Nowadays, the market is flooded with many different kinds of baby formula and as a parent, it can get overwhelming and confusing to choose the best one for your child. If you are not breastfeeding due to personal or medical reasons and are searching for the best baby formula for your child, look no further!

Baby formula is a substitute for breast milk and contains the nutritional requirements needed for babies under 12 months of age. The basic ingredients of all baby formulas include protein, carbohydrates, and fats, which make up 98% of baby formula, alongside vitamins, minerals, cofactors, and electrolytes. 

In this article, we highlight everything you need to know in order to pick the best baby formula for your child. 

Baby Formula Options

Photo by Burst on Pexels

Photo by Burst on Pexels

Depending on your personal preferences and your baby’s medical needs, you can choose between a range of different formulas such as cow’s milk-based formula or vegan baby formula. In this section, we take a closer look at the different options available to you. 

Cow’s Milk-based Formula

As one of the most commonly consumed baby formulas, cow’s milk-based formula contains cow’s milk after it has been made more digestion-friendly for infants. However, if your baby has digestive issues or is allergic to cow’s milk, you may want to explore other options. 

Vegan Baby Formula 

Vegan baby formula is commonly recognized as a plant-based baby formula since it is made from plant-derived ingredients. Basically, it doesn’t contain any kind of animal-based derivatives. Vegan baby formula is fantastic for those who follow a vegan lifestyle and/or may be worried that their baby is lactose intolerant. 

Soy Formula

Soy baby formula is another kind of plant-derived baby formula that is dairy-free. They contain soy as the main protein along with carbohydrates such as glucose or sucrose. So if you want a non-animal derivative that doesn’t contain lactose, a soy baby formula is for you. Keep in mind that not all soy formulas are vegan as they may be fortified and contain traces of animal products. 

Hydrolysed Formula

If your baby is averse to both cow’s milk and soy formulas, you might want to explore hydrolysed formulas. These contain milk protein that has been broken down, or hydrolysed so that it is easy for babies to digest. Overall, they are the closest version of breast milk on the market. 

Read the label to check if the formula is partially or fully/extensively hydrolysed. Partially hydrolysed formulas contain easily digestible proteins while fully hydrolysed formulas contain even smaller proteins which reduce the chances of the baby having an allergic reaction. 

Specialised Formula

If your baby has specific medical needs, you may want to consider specialised formulas. Common conditions include reflux, eczema, and constipation. Other considerations include formulas for babies who have a low birth weight or those requiring low-sodium in their daily diet. 

Types Of Baby Formula

There are three main types of baby formula, each with their pros and cons. 

Powder formula, which comes in canisters, needs to be mixed with water. They usually last a long time but may not be the most convenient option during traveling or when safe drinking water is unavailable. 

Liquid formula is a concentrated liquid that needs to be mixed with water. The major drawback is that once opened, they usually need to be consumed within 48 hours.

Read-to-use formulas are super convenient as they are premixed and can be used instantly. There is also no chance of contamination or preparation mistakes but they need to be consumed within 48 hours.