Goat Milk vs. Cow Milk Formula: Which is Best for Your Baby?

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All parents want to provide their newborns with the best nutrition to promise healthy development. Pediatricians have proved the value of breastfeeding for a baby, but not all parents can breastfeed. In this case, caregivers must regard the best organic goat milk baby formula or cow milk formula as a healthy and nourishing alternative.

Nutrition is the first concern of a new parent who cannot breastfeed for some reason. Consequently, she or he needs to choose between a cow or goat milk formula. Both milk formulas have their advantages and disadvantages, but the difference between them is also striking.

This article explores all the pros and cons of both goat milk and cow milk formula and helps new parents decide which is best for their babies.

Goat Milk Formula: Pros and Cons to Keep in Mind

Goat milk formula has become increasingly popular in recent years as more parents seek an alternative to cow milk formula. Let’s start with the benefits of using goat milk formula for your baby:

  1. Easier to digest: Goat milk is easier to digest than cow milk because its fat globule size is smaller and its curds are softer. It means that babies who have difficulty digesting cow milk may be able to tolerate goat milk and its derivative products. 
  2. Lower in lactose: Goat milk is naturally lower in lactose than cow milk. Eventually, vulnerable organisms of babies may tolerate it and avoid digestive health issues.
  3. More similar to breast milk: Goat milk is closer in composition to human breast milk than cow milk, which means it may be a better choice for babies who are sensitive to cow milk or have trouble digesting it.
  4. Higher in nutrients: Goat milk is higher in certain nutrients than cow milk, including vitamin A, potassium, and calcium. This can be especially beneficial for premature or low birth weight babies who need extra nutrition.

Despite these indisputable benefits, parents highlight the following downsides of using goat formula.

  1. Cost: Goat milk formula can be more expensive than cow milk formula, as it is less commonly used and therefore not produced on as large a scale.
  2. Availability: Goat milk formula may be more difficult to find than cow milk formula, as it is not as widely available in stores. As a rule, only European farmers raise goats. So, such formulas are available only in the European market. 
  3. Taste: Some babies may not like the taste of goat milk formula, making it harder to transition from breast milk or cow milk formula.

Health advisors recommend a consultation with a professional who can examine a child and decide if goat’s milk suits your baby. Some parents choose hypoallergenic formulas to avoid allergies. Unfortunately, goat formula is not a panacea because it is still made of animal milk. So, only 100% vegan formula meets the needs of a baby intolerant to animal proteins.

Cow Milk Formula: Pros and Cons to Understand

Cow milk formula is the most commonly used type of formula and has been used for decades to provide nutrition to babies. Here are some of the benefits of using cow milk formula:

  1. Affordable: Cow milk formula is generally more affordable than goat milk formula, as it is produced on a larger scale and is more widely available. Moreover, cows are easier to raise, so finding raw materials for baby food manufacturers is not a problem.
  2. Nutritious: Cow milk formula is fortified with vitamins and minerals that are essential for a baby’s growth and development. So, parents don’t have to worry about the lack of some nutrients while using it.
  3. Easy to find: Cow milk formula is widely available in stores, making it easy for parents to find and purchase.

However, there are some potential downsides to using cow milk formula as well:

  1. Harder to digest: Cow milk is harder to digest than goat milk, which can lead to digestive issues for some babies.
  2. Higher in lactose: The level of lactose in cow milk is higher compared to goat milk. Consequently, lactose intolerant babies will not be able to digest it without allergic reactions and indigestion.
  3. Less similar to breast milk: Cow milk is not as similar in composition to human breast milk as goat milk, which means that some babies may have trouble digesting or being sensitive to it.

Generally, children don’t have difficulties digesting cow formula, especially when it is organic. That’s why caregivers order European organic formulas worldwide. Unlike traditional cow formulas, it doesn’t contain chemicals, sugar, antibiotics, pesticides, and GMOs, which complicate digesting and hurt a vulnerable child’s organism. So, if you choose a cow formula, it should definitely be organic.

What Brands Produce the Best Organic Cow and Milk Formulas

The best formulas are organic because they are natural and exclude ingredients that can hurt a baby. The most dangerous ingredients are:

  • sugar and artificial sweeteners
  • non-natural colorants
  • unnatural stabilizers and thickeners
  • genetically modified organisms
  • pesticides used to spray grass, plants, and vegetables to feed animals and make healthy oils
  • antibiotics and anti-parasite medications for milked animals
  • non-organic preservatives

In Europe, parents entrust the lives of their babies to the top best baby food manufacturers, such as HiPP, Holle, Kendamil, BebeM, and Löwenzahn. All of them follow strict rules of the EFSA because not everyone can get the label “organic.” Milked animals must be healthy, and they must eat healthy grass. Farmers must derive oils from vegetables and plants raised without chemicals and pesticides. Consequently, both goat and cow milk formulas from these brands are safe and nutritious.

Final Thoughts

Goat and cow milk formulas are a perfect source of micro- and micronutrients. The FDA and the EFSA control their production and safety before they appear on the shelves. Nevertheless, each one has its pros and cons. Cow milk formula is rich in nutrients but heavier for the digestive system because of high lactose levels. Goat milk formula is easier to digest because it is similar to breast milk composition but is more expensive and harder to get. Eventually, you should balance all the pros and cons and discuss the choice with a health expert to choose correctly.

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