How to choose the right infant formula for your baby (2023)

Written by Gabrielle McPherson, MS, RDN, LDN

It doesn't matter if you plan on exclusively formula feeding your baby, go for itCombination of breast milk and formula, or if you just want to stick with infant formula "just in case," you'll likely be overwhelmed by the sheer number of options available. But be aware: The perfect baby food does not exist, but it does.esAn infant formula that meets your child's unique needs. Here's everything you need to know to choose the best baby food for your sweet pea.

What is infant formula?

It's true thatthe health departmentrecommends only breastfeeding your babyfirst 6 monthsof life. But it's also true that exclusive breastfeeding or even mixed feeding isn't always right for everyone. Enter: baby food. Infant formula is the best partial or complete replacement for breast milk for babies under the age of12 Fun. Babies grow between birth and 1 year of age3 timesits size, which always puts its nutritional needs high. And that's becauseBritish Association of Nutritionists (BSNA)regulates the content of all infant formula sold in the UK. This ensures that every infant formula, regardless of price, brand or form, meets specific nutritional guidelines.
did you know Infant formula was inventedby a chemist in 1865. It consisted of cow's milk, wheat and malt flour, and potassium bicarbonate.

What's in baby food?

Despite different labels, colors and prices, all infant formulas must contain a certain amount of calories, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. This is certainly included in all infant formulas on the market:

  • Calories:Little ones need lots of calories to support healthy brain growth. Infant formula usually contains 19 to 20 calories per ounce.

  • Carbohydrates:No low carb diets here! Carbohydrates are your baby's primary source of energy and can come from corn syrup solids, maltodextrin, sucrose, or lactose, the sugar found naturally in breast milk.

    (Video) Here’s what you need to know to choose the best formula for your baby | HOUSTON LIFE | KPRC 2

  • Protein:Those baby locks of hair and tiny fingernails need protein to grow. It is the building block of cells, hair, skin and organs. The main protein sources in infant formula are skim milk, milk protein isolate, whey, casein, soy and amino acids.

  • Slices:Healthy growth and development depend on fats. These are referred to as vegetable oil, palm olein oil, coconut oil, canola oil, or corn oil in your baby's formula.

  • Vitamins and Minerals:Baby formula contains vitamins A, D, K, C, choline, calcium, iron and more to help prevent deficiencies and give little ones a healthier start. All infant formulas must contain a certain amount of calories, protein and fat.The iron in the formula is less absorbedthan the iron in breast milk. For this reason, many parents choose iron-fortified infant formula.

In addition to the must-haves listed above, many baby foods also contain extras such as...

  • Long Chain Fatty Acids:Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (ARA), two long-chain fatty acids found in breast milk. Although this is an important duo forearly brain development, not all studies confirm the benefit of their inclusion in infant formula.

  • Probiotics and Prebiotics: Probiotics are healthy live bacteria and prebiotics feed on probiotics. The couple are generally great for gut health, however there is still limited evidence that they are one.are beneficial in baby food.

    (Video) Infant Formula Types? | What Is The Closest Formula To Breast Milk? | What Formula Type Is Best?

  • Breast milk oligosaccharides:HMOs in breast milk help protect against infection and research shows that infant formula is supplemented with HMO when breast milk is unavailablecan be considered as an alternative.

  • Lutein:Breast milk naturally contains lutein, a carotenoid with antioxidant properties that supports eye health and cognitive development. The effects of infant supplements are not yet known, research shows.that babies absorb much more lutein from breastfeeding than from consuming fortified formula.

What types of baby food are available?

In addition to powdered, concentrated, and liquid formulas, there are many different types of baby food available today. she oneAll are considered healthy and suitable for babies, but there are important differences.

Cow's milk-based infant formula

Although regular cow's milk is dangerous for babies under 12 months of age, cow's milk-based infant formula is manufactured in such a way thatSsafe and digestible. Like breast milk, cow's milk infant formula contains lactose, a milk sugar. (Sensitive or mild formula generally has a lower lactose content for lactose-sensitive babies.) Cow's milk-based formulas are common today80% of all infant formulaon the market. And most babies take it well. For those who don't, there is a way they canCow's Milk Protein Allergy (CMPA), which means their small bellies can't handle the whey and/or casein in cow's milk. CMPA symptoms can include skin, digestion,up to his breath.
did you know condensed milkIt was recommended as baby food by pediatricians in the 1930s-1940s.

Soy Infant Formula

Soy-derived infant formula contains no lactose or cow's milk protein, making it an essential choice for babies born with a rare lactose-intolerant condition called galactosemia. (Your baby willtested at birth.) It is important to remember thisMany babies experiencepresentationstages when they cannot digest lactose, but it is extremely rare for babies to have significant problems with lactose,accordinglystudies. While some believe that soy formula has a preventive or palliative effectcolic symptoms, there is no evidence for that. And at the endThere are few instances where soy-based infant formulas should be preferred over cow's milk-based infant formulas.
did you knowIsfirst soy-based infant formulait became open to the public in 1929. But like other baby foods at the time, soy foods lacked important vitamins and nutrients.

Hydrolyzed and partially hydrolyzed infant formula

Although these types of baby food seem complicated, the size of the protein is key. Cow's milk formula contains large, intact proteins, but some babies have trouble digesting them. In this case, babies need an infant formula with smaller proteins. (Hydrolyzed means "broken up," so hydrolyzed formulas have smaller, more easily digested proteins.) Gentle, sensitive infant formulas often contain partially hydrolyzed proteins, which can help with bloating. Fully hydrolyzed infant formula, on the other hand, breaks down even better and is better for babies with more serious problems, such as a cow's milk protein allergy or multiple food allergies.
did you knowThese types of infant formulas are often referred to as "pre-digested" because the proteins are already so small.

(Video) Infant formula feeding-are the milks different? How to choose the right baby formula? Dr Sridhar K

Organic baby food

Certified organic productsUSDA- oder UK-Bio-StandardsThey can be labeled and sold as organic in the UK provided the products meet the terms of the agreement. Organic certification is tightly regulated to ensure food is made exactly as nature intended from start to finish, with no fertilizers or synthetic processes. So this means that an organic cow's milk formula must come from cows that have been fed organically. If it is a plant-based formula, the plant-based source must have limited exposure to pesticides and be free of genetically modified organisms. In general, organic formulas are expensive and so farThere is no proof whatsoeverthat are superior to non-organic infant formulas that contain the same nutrition and safety.
did you knoworganic dishesThey're not necessarily completely chemical-free, but pesticide deposits are significantly lower than products made with synthetic chemicals.

special baby food

There are other types of infant formulas that are designed to meet the specific needs of babies with special medical conditions or those born prematurely. If your baby's pediatrician recommends a special formula, be sure to follow their advice on portion sizes, feeding times and preparation, as special formulas can be very different from regular formulas.

How to choose the right baby food

  • Start with a commercial baby food.Unless your baby's pediatrician recommends otherwise, it's good to start with the default setting.cow milkInfant Formula: This works for most babies. Just be sure to avoid baby food brands that aren't regulatedBritish regulations for infant formula.

  • Consider the cost.The cost of baby food will have you blaming yourself for not completing yoursBaby registrywith 1,000 cans of baby food! If your baby drinks 0.7 liters of baby food a day,It will costfrom somewhere£600 a£1440 on his first birthday. So it's a good idea to consider your budget before choosing your infant formula. Know that powdered infant formula will always be cheaper than liquid.

  • Choose comfort.Choose baby food that is easy to find in nearby stores. Of course, there's always online ordering, but with the risk of delivery delays, you might want to shop locally to avoid added stress.

  • Try not to be influenced by advertising claims.If you've read the claims about baby food containers, you know that some praise their brain-boosting abilities and others insist their product protects a baby's immune system. unfortunately there is onlyThere is not enough scientific evidenceto support most of these claims.

    (Video) Family Health : How to Choose the Right Baby Formula

  • Get support in your decision-making process.While it can be helpful to get information about baby food from things like your sister, your neighbor, social media, and Google, you really need to seek direct advice from your pediatrician. You know your baby's health and medical history best, so you're in an excellent position to guide you through your decision-making process. (They probably have some free baby food samples in their office too!)

  • Take a deep breath.Remember that your baby has unique needs and there is infant formula to help meet those needs. And if your sweet baby starts having issues like severe gas, colic, reflux, vomiting, or diarrhea, don't hesitate to talk to your pediatrician to see if your formula could be to blame.

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Disclaimer: The information on our website is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is for general information only. If you have any medical questions or concerns about your child or yourself, consult your doctor. Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for babies. It is important for mothers to eat a healthy, balanced diet before and during breastfeeding. The combination of breastfeeding and bottle-feeding in the first few weeks of life can reduce a mother's milk production and it is difficult to reverse a decision not to breastfeed. If you decide to use infant formula, follow the directions carefully.


How do I know if formula isn't agreeing with baby? ›

What are the Signs of Formula Intolerance?
  1. Diarrhea.
  2. Vomiting.
  3. Blood or mucus in your baby's stool.
  4. The baby often pulls her legs up toward her belly because of pain.
  5. Difficulty with weight gain or noticeable weight loss.
  6. Constant crying and signs of discomfort.

What formula is closest to breast milk? ›

Similac 360 Total Care Non-GMO Infant Formula Powder

Key features: Similac claims that this formula is their closest in composition to human breast milk. It includes a blend of DHA, lutein, and vitamin E — all nutrients found in breast milk.

Does it matter what brand of formula I give my baby? ›

No brand of infant formula is best for all babies. You should pick an infant formula that is made especially for babies. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates commercial infant formulas to make sure they meet minimum nutritional and safety requirements.

How long does it take for a baby to adjust to new formula? ›

Most of the time babies only need a week to fully transition to a new formula but for some, it can as much as 6 weeks. Your baby's reaction to the new formula may include gas, constipation, and changes in your baby's stool.

How long does it take to notice a difference in baby formula? ›

Make sure you give your baby enough time to try the new formula, usually 3 to 5 days. Some babies will adjust right away. Others may have slight changes in stool pattern, gas, and/or spit-ting up until they become accustomed to the new formula. If you have questions or concerns, check with your baby's doctor.

What formula is best for sensitive stomach? ›

Enter Enfamil NeuroPro Gentlease Infant Formula—a formula that has been clinically proven to reduce fussiness, crying, gas, and spit up within 24 hours of starting. The proteins in this product are partially hydrolyzed (broken down) and easy for a sensitive tummy to handle.

Can you switch back and forth with baby formula? ›

1 Switching between formula brands is not a problem, even though many parents wonder if doing so may cause fussiness or stool changes in their baby. In fact, you can even mix different brands of the same type of formula together if you feel that your baby responds better to a mixture of one brand with another.


1. Infant Formulas : How to choose right formula for your baby?
(Dr. Warraich Health & Food Channel)
2. Choosing the Right Infant Formula | Useful Information for Choosing the Right Infant Formula
(Couch Mom Club)
3. Choosing the Right Infant Formula: An Algorithm for Georgia WIC Stanley A. Cohen, MD, FAAP
(Nutrition4Kids & Nutrition4IBD)
4. Types of Infant Formula | How to Choose a Baby Formula
(Mommy's Monkey)
(Blossom Parenting)
6. How to Find the Right Infant Formula For Your Baby (FCL Nov. 16)
(First Coast News)
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