Last week, The Boy with No Name had his 10 month check. And I had one of the most knowledgeable, nice nurses I’ve met. Here’s 8 things you might not know (and the manufacturers probably don’t want you to know).
1. Aptamil, Cow & Gate and SMA are basically the same product. So what’s the difference then? Marketing. Aptamil is aimed at middle class parents and is slightly more expensive than, say, Cow & Gate. But really, they all contain the same measure of the same nutrients. Changing over could save you up to £78 a year. Which is a new changing bag or pair of shoes, right?
2. Stage 1 formula milks can actually be used for the entire first 12 months. The main reason there are other stage milks is because formula companies aren’t allowed to advertise stage 1 milks. So advertising follow on milks is the only way to get their name out there. Clever.
3. Hungry baby milks can be hard to digest. Because they are mostly based on casein rather than whey, which can cause large, relatively indigestible curds to form in the stomach. The higher casein content is intended to make the baby feel full for longer. But there is no evidence that babies settle better or sleep longer if given these milks. And I don’t know about you, but ‘indigestible curds?’ They sound gross. I wouldn’t order them if they were on the menu.
4. Not all baby carriers are created equal. Carriers, which make the baby dangle from the hips, such as the popular Baby Bjorn can be bad for the baby’s hips. Instead choose a sling that supports the baby from knee pit to knee pit such as Ergo, Manduca and Patapum. Check whether you have a ‘sling library’ nearby where you can borrow various types and decide which is best for you. (So glad I know this now, 3 Bjorn Babies later… Eek.)
5. Plug socket covers damage your plug sockets. Which ultimately make them more dangerous for your kids. Who knew? Thank goodness I no longer have to fanny around trying to get them in and out anymore. I’d practically given up hoovering because of them. Ha ha.
6. Encouraging your baby to feed themselves teaches them portion control. Some babies will never say no when spoon-fed. I have one of those babies. You should see his thighs. And his cankles.
7. Let your baby soak up a few minutes of sun before you whack on the factor 50. Because vitamin D is important in helping the absorption of calcium and other nutrients. Putting them on a sun lounger with shades and tanning oil is a step too far.
8. One toothpaste fits all. If you’re in a low fluoride water area, you can use adult toothpaste on your baby’s teeth. Yes, I was amazed too. Preferred brands are Colgate and Oral B, as long as these aren’t whitening or other treatment toothpastes. Always check the packaging and if it specifically says don’t use on children under 7 years, then don’t. Of course if you prefer to have different age toothpastes for everyone in your family, go ahead. It does make packing to go away so much more fun.