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How to Use the Stages of Our European Baby Formulas


Here at we often get asked about the stages labeling on our European formulas. Each brand has a stage that is suitable to be used for the entire first year. However, most European formulas offer different stages to meet the varying needs of a growing baby. 

PRE Stage Formulas  

Two of our formula brands come in a PRE stage formula, HiPP and Holle cow milk formula. These special PRE formulas are particularly designed to be used in newborn, or premature infants. PRE formulas are often used when supplementation is necessary for a breastfeeding mother. If a baby is unable to be breastfed for any reason, pre formulas are a gentile way to start your newborn baby on formula. HiPP is the only one that contains probiotics. PRE is also available in the specialty hypoallergenic formula. They are also lighter and easier to digest. They don’t contain starches or maltodextrin, as newborn infants don’t have the same calorie demand that older babies have. PRE formulas are recommended for babies from newborn to 6 months of age.

Stage 1 Formulas

Stage 1 formulas are general formulas that can be used from age newborn all the way up to a year. They are the best starting point if you are weaning a breastfed baby to formula, as stage 1 formulas are gentle and as close in composition to breastmilk as possible. HiPP, and Lebenswert Stage 1 formulas do not contain any starches or maltodextrin, which may be beneficial to more sensitive babies. However, if your baby seems to be extra hungry or needs more calories, a formula with starch mat be necessary.      

Stage 2 Formulas

Stage 2 formulas are meant for babies who are 6 months and older. Though you can keep your baby on stage 1 formulas as long as you like, stage 2 formulas are more satisfying for a hungry baby. Stage 2 formulas are helpful if your baby is waking up hungry in the night or not taking very many solid foods during the day. Some stage 2 formulas also have the benefit of more iron to help support your baby’s blood supply as he grows. Stage 2 formulas can be used for as long as your baby needs formula.

Stage 3 Formulas

Stage 3 formulas are meant for babies who are 10 months and older. As with stage 2 formulas, Stage 3 formula is used when babies are no longer satisfied with their regular formula. It also has more vitamins and minerals that are appropriate for their growing body.  Stage 3 formulas can also be used as long as desired.

Stage 4 Formulas

Stage 4 formulas are the equivalent of toddler milks. They are meant to be used in babies over the age of one year, who are getting a good amount of their calories from solid foods. Though a toddler can remain on their normal formula for as long as you wish, Stage 4 formulas are specifically designed to meet the older babies caloric and nutritional needs. 

HiPP Kindermilch

HiPP has two unique formulas specifically for toddlers age 1 and up and age 2 and up. These Kindermilch formulas are flavored with vanilla and make and excellent addition to fill in the gaps of a normal diet. They are comparable to nutritional children’s drinks. However, unlike those drinks which can contain unhealthy sugars and chemicals, HiPP Kindermilchs meet the same organic standards that their other formulas meet, and contain no added sugar. If you find yourself with a picky toddler, or are not ready for switch to plain cow milk, HiPP Kindermilch is a good choice.

Whether you decide to keep your baby on stage 1 formula for his first year of life, or need something that packs a little more caloric punch, all of our European formulas will help your baby grow up healthy and strong.     

Edited and reposted from July 2016

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