Baby formula is designed for infants who cannot be fed with breast milk for various reasons. It is processed, modified cow’s or goat’s milk enriched with vitamins, minerals, and probiotics.
According to statistics, around 40% of European mothers combine breastfeeding with bottle feeding from the first days of a newborn’s life. This number shows how important the right choice of baby formula is. A product for a baby that has just been born must be of the highest quality. It must have a clear composition without any harmful substances and be well tolerated by a baby. Therefore, it is best to choose an organic formula that undergoes additional, extremely strict controls.
What Exactly Is Baby Formula?
Baby formula is a product for babies based on cow’s milk, adapted to the needs of the digestive system of newborns, infants, and toddlers. This adaptation is based primarily on:
- limiting the amount of protein contained in it and its appropriate modification;
- increasing the content of unsaturated fats, especially valuable LCPUFA and omega-3, responsible for building the brain cells, supporting the development of cognitive functions, and positively influencing the ability to see acutely;
- increasing the amount of lactose and vitamins;
- adding probiotics, supporting immunity, absorption of minerals and B vitamins, and participating in the synthesis of vitamin K;
- adding prebiotics to prevent constipation;
- reducing the amount of potassium, chlorine, and sodium.
What to Consider When Choosing Baby Formula?
The basic composition of baby formula, regardless of the type or brand, is similar. It may differ in some additives and their proportion, depending on the baby’s age. For example, at the very beginning, the body needs less iron than it does at six months. To save parents unnecessary trouble, baby formula is marked with the numbers appropriate for the baby’s age:
1 — infant formula, suitable for infants up to 6 months
2 — baby formula, intended for babies from 7 months of age
3, 4 — junior baby formula, which can be used from one to three years or even longer
Baby formulas are also divided into categories depending on the baby’s special nutritional needs. Additional symbols or markings on the package indicate what type of baby ailments a given mixture is intended for.
The immature baby’s body sometimes struggles with allergies, reflux, lack of appetite, excessive appetite, colic, or constipation. Properly selected HiPP products can not only alleviate the symptoms but even completely get rid of them. For example:
- HA — hypoallergenic milk, with the help of which you can effectively counteract food allergy in the baby. It is absorbed better thanks to protein fragmentation. If there are allergies in your family, consider this type of prophylaxis.
- AR — anti-reflux baby formula, preventing vomiting thanks to the content of substances that thicken food in the stomach.
- R or GR — formulas for babies with excessive or low appetite. Thanks to a thicker composition, it is more filling and caloric.
- Comfort — formula for infants who have problems with defecation, colic, or flatulence. Such products’ features are reduced lactose content, shorter protein chains, and modified fats.
The choice is huge, meaning the choice is not always obvious. When deciding on a specific type and brand of baby formula, you should first consult the pediatrician and consider the needs, health, and age of your baby and, what is also important, your financial capacity.