Choosing baby formula is a daunting task especially if you are a first-time parent. There are different types and brands of infant formulas, so how should you know which of them suits your baby the most? Luckily, you don’t need to decide on your own. Our experts have made a list of the most important things to consider when choosing a trusted source for European baby formula depending on your budget, location, and other factors.
Table of Contents
1. Decide what type of formula is right for you
There are four main types of formulas on the market:
- Cow’s milk formula accounts for around 80% of the market. For example, Hipp Kindermilch Combiotik or Lebenswert Bio Organic;
- Soy formula that doesn’t contain animal products;
- Hydrolyzed formula for children with protein allergy or those who don’t tolerate soy or cow’s milk formulas;
- Specialized formula for preterm children and those with special needs.
2. Choose the formula’s form
Infant formulas are sold in three different forms: powdered, liquid concentrate, and ready formulas. Powdered formulas should be measured and mixed, while liquid ones only require adding water. Ready-to-feed alternatives are quite self-explanatory but cost more and are not that widespread.
3. Get professional help
There is nothing wrong with relying on the opinions of your friends, relatives, or neighbors. But not when it comes to the health and well-being of your child. When picking a baby formula, seek your pediatrician’s advice. They are aware of your baby’s medical history and can help with making the right decision.
4. Stick to formulas available in your area
Availability often becomes a decisive factor. It doesn’t matter how good the chosen formula is if you can’t get it in a matter of minutes. Go to the local store and research the brands they have on offer. Don’t stress too much over store brand formulas because they are usually not inferior to more luxurious brands.
5. Don’t take the marketing bait
All infant formulas must meet the same industry requirements, so they are usually quite similar in terms of ingredients and nutritional value. When making a decision, ignore bright packages and ‘identical to breast milk’ labels that are designed to boost sales.
6. Read the ingredients list attentively
While all baby formulas are similar when it comes to the main ingredients, there are many additional nutrients that you should be aware of. For example:
- Supplements: Probiotics, linoleic acid, and fatty acids;
- Vitamins: Biotin, folic acid, niacin, and vitamins A, B12, C, and E;
- Minerals: Copper, iodine, potassium, zinc, and magnesium.
7. Make sure the formula suits your budget
Think of how much you can spend on baby formula. You might need to buy it several years in a row, so expenses should fit into your monthly budget without harming it.
8. Watch your baby’s reaction
Once the baby formula is chosen, monitor your child’s health and contact a pediatrician if food allergies, vomiting, fatigue, or diarrhea occur. They might not be related to the infant formula but shouldn’t be left without attention.
A baby’s health in his or her first year of life is the foundation of his or her future well-being. Natural feeding is the best way to ensure proper mental and physical development of a child.
But there are times when bottle-feeding becomes a preferable solution, so parents need to choose a formula with maximum attention. If you have any doubts about your baby’s nutritional tolerance or any concerns, seek a consultation with a qualified specialist. With competence and experience, they will help solve the problem, including food selection for your baby. You will only have to follow the recommendations, keep an eye on the development and health, and, most importantly – enjoy communication with your little one.