As a parent, one of the essential things is to ensure that your baby has nutritious and healthy food. Usually, the best way to do this is via breastfeeding.
But today, it’s possible to supplement breast milk with formula milk or in some cases use formula milk alone.
The best formula milk comes with all the essential nutrients a baby requires for the first 0 to 6 months of their life.
I too have used formula milk despite breastfeeding my baby as it helps supplement nutrients required.
And since there are countless formulas to select from, in the Indian market, you may have difficulty picking the best. Note that the best alternative should be safe and healthy for your baby.
I found Enfamil A+ Stage 1: Infant Formula (0 to 6 months) the best formula or powder milk in this category due to its higher DHA content and other essential nutrients than other formula powder though it is priced higher than Similac & Nan Pro.
But, to further assist you in selecting the best formula milk for baby 0-6 months in India, here are some of my reviews for the best formulas that you may buy.
My Top Picks of Best Formula Milk
- How to Buy the Best Formula Milk in India
- Benefits of Formula Milk
- Best Baby Formula in India
- Difference between Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Formula
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Word
How to Buy the Best Formula Milk in India
Before getting into detail about the best formula milk for babies India offers, it’s essential to examine the factors you need to consider when purchasing these milk formulas. Here are the aspects to consider:
Types of formulas
First, consider the type of formula that you want to buy. The popular types are:
- Cow milk protein-based formulas – Most parents prefer this type of formula because it contains cow’s milk protein. Cow milk formula is similar to breast milk and incorporates minerals, lactose, vegetable oil vitamins, and other ingredients that help your baby grow.
- Protein Hydrolysate Formulas – If your baby is allergic to cow’s milk, consider buying this formula as it contains a good breakdown of proteins.
- Soy-based Formulas – Like the protein hydrolysate formula, this formula is ideal for infants who are allergic to the lactose available in cow’s milk.
- Goat’s Milk Formulas – Compared to cow’s milk formula, the goat milk formula offers many more nutrients. For instance, the much-needed amino acids are present in this formula.
- Lactose-free Formulas – Well, this formula is perfect for infants that are experiencing lactose intolerance; that is, they are unable to absorb the lactose present in milk.
Allergies that the Baby Might Have or Get
If your babies face any particular allergies, you need to be extra cautious when buying milk formulas. As a precaution, you need to stop using a specific milk formula powder if your child develops some allergies. In such a case, it would be wise to get in touch with your doctor.
Assess the Ingredients/ Shelf Life
Often, the best milk formula contains essential ingredients, such as omega 3, omega6, iron and iodine. So, check the formula’s label to find out whether it incorporates these ingredients.
Digestion Easy Ingredients
Preferably, look for a formula that contains casein and whey protein as it aids in digestion. Failure to buy a formula that’s easy to digest may lead to stomach aches and stomach upsets in your baby.
Additionally, have a look at the product’s shelf life. Make sure you use it before expiry to avoid other complications.
Consider the Age of the Baby
Baby formula milk comes in various age brackets. So, it’s always essential to ensure you’re picking the right according to your infant’s age.
Note – Here we are discussing formula milk for age group 0-6 months.
Nutritional Need of the Baby
Select your baby milk formula based on your infants’ nutritional needs. As said earlier, baby milk formulas are available in multiple types, such as soy-based formulas, cow milk-based formulas, lactose-free formula, and many others. Get in touch with your doctor before making the ultimate decision.
Nutritional Value in The Formula Milk
There are several nutrients that the best formula milk in India needs to incorporate. Well, these include:
- Probiotics – Remember, formulas take longer to digest and absorb than breast milk. Breast milk takes little time to digest and absorb because it comes with plenty of healthy probiotics.
For this reason, make sure the baby formula you choose boosts the infant’s digestive system. Additionally, it needs to enhance healthy bacteria that play an essential role in the baby’s digestive system.
- DHA/ARA – DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) is vital for the baby’s cognitive development. Basically, it plays a crucial role in developing the baby’s visual and mental growth.
Thus, any baby formula you choose needs to contain DHA and ARA (arachidonic acid) in the right quantities.
- Iron – Feeding your child regularly with formulas may lead to a reduction of iron in their bodies. Thus, ensure you buy an iron-fortified formula. Keep in mind that a shortage of iron in your child may result in anemia. Therefore, it’s a must-have nutrient in the formula.
- Organic Formula – Currently, parents want a formula that contains natural ingredients and free of any chemical. While these formulas may be quite pricey, it’s essential to buy them for your baby’s well-being.
- Packing – Ensure the formula comes with an easy to store and sealed package. The best option is that which comes in a jar and a safety lid.
Turn to a Pediatrician and Buy Right
Getting in touch with a pediatrician can make it easy for you to select the infant’s appropriate formula. For instance, if your baby is premature, there are specific options that you need to buy for them.
In such cases, you should avoid buying the regular milk formula as it may lead to complex health problems. The special formulas provide the essential nutrients required for their fast development and growth.
Lastly, when it comes to buying the best formula milk for baby 0-6 months in India, you must avoid overstretching your budget. Generally, buy a product that suits your needs and budget.
Benefits of Formula Milk
Baby formula milk offers benefits to the baby and the mother. In addition to being a rich source of essential nutrients that infants need in their early lives, formula milk provides the following benefits:
Convenience to the Mom
When it comes to feeding the infant, formulas seem to be convenient for the mother. Well, instead of waiting for the mother to get back from work and breastfeed the child, other family members can take up this role, thanks to the baby formulas invention. Besides, this activity creates a good bond with the baby.
It Brings Flexibility
Infants can take formulas at any place and at any time. So, mothers do not need to look for a private place to feed their children.
Lowers Feeding Frequency
Since the formula is thick and less digestible than breast milk, you’ll not have to feed your child again and again as the formula absorption process takes time.
It Eases Mom Diet Restrictions
If your infant feeds on formula milk, you’ll not have to worry about what you eat.
Each formula comes with instructions on how to handle it, such as below –
- Check the expiry date.
- If the formula is available in a jar, make sure it’s sealed in the right manner.
- Sterilize the bottles, caps and nipples that you’ll use.
- Store the formulas in a cool and dry place – avoid storing in freezers or hot cars, or sunlight.
- Check the age group of the formula that you are using, you need to change it once your baby grows.
Best Baby Formula in India
Now, if you’re looking for the best formula milk for babies India offers, look no more because we have got a list of the best four. Here are the formulas:
1. Nestle Nan Pro 1 Infant Formula Powder
If you’re searching for a baby formula that comes with the essential nutrients to help your child develop his body and brain, Nestle Nan Pro 1 Infant Formula Powder perfectly suits those demands. The formula contains DHA – a nutrient that aids in brain development.
Additionally, the formula is rich in zinc, iron, whey protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and other vitamins that help your child develop strong teeth and bones. Besides boosting the growth of nails and hair in your baby, this formula also makes the child’s skin glow.
Although it’s quite impossible to compare a mom’s breast milk with the formula milk, Nestle Nan Pro 1 will give your child all the vital nutrients present in the breast milk. However, you only need to use the recommended scoops when preparing to get the best results.
I love this formula because it comes sealed in a bag format to improve hygiene, convenience, and safety. Furthermore, the formula incorporates a scoop to make it easy for you to prepare.
✔ It contains ARA and DHA – that aids in early brain and eye development
✔ It contains zinc nutrients to help your child gain height and weight
✔ It lets your child sleep well
✔ Ensures your child stomach is full
☒ Unpleasant smell
☒ Not as nutritious compared to Similac
2. Enfamil A+ Stage 1
Enfamil A+ stage 1 formula milk supports the baby’s brain development and overall development. The formula contains essential ingredients like DHA, ARA, iron and choline.
Some of the things that you will love about this baby milk formula are that it’s easily digestible, incorporates well-balanced diet nutrition, and is perfect for a child’s growth. Perhaps these are the reasons why most doctors recommend it.
Additionally, the formula does not contain fats, it incorporates less sugar than whole milk, it enhances healthy brain development, and it is easy to use. The included guidelines make it easy for you to prepare.
✔ It has choline that aids in brain growth and development
✔ It has iron that helps in teeth and bone development
✔ An incredible substitute for breast milk
☒ May be difficult to digest
☒ A little pricey compared to other formula milk
☒ Unappealing smell
3. Similac Advance Infant Formula
Due to its advanced technology, Similac advance is indeed one of the best formulas out there. Well, the formula boosts the growth and development of your child.
Besides, Similac comes with essential nutrients like omega 3, DHA, and ARA, all of which help in brain development. Other vital nutrients in the formula include; taurine, iron, zinc, folic acid and chlorine.
The formula aids in enhancing your child’s bone development, thanks to the inclusion of phosphorus and Vitamin D. To support the healthy growth of your child, the formula is rich in all the crucial minerals, vitamins and fatty acids.
I love the company’s packaging – the jar has a filled foil pouch that seals the content to secure it against contamination. Use the formula for roughly two weeks after opening the foil.
✔ It minimizes children spit ups
✔ Contains essential minerals to help your baby grow
✔ Fast digestion
✔ It comes with a foil to keep the contents safe
☒ Short shelf life
☒ Failure to use it appropriately may cause constipation
4. Nestlé LACTOGEN 1
The formula is ideal for infants of up to 6 months. It contains all the nutrients that improve your child’s growth and weight. Additionally, it has vital vitamins and iron nutrients for the development of healthy teeth and bones.
Other essential nutrients in the formula include iron, zinc and fatty acids to help your child’s brain to develop and grow. Giving this formula to your infant will make his stomach full.
Since it comes in a box format, the formula is hygienic, safe and convenient. Thus, make sure you transfer the contents of the pack into a clean airtight container and replace the lid tightly after use. The formula also includes a scoop.
✔ Ensures the baby is full for long period
✔ Quite affordable
✔ Easy to use and prepare
✔ It helps your child to increase weight
☒ Short shelf life
☒ Does not contain all the nutrients as compared to other formula milk options
How to prepare Formula Milk?
Formula milk is a very simple meal to prepare for your baby; before you make any step in preparation, always ensure that all the utensils are clean to avoid health-related issues.
- It is advisable to sterilize the bottle you are using before and after the preparation.
- Boil water for at least five minutes, leave it to cool and put it into the feeding bottle according to the given measurement. Afterward, add the recommended formula scoops.
- Shake the bottle well until you get a homogenous mixture, and then give it to your infant instantly.
- Discard the mixture if you fail to use it within an hour.
During preparation, make sure you sterilize all the equipment to prevent any contamination to the infant. Also, you have to boil the water to a temperature not exceeding 37˚C.
Finally, wash your hands thoroughly before handling the formula. Also, do not forget to check the expiry date of the product before giving it to the baby.
Difference between Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Formula
This formula is ideal for infants between the age of 0 and 6 months. During this stage, infants need to only take smash or liquid types of meals in limited amounts to make it easy for them to swallow and digest.
This formula is perfect for kids between the age of 7 and 12 months. During this period, you can introduce your child to well-cooked and thick textured meals. In addition to the formula, give mashed and lumpy foods to the young one.
Get Stage 2 Nestlé Nan Pro 2 and other infant formula powder suitable for babies after 6 months for necessary nutrients.
The stage 3 formula starts at the age of 12 months. At this age, your toddler needs at least three meals a day beside the formula. You can even introduce your kid to various fruits and other cooked or smashed food items.
Shift to Stage 3 Follow Up formula-powder as your baby grows up and now enters the 1 year and above age bracket.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How many times do I need to feed this formula for a 1-month old baby? How much Quantity?
Well, the standard dilution is 1 scoop in 30 ml Lukewarm water. Regarding the quantity, the number of feeds in a day will depend on your baby’s age. So, a pediatrician can answer that question appropriately.
- Does Formula Milk contain Probiotics?
Basically, not all formulas come with probiotics. However, it’s essential to buy formula with probiotics as it aids the baby’s digestion.
- How many Days can this Formula be used after opening the box?
There are no such limitations on the dry powder. You can use it till the expiration date. But once you make the milk by adding water to it, the maximum allowable time is one hour at room temperature or 8 hours in the fridge.
- What happens if the scoop is not provided with the formula?
Most formula milk comes with a spoon. It is buried inside the box. If you still cannot find it, use any other regular spoon to prepare the formula.
- Can we reheat/rewarm the prepared formula?
No, you cannot rewarm the formula. The rewarming formula increases the possibility of bacteria growth in the formula as it cools off after heating.
- Is it safe to feed my newborn baby with a powder formula?
Yes, if you choose to feed your newborn with formula, ensure you follow all safety & hygiene tips. Also, consult your doctor for more information.
- Is it safe to add cereals to the formula?
No. You should never add anything to the formula unless your doctor says so.
Choosing the best formula milk is one of the best choices you need to make for your young one. It would be advisable to engage your doctor when it comes to making such crucial decisions.
Therefore, ensure you discuss it with the pediatrician during your kid’s visits. The doctor will recommend the best formula to use if he finds out that the baby requires additional nutrients.
But none of this formula can completely replace breast milk. Nowadays, you can easily use electric or manual breast pumps to help you express breast milk to feed your baby. So, remember mother’s milk is best for your baby.
But, if you cannot breastfeed or want another substitute full of nutrients and supplements, formula powder milk does provide the essential diet for your baby.
All in all, I would recommend Enfamil A+ Stage 1: Infant Formula based on the ones that I have reviewed above for babies in the age group of 0 to 6 months based on the essential nutrients and ingredients that the formulas need to incorporate.