Comparing baby formula is important when choosing one for your baby. The amount and types of different ones on the market can be overwhelming for you, the parent trying to choose one for your child.
So which formula is best for your little one? It depends on a variety of factors. The article below compares and explains the different types and which ones might be best for your infant.
All of them are created to be a close to breast milk as possible. With very few exceptions, breast milk is the best way to nourish your baby and should be considered if at all possible.
If you cannot breastfeed however, US laws regulating baby formula dictate the nutritional composition of baby formula. Therefore, although Similac and Enfamil are the most popular brands, store brands are perfectly acceptable as well.
To determine which one to start with, we will be comparing formulas including milk based, soy, hydrolyzed and amino acid based ones.
Milk based formulas
These are cow’s milk based and available as basic and lactose free formulas. Milk based formula is the most popular type and is usually the one most healthy infants are given. They are a good choice for babies who do not have health issues or any problems with tolerating basic formula.
Examples of milk based formulas include Abbott’s Similac Advance and Similac Sensitive (lactose free), and Mead Johnson’s Enfamil Lipil and Enfamil Lactofree Lipil.
Soy formulas may be given as an alternative to cow’s milk based ones for vegan babies. Occasionally a baby who is allergic to cow’s milk based formula will do well on soy formula, however monitoring this is important because many times a child allergic to cow’s milk is also allergic to soy.
Examples: Abbott Similac Sensitive Isomil Soy and Mead Johnson Enfamil Prosobee.
Hydrolyzed protein formulas
Hydrolyzed formulas are derived from cow’s milk however are broken down so there is less chance of a reaction. These are useful in cases of severe reflux and vomiting, as well as other disorders where whole protein formulas have not been tolerated.
Examples: Similac Expert Care Alimentum, Enfamil Nutramigen Lipil
An elemental formula is predigested in order to make digestion easier for the baby. These are broken down to amino acids and are given to infants who cannot tolerate whole proteins. They are hypoallergenic and the most gentle formulas that exist. These formulas are very expensive and are usually used as a last resort for children who have been through all the other types of formulas and are unable to tolerate them.
Examples: Elecare, Neocate
Most of these formulas come in powder and ready to feed forms as well as concentrate. Standard dilution of infant formulas is 20 calories per ounce, and although there are times when an increase in calories per ounce would be beneficial, a medical professional should be consulted before this is done for your child.
When making the decision regarding which formula is best for your baby, comparing baby formula is very important. Although it may take a few different types before you find the one your baby can tolerate, if you are willing to go through the process of trial and error you will be able to find the best baby formula for your baby. Compare baby formula and speak to your child's physician for advice on which one to choose and describe your child's symptoms to help him figure out which one is best.