Decoding baby formula can be difficult as there are so many different types of formula out there for bubs. It can be difficult knowing which one is the best for your baby. Do you go with the Gold or do you opt for the hypo-allergenic stuff? The good news is that regardless of what type you choose, all formula that is sold in Australia conforms to the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. Another great thing about formula these days that it is jam packed with plenty of nutritional stuff and as close to breast milk as it can be. So whether you have moved on from breastfeeding or choose to bottle feed bubs, below is a quick guideline to the supermarket aisle of formula:
Lactose free formula means that there is no natural sugar in it. And while this sounds like a good thing, lactose is natural sugar that is found in breast milk. However, if your bub has trouble processing this sugar, which is also found in cow’s milk and in normal formula, then you may be advised by your doctor to try a lactose-free option. If you suspect that your baby is having trouble digesting regular formula, then talk to your doctor about making the switch.
Again, while it may make sense to choose soy milk from Day One, it is a good idea to first discuss choosing soy based formula with your doctor. Soy based products are best for babies that have a hard time processing cow’s milk proteins. Soy based formula is milk and lactose free.
Another alternative is goat’s milk which is similar to cow’s milk but might be a good option if your baby appears to have a hard time digesting cow’s milk. Again, consult your doctor to learn more about the pros and cons.
Extras in Formula, Bifidus/Probiotics
Formulas with this written on them means that extra ‘good ‘bacteria have been added to the mixtures. Probiotics and bifidus has been proven to reduce the risk of diarrhoea in infants because it prevents the bad bacteria from getting into the digestive system.
Have a spewy baby? Then opting for this type of formula can help relieve the pain that comes with reflux. AR or anti-regurgitation aims to keep the formula down rather than having it come back up but it doesn’t always work.
Or hypo-allergic formulas are designed for babies that have a high risk of allergies. HA formulas may be recommended to you if you, your spouse or an immediate family member have hay fever, food allergies, asthma or eczema.
Alpha Pro/Opti Pro
This is another confusing term when it comes to your formula picking errand. Essentially, this is a certain type of protein that is not found in normal formulas. However, while protein is definitely good for your baby’s growing body, it is actually not known if this type of protein is any better for your little one than regular formula.
You may have noticed that there are ‘gold’ versions of formula. Are these the highest best of the best? Not really. Gold simply means that there are certain fats added to them that are similar to the fats found in breast milk.