Choosing the right baby formula for your baby or toddler can be quite the task. There are various types of baby formula, from the traditional cow’s milk to the more digestible goat’s milk and vegetable-based soy formula. To determine which formula is best for your child, please read the six tips on choosing the best formula below.
1. Formula Types
Before you move on to choosing a source of protein – vegetable or dairy – you will need to choose a type of formula. In general, formulas can be divided into three big categories: ready-to-use formula, liquid concentrate formula and powdered formula.
The most convenient formula on the market today is the ready-to-use formula, which does not require any mixing or measuring. However, this type of formula does have a short lifespan, so it is less suitable if you like to stock up on formula.
Liquid concentrate formula is a more affordable option than the ready-to-use formula. It also takes up less space in the cupboard, so it is a good choice for people who do not have a lot of room to store formula. However, liquid concentrate formula is still more expensive than powdered formula.
Powdered formula is the least expensive and also the most environmentally-friendly option, but it takes significantly longer to prepare. Powdered formula does have a relatively long shelf life, which lies approximately one month after being opened.
2. Digestion Takes Priority
Even though convenience and shelf life play a role in the selection of baby formula, the most important factor during the selection of baby formula is digestion. Many Australian parents report their children experiencing digestive discomfort from their baby formula, which is why it is so important to choose a baby formula that will avoid such distress.
Even though cow’s milk formula is one of the most common formulas on the market today, there are some options that may reduce the digestive distress your baby experiences. So if your baby suffers from digestive distress, it may be a good idea to consider some alternative options such as goat’s milk formula or hydrolysed baby formula.
If you suspect your child suffers from lactose intolerance, it is essential to visit the paediatrician to determine if your infant struggles with such an allergy before you decide to switch to a lactose-free formula. In such cases, the paediatrician may recommend a soy-based formula that still provides the necessary nutrients to keep your infant healthy and happy.
4. Vitamins and Minerals
Another important denominator during the selection of a baby formula is the amount of vitamins and minerals it contains. While many parents are mainly concerned with protein and carbohydrates, the amount of vitamins and minerals in baby formula are also important for the growth and development of your child. There are some dairy sources that have a high amount of vitamins and minerals naturally. A good example of this is goat’s milk from Oli 6.
To ensure your child gets the right amount of vitamins and minerals in his or her diet, it can be a good idea to compare the natural vitamin content in baby formula. However, it is important to make a distinction between natural vitamin content and added vitamin content. The more natural a formula is, the better it will be for your child.
5. Prebiotic Oligosaccharides
The presence of prebiotic oligosaccharides can make digestion easier for your infant. Prebiotic oligosaccharides are non-digestible carbohydrates that remain in the digestive tract. Once in the digestive tract, they perform numerous important functions.
Prebiotic oligosaccharides are able to stimulate a specific type of bacteria in the digestive tract. These bacteria stimulate digestion and make the formula easier to digest in general. The prebiotic oligosaccharides in certain baby formulas will also absorb water, which makes the stool softer and easier to pass. Finding a formula with plenty of prebiotic oligosaccharides can therefore be very advantageous for your child.
Finding the right formula does not depend on one factor alone, because there are many things to take into account. However, by doing a little bit of research and comparing various formulas, parents can find the one formula that will give their child a head start in life!