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Choose the right infant formula for your baby

Which milk should you choose for your newborn? Baby’s first bottle is the source of many questions. Here are a few simple criteria to help you figure it out quickly and choose the best milk for your baby.


What is an infant formula?

The nutritional needs of infants are very specific and cow’s milk is not suitable for them. It is too rich in protein and salt and is low in certain essential nutrients contained in breast milk.

Infant formulas are developed by specialised professionals to best meet the needs of infants.


How are infant formulas made?

Age is an essential criterion for choosing milk

The nutritional needs of infants change over the months. There are three types of infant formulas that meet the specific nutritional needs during the first years of life.

  • formula for infants, also called “1st agemilk” for babies 0-6 months, until the introduction of suitable complementary feeding,

  • a follow-on milk or “2nd age milk” from 6 months and up to 12 months,

  • a growth milk or 3rd age milk, from the first birthday to 3 years.


Baby’s specific needs

In terms of eating, everyone is unique, and this is also true for infants. There are specific milks for certain, occasional or regular problems:

  • the anti-regurgitation formulas to reduce reflux. The use of starch or carob in these formulas allows the food bolus to be thickened in the infant’s stomach or directly in the bottle.

  • the hypoallergenic formulas help prevent the risk of allergies. These contain pre-digested proteins and are intended for children diagnosed as being “at risk of developing allergies”. Be aware that these milks are not intended for infants with a proven allergy! If in doubt, consult a health care professional.

  • the ACMP (Allergy to Cow’s Milk Proteins) preparations based on advanced protein hydrolysates from cow’s milk or rice are intended for children with a proven allergy to cow’s milk proteins

  • the lactose-reduced formulas or lactose-free formulas are indicated in cases of diarrhoea or lactose intolerance.

Most of these preparations are food products for special medical purposes and must be used under medical supervision.

Don’t hesitate to seek advice from a health professional (paediatrician, doctor, nutritionist or pharmacist).

How can you be sure that milk is meeting your baby’s nutritional needs ?

Breast milk is the best suited to the nutritional needs of infants. If you cannot or do not wish to breastfeed, infant formulas allow you to satisfy your baby’s nutritional needs while guaranteeing that he or she is kept safe. The composition of infant formulas complies with strict regulations laid down by a European Regulation. Therefore, in addition to the special features of each brand, all infant formulas are specially formulated to cover the nutritional needs of the baby.

To find out if infant formula is suitable for your baby, the best indicator remains good growth! Regular monitoring of weight and height with a health professional is therefore essential.

DID YOU KNOW?  The regulatory framework governing the composition and quality of infant formulas has evolved in 2020 in line with the latest scientific recommendations. The addition of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is now mandatory in all infant formulas, it is essential for proper brain and visual development of the child.


What is/are the difference(s) between organic infant formula and conventional infant formula?

In terms of composition, infant milks, whether organic or conventional, comply with the same regulations and therefore both meet baby’s needs.

The main differences concern the stricter farming conditions and cultivation method for organic milks. Organic infant formulas therefore have to meet two regulations: the one for infant formula and the one for organic products.

Organic infant formula means*: 

  • sustainable farming (use of natural fertilisers, crop rotation, etc.),
  • animal welfare (free-range cows fed with organic grass and fodder, in compliance with AB regulations),
  • support of biodiversity and soil maintenance,
  • improving water quality.

Can we change milk?

Although it is advisable to avoid changing milk too frequently, sometimes you have to choose a new one. Ask a doctor for advice before changing milk or before opting for a specific milk.

Some basic tips:

  • a new milk must be tested over a minimum period of 2 to 3 weeks. This time allows the baby’s digestive system to get used to it.

  • gradually introduce the new recipe (new formula or new range). Start by replacing 1 bottle of the new brand (or range) on the first day, then 2 on the second, then 3 on the third, etc.

Why give growth milk instead of cow’s milk?

Between 1 and 3 years of age, children still have specific nutritional needs related to their rapid growth and development. Due to its composition, cow’s milk is not yet fully adapted to these particular needs : it still contains too much protein and salt and it is not rich enough in certain nutrients that are essential for development. Therefore, growth milk – or 3rd age milk – completes and guarantees iron and zinc intake, but also essential fatty acids (e.g. Omega 2) or vitamin D in the diversified diet of the child. That’s why paediatricians advise to consume 500mL until the age of 3 years. Consuming a growth milk helps to cover the daily nutritional needs of the child.

Discover all our advice on baby food and nutrition on the Hi Families webzine by clicking here.



Important notice: breastfeeding is the best way to feed your child. Good maternal nutrition is important to prepare and continue breastfeeding. Partial breastfeeding can interfere with the breastfeeding process and it is difficult to backtrack on the choice not to breastfeed. It is important to follow the instructions for preparation and use of infant formulas. Formula that is incorrectly prepared could pose a health risk for the child.

Besides milk, water is the only other essential drink. Teach your child to avoid snacking between meals. Being active and playing are essential for your child’s development. www.mangerbouger.fr

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