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A practical guide to formula milk

by the editorial team Published on July 16, 2008

If you can't or don't want to breastfeed, no need to panic! Feeding baby with the right infant formula milk will provide all the nutrition a child needs, and will get the father and any older children involved too.

Cow’s milk
Baby milk from all the major brands is available in all big supermarkets. It conforms to strict regulations: it is made from modified cow’s milk in order to match human milk as closely as possible. From a nutritional point of view, there are no big differences between the big brands. Powdered milk designed for babies contains lactoseric proteins that are the most digestible for babies.

Milk formulated for ‘greedy' babies also exists! This milk is rich in casein and curdles in baby's stomach, creating a full feeling for longer. However, it can cause constipation. As a result, unless your health visitor advises it, feed your baby normal infant formula, more regularly if baby gets hungry.

In chemists you can find special milk that's formulated to help problems linked to bottlefeeding: colic, regurgitation, allergies, etc. Always speak to your doctor for advice on what milk to feed your baby.

If your baby is healthy, you can use organic baby milk: it's better quality and doesn't contain traces of pesticides.

Soya milk
This can be recommended by a health visitor if baby has a suspected allergy to cow’s milk. Some babies can be allergic to the protein in soya milk, in which case hypoallergenic milk will be advised.

Sheep and goat’s milk
Goat’s milk and cow’s milk contain proteins with a similar structure. Sheep or goat’s milk is no longer recommended for babies with an allergy to cow’s milk. In any case it’s best to consult a doctor if you want to change your baby’s diet.

Weaning
Most brands offer milk conceived specially for the weaning phase, with proteins that are comparable to breast milk.

First age and second age milk
If your baby is only fed on powdered milk, then at around 6 months, when solid foods are introduced, it’s time to start thinking about changing to second age milk, which is taken until around the age of one. As long as your baby has a varied diet, at this stage you can diversify diet and change to a litre and a half every day of semi-skimmed UHT (ultra high temperature) milk, growth milk (rich in iron, vitamin D and essential fatty acids), or soya milk, which is high in calcium.

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