Product Type: Cow & Gate food products
Newest Review: ... and I used to level off the powder with a knife!) This means you can make up a bottle one-handed (useful when holding a crying baby!... more
Member Name: karenuk
Cow & Gate Ready Made Premium First Infant Milk from Birth
Advantages: A good brand, convenient, easy to use.
Disadvantages: Not vegetarian, can cause colic.
PLEASE NOTE - I requested a new product category for Cow & Gate First Infant Milk, but Dooyoo rejected it and said I should write in this category. However, this is for the PREMIUM version (green packaging) and my review is for the standard version (red packaging). Thanks.
After recently giving birth, I had problems which meant I could only breastfeed my son for the first five days, despite having intended to exclusively breastfeed for the first six months or so. Once I knew I had to switch to bottle feeding, my partner and I had to choose a brand of formula milk to use. We bought Cow & Gate First Infant Milk because it is made by an established brand, it is suitable from birth and is easily available. You can also buy it in ready made cartons which are great for taking on day trips, much more convenient than having to make up a bottle from scratch while out somewhere.
The 900g version costs around £8 from major supermarkets and is in a distinctive red packaging with a green '1' on to signify it is a 1st stage formula milk you can use for newborns. It is a white powder which comes with its own measuring scoop and even a little 'shelf' inside which you can use to level off the powder. (In the 1990s, the scoop was loose in the packet but now it has its own holder included and I used to level off the powder with a knife!) This means you can make up a bottle one-handed (useful when holding a crying baby!) and you don't have to touch the powder at all.
You follow the instructions on the side of the packet to see how to make up the formula. The amount of bottles and the size of each one are determined by the age of your baby, so a two-week old baby would be expected to have around six feeds of 4 fl. oz. (120ml) per day. Of course, this is only a guide and your health visitor can advise you. My son has been feeding more often but not finishing many bottles, so it all works out to the right kind of total.
Despite formula feeding being very common, it isn't a straight-forward trouble-free issue for most mums. As we all know by now, breast is best and all that, but sometimes it isn't possible for women to breastfeed their babies or they choose not to. It is an individual's decision, every mum decides what is best to do for her child and as someone once said to me - by the time they're at school, no-one can pick out which kids were breastfed and which were bottlefed. So stick by your decision and don't feel guilty.
While formula milk can never exactly replicate breastmilk, the formulas are very advanced now and Cow & Gate First Infant Milk claims to be a "nutritionally complete breastmilk substitute" which includes a whole host of vitamins and minerals. The nutritional information is printed in detail on the side of the packaging, so you can check to see exactly what it contains.
Being a vegetarian for over 25 years, I was also faced with another dilemma about formula milk. My other children were born in the 1990s and it was easier to find vegetarian formula then. These days, due to the popularity of fish-based Omega 3, almost all formulas contain this, which means it is not suitable for vegetarians. I intend to bring my son up vegetarian (as my older kids are), but the two soya versions of formula milk (Wysoy and Infasoy) are not recommended by health professionals to give to babies under six months. My plan had been to breastfeed exclusively for six months before moving onto one of these soya alternatives, but as this became impossible, I had to choose - either risk a soya-based milk which my health visitor and midwife could not recommend or to start him on a non-vegetarian formula. I chose the latter, as it is more important he is healthy. Once he is six months old, he will be exclusively vegetarian, but for now, this isn't an option.
My son has done well on formula with his weight. He was 7lbs 11oz at birth then lost a whole pound in the five days I was breastfeeding him (another reason to switch to formula). Once he was on Cow & Gate First Infant Milk, he began to gain weight really well and was up to 8lbs 1oz a week later. He's now almost six weeks old and weighs 10lbs 9oz. The health visitor is pleased at his progress and development and so are we. He likes the taste, feeds well and we had no problems switching him from breastmilk to this formula.
One disadvantage we have found with this formula milk though is that my son has some problems digesting it. He is rarely sick at all, but has been bad with wind and colic, so after taking advice from our health visitor, we have decided to put him onto the Cow & Gate Comfort formula milk instead, which aids babies with constipation or colic.
Of course every baby is different, but this is our experience with the Cow & Gate First Infant Milk. To sum up the advantages and disadvantages of this product as we have found them -
Easy to find, readily available
Available in ready-made cartons
Made by an established and trustworthy brand
Contains vitamins and minerals
Can be used from birth
Easy to mix and use
Good instructions on the packaging
Convenient scoop and leveller included inside
My baby likes the taste and put weight on
Expensive (but so are all formula milks)
Can cause colic or wind
Not vegetarian, contains fish
Summary: A good formula milk overall.
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