Baby Formula

Tips for Choosing The Right Milk Formula

In a perfect world the phrase -breast is best’ may be applicable, but for so many new mothers, breast feeding is not an option. There may be any number of reasons as to why a mother may opt not to breastfeed her newborn baby, be it a personal choice, a pre-existing medical condition or a new mom having to return to work. When the time comes to switch from breast to bottle, or if the decision has already been made to bottle feed an infant from birth, parents are met with an overwhelming number of choices. The decision on what type of formula is best for baby should be based on the baby’s personal needs when choosing an artificial substitute for breast milk.

Nestle is a globally known and recognized organization and in South Africa, generations of mothers have put their trust in the range of Nestle baby formulas along with their assortment of early baby foods. The most common known baby milk formulas which are available on the market include Nan, Lactogen, and Isomil and over the last few years, organic baby formulas have become available (mostly via the Internet). Like the traditional baby formulas, the organic formulas are based primarily on skim milk and fortified with the necessary vitamins and minerals. The major difference between the organic baby formulas and the conventional formulas which are found in most stores is that the organic formula is made from 99% organically produced ingredients.

Nan Sensitive is a hypoallergenic baby milk formula that has been scientifically developed for infants with allergies. Such allergies may include allergic reaction to lactose (found in cow’s milk), or a gluten (wheat) allergy. In families where there is a high occurrence of asthma, Nan Sensitive is highly recommended as the formula has added probiotics that can help to prevent the onset of allergies. Research has also shown that babies delivered by c-sections have not been exposed to the bacteria passed to baby during natural birth. The absence of this -good’ bacteria may lead to a dysfunctional digestive system, and as such, baby formulas which contain probiotics bacteria and Bifidus becomes a substitute for the -good’ bacteria which babies who are born by natural birthing are exposed to.

Isomil is a soy-based baby formula and is recommended for infants who have specific intolerances to certain food groups. An infant which has regular vomit attacks or is fussy after feeds may do well on a soy-based formula. Parents will also find that specialized formulas are available and these formulas are intended for babies, who are born prematurely, or those who have specific health conditions, such a colic, clinically tested allergies and asthma. Nan Sensitive may be considered as being a specialized baby formula, and before the decision is made to introduce this formula to baby, advice should be sought from a local clinic or medical doctor. A specialized formula which contains probiotics has also been shown as being beneficial for babies suffering from colic. The specialized baby milk formulas are very often recommended during times of illness, such as the non-lactose or soy-based formals for babies suffering from continual bouts of diarrhoea. Formulas containing probiotics are also effective for constipation.

The intention of a baby formula is to meet the all the nutritional needs of a growing infant. If the baby’s nutritional needs are not meet, the infant will suffer from long term side-effects, such as development and growth problems. Breast milk contains a perfect mix and balance of all the right vitamins, minerals and nutrients and by relying on science, companies such as Nestle have managed to crack the code and recreate a substitute for breast milk.

With so many formulas to choose from, first time parents often anxiously scan the shelves trying to figure out what type of formula is the best for their baby, however with such a wealth of information readily available, distressed parents will quickly figure it out and make a decision that will suit the nutritional needs of their babies.

Breast is certainly best; however a mother who has made the decision to bottle feed should feel confident in her decision and use all available resources to find the best alternative to breast milk. It is important to remember not to feed a baby anything other than specifically produced baby formulas intended for baby feeding, as these contain all that the right ingredients to help a growing baby reach their milestones and grow into a happy, playful and healthy toddler.


 – Kathy Baron


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