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SMA vs Aptamil and powder vs readymade - please help!

(22 Posts)
stillhere Fri 17-Oct-08 11:10:15

Hi - I have a 6 week old DS who is exclusively FF and was originally giving him readymade SMA but then started occasionally using readymade Aptamil to see how he took to it. I think he will eat us out of house and home if I only feed him readymade Aptamil as it's only available in 200ml cartons, which is pretty much one feed, so I wanted some advice or feedback from the lovely Mumsnetters on:

(a) the advantages, if any, of Aptamil over SMA from your experience - I've had loads of people anecdotally mention that their MW/HV/nursery recommends Aptamil but I don't know why. One of the reasons we tried Aptamil was to see if it eased his gripey stomach, and I think it is marginally better on Aptamil (and he's slightly less posset-y, I think), but I'm not convinced that the milk affects it much, and it might just be developmental. (He's not that bad anyway, and certainly a less sicky baby than his elder brother was.) The only other difference I noticed with Aptamil was that the bottle and any remaining milk post-feed was jam packed with bubbles, like a big old fashioned milkshake - what's that all about?! Apologies for ignorance here.

(b) the best way of managing powder feeds - we fed DS1 with readymade SMA throughout, mainly for convenience, but also because when we tried powder feeding (using the correct ratio) it didn't look very appetising. Advice on decent powder feeding welcome - what equipment do I need to buy and how you manage the making up of feeds etc - it's all very easy with readymade so I'm a bit of a novice here. Our plan might be to do the powder feeds during the day and readymade at night.

Big thanks in advance!

tiktok Fri 17-Oct-08 11:49:07

stillhere, there is new(ish) guidance on making up powder feeds in leaflet form - your HV shd have a copy or someone might post a link here to where you can download the very same DH leaflet.

HCPs often recommend Aptamil, but it's really because of the heavy marketing of this product to HCPs - there is no evidence any one can assess independently that Brand X is better than Brand Y. I think the granulations of Aptamil are slightly different size to SMA - from memory, it's less powdery, but I may have that wrong. This might account for the frothy residue

No one should be recommending any product over another (though of course they can share their experience) - makes me cross that some HCPs think they are offering objective advice

GiraffeAHolic Fri 17-Oct-08 11:51:12

Hi, DD was FF from 11 weeks, she was on Cow and Gate (hated it), Farleys (discontinued angry), and then SMA.

She'd only been on SMA about a week when she started suffering from horrendous constipation.

We switched to Aptamil Hungry and she was 100% better, pooing regularly and a lot less windy.

We used the normal powder for feeds at home
and cartons when out.

TBH we found Aptamil less 'bubbly' than the others, it foams when you shake it hot but settles as it cools.

For night feeds we filled a Thermos with boiled water and made up fresh feeds as required, cooled quickly under cold tap.

One thing I will say is that although DD is fantastic on the powder, the Aptamil cartons make her quite sicky and this (and their cost blush) is the reason we only use them when necessary.

Sorry it's quite long but hope that helps somehow grin

GiraffeAHolic Fri 17-Oct-08 11:52:54

Oh and my HVs wouldn't recommend any brands due to promoting breastfeeding (which I tried with all my might) but when I said about the constipation with SMA I was given a knowing glance and a "Uh huh" hmm

stealthsquiggle Fri 17-Oct-08 12:08:34

I know they are not supposed to recommend anything, but all the health professionals I know who FF used Aptamil so I went for that for DS - it suited him fine so I used the same for DD.

Ready-made Aptamil will cost you a fortune - we used to fill bottles with boiled water and put them in the fridge, add powder as needed (get one of the dispensing pots - mothercare do them amongst others - saves trying to count scoops of powder at 3am) and then heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds. I know you are not supposed to do that but as long as you shake the bottle afterwards there is no real risk of hot spots.

DS would only ever take the powder mix when warm, but would drink the ready-made cold, so I did buy cartons for when we were out - with DD I had cartons for emergencies only - would put a bottle of boiling water in a cool bag when we went out and it would still be warm when needed.

crumpet Fri 17-Oct-08 12:11:47

We used HIPP organic, to throw in a third alternative.

On the convenience side, we have a couple of those little cartons divided into 3 sections, so measured out the day's feeds in advance, then made them up on the spot as needed.

stillhere Fri 17-Oct-08 12:12:16

Thanks tiktok - will try to find that leaflet online and GiraffeAholic the thermos sounds like the right way forward. Interesting feedback from you on the different brands. I think we might have a few days of SMA then have a bit of an experiment with Aptamil in both forms for a concentrated period before we make our mind up. Interesting to hear about Cow and Gate too, although I guess everyone's LO will react differently to different products? I haven't actually asked my HV but will do next time I'm in baby clinic. Thanks for sharing!

CuppaTeaJanice Fri 17-Oct-08 12:15:48

I was advised against SMA as it is thick & gloopy and sometimes causes constipation.

We've always used Cow & Gate. DS prefers the powder to readymade (readymade is a funny colour too, a bit grey-ish).

Don't bother with hungry baby formula though. Again - constipation.

stealthsquiggle Fri 17-Oct-08 12:21:37

something like this is what you need - they have changed the design since we bought ours. We ended up with several so that we could go away for a few days without hauling a big tub of milk powder.

flourybaps Fri 17-Oct-08 12:31:39

If Im getting this wrong then I apologise but as far as I understand it when mixing formula you are supposed to do it when water has cooled to no less than 70 degrees (less than half an hour since kettle boiled) so not sure practically how to use those powder dispenser thingys?

When out and about I tend to take a sterilised bottle and a carton of ready mixed formula but it is expensive

flowerybeanbag Fri 17-Oct-08 12:39:22

We used SMA readymade, it comes in the big cartons so is better value than those that only come in small ones, and less waste as well.

mollythetortoise Fri 17-Oct-08 12:44:05

i was recommended Aptamil (blue one) and so used that for both dc's and stopped at 12 months and switched to cows milk. I used to wash bottles in dishwasher, fill enough for day with boiled water and then add the powder when the feed was due. Probably not the best way to do it but worked well for me.. never tried SMA but heard from others it made their LO's constipated.

stealthsquiggle Fri 17-Oct-08 13:06:09

Pass, flourybaps - the "rules" seemed to change drastically between DS's birth and DD's and I would have to admit to not having read the smallprint too closely with DD - but she never once got an upset tum so I don't think we were doing anything too drastically wrong grin

wheniwasyoung Fri 17-Oct-08 13:07:05

Mine all had HiPP Organic powder once I had stopped breast feeding and imo and ime it is the best.

simpson Fri 17-Oct-08 18:16:11

Have tried several brands with DD. SMA gold made her terribly constipated so did hipp organic. She has been on aptamil which is was ok on but have switched to cow & gate as its cheaper and someone told me it was the same as aptamil. She is now 8mths and has been on it for 3mths now. She is on the no.1 from newborn as have heard the follow on makes babies constipated too...

cmotdibbler Fri 17-Oct-08 19:48:28

You can download the leaflet on preparing formula safely from here.

This advice was introduced in 2004, and because some babies got a very serious infection from the bacteria in milk powder - its a small risk, but not worth taking imo

flourybaps Fri 17-Oct-08 20:23:39

Thanks cmotdibbler thats really useful

Minniethemoocher Fri 17-Oct-08 20:36:31

My midwife recommended Aptamil, I always thought that it was the best formula, DD certainly did well on it and I then used the follow on milk as well.

hazeyjane Fri 17-Oct-08 20:46:18

I found Aptamil powder required more shaking than Hipp which we switched to because Aptamil gave dd2 v bad wind and poo.

I think the ready made stuff does make more bubbles(don't know why!)

I used to take a sterilised bottle, flask of near boiling water, measured out powder in an Avent container, and a sterilised bottle of cooled boiled water (huge faff, and needed a suitcase to carry it all in, but I couldn't work out a better way of feeding when out!)

stillhere Fri 17-Oct-08 22:28:45

It's fantastic to have such a range of useful and well reasoned advice - thank you!

Practical tips are really welcome, thanks - as ever, I think if I can get my head round how we'll handle it practically, it'll be okay... Interesting that there's such a diversity of opinions about Hipp/Aptamil/SMA and I'm guessing that everyone's LO will react differently anyway. I didn't even think about changing milks with DS1 when he had gripey belly blush - I think the whole parenting thing was such a shock anyway that I couldn't see the wood for the trees...

Ta for links to useful gear and DH leaflet too, which I'm trying to download now. You are all brilliant, thanks again!

pudding25 Fri 17-Oct-08 23:56:33

We mix feed. Started on Aptimal but she wasnt taking much so switched to Hipp Organic which she seems to like.

I have tasted both (and my booby milk!) and Hipp Organic, IMO, tastes nicer (quite yummy actually!grin) and much more like my booby milk than Aptimal.

simpson Sat 18-Oct-08 12:36:31

Forgot to mention in earlier post when my DD was newborn she preferred the ready made up cartons of ff and my midwife said its because they are caramelised (sp) and therefore taste a bit sweeter. You might notice that it is usually a slightly different colour than the powdered stuff when made up!!

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