Pregnancy week by week



Formula feeding

For mothers who are unable to breast feed, formula milk provide babies with the nutrients they need. It is essentially a mix of water, carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals. Formula milk is designed to be as close to breast milk as possible. Most infant formulas are derived from cow's milk, modified to resemble breast milk as closely as possible. There is little to choose between the big brands, but there are a few factors that you might like to consider.

Right balance of proteins: Breast milk contains two types of protein: whey and casein. The balance in breast milk is 60 % whey, and 40 % casein. It is a good idea to choose a formula with a similar ratio. Formulas with a greater percentage of casein tend to be harder for your baby to digest.

Your baby's age: Formula is designed and constituted to meet the needs of growing babies; what is appropriate for younger babies won't necessarily be right later on. First-stage milks are suitable from birth and contain all the nutrients your growing baby needs. Low iron formulas are not suitable for most babies, who need good quantities of iron to grow and develop properly.

Bigger appetiites: Brands aimed at "hungrier" babies tend to have more casein, but unless your doctor recommends these, normal formula will meet your baby's needs.

Everything used to feed your baby and make up her formula needs to be thouroughly washed to remove all traces of milk, and then sterilized to kill any bacteria or other bugs that could harm your baby's health. In the sections below we explain you how to prepare your baby's feed.

Choosing a formula

Feeding your baby


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