Toddler Formula: Everything You Need to Know
As your baby approaches 10 to 12 months, it’s important to make sure that he or she continues to get the right nutrition to be healthy and grow. That’s why we added a suite of toddler’s formulas (Stage 3 formulas) to our collection of high-quality infant formulas.
Below, you can learn about what toddler formula is, why to consider using it, how to start using it, and the different toddler formulas available through Little Bundle.
What is Toddler Formula?
Many infant formula brands produce toddler formulas - also known as toddler milk, growing up milk, follow-on formula, or Stage 3 formula. While these formulas are similar to infant formulas, they differ in that their nutritional composition is tailored to the needs of an older baby.
Like with infant formulas, the European Commission has stricter regulations than the US’s Food and Drug Administration about what can and cannot be included in toddler’s formula. Because of this, European-produced formulas have higher-quality ingredient lists and do not contain the unhealthy additives that you will find in many formulas produced in the United States.
Why Use Toddler Formula?
While cow's milk is a viable option after a child's first birthday, Stage 3 follow-on formulas contain all of the good nutrients whole milk has to offer, in addition to other healthy supplements essential to a child's diet. For example, many toddler milks contain extra calcium, phosphorus, iron, or vitamin D.
Unlike whole cow’s milk, follow-on milks also have a taste and texture that is familiar for babies who have been formula feeding. They may be an especially beneficial option for young picky eaters or those with sensitivities or allergies.
When to Switch to Toddler Formula
Different types of growing up milk specify the different ages at which they become suitable for a child. Some variations can be used as early as 10 months, while other types begin at 12 months. Toddler formulas are also better consumed in conjunction with a healthy, varied diet of solid foods, including grains, proteins, fruits, and vegetables.
To make the transition from breast milk or infant formula to a toddler formula, we generally recommend gradually switching over throughout a period of a few weeks. You might consider mixing the new formula with the old formula or breast milk, following a schedule similar to this one:
- Day 1 & 2: 25% new formula; 75% old formula or breast milk
- Day 3 & 4: 50% new formula; 50% old formula or breast milk
- Day 5 & 6: 75% new formula; 25% old formula or breast milk
- Day 7: 100% new formula
Of course, you may need to adjust this schedule according to your child's unique needs and reactions to the change. To learn more about when and how to make the transition from breast milk or infant formula to Stage 3 or 4 formula, check out our article here.
Different Types of Toddler Formulas
HiPP Dutch Stage 3 is one of the go-to European formula options for children—especially those who have previously used HiPP Dutch Stage 2, or for those who have been breastfeed. It is comprised of a base of lactose as the main carbohydrate and added whey for an easily-digested protein source.
An excellent nutrition source for a growing child, it contains iron, calcium, and vitamin D for strong bone growth, prebiotics for a healthy gut and immune system, and omega-3s and omega-6s to support the brain, eyes, and nervous system. HiPP Dutch is free of starch, gluten, sucrose, corn syrup, GMOs, and synthetic preservatives and nutrients.
Similar in composition to HiPP Dutch, HiPP UK Stage 3 Growing Up Milk is one of our best-value products. This nutritionally-complete formula supports a toddler's cognitive development and bone growth. In addition to HiPP Dutch's supplemental ingredients, it also contains vitamins A and C.
As an EU certified organic product, it contains no soy, maltodextrin, or genetically modified nutrients, providing more essential vitamins and minerals for your toddler's growth than cow's milk.
With few, simple and clean ingredients, Lebenswert Stage 3 Follow-On Formula contains no added pre- or probiotics, DHA, or ARA, providing just the easily-digestible nutrients a growing toddler needs to complement a varied diet of solid foods. Its carefully formulated combination of organic skim milk, starch, and maltodextrin make this toddler formula thick, creamy, and filling for your child, providing them with slowly-releasing energy to sustain them for longer.
It also includes whey powder for protein and vegetable oils for healthy fats. Lebenswert formulas are free of chemical additives, genetically modified and artificial ingredients, gluten, soy, corn syrup, and sucrose.
As one of the most trusted infant formula brands in Europe, Holle produces a Stage 3 cow's milk-based formula that maintains a short ingredients list.
Created with the proper amounts of ingredients that an older baby or toddler requires, this follow-on formula contains biodynamic organic skim milk, whey, maltodextrin, starch, and vitamins and minerals such as iron, calcium, and vitamin D. It includes no added pre- or probiotics, DHA, or ARA, soy, gluten, corn syrup, or GMOs.
Comprised of organic powdered goat milk, lactose, maltodextrin, starch, and vegetable oil blends, this Holle toddler formula maintains a simple composition, adding few "extras," such as pre- and probiotics, DHA, or ARA. It also contains supplemental calcium, iron, zinc, and vitamins A, C, D, and B12. Holle Goat formula is free of GMOs, chemical additives, artificial ingredients, corn syrup, sucrose, gluten, or soy. While many babies and toddlers enjoy their cow's milk-based formula, children with sensitivities to cow's milk may tolerate goat's milk more easily. Research indicates that, with different protein quantities than cow's milk, some babies are more quickly and completely able to digest goat's milk. For this reason, Holle Goat Stage 3 Follow-On Milk may help to alleviate or eliminate certain digestive discomforts for a toddler, such as gas, constipation, or tummy pains.
To support gut and immune health, HiPP Comfort formula also includes pre- and probiotics. Other vitamins and minerals, like DHA and ARA, help maintain healthy cognitive, nervous system, and vision development. HiPP Comfort is free of corn syrup, glucose syrup, sucrose, and GMO or artificial ingredients.HiPP's Comfort Formula offers a toddler milk unique from the others listed, as it is created to be suitable for children from birth up through the toddler months, as children add solid foods to their diets. It's carefully designed with a gentle, easy-to-digest formulation to reduce symptoms of sensitive digestive systems. Composed of reduced lactose, maltodextrin, and starch as carbohydrate sources, HiPP Comfort is made to be thick, creamy, and filling. The whey proteins have been hydrolyzed—or broken down—so they are easier for a little one to digest.
The Best Growing-Up Milk for Your Child
Toddler formulas or growing-up milks are an excellent choice for parents who want to offer their child more complete nutrition than plain cow's milk can offer. It also provides a perfect way to ease into weaning, wonderfully supplementing or substituting breast milk. Change is difficult—especially for young toddlers—and our Stage 3 formulas are here to smooth the transitional phase for your little one.