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What Baby Formula to Buy

If you need to bottle feed your baby with formula, it can be a really daunting task going to the supermarket and buying a tin.  There are so many tins all lined up, you probably don't know where to start and which one to choose.

All of the different formula brands will come down to a basic age group. The tins will state the recommended ages on the front of the tin.

  • Starter developed for use from birth is nutritionally complete to assist growth and development
  • Follow On from 6 months, is nutritionally superior to standard cow's milk because it contains higher iron and less protein and sodium.  It is designed to meet baby's changing needs.
  • Toddler from 12 months, with iron and added vitamins and minerals (though note that many parents get their baby's onto normal cows milk by this time).

Some brands will have a sample sachet available to purchase, which is a really good thing to use for the first few times that you are trying formula.

Some tins also have a call-free number on the back of the can for you to phone to request a sample (take a pen and paper to the supermarket with you to jot this down).

You can use the sample to see whether your baby drinks it, and check for any reactions.  Signs of a reaction may include rash, vomitting, refusal to drink etc.

If you are concerned about dairy allergies, make an appointment with your doctor as they can often prescribe special formula at a discounted rate.  (For example soy, goat formula). Here is another article about lactose intolerance.

The most important thing in this formula route is that your baby is happy to drink the bottle, then you will know that they are getting the nutrition they need and they can grow!

There are many different brands of baby formula on the New Zealand supermarket shelves. As long as you mix the formula according to the directions, and use pre-sterilised water, then all formula brands are suitable and safe for your baby to drink.  Though of course we must state for the record that breast is best, but we are talking about those times if you can't breastfeed.

The difference in price is due to the different amount of extra nutrients and supplements that are in them, (the non-essential extras).  For example the "gold" brand ones have added probiotics.  All baby formula in New Zealand will be suitable for your child and have the required nutrition, even the cheaper ones.  If your child is eating solids already, you will get a lot of these  nutrients in baby's diet anyway and its not necessary to buy the "gold" label ones.  That is your choice.

Baby formula has extra nutrients and calorific value than simply cows milk.

Sometimes the difference in pricing can be due to the volume on the tin, which is quite deceptive.

The common brands in New Zealand are Nuture, Karicare, NAN, S26.

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