Aptamil 3 - ok before 6 months?

(24 Posts)
mustardtomango Thu 27-Feb-14 13:42:21

Lo is 5 months and keen on food, watches everything, can sit up and guides everything towards his mouth.

Hv has said he's nearly ready to be weaned, which I agree with, but he's obviously under 6 months. In line with this (I guess) he seems hungrier more, and to help that I thought I'd give a bottle of ff once a day, probably at bedtime as he cluster feeds a bit in the evening and I'm not sure there's actually much milk left in me when he finally goes to bed. I want to include this within the 'food' element of his day, I'll keep breastfeeding too.

So, can I give him the Aptamil 3? It says 6 months + but is the only one I could see that looked appropriate (ie best for weaning).

Any guidance, or other advice about the process, appreciated x

TheScience Thu 27-Feb-14 13:45:23

The NHS recommend using only first stage milk until 12 months, when they can have cow's milk.

Follow on milks are less strictly regulated than first milk, and were basically invented to get around the rules on advertising breastmilk substitutes. Follow on milks also have more iron in them which isn't easily digestible and can make babies constipated.

mustardtomango Thu 27-Feb-14 13:47:23

Ah OK, so it'd be better to get the first milk one?

TheScience Thu 27-Feb-14 13:50:26

Yep, first milk is less likely to upset his stomach. There are cheaper brands than aptimal though.

mustardtomango Thu 27-Feb-14 13:57:01

Thanks - we're only just beginning here, have yet to learn plenty I think

Presumably there's some benefit to the added iron?

TheScience Thu 27-Feb-14 14:05:56

It looks good on the adverts with a ridiculous oversized beaker of milk grin And then once one manufacturer claims "extra iron!!" all the others feel they have to keep up.

mustardtomango Thu 27-Feb-14 14:08:26

I hate how you have to navigate this lot - I know marketing etc is important, but really everyone should at least pretend to have the good of the child at heart!

Will return the milk and swap for the first milk stuff.

Is there a particular brand you'd recommend? It's just a sea of labels when I try to decifer between them

poopooheadwillyfatface Thu 27-Feb-14 14:12:30

The ingredients are regulated by law, so they are all extremely similar indeed. No one milk is better than another.

But if he is breastfed whenever he wants and starting food, there's no reason you need to introduce a formula milk? It may well be more straightforward to carry on as you are - starting solids can have all sorts of interesting effects on poo and constipation etc without adding formula into the mix too grin

mustardtomango Thu 27-Feb-14 14:18:20

It would be simpler to stick to breastfeeding and actual food, but I'd read that it takes them a while to eat properly, and before then he's still just on me.

Though thinking about it, perhaps that extra hunger is meant to be an impetus towards eating? I feel like I should have studied this more smile

TheScience Thu 27-Feb-14 14:20:28

Different brands suit different babies. Cow&Gate and Aptimal are made by the same company but Aptimal is marketed as their "premium" brand so is more expensive. Some people prefer SMA, and I have a feeling that Hipp might be the only vegetarian one if that's important.

noblegiraffe Thu 27-Feb-14 14:22:11

If you keep bfing and give less than 500ml formula a day then you need to give a vitamin supplement (recommended from 6 months up to age 5). Supermarkets sell these, just make sure it's suitable for babies.

I dont think Hipp is vegetarian any more as they added fish oils

mustardtomango Thu 27-Feb-14 14:26:50

Thanks thescience, I am vegetarian so that's great to know

Re the vitamins, could you tell me any more about that? Know the Hv had said the same in the early days but struggling to see the link between a small amount of formula and needing extra vits

all children between 6 months and 5 years are advised to supplement vitamins A,C and D unless they are taking more than 500mls of formula per day as the vitamins are added to the formula.

just to reiterate, Hipp is no longer vegetarian as they added fish oils

TheScience Thu 27-Feb-14 14:29:38

Formula already has a vitamin supplement added, so you don't need an additional vitamin supplement if you have enough formula. I have a feeling it's only really vitamin D that is vital though as it's really hard to get enough through a normal diet and exposure to sunlight in this country.

poopooheadwillyfatface Thu 27-Feb-14 14:29:46

Formula already has vitamins added. All children are recommended a vitamin supplement from 6m to 5y but if they are on 500ml of formula a day you can skip the supplement because it's already added to the milk.

mustardtomango Thu 27-Feb-14 14:32:48

Ah, so it sounds like it's rooted more in the age - if he's under 6 months and predominantly getting breast milk it sounds like less of an issue.

Whilst we're on it, can anyone recommend a brand for the vitamins? Drops would be easiest

TheScience Thu 27-Feb-14 14:38:37

Are there any veggie formulas left now, or are they all fishy? It didn't really bother me too much as we aren't vegetarian, but SMA did smell off-puttingly fishy for milk confused

mustardtomango Thu 27-Feb-14 14:42:51

Oh gross, I didn't even consider it'd have a smell...

MigGril Thu 27-Feb-14 14:44:37

Is there a reason you feel the need to add formula?

You said he cluster feeds this is normal and as he demands more milk you'll make more. Feeling not full is also normal with established breastfeeding as supply and demand is fully established you no longer feel full as you are not over producing milk. Mum's at this point often see less leaking or no leaking at all and breast size can reduce to, this is all totally normal for established feeding and no indication of a reduction in supply.

Of cause if you are adding in formula for returning to work then that's fine to. But they don't need to have it you can skip it add food and go straight to cows milk at one. I'd also stick to first stage formula to as others have said that is all the NHS recommends.

mustardtomango Thu 27-Feb-14 14:51:47

Mainly it's because he feeds so often in the late afternoon and early evening and he seems to get a bit frustrated. Interesting what you say about swelling, I had linked that up and counted it toward him not getting enough.

I've heard so many horror stories that I'm probably a bit paranoid... He's growing really well, up to 83rd ish centile, and don't want to inhibit him - but then I guess the fact he's there credits bf.

Maybe I'm over thinking it

TheScience Thu 27-Feb-14 14:55:50

From about 5 or 6 months I stopped ever feeling full. It's definitely true that your body learns to just meet demand. If he's a big baby then that is evidence he's getting all he needs, not evidence he needs anything else.

MigGril Thu 27-Feb-14 15:01:42

Sounds like breastfeeding has been going really well then. well done.

He could just be going through a growth spurt and needing more milk at the moment. Just keep offering, once you introduce solids his demand should drop a little but it does normally take a few months to kick in. Although each baby is different and some take a lot of solids early on.

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