As your baby gets older, their nutritional needs change. In the first year, as they transform from a small, sleeping infant to a busy, active toddler, they go through more stages than they will for most of their lives.
THE FORMULA COMPANIES, FOLLOWING MOTHER NATURE AND THE WAY BREAST MILK CHANGES, HAVE DIFFERENT FORMULAS FOR DIFFERENT STAGES OF BABY’S DEVELOPMENT
Stage 1 formulas are less calorie dense than later formulas. This is because the baby isn’t moving around as much as they will later. This stage has a very delicate balance of vitamins and minerals. In some European organic brands, there are also probiotics and prebiotics.
Some formulas use palm oil as healthy fat, but Loulouka uses coconut oil at this stage. Also, some brands add maltodextrin as a thickener and sweetener. This is omitted in some formulas as unnecessary.
Stage PRE, in this case, doesn’t stand for premature. PRE is simply stage 1, but PRE stage formulas are designed to be gentler on your baby’s stomach. They contain no starch and maltodextrin, so you can feed more to your baby on a 3-hour schedule. Both Holle and HiPP offer PRE stage formulas.
Stage 2 is designed for children about six months of age up to one year. While the nutritional profile is similar to stage one, stage 2 is more calorie-dense. This gives the baby more energy for moving around, starting to crawl, and playing more. Babies also tend to be awake more, so they’ll need more energy.
Most formulas add maltodextrin at this stage simply because it's a healthy carbohydrate. It’s available as an organic ingredient and meets farming standards.
Stage 3 is for children ten months and older. This is the stage to move to when the baby seems to be hungry all the time.
By this time, babies usually eat lots of solid foods too, so this formula is a nutritional boost for them.
Stage 3 formula is a large calorie intake designed to make it easier for babies to maintain their body weight and activity levels.
Stage 4 is rarely needed, but for children over one year that still need the nutritional boost and the extra calories, it is available. It’s extremely calorie dense, with lots of carbohydrates and fats.
SHOULD I MOVE UP IN THE STAGES?
Yes. As a child grows and changes, so do his nutritional requirements. To ensure your baby is getting all of the nutrients he needs to grow and thrive, we recommend you use the stage of formula that corresponds with his age. Formula manufacturers like Holle, Lebenswert, HiPP and Loulouka have spent many years perfecting formulations to ensure every stage of your baby’s dietary needs is met.
THERE IS NOT MUCH DIFFERENCE IN THE LATER STAGES THAT WOULD WARRANT A SWITCH ON A SPECIFIC DATE. YOU CAN MOVE FORWARD, OR BEHIND A FEW WEEKS.
Start a week before the date on the box. If it’s time to go to stage 2 at 6 months, a week before she turns 6 months, start on the new formula. Since every baby’s different, it’s not an exact science. Giving her more energy will help her grow and get active faster. Consult your pediatrician to ensure your baby is healthy, but otherwise, the age guidelines are just guidelines.
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