How Do I Pick A Formula For My Baby? 6 Questions To Consider

At Little Moo, we carry a great variety of formulas because not one formula will fit every baby.  Picking a formula can be overwhelming so we will walk you thru a few steps.

#1- Pick a formula appropriate for your babies age

European formulas come in stages. Each brand will have their own age range based on the countries requirements. PRE formulas just simply mean starch free, they are not intended for premature babies.  Most stage 1 formula are however, starch free.  For premature babies, consult your doctor for calories needed and such

#2- Does you baby have any ongoing health issues related to dairy?

If your baby was diagnosed as having an allergic reaction to cows milk, then a milk free formula is best, such as Topfer Milk Free.  If your baby seems to be reactive or not responding well to a general American formula, we would usually say do not assume its the milk causing the problem, assume it's another component such as the added sugars, preservatives and soy.  

#3- Do you have a preference to Goat Milk formulas over Cows Milk?

Goat milk formulas for babies less then 12 months of age is unheard off in America. but very popular in Europe.  Goat Milk is known to be less-allergenic then cows milk and easier to digest, more closely resembling that of human milk.  Goat's Milk is more expensive then Cow's Milk formulas, usually about 2-3 cents more per gram.  There is a number of babies who seem to tolerate Goat's Milk better then cow's milk, however some will become constipated on the Goat's Milk, so again it all varies between babies and its trial and error!  Our most popular Goat's Milk formula is Nanny Care.  It is the best value of all our formulas, however it is not certified organic ( but is 100% GMO & antibiotic free). A organic Goat Milk that is super popular is Holle Goat Milk.  If you are looking for formula that has the most dense nutrient content based on the heat process of pasteurization, Bambinchen is a top notch formula.  

#4- Are you looking for a more small batch/holistic/simple formula or one more mainstream with added probiotics/prebiotics & DHA?

Some parents have discovered less is more for their infant.  Holle offers one of the absolute best limited ingredient formulas with the highest level of organic certification.  Their formulas are simply Milk, Fats & Vitamins/Minerals.  They do use Maltodextrin in place of a large chunk of lactose, but this is what makes it so digestible for most babies.  Holle is only found in boutique health food stores in Europe & is considered top of the line.  LouLouka is another amazing formula, new to the market.   What makes it unique is the use of Whole Milk (most formulas use skimmed) and replacing palm oil with Coconut oil.  If a formula with added prebiotics/probitoics & DHA is more your thing, then HiPP makes an outstanding selection of popular formulas made in a variety of different countries based on that countries specifications.  To make things more complicated (sorry) there are 5 different varieties that we carry, United Kingdom, German, German Combiotik, Dutch & Lithuanian.  We will advise below on whats different about each:

Type Starch Prebiotics Probiotics Soy
Hipp Stage 1 UK No Yes No No
Hipp Stage 2 UK No  Yes No No
Hipp Stage 3 UK No Yes No No
Hipp Stage 4 UK No Yes No No
Hipp Comfort UK Yes Yes No No
Hipp AR UK No Yes No No
Hipp Stage 1 Dutch No Yes Yes No
Hipp Stage 2 Dutch No Yes Yes No
Hipp Stage 3 Dutch No Yes Yes Yes
Hipp German PRE Combiotik No Yes Yes No
Hipp Stage 1 German Combiotik Yes Yes Yes No
Hipp Stage 2 German Combiotik Yes Yes Yes Yes
Hipp Stage 2 (No Starch) German No Yes Yes No
Hipp Stage 3 German Combiotik Yes Yes Yes Yes
Hipp Stage 4 German Combiotik No Yes No No
Hipp HA PRE German No Yes Yes No
Hipp HA1 German Yes Yes Yes No
Hipp HA 2 German Yes Yes Yes No
Hipp Comfort German No Yes No No
Hipp Bio PRE No No No No
Hipp Bio Stage 1 Yes No No No
Hipp Bio Stage 2 Yes No No Yes
Hipp Bio Stage 3 Yes No No Yes
Hipp Stage 1 Lithuania No Yes Yes No
Hipp Stage 2 Lithuania No Yes Yes No
Hipp Stage 3 Lithuania No Yes Yes No
Hipp HA1 Lithuania No Yes Yes No
Hipp HA2 Lithuania Yes Yes Yes No


As you can see, they are pretty darn close to each other.  So at the end of the day, its up to you to decide which ingredients you believe your baby might do better with and it may take a few different kinds to figure it out.

Lebenswert is a popular formula as it includes starch and the stage 1 version is without maltodextrin (some parents would rather opt for added lactose over maltodextrin) 

#5- Does your baby have symptoms severe enough to warrant a speciality formula? 

First time parents always question how much spit up is too much.  The fact is, every baby spits up, some more then others.  What's not normal is after every feeding, your babies formula comes right back up again.  If your baby seemingly drizzles and doesn't seem to care for it much, then that's more common and more annoying then anything.  With the first type we talked about, a Anti-Reflux formula may be helpful.  Anti Reflux formulas are heavier and "weigh down" the formula in the stomach, so it has a better chance of staying put.  It can be considered a little tricky to mix and a larger hole in your bottle nipple is needed.  If your infant has been on an American formula and has issues, I wouldn't jump straight to an Anti Reflux formula quite yet, try a European formula first and see if the symptoms relieve themselves.  

If your baby seems to be cranky 24/7, bloaty, gassy, crying without reason, your baby is suffering from colic.  Colic is basically too much gas! It can happen if your baby swallows too much air when she eats, eats too fast or the formula is just simply not settling well.  Before trying a colic formula, be sure when you feed your baby, you are feeding your bottle at a angle where the milk is pouring down (do not hold it horizontal), this can prevent a lot of air from being ingested.  And use a slow flow nipple to ensure your baby isn't too much too quickly.  If you've done all this and your baby is still suffering, try Hipp Comfort. It's got very little lactose in it, and the lactose it does have, is hydrolyzed (basically broken down already).  It has special fibers to aid in proper digestion and a special fat blend as well for digestion.

#6- Is your baby always hungry?  

It is natural and normal for newborns to be hungry every hour of the day, and in all reality should be fed on demand.  Scheduled feedings can cause your baby to become easily upset, eat when not hungry or can cause a whole variety of colic issues.  When babies start to get around 6 months of age, they should be sleeping longer as around this time parents will start introducing solid foods and bottles will slowly dissipate.  However, some parents either do not choose to starts solids this soon or your baby is not ready yet.  In that case, your baby may benefit from added starch in her formula if she's not sleeping well or satisfied between bottles.  

In conclusion, research is necessary on the part of each parent as it comes down to two things....  What kind of formula do you want to feed your baby? And what kind of formula is going to work for your baby?

Some parents have tried as many as 8 different types of formulas to find the right one!!  But in most cases, parents will find the perfect formula within the first box or two if the proper research was done.   At Little Moo, we are happy to help assist you in your formula choice, please text 206-240-3222 or call 425-441-9156