Advice from an expert on the type of milk to give your infant throughout their first year of life, the key differences between popular brands such as Aptamil and SMA, and the determination of whether or not your child will require follow-on formula.

 

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Infant formula milk is often labelled as first milk or stage 1 and is suitable for use from birth. The products you’re likely to see on stores are Aptamil First Milk, Cow & Gate First Infant Milk, HiPP Organic Combiotic First Infant Milk and SMA First Infant Milk.

The government advises an infant formula based on cow’s protein as the only safe substitute to breast milk. Cow’s milk doesn’t have the necessary level of nutrients or proteins needed for growth, hence shouldn’t be given to newborns under one as their main drink.

Infant formula milk ingredients

The make-up of infant formula is as near to breast milk as possible, yet it’s hard to recreate all the components contained in breast milk. The components in infant formula are rigorously monitored under The Infant Formula and Follow-on Formula (England) Regulations 2007.

The regulations dictate compositional criteria, minimum and maximum levels of nutrients that must be included, the level of pesticide residue permitted, how formulas can be named and labelled, and how the formulas can be presented (for example, they’re not allowed to include pictures of babies that may idealise the use of the products). Under the restrictions, infant formula is not allowed to be advertised to the public or be offered at a lower rate (so that it doesn’t undermine breastfeeding).

Does my baby need newborn formula milk?

If you’re not breastfeeding or extracting breast milk to feed your infant, then absolutely. Infant formula supplies the critical nutrients your baby needs and is the only safe option to nursing or utilising breast milk. If you receive Healthy Start vouchers, you can use these to buy infant formula.

The majority of infant formulas are cow’s milk based, yet there are also formulas available that are based on goat’s and which that have been prepared to the same stringent nutritional requirements. Goat’s milk formulas aren’t acceptable options for newborns with cow’s milk allergy (CMA), an intolerance to the protein or a lactose intolerance. Because the quantities of protein and lactose in goats milk and cows milk are highly comparable to one another, and because the levels of protein and lactose in goats milk and cows milk are likewise comparable, infants who are sensitive to cow’s milk are also very likely to be sensitive to goat’s milk. You shouldn’t use soy milk formula either, unless your physician specifically recommends that you do so.

Where do we stand with follow-on formula?

The use of follow-on formula must begin until after the baby has reached the age of six months; it is not appropriate for newborns. Every manufacturer offers a formula that comes after the initial one, and these are typically labelled as stage 2 products. The Infant Formula and Follow-on Formula (England) Regulations 2007 mandate that, in addition to containing the same components as infant formula, follow-on formula must also adhere to stringent guidelines for the levels of nutrients that it must provide.

On the other hand, it does have a more abundant supply of iron and vitamin D. The limitations that apply to baby formula also apply to follow-on formula, with the exception that follow-on formula can be advertised and supplied for free as part of a promotion. We found out that 67 percent of parents have employed the use of follow-on formula.

Should I be giving my child follow-on formula?

No. Follow-on formula is not required, according to the recommendations given by the government; however, you may continue to feed your baby infant formula if you are not nursing or using expressed breast milk to feed your baby. As a consequence of this, Healthy Start vouchers cannot be used to purchase follow-on formula. However, there are certain shops who do provide customers with coupons for discounts or money off their purchases.

Babies are born with an iron store, but by the time they are six months old, this store has already begun to deplete, thus they require a higher iron intake through their diet. As a result of this, there are some individuals who opt to convert to the follow-on formula. However, as you begin the process of weaning your child, you may begin including iron-rich foods in their diet. These foods, which include fortified cereal, red meat, and green leafy vegetables, will be sufficient to meet your child’s iron requirements.

There is a recommendation from the government that all children between the ages of six months and five years old should take a daily supplement that contains vitamin D. If, on the other hand, your infant consumes between 500 and 600 millilitres (ml) of infant formula on a daily basis, they should be getting enough vitamin D to satisfy their requirements and will not require any additional drops.

Coronavirus update

We all agree that nursing is the healthiest option for your child, but if you find yourself in a situation where you have no choice but to use infant formula, you may have a tough time finding it in stores because of the coronavirus. As a direct consequence of this, we have observed that the cost of infant formula is being artificially raised. We are bringing this matter to the attention of the most prominent internet marketplaces. If you find that infant formula is being sold on Amazon or eBay at an inflated price, you can alert the vendors about the situation by following the actions that are outlined below:

eBay

Go to the listing and click the “Report item” button, which is located right next to the description as well as the options for postage and payment. Choose the explanation from the dropdown menu, then click the Continue button. Complete the form with any additional information, then click the Send button.

Amazon

Visit the Amazon page dedicated to customer service. Choose the “Report listing abuse” option. Please ensure that all of the pertinent information, including the ASIN of the product you are reporting, is included. Find out more information regarding the price increases on common goods that we’ve discovered on online marketplaces as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Find out the most recent information regarding CoVID-19. The content was most recently updated on March 26, 2020.