How to Choose a Formula

There are so many different formulas to choose from and it isn’t always easy to work out what’s what. The options can be overwhelming. Here’s a basic rundown of the most common types of formula bases available and reason why you might choose one instead of another. 

Cow's Milk Protein-Based Formulas 

This is the most common type of formula available. Most infant formula is made with cow's milk that's been altered to resemble breast milk. This gives the formula the right balance of nutrients and makes the formula easier to digest. Most babies do well on cow's milk formula. 

Goat’s Milk Protein-Based Formulas

If there is a family history of infant dairy intolerance, I recommend starting on a goat’s milk formula first, and then a few weeks later, trialing a cow’s milk formula to see if they can handle it. 

Soy-Based Formulas

Some babies do not tolerate cow's milk-based formulas very well or might even be allergic to them. In this case, a soy-based formula can be useful if you want to exclude animal proteins from your child's diet. This may also be an option for babies who are intolerant or allergic to cow's milk formula or to lactose. 

Specialised Formulas

There are formulas that are very specifically designed for babies who have specific diseases.  These will be prescription only and should only be given if recommended by your doctor. 

Once you’ve decided which type of formula base is right for your baby, you can choose which form to buy it in.  The decision at this stage is purely dependent on budget and convenience. 


Infant formulas come in three forms. 

Powdered Formula

Powdered formula is the least expensive. Each scoop of powdered formula must be mixed with water.

Concentrated Liquid Formula

This type of formula also must be mixed with water.

Ready-To-Use Formula

This is by far the most convenient option. It doesn’t need to be mixed with water and can be used straight from the carton. It is, however, the most expensive option. But in the first couple of weeks this might be a life-saver so request it at your baby shower!!  It’s brilliant to have a couple of cartons at the ready. Don't forget to take a couple of packs with you to hospital, much easier then having to bother a busy midwife.