Milk Formula For Babies: Stage 1, 2 And 3

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Baby formulas are categorised into three stages to match the developmental needs of babies. These are:
  • Stage 1 fmilk or babies below 12 months.
  • Stage 2 formulas are given to babies after 6 months. They are also known as follow on formula.
  • Stage 3 onwards is given to babies from 1-year-old onwards and it is also known as growing up milk or toddler milk formula.

Stage 1 formulas, also known as infant formula from birth
Most infant formulas available are based on cow's milk which has been significantly altered to make it nutritionally suitable for infants. They have been modified in such a way that they closely match the makeup of breast milk, therefore they sometimes referred to as "breastmilk substitutes". Its protein is made up of whey and casein. Infant formulas composes of whey dominantly just like breast milk which has a whey to casein ratio of about 60:40. It is easy to digest, which makes it suitable for babies up to one year old.

Stage 2 formulas

These formulas are for six months and older are called follow-on formulas. They are similar to Stage 1 formulas but they have a higher casein to whey ratio of 80:20. Stage 2 formulas can also contain different levels nutrients compared with stage 1 formulas, so they are e not suitable for babies younger than six months. Stage 2 formulas takes longer to digest, and is therefore suitable for baby’s growing appetite.

However, make sure that you offer your todfler solids from six months onwards, because they will need extra nutrition from food.

Note that you don’t have to change to follow-on at six months if your baby is happy and established on an infant formula, you can just continue using infant formula right up until 12 months

Stage 3 and 4 - Growing up milk

From 12 months onwards, your baby becomes a toddler. They are busy, active and need extra energy and nutrients to play and grow.

Once a child is over a year old, doctors and dietitians agree that a glass or two of fresh cow’s milk a day along with a balanced diet is all that is needed.

Cows’ milk can be your toddler's main milk drink, around 2-3 cups a day is enough for most toddlers. However, toddlers need plenty of iron rich foods in their diet so as to grow up healthy and strong, and also for learning and development. This can be a problem for some parents as their toddler may be struggling to get enough iron, most especially if he is a picky eater, doesn't like to eat meat or have small appetites. In such cases, you can remedy this with lots of patience, attention and love. Consult your doctor so that he can recommend a special growing up milk rich in iron for your child. Also, you can introduce other iron-rich diets to your child. Encourage and reward him when he eats it.