Different Types of Formula Milk

different types of formula milk

Breast milk is the best food for babies. But, not all babies can depend on breast milk alone. Formula milk substitutes breast milk when the mother is not able to feed the baby. A new mother often has a lot of questions about choosing formula milk.

What is the best formula milk?

Cow-based or soy-based, what should I go for?

Getting to know about different types of formula milk helps to make an informed decision.

Different types of formula milk

Also known as infant formula, formula milk available on the market is approved and controlled by FDA. The major concern of the safety issues is ruled out as a result.

Three major types of infant formula available in the market include –

  • Cow Milk Protein-Based Formula: This is the first infant formula, which is suitable for newborns. It is the first formula that can be given to your baby. Cow’s milk contains two proteins- casein and whey. This formula type contains whey protein, which babies easily digest. This formula can be given from day one of your child’s birth and can be continued till you introduce solids.
  • Soy-based formula: For parents, who want to keep off animal protein from their child’s diet, a soy-based formula is a good option. A few babies are allergic to cow’s milk, which is a rare phenomenon; however, if your baby suffers from the same then the soy-based formula is the right choice.
  • Protein Hydrolysate Formula: These formulas have smaller and broken down pieces of protein, compared with cow’s milk or soy-based formula. This is a choice for babies who are allergic to protein. When the baby has an allergy caused by soy or cow’s milk, the hydrolysate formula is suggested by the medical practitioner.

Apart from these, there are other types of infant formula available in pharmacies such as –

  • Goat Milk Formula: Made from goat milk, this formula is made with the same standards as cow’s milk formula.
  • Anti-Reflux Formula: A thickened formula that prevents acid reflux. It should be used only under medical supervision.
  • Lactose-free formula: An infant formula for babies who are lactose intolerant. Milk contains sugar, which cannot be absorbed by these babies. This can cause bloating and abdominal pain in babies. The lactose-free formula is designed for such babies.
  • Hypoallergenic formula: Your doctor might recommend this if your baby is allergic to cow’s milk. Here the proteins are completely broken down.

Pro Tip: You need to speak with the medical practitioner to identify if your child needs alternative formula. Only a doctor can recommend soy milk formula or other types when cow’s milk protein-based formula doesn’t suit your baby.

Different Forms of Formula

Infant formulas are well known across the globe in dry powdered form. However, there are two other lesser-known types – concentrate and ready-to-feed forms; but, these are expensive when compared with the dry form.

These can be used as follows –

  • The dry powdered formula can be added to warm water in the ratio of one scoop for two-ounce.
  • Concentrate formula should be added in one to one ratio with water. You can refrigerate the entire content after adding water for up to 48 hours, or you can make the formula whenever required.
  • Ready to feed formula, as the name implies, can be fed to the baby without having to mix with water.

Remember: When you use dry powder formula, do not use the milk after one hour. Left-over milk should be discarded and should not be fed to the baby. Do not reheat as it can lead to harmful bacterial growth. Ready to feed formula once opened can be refrigerated for 48 hours.