The best choice for any baby is always breastmilk. If exclusive breastfeeding is not possible up to 6 months of age, or only breastmilk as a main drink, together with solids from around the middle of the first year, then the only other 'milk' your baby should recieve, is infant formula.
If a baby is put onto infant formula either instead of, or in conjunction with, breastfeeding, then the formula to go for should always be a 'first stage' one, as the whey-dominant protein structure is the least stressful on the baby's digestive system, will produce the most natural looking poo and is nutritionally complete. Which one you choose is up to each individual parent to decide, based on which added ingredients that the parent thinks are most desireable.
Whey based formulas are formulae made using more protein from whey than from casein, and are intended for use from newborn to twelve months.
Every manufacturer assures us that their milks are nutritionally complete, and that babies should not be moved onto other sorts of milks without medical advice, nor should they be changed from one brand to another without good reason.
The major brands of so-called 'first stage' infant milk, are made by Milupa, Cow and Gate, SMA, and Hipp, and are known as Aptamil First, Cow and Gate First, SMA First and Hipp Organic, respectively.
Each manufacturer makes different claims about their milks, and the effects that various ingredents may have, but it is important to note that the research supporting these claims is often undertaken by individuals in the pay of the various companies. This is not to say that the research is unfounded, only to say caveat emptor
- or 'buyer beware': use normal common sense when believing what big companies' marketing hype tells you!
In addition, some specialist formula
have a 100% whey basis: see the relevant pages for more information.