How to choose infant formula

If you bottle-feed your baby, here is some information to help you choose the right infant formula.


An alternative solution

It is widely recognized that breastfeeding has many benefits for your baby's health and well-being. That is why the World Health Organization (WHO), the Canadian Paediatric Society, and the medical community advocate that all mothers breastfeed exclusively until their baby reaches the age of six months. Therefore, they should be strongly encouraged and supported to breastfeed.

However, various issues can compromise breastfeeding and even lead to giving it up altogether. In many cases, support, coaching, and assistance by a professional can help mothers find solutions to the problems they encounter. The decision to stop breastfeeding can be difficult for some mothers. For others, the choice to switch to bottle-feeding is a natural one, as it is considered the best option.


Commercial infant formulas

Because infant formulas marketed in Canada are subject to Food and Drug Regulations, their composition, manufacture, labelling, and packaging are rigorously controlled. Infant formulas come in different formats: powdered, liquid concentrate or ready-to-feed. Parents can make their choice by considering the price, product convenience, and the following factors:

  • For a healthy child, the use of a cow's milk protein-based formula is recommended to start.
  • Unless otherwise indicated by a doctor, you should always buy iron-enriched formula until your child is 9 to 12 months old.
  • There are five types of infant formulas: regular iron-enriched or non-iron-enriched, transitional, lactose-free, soy-based, and therapeutic. Among other things, your choice should be based on:
    • baby's age
    • health
    • risk of food allergy or intolerance
    • composition of the formula
    • family's lifestyle or beliefs

Your baby's healthcare provider will be able to tell you which type is most suitable.


Tips for optimal use

If you are giving your baby formula, follow these tips:

  • Wash your hands well with soapy water before preparing the bottle.
  • Never give your child formula that is passed its expiry date or that comes from a container with a dent, bulge or abnormal appearance.
  • Never use tap water to dilute the powder or liquid concentrate. Use water that has been boiled for at least two minutes and then cooled or use bottled water.
  • Follow the product manufacturer's instructions for storage, handling, preservation, and use.

Pharmacists can help you choose the best suited infant formula for your little one. They can answer your questions about the optimal use of this type of product and about infant nutrition. You can count on your pharmacist when it comes to the health of both children and adults!


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How to choose infant formula

If you bottle feed your baby, here is some information to help you choose the right infant formula. 
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