There are 4 types of formula:
Cow's milk-based formula
Breast milk gives your baby the best possible nutrition, protects against infection, and even changes with the needs of your infant (something formula can't do). It provides natural antibodies that help your baby resist illnesses, such as ear infections. It's usually more easily digested than formula. So breastfed babies are often less constipated and gassy. It may lower the risk of sudden infant death syndrome in the first year of your baby's life. It may raise your child's intelligence. Studies show breastfed babies have higher levels of cognitive function. Breast milk may even help your child in later years, by reducing the risk of being overweight, and of developing asthma, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, Hodgkin's disease, leukaemia, and lymphoma.
Goats milk-based formula
Goat's milk infant formula and follow-on formula is not a suitable alternative to cow's milk formula for babies with an allergy to the proteins in cow's milk FSA 2014). This is because the proteins in cow's and goat's milk are so similar that a baby with an allergy is likely to react to goat's milk, too. Babies and children with cow's milk allergy can go in to anaphylaxis after ingesting goat's milk (Pessler and Nejat 2004, Rodriguez del Rio et al 2012), so it is best avoided in these circumstances, unless a health professional advises you otherwise.
When your baby's a year old, you can move her from goat's milk formula to goat's milk. Goat's milk is not recommended as a main drink for babies under the age of one year old because it’s lower in nutrients and minerals, such as iron (NHS Choices 2013b). However, you can use small amounts in cooking or preparing food for your baby when she’s six months or older, and has started solids.
Hydrolysed protein formula
There are two versions of hydrolysed milk available: fully hydrolysed formula partially hydrolysed formula
Fully hydrolysed formula is specially designed for babies with an allergy or intolerance to cow's milk. It is only available by prescription.
If your baby has a cow’s milk allergy, the protein in the milk will cause an allergic reaction. And if she has an intolerance to cow’s milk, she will have difficulty digesting the sugar, called lactose, in the milk.
Fully hydrolysed formula milks are based on cow's milk and have the same nutrients as standard formula milk. But the protein in the milk is hydrolysed, which means it is broken down so your baby is less likely to react to it. These milks are also generally lactose-free, so babies with an intolerance to cow’s milk can digest them easily.
If you think your baby has a cow's milk allergy or intolerance, always see your doctor or health visitor before changing your baby's milk. If your baby is diagnosed with an allergy to cow's milk protein, your doctor can prescribe a fully…