How to choose the right formula for your baby

All infant formula provides a specific number of calories, carbs, protein, and lipids to ensure your baby gets all the nutrients they need.

How to choose the right formula for your baby
 There is no “perfect” formula. Every baby is unique! The “best” formula for your baby is likely different from the “best” formula for your neighbour’s child.

Many parents feel nervous about deciding which formula is best for their baby. Perhaps they are completely overwhelmed by the options. Or they’ve tried a formula and are unsure whether it’s causing their child’s stomach issues or skin problems.

No parent deserves the anxiety associated with feeding. First, please take a deep breath. There is no incorrect option! There is no ideal recipe. There is no such thing as a “bad” formula. There are simply various alternatives within each ingredient category.

What is inside baby formula?

98 percent of infant formula consists of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Protein and carbs have the greatest impact on your baby’s digestion, thus experts advise parents to select a formula based on these components.

The most generally used infant formula comprises of purified cow’s milk whey and casein as a source of protein, a mixture of vegetable oils as a source of fat, lactose as a source of carbohydrates, a vitamin-mineral blend, and other components depending on the manufacturer.

When selecting a baby formula:

  • Ensure that it has not expired.
  • Make certain the container is intact and sealed. Do not feed it to your infant if there are any leaks, puffy ends, or rust patches.
  • Ensure that it is specifically for the age of your child.
  • Consult your child’s doctor or nurse if you have questions about selecting an infant formula for your child or if you are considering switching brands or types of infant formula.

Homemade infant formula

Experts discourage the use of homemade baby formulas. Using homemade infant formula can result in major health complications for your child, particularly in the first year of life when your infant has specific nutritional needs. Additionally, a homemade infant formula may have a higher chance of contamination, which might cause your infant to become ill or acquire an infection.

A word on “organic” baby formulas

There are claims that “natural” or “organic” infant formulas available in other countries are more beneficial for infants. However, there is no scientific proof that these infant formulae are superior to those sold commercially in South Africa.

What formula is best if my child suffers reflux?

Reflux, or recurrent spitting up, is unpleasant for both parent and baby. Sadly, there is no magic pill to make it go. However, you may want to pick a formula with a high whey percentage. The thickened formula will make the stomach contents heavier and harder to regurgitate, which means they’re less likely to come back up. Alternatively, soybean-derived baby formula is free of lactose and cow’s milk protein, making it a good choice for babies who could be lactose intolerant.

What formula is best if my child suffers eczema?

Hypoallergenic formula is specifically formulated to help prevent allergic reactions in babies. It has also been demonstrated that partially hydrolyzed protein formula aids baby eczema.

What formula is best if my child suffers chronic constipation?

If your child suffers from constipation, consult your physician about switching to a formula without palm oil. Palm oil might cause the stools of infants to become firmer and may exacerbate constipation.