formula if the expiration date has passed.
Baby formula is usually recommended until baby is a year old.