the best formula for babies: what milk for my baby?

You decided not to breastfeed Baby. Know between 0 and four months, the milk 1 st age is perfect. But when your baby is constipated, crying or becoming too greedy, what should you do? With each small complication corresponds a suitable milk. A short practical guide …

The best formula for babies: what milk for my baby?
The best formula for babies: what milk for my baby?

If you do not want or can not breastfeed or if you want to stop breastfeeding sooner than recommended, give the baby a substitute for breast milk (or infant formula) instead of cow’s milk. They are designed to allow your child to grow harmoniously and in good health. But, which one to choose? We explain to you.

Infant milk: what is it exactly?

Infant milk is industrial preparations specially designed for young children (from birth to age 3), they serve as a substitute for breast milk.

The composition of infant milk and their manufacture are subject to precise and rigorous standards ( set by ministerial decrees and published in the Official Journals of the French Republic and the European Union), which thus guarantees their nutritional and sanitary qualities.

In the shelves of your supermarkets, you will find two forms of infant formula:

  • powdered milk to be diluted,
  • ready-to-use liquid milk.

These different forms of milk depend on brands, but their nutritional value is the same.

We recommend reading the article: Best infant formula for breastfed babies


Some infant milk is not prepared from components of cow’s milk but with soy protein. They have no nutritional superiority over other breast milk substitute preparations. To use them, seek the advice of your doctor or pediatrician.

The preparations of soy protein 1 st or 2 nd age are the only ones to be defined in the framework of children’s food. It is essential not to confuse them with conventional soy milk (or juices and other creams) that are not suitable for feeding children under three years of age.

Baby milks

The 1st age milk (or infant formula) is for the baby from 0 to 6 months (or more). It may be the only baby food until it receives a complete meal without milk ( beginning of dietary diversification ). They are intended to replace breast milk ( their composition is quite similar ) and cover all the nutritional needs of the baby.

Note: the number of months indicated on infant formulas refers to the completed months (that is, the beginning of the month following the month mentioned, for example, six months = until the beginning of the 7th month).

The milk 2nd age

Less close to breast milk than second-degree milk (or milk of continuation) are intended for your baby from the moment when he begins to have at least one full meal a day without milk, that is to say never before four months and more like 6-7 months.

To ensure baby’s nutritional balance, the Ministry of Health recommends continuing to give at least:

  • 500 ml of baby milk per day and up to 1 year.

Growth milks

The growth milks suitable for children from 1 year to 3 years. They allow in particular sufficient contributions of iron.

Cow, sheep, soy or almond milk …

Health authorities do not recommend giving cow’s milk to babies before one year. Too rich in minerals, low in iron and essential fatty acids, cow’s milk is not adapted to the nutritional needs of the smallest and could give them digestive disorders.

Regarding the milk of other animals (sheep, goat, donkey …) and the plant milk, know that they are not at all suitable for baby food, and can be dangerous.

Anti-regurgitation milk (AR)

They are milk with thickened formulas:

  • either with proteins (milk rich in caseins),
  • either with locust bean gum (which thickens the milk directly into the bottle)
    or again with cornstarch (which only thickens in the stomach, which more comfortable to drink).

As their name suggests, they are designed to limit regurgitation.

In pharmacy, these milk are called anti-regurgitation (or AR) while in supermarkets, the regulation requires them to wear only the term milk “comfort.”

These regurgitations disappear spontaneously between 12 and 18 months. But beware, in rare cases they can translate gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), requiring pediatric consultation.

Hypoallergenic milk (HA)

These milk are made from cow’s milk protein (but not only), broken up into small pieces so that they are better supported by children and thus minimize the risk of allergies. The so-called HA milk is recommended during the first 4 to 6 months of the baby’s life.

They are supposed to individually meet the needs of a child who is genetically exposed to the risk of allergy. In other words, children with allergic terrain (when one parent or sibling is allergic).

They should not be used in children with known allergies (identified by the doctor).

Special milks

They also exist other milk that can help the baby in case of digestive disorders. Do not hesitate to ask for advice to your doctor.


Diarrhea, colic, gas, pain … To limit these disorders, it is necessary to avoid the difficult to digest elements such as proteins and lactose contained in traditional milk. Then prefer lactose-free milk or protein hydrolysates.

They can also be prescribed in case of proven allergy to cow’s milk (APLV).

In case of suspected allergy, when a baby suffers from colic or diarrhea, it is necessary to consult a doctor or pediatrician.


The constipation of the infant results in hard and infrequent stools: less than one a day or three a week. The recommended milk will, therefore, be higher in lactose and soluble protein: the labels often mention “Milk Transit” or “Special.”

Milk that is acidified or contains lactobacilli also facilitate a return to regular bowel movements.

Finally, in case of constipation in babies, pediatricians recommend preparing two bottles on the five (or six) of the day with one half of mineral water rich in magnesium.

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