Why Does Organic European Baby Formula Come in Stages and What Stage Is Best for My Baby?


Baby formula is invariably a hot topic among parents and tends to come and go as often as the seasons. One thing that has remained constant despite the trends is the need for quality organic baby formula for infants of all ages.

As more people move away from synthetic formulas, GMOs, and other less than healthy local formula brands, the market for organic formulas has grown. European organic baby formula has grown in popularity due to the use of dynamic farming and the assurance of clean nutrition that comes with it.

Many families are opting to purchase European brands such as Hipp, Holle, Nanny Care and many others in lieu of local brands that may or may not have high organic production standards. If you are one of the many parents who are interested in organic European baby formula, you may be wondering about some of the labeling differences. Our blog post (here) can tell you more about the differences between organic baby formula from the EU and the US. (This) blog post will cover organic dynamic farming in depth. Below we would like to talk about the differences between the labeling for ages and how to choose the best stage for your child.

European Formula Stages

Here in the United States, most baby formula brands created formulas that are based on children’s ages. In Europe, the formula is separated into stages instead of ages. The difference is that stages refer to the phase of nutritional development the child is in as opposed to their calendar age. In many instances, the ages will align with the stage, but the designation is not firm.

The point of stages for European organic baby formula is so that what you feed your child will meet their dietary needs. Although infants may grow at a generally predictable pace, every child is still unique. As a child develops and grows, their dietary needs will change and some infants needs may change faster than others.

The nutritional needs of a newborn are much different than an infant that is a year old. Stages in European baby formula for a specific balance of fats, proteins, vitamins, and carbohydrates that is best suited to each child’s current stage of development.

Stages Defined

PRE Stage

Most European brands that offer organic baby food have a stage called “PRE”. While this is a common stage among all brands, there are a few do not offer this stage. This level of organic baby formula is the most gentle and aimed at newborn babies. Most families used this stage as a breastfeeding supplement or as a total meal for their infant in the initial months of their life. “PRE” stages have no starch which helps make digestion easier. Newborns also have lower calorie needs which makes starch essential for infants. There is no specific end age for this stage, but the recommendations are around three months of age. Some brands may include additional ALA, DHA, prebiotics, and probiotics to their formulas.

Stage One

This is the most common stage for infants from one month up to six months of age. Many families choose to use this stage for up to a year old. Stage one formula is gentle enough to mimic breast milk. Some brands eliminate starch in this stage while others include it. There are more carbohydrates in stage one formula which helps to meet the calorific needs of a growing infant. Some brands may include additional ALA, DHA, omega-6, omega-3, prebiotics, and probiotics to their stage one formulas.

Stage Two

This stage is created to meet the needs of infants older than six months. Although many families choose to continue, stage one formula, babies who have a higher calorie need or those who no longer stay satiated can be moved to stage two organic baby formula. This stage is well suited to infants who eat few or no solids, or who still need a supplement to breast milk. Some brands may include additional ALA, DHA, omega-6, omega-3, extra starches, prebiotics and probiotics to their stage two formulas.

Stage 3

This stage is for older infants, generally, those that have reached their tenth month. Families that notice their infant is not satiated after feeding them stage two formula will usually switch to stage three. This stage of organic baby formula contains a higher concentration of start and maltodextrin which will help to meet the calorie requirements of growth that comes with an older infant. Some brands may include additional ALA, DHA, palm oil, omega-6, omega-3, extra starches, prebiotics and probiotics to their stage two formulas.

Stage 4

This stage is for one year old and up. At this point, most infants will eat solid food and gain the majority of their nutritional needs from those sources. This stage is intended as a supplement to mothers' milk and regular meals to ensure there are no nutritional gaps. Some brands may include additional ALA, DHA, omega-6, omega-3, extra starches, prebiotics and probiotics to their stage two formulas.

Specialty Organic European Baby Formula

In addition to the stages listed above, some organic brands in the EU offer an assortment of specialty formulas. This can include formulas in a Hypoallergenic line, those made for premature infants and even follow on milk for toddlers.

Words From Mommy Formula

There are stages for every level of your child’s development ranging from the first day they arrive in your arms all the way to their toddler years. Organic baby formula from Europe is a smart way to ensure your child gets the clean nutrition they need without the stress of worrying about harmful ingredients. No matter how old your little one may be, we are sure to have the perfect organic baby formula from the EU to meet their dietary needs.

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