If you’ve chosen to formula feed your baby, you should probably be aware of the myths that are out there regarding the brands & types of baby formula you choose.
Regulations in the UK
You’ll be pleased to know that formula is very well regulated in the UK. There are certain government standards that have to be met. This means that if one company discovers something new that’s important and introduces it, the others soon jump on the bandwagon. They’re all much of a muchness! The only real differences are non essentials that get added to look better or sound better. These additions aren’t actually important for your baby’s growth or development. You’ll find that the most expensive baby formula on the market is simply trying to say “we’re the best”. Fundamentally they are the same as your cheapest supermarket own brand.
Swapping to Another Brand
Now that you know this, you may want to swap formulas. If you’re formula-feeding, and in this case, I suggest you make a gradual change. Because of those non-essentials you may find that your baby gets an upset stomach if you suddenly go from one to another. However if you introduce a quarter of a new formula, three quarters of the old for a few days and then half and half and then three quarters of the new one, one quarter of the old one for a few days your baby probably won’t even notice when you make that complete change.
Best for Your Baby?
The formula companies are part of a multi-million pound industry and the TV programme ‘Dispatches’ investigated this a while back. They had on there a twin mom. Her twins were about one years old, and she’d formula fed them from the outset. She bought the most expensive baby formula on the market believing that this was the best for her babies. The tv presenter showed her just how much money she would have saved if she had fed them the cheaper own branded supermarket formula from the outset! She nearly cried when she saw the figure!
First Milk & Follow On Milk
Baby Formula companies are not actually allowed to advertise ‘first milk’ and yet it’s only the ‘first milk’ that your baby needs if you’re formula-feeding. From 0 to 12 months old, the only formula that they would need would be ‘first milk’ (this is written on the packaging). Babies do not need any of the other milks that are advertised. The formula companies are allowed to advertise formulas such as ‘follow-on’ milk (advertised as suitable from 6 months +), hungry baby milk, etc. They often increase in price and your baby doesn’t need them! It’s worth also noting that once your baby gets to 12 months old they can have cow’s milk (providing they aren’t allergic to it!)
Hungry Baby Milk?
If you’re finding that your baby is particularly hungry you might be tempted to buy ‘hungry baby’ formula. Please don’t! This has got an imbalance of curds and whey and isn’t good for your baby. You’re better to simply offer more of the first milk. If you’ve got any questions or concerns do speak to your health visitor.
To wrap up…
Obviously this is all applicable for babies that can have regular formula and don’t have intolerances or allergies – in which case you’d need to speak to your GP.
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