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Does the composition of formula brands change in different countries?

(9 Posts)
rockdoctor Sat 12-Jul-08 15:54:10


I am currently on holiday in Portugal, staying at my mil's for a month. DD is 6 months and I have been mixed feeding for the past month or so. Her preferred formula is Aptamil First and I brought one carton of powder with me from the UK. When she finished that I bought a carton in a local supermarket here and it seems to be completely different - for example it is much harder to mix, particularly if I use hot water as you're meant to. To add to the confusion, there are also two different types of "First" marketed over here. Does anyone know if the recipe for formula brands changes depending where you are in the world? I thought it was highly regulated but DD is pretty fussy and I'm starting to regret not having brought a month's supply with me.

Olihan Sat 12-Jul-08 16:01:17

They are different, depending on the country. Something to do with whether they are whey or casein based, afaik.

I think normal infant formula in the UK is casein based, and the hungry baby stuff is whey based. But a lot of European formula is whey based.

Will she not drink the portugese stuff? Despite what the packaging says, you can mix and match formulas with no harm to the baby.

rockdoctor Sat 12-Jul-08 16:09:57

Thanks Olihan, that makes a lot of sense. She's drinking the Portuguese milk and thriving on it but I was surprised that it looked so different. I just wanted some reassurance I hadn't got a bad batch or something.

Olihan Sat 12-Jul-08 16:19:48

It's very different, isn't it. We had similar issues on holiday when dd was 6mo and I didn't take quite enough with me. She didn't seem to mind it though, and switched back with no problems when we got home.

Enjoy the rest of your holiday smile.

tiktok Sat 12-Jul-08 23:55:06

No, Olihan - you have it the wrong way round

Whey-dominant formula is usually marketed as suitable from birth; casein-dominant is usually marketed as 'hungry' baby milk, though it is permitted to be marketed for use from birth.

Formulations of milk change from country to country. It's because different countries have different regulations about what is safe and acceptable. They're still basically the same stuff, though.

Flibbertyjibbet Sun 13-Jul-08 00:08:21

When we took ds1 to visit my sister in Spain aged 6m, we bought follow on milk locally. It smelled of vanilla like ice cream, the ingredients included sugar and flavourings.

So I would say yes the recipes must be different probably depending on what they can get away with!

BTW the area of spain my sister lives and works in (her children are all completely spanish) is a major city but not too touristy, very traditional spanish. The norm is bf. Can you imagine them trying to market something as 'closest to breastmilk' like they do here, if its full of sugar and vanilla flavourings? My 20 year old niece was surprised at us buying the stuff, she said its bad for babies.... so if thats the thought of someone who isn't even a mother yet then no wonder the bf rates are high over there!

Olihan Sun 13-Jul-08 08:44:12

Tiktok, I was umming and ahhing over which way round it was - 'twas a while ago that I last used formula. I just knew it was the opposite to here smile.

tiktok Sun 13-Jul-08 09:39:12

I don't think so, Olihan - you mean whey dominant is targeted at hungry babies abroad and casein is targeted at newborns? I can't think why that would be. Whey dominant is the 'modified' version of formulas, because the protein is changed from the cows milk base.

I have not heard of the marketing being the opposite, and I always look at formula when I am shopping abroad

rockdoctor Sun 13-Jul-08 11:45:09

I know what you mean about the follow on milk Flibbertyjibbet. We are in a fairly rural part of the country staying with dh's family. I don't know about bf rates beyond six months but the milk and ready-made purees sold as "follow-on" or weaning foods are packed full of sugar and preservatives. Fortunately mil is providing a constant supply of freshly made "soup" for dd and I am still able to give a couple of bf a day. Certainly for anyone travelling with younger ff babies I would recommend bringing your own formula with you.

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