What Formula Stage should you be using?

European Baby Formulas have been gaining a surge in popularity. The incorporation of biodynamic organic farming principles has prompted numerous individuals to give them a shot. The commitment to immaculate production techniques and elevated quality standards for formulas within Europe has captivated the attention of countless parents in search of a more health-conscious option.

While delving into the excellent selections provided by brands like Holle, HiPP and Lebenswert you might come across certain distinctions in labeling, aside from just the language distinction.

In the context of the United States, formulas are typically categorized based on age groups. However, European formulas are organized into distinct stages. Each of these stages corresponds to a specific nutritional phase during a childโ€™s growth. Additionally, these stages can be associated with particular age ranges. For instance, HiPP Stage 1 is tailored for infants falling within the 0 to 6-month age bracket.

Every stage is meticulously crafted to fulfill the precise dietary requirements of your baby as they progress through their development journey. The nutritional needs of a one-month-old are undeniably distinct from those of a 9-month-old. By prudently balancing essential components like carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and vitamins, infants receive optimal nourishment in accordance with their present developmental stage.

While there are subtle differences among various brands, there are common threads in how they define each developmental stage. Let's delve into these shared stages and deliberate on the most suitable stage for your little one.

Holle ingredients

  • PRE Stages

Not every brand incorporates this phase, but both Holle and HiPP offer PRE Stages. These formulas are acknowledged as the mildest among all. They are often used to complement breastfeeding for newborns or to provide nourishment for infants who cannot breastfeed during the initial months of life.

Neither HiPP's PRE stage nor Holle's PRE stage contains starches, unlike some of the subsequent stages. This aids in facilitating digestion. Newborns do not necessitate the caloric intake of older infants.

  • Stage 1

Stage 1 is the standard formula for newborns up to six months. The composition of stage 1 formulas is often crafted to be gentle, closely resembling breast milk.

Certain stage 1 formulas exclude starches, beneficial for infants with digestion or stomach sensitivity concerns. Some infants in this age range might require additional calories, so it's crucial to review the ingredient list and opt for a stage 1 formula with starches if needed.

  • Stage 2

Stage 2 (Follow-On) formulas are suitable for children over six months old. Some parents might choose to continue using stage 1, as it fulfills the dietary needs of children up to one year. However, some babies might require more to satisfy their hunger.

This stage continues to provide the necessary nutrients for children who have yet to incorporate many solid foods. If you notice your baby waking up hungry despite stage 1 formula, transitioning to stage 2 could be appropriate.

Iron is notably present in this stage, as it supports the development of a healthy blood supply, crucial beyond the six-month mark.

  • Stage 3

Intended for children over ten months old, parents often transition to this stage when their baby appears hungry after regular stage 2 feedings.

This stage offers maltodextrin and starches to boost calorie intake for growth and energy. Parents can opt for stage 3 formulas for as long as they wish to complement solid foods.

  • Stage 4

Stage 4 (Toddler) formulas are intended for children aged one year or older. These children usually obtain most of their nutrition from solid foods. This stage is designed as a supplementary source of nutrients alongside other toddler-appropriate foods.

Should I progress to the following stages?

Absolutely. As kids develop and evolve, their nutritional needs also evolve. To guarantee your infant receives all the vital nutrients for optimal growth and well-being, we suggest employing the formula stage that aligns with their age. Esteemed formula producers such as Holle, Hipp and Lebenswert have dedicated extensive time to refining their formulations, ensuring that each phase of your baby's dietary requirements is aptly addressed.

There is not much difference in the later stages that would warrant switching on a specific date. You can move forward, or behind a few weeks.

Initiate the transition about a week prior to the date indicated on the packaging. For instance, if the move to stage 2 is due at 6 months, commence the new formula about a week before the 6-month mark. Because every baby is unique, this isn't an exact science. Providing extra nourishment will facilitate swifter growth and increased activity. While it's advisable to consult your pediatrician to ensure your baby's well-being, the age benchmarks should be regarded as indicative rather than stringent directives.

Author: Laura
๐Ÿ‘‹ Hey,  I'm a proud mother of two wonderful children. I've been working at OBF24 for 6 years as a formula expert and am part of the customer support team. I love being able to help customers find the perfect formula for their little ones and provide support with any questions they may have. Drop me a message โ€บ