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If you decide to use baby milk to feed your little one, either as a supplement to breastmilk or as a substitute, choosing a formula will be one tough, big decision. Here are some facts to help you choose the right baby formula for your baby. But it’s always important to consult your paediatrician.

Is baby formula same as cow milk?

Babies cannot digest and absorb cow’s milk as completely or easily as breastmilk or formula. In fact, most infant formula is made with cow’s milk that’s been altered to resemble breast milk. This gives the formula the right balance of nutrients and makes the formula easier to digest.

4 Types of Infant Formula

There are four main types of infant formula:

  • Cow’s milk-based

The traditional choice. The main ingredient in this type of formula cow’s milk, but the milk is modified to make it safe and more easily digestible for infants.

  • Hydrolyzed

Contains protein that has already been broken down (hydrolyzed) into smaller proteins that can be more easily digested

  • Soy

Made from soy milk contain a protein (soy) and a carbohydrate like glucose or sucrose. Suitable for babies who are unable to digest lactose.

  • Specialized

Made for babies with certain medical needs or preterm babies.

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  • Powdered

Needs to be mixed with a specific amount of water before it can be given to baby.

  • Concentrated liquid

Some mixing and shaking with water are required. Because it’s liquid, you can skip the scoop.

  • Ready-to-use/feed

Premixed formula. Just open and feed to baby.

Understand the Labelling

It can become rather confusing to work out what all the claims and ingredients on the labels mean. The best way is to compare the ingredient labels of multiple brands. Here are a few common commercial harmful baby formula ingredients that you may want to avoid, such as palm oil, corn syrup etc.

Pay close attention to how your child’s body responds

It is best to stick to a formula once you find one that works for your little one. If you try a formula and your baby doesn’t seem to be reacting well, contact your pediatrician to find out what to do.

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