Infant formula is for babies which are not being breastfed, are partially breastfed or are being weaned. It is a type of milk which has been specially designed to resemble as close to breast milk as it can in its composition, so it contains the same fats, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins and proteins your twins will need.
While as a parent you will be initially choosing which formula to buy, in reality it will be your twins who actually decide for you which one they like and need for their optimal growth.
Types of Formula
You will find that in the supermarket, there are two main types of infant formula – dairy based and soy based – with the majority of bottle fed babies taking a dairy based formula.
Formulas are also made specifically for the age of the baby and in three main groups – starter (0-6 months), follow on (6-12 months) and toddler (12 months up). However, in saying that, there are plenty of different ways which formula is made and some ingredients just don’t suit some babies.
So let’s break things down further with formula types.
• Whey based – early breastmilk is whey protein heavy, which is why starter formulas contain a lot of whey. Whey is usually easily digestible and this type of formula is suitable for twins with soy allergies.
• Casein based – casein is a slow to digest protein, which is why these formulas are good for hungrier babies. Some starter and most follow on and toddler formulas are heavy in casein. Soy allergy babies can use casein based formula.
• Soy based – free of cow’s milk proteins, this formula is suitable for babies will allergies to this protein. It is not recommended as a complete milk food for infants under 12 months unless under the advice of your health professional. Suitable for babies with dairy allergies.
• Goats milk – believed to be the formula closest to breastmilk in composition and does not contain cow’s milk proteins. Suitable for babies with soy and dairy allergies. Also suitable for babies with sensitive tummies.
• Lactose free – lactose or milk sugars are removed in this cow’s milk protein based formula. Suitable for babies who find it hard to digest lactose, but seek your health professional’s advice before using.
• Thickened – also known as anti-reflux formula, this is suitable for spilly babies or those with reflux. It has been thickened, making it harder to regurgitate. There are also some specific thickening products which can be added to non-thickened formulas which are also suitable for reflux babies.
If you are unsure about the type of formula to feed your babies, your Doctor or midwife should be your first port of call.
The choice of infant formulas on the market can be incredibly confusing, so take your time testing and choosing the best one for your babies.