Baby formula 101

  • All infant formulas provide complete nutrition.
  • Understanding the different types of protein is a big part of choosing your baby’s formula.
  • Infant formulas come in powder, concentrate and ready-to-feed.

There are many formula options available, so it’s important to make an informed decision about what’s best for you and your baby.

All routine formulas provide complete nutrition for your baby’s healthy growth and development. The biggest difference among formulas is the type of protein.

Formula made with both casein and cow’s milk proteins

  • Many infant formulas contain casein, a cow’s milk protein, which may form curds* in your baby’s tummy.

 Formula made with soy protein

  • Soy-based protein formulas promote normal growth and development.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics states there are a few indications, such as a hereditary condition called galactosemia, when soy should replace a cow’s milk formula.
  • Soy formulas are an option for parents who prefer their infant follow a vegetarian diet.  

Special Conditions Formula

  • Extensively hydrolyzed formulas contain proteins that are broken down even more. They’re designed for babies with special digestive needs and should be used under the care of a physician. 
  • Other formulas are made using free amino acids — the building blocks of proteins. These formulas are also for babies with special digestive needs.

Test yourself

How much do you know about formula? Test your knowledge now in the Formula IQ Quiz.

Formulas to choose from

The most popular and at the best economic value, powdered infant formula is a great choice for most infants. However, powdered formulas shouldn’t be fed to premature babies or those who have immune problems, unless directed by your physician.

Easily prepared by mixing equal parts of water and formula.

Great for parents on the go, ready-to-feed formula is the most convenient, as it requires no preparation.

* Curd formation is not related to the body’s ability to absorb and utilize proteins.
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