Stage 1 vs Stage 2 vs Stage 3 Formula Milk in Singapore 2023: What's the Difference?
Milk is something that a lot of us find confusing and unclear, especially when it comes to the topic of Stage 1 vs Stage 2 vs Stage 3 vs Stage 4 formula milk. It can be tricky to figure out what type of milk is suitable for each stage of your child's growth.
Of course, breast milk is the best food for babies. However, if you aren't able to or just don't have the time to breastfeed, the huge selection of baby formulas available on the Singaporean market can be hard to make sense of: infant formula, stage 1, stage 2, stage 3, stage 4, etc.
In this article, I’ll take you through the recommended diet for the first few years of your babies life and explain what is the difference between each stage of formula milk in Singapore
Difference between Newborn vs Infant vs Toddler Formula
1. Difference Between Infant Formula and Stage 1 Formula Milk
2. Difference Between Stage 1 and Stage 2 Formula Milk
3. Difference Between Stage 2 and Stage 3 / Stage 4 Formula Milk
Baby Nutrition Guide
1. 0-6 months - Stage 1
For new-born babies, WHO advices to solely breastfeed for the first 6 months and then continue with additional nutritious foods up to 2 years old, based on you and your baby's needs. Source
Breastfeeding is usually the better option compared to formula milk because it..
- Adapts to the baby's changing requirements
- Provides babies with all of the vital nutrition and hydration they need
- Helps protect against infection and to build a healthy immune system
- Is a cheap and convenient to feed your babies wherever and whenever they need to.
Infant Formula Milk
In case breastfeeding doesn’t work or you choose not to breastfeed, infant formula is the only suitable alternative. It should be your baby’s only source of nutrition for the first 6 months. A formula-fed infant will drink every 3 - 4 hours and will increase as your baby grows.
According to NHS guidelines, cow’s milk and other substitutes should not be introduced as a main drink until after 1 year. Never start solids before 4 months. Source
Always seek medical advice before buying infant formula.
Most babies are ready to start solids around 5 - 6 months old.
Some signs that show they are ready include..
- Mastering the grabbing skill
- Developing head and neck control
- Losing the tongue-thrust mechanism that automatically pushes food out of their mouth. N
Aim to feed about 1-2 tablespoons of food twice a day to your baby. Solid food shouldn't replace milk as the main source of nutrients.
Here are some infant formulas you can find in Singapore..
- Dumex Dulac Stage 1
- Dumex Mamil Gold Stage 1
2. 6-12 months - Stage 2At 6 months, parents will usually introduce more foods into their baby’s diet, so the amount of milk they will need will gradually decrease. For both formula-fed and breastfed babies, the amount of milk they drink should naturally adjust according to how much food they have eaten.
However, for babies 6 to 9 months old, most of their calories should still come from breast milk or formula. Don’t stress about getting them to eat bite after bite of solid food. Feed up to two meals daily (or once every couple of days for some babies), with each meal 2 to 4 tablespoons.
Suitable baby foods include iron-fortified single-grain baby cereal along with pureed vegetables, fruits, and meats. You can also try offering finger foods like cut vegetables, fruit, yogurt and cheese. However, try not to introduce more than one food at a time to identify possible allergies or digestive problems.
If they seem to have an endless appetite or don’t seem to be eating enough, contact your child specialist.
Here are some Stage 2 formulas you can find in Singapore..
- Enfamil A+ Stage 2 Follow On Milk Formula
At this age, about half of your baby’s calories may usually come from food and the other half from breast milk or formula.
Babies these age are usually interested in trying new foods, so you can try to give them small pieces of your own meals. If they want more, give them more, but if they push it away, maybe that item is just not their one of their favourites.
Babies like to play with their food, so you can try using yogurt, cheese or oats as a sauce for vegetables or whole-grain crackers. Just remember to cut the foods properly and to avoid hard pieces to prevent choking.
3. 12 months onwards - Stage 3 / Stage 4Read More : Best Milk Formula for Toddlers Singapore
Summary : Feed breast milk, dairy milk (cow / goat / etc), alternative plant based milk (soy), more soft / semi solid foods. Seek medical advice before feeding non breast milk alternatives.
Children will usually start to eat larger, more regular meals and get most of their nutrition from foods other than milk. WHO recommends that babies continue to be breast fed up to 2 years and beyond, but they may begin to need less breast milk as they eat more food. Source
After 12 months, your baby may not need formula milk anymore as they can start drinking cow’s milk and other alternatives more regularly.
Below are some of the main types of milk that may be given at this stage.
Goat’s / Sheep’s Milk - Their nutrient profiles are similar to cow’s milk so as long as they’re pasteurized, they’re alright to offer.
Soya Drinks & Other Milk Alternatives - As part of a healthy, balanced diet, soya, oat, almond and other vegetable based milks can be offered or used in cooking. However, they are usually not as nutritionally comparable to cow’s milk. Furthermore, not all brands fortify with the same nutrients so they shouldn’t replace cow’s milk.
Children will start to eat a more varied, balanced diet and may rely less on milk. You may adjust how much milk you give them based on their diet throughout the week. If your child's diet doesn’t include dairy, you should consider how you can replace any nutrients they might be missing out on, such as formula milk or alternative foods.