As a parent, you begin making choices for your baby before they’re even born. From diapers and wipes to clothing and toys, the decisions are plentiful, if pint-sized. In a sea of options, organic brands stand out among the competition. Made with purer ingredients and fewer steps, they’re a reassuring pick that you can feel good about.
Loulouka is one of those brands. A Dutch company launched in 2019, its line of infant formula is reliable and nutrient-rich. Yet, for the uninitiated, it can also be a little overwhelming. There are three stages of formula to shop, and each is designed for a different stage in your baby’s development.
With these Loulouka stages explained, you can choose the right product, at the right time. Today, we’re breaking them down and sharing what each is meant to do.
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Introduction to Loulouka
The Loulouka brand is the brainchild of a surprising trio: three men named Peter, Christiaan, and Michael.
Based in the Netherlands, all three have worked for years in the baby food industry and struggled to find a formula with a clean ingredients list that newborns would actually like. They joined forces and formed the company in 2016, officially launching the Loulouka line of formulas and baby food pouches in 2019.
The Main Differences Between Loulouka Stage 1, Stage 2, vs Stage 3
The main differences between Loulouka Stage 1, Stage 2, vs Stage 3 are:
- Stage 1 is made for newborns to six months of age, whereas Stage 2 is made for six months to one year and Stage 3 is made for 10 months onward
- Stage 1 contains only lactose, whereas Stage 2 and Stage 3 contain lactose and maltodextrin
- Stage 1 contains 0.7 mg iron, whereas Stage 2 and Stage 3 contain 1 mg
What’s Included in the Formula?
While each stage of Loulouka formula is different, they all have one primary ingredient in common: organic whole milk produced in Switzerland.
Why would a Dutch company outsource its milk production outside of its home country? Put simply, because the milk is better there. The Swiss government has strict quality regulations in place to ensure that the milk production process is as humane and transparent as possible.
To this end, the cows that produce Loulouka’s milk are fed mostly natural grass and hay and are raised on organic farms. National standards dictate that they must also be given a name, and cannot be fed with any type of controversial, critical antibiotics.
Not only are the livestock are treated respectfully, but the raw milk is also handled with extreme care, undergoing more than 50 individual quality checks before it’s deemed ready. From there, it’s transported to warehouses in the Netherlands.
When you’re nourishing your child in their first year of life, details like this matter.
Benefits of Choosing Loulouka
Before we dive into the nitty-gritty details, let’s take a closer look at a few more benefits you can expect from this brand. In a sea of competition, why should you give Loulouka a closer look?
European Organic Certified
The European Union (EU) Organic Loop was founded in 2010. It’s a simple logo that consists of 12 white stars designed in a loop, set against a chartreuse background.
When you see it on a product, you know that it meets the EU’s stringent standards for organic farming. It’s part of a greater campaign meant to make it easier for shoppers to identify organic products online and on grocery store shelves. It also empowers farmers to market such products across the entire EU.
Displaying this logo on their packaging means that an authorized control agency or body labeled Loulouka’s formula as certified organic. Their ingredients met stringent standards concerning the way they are:
In other words, it’s physical proof that you’re holding an organic product. In today’s marketplace, it’s all too easy for unscrupulous brands to slap that term on their labels to earn a second glance from shoppers, without actually following through on such claims. With Loulouka, you never have to worry if you’re being duped.
The skimmed cow’s milk used in Loulouka’s formula contains all of the natural proteins that your baby needs in those critical first months. One ingredient you won’t find? Soy.
While alternative milk have grown in popularity recently, researchers believe that an excessive amount of soy isoflavones in infancy could contribute to long-term health risks that affect your baby’s sexual, immune, and brain development. With Loulouka, you can rest assured there’s no:
- Soy oil
- Soy protein
- Soy lecithin
Made With Coconut Oil
In addition to milk, each Loulouka formula also contains traditional coconut oil, which is deemed more sustainable and environmentally friendly than the palm oil you’ll find in some similar brands, including Holle. Not only is coconut oil an excellent, healthy fat source, but it’s also high in medium-chain triglycerides, which aid in absorption.
For years, formula manufacturers stuck closely to palm oil, citing its similarity to palmitic acid, which is the major saturated fatty acid found in breastmilk. While palm oil is safe and contains valuable nutrients (vitamin E and beta-carotene), it can cause digestive issues for sensitive babies.
Its use is also controversial due to the fact that producing palm oil requires deforestation and contributes to the decline of biodiverse habitats.
Lactose, or milk sugar, is the primary carbohydrate found in milk. While some babies are lactose-intolerant, most can digest it easily.
To save money and cut costs, some brands will supplement or even replace lactose with different, cheaper carbohydrates, including:
- Corn syrup
- Brown rice syrup
Though Stages 2 and 3 of the Loulouka formula contain supplemental maltodextrin, the majority of the carbs are still derived from lactose. In this case, maltodextrin is used merely as a thickening agent.
All Three Loulouka Stages Explained
Whether you’ve got a hearty eater on your hands or you’re struggling to find a formula your baby will love, Loulouka can come to your rescue.
As you navigate their website, you’ll quickly learn that there are three different stages of formula to shop. These include:
- Loulouka Stage 1: Infant Formula
- Loulouka Stage 2: Follow-on Formula
- Loulouka Stage 3: Follow-on Formula
When you’re ready to start a feeding session, you don’t exactly have time to dissect fine-print details. While it’s always best to consult your child’s pediatrician before beginning any type of bottle-feeding plan, here are the key points to know.
Loulouka Stage 1: Infant Formula
As its name implies, Stage 1: Infant Formula is made to be used right from birth. There are 900 total grams of powdered formula in the container.
New moms can choose to use it totally in place of breastfeeding, or in combination with it. It’s an ideal supplement to invest in, as you can use it all throughout your baby’s first year. Most other brands require you to transition to various stages, which can get complex and confusing.
Gentle on your baby’s tummy, this formula is easy to digest and contains all the essential nutrients they need, including:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
In terms of carbohydrates, you’ll find 100% lactose in Stage 1. The formula also contains 0.7 mg of iron.
To prepare the formula, you’ll combine the following ingredients:
- 1-4 weeks: 90 ml of water plus 3 measuring spoons of formula = 100 total ml per day (6-7 bottles)
- 4-8 weeks: 120 ml of water plus 4 measuring spoons of formula = 135 total ml per day (5-6 bottles)
- 2-3 months: 150 ml of water plus 5 measuring spoons of formula = 165 total ml per day (5-6 bottles)
- 3-5 months: 180 ml of water plus 6 measuring spoons of formula = 200 ml per day (4-5 bottles)
- 5-6 months: 210 ml of water plus 7 measuring spoons of formula = 230 ml per day (4-5 bottles)
The Stage 1 container includes 900 grams of powdered formula.
Loulouka Stage 2: Follow-On Formula
Stage 2: Follow-on Formula is meant for babies aged six months onward. If you’re planning to use the formula as a supplement to breastfeeding, Stage 1 is required during the first six months.
However, after you reach that half-year milestone, you’re free to switch to Stage 2 if you prefer. If your little one has started exploring soft fruits and veggies, it can be a great addition to their varied diet.
Besides trying something new, why would you want to switch to Stage 2 before your baby’s first birthday? Some parents prefer this option due to the slightly higher iron count (1 mg vs. 0.7 mg), as well as the addition of nearly 15 mg of DHA. This stage Yet also delivers a slightly higher dose of many essential minerals, including calcium, chloride, and fluoride.
Standing for Docosahexaenoic acid, DHA contains many powerful health benefits for children, including:
- Supports healthy brain development
- Supports the growth and maturation of retinas
- Could reduce the risk of ADD/ADHD
Stage 2 also contains maltodextrin and lactose, rather than pure lactose. This makes the formula slightly thicker in consistency but doesn’t add significant nutritional benefit.
To prepare the formula, you’ll combine the following ingredients:
- 6-8 months: 180 ml of water plus 6 measuring spoons of formula = 200 total ml per day (4 bottles)
- 8 to 10 months: 180 ml of water plus 6 measuring spoons of formula = 200 total ml per day (3 bottles)
- 10 months onward: 180 ml of water plus 6 measuring spoons of formula = 200 total ml per day (3 bottles)
Like Stage 1, the container includes 900 grams of powdered formula.
Loulouka Stage 3: Follow-on Formula
Stage 3: Follow-on Formula is ideal for babies 10 months old and up. As with Stage 2, it’s not safe to use as a substitute for breastfeeding in the first six months.
If you’re planning to use the formula in toddlerhood, this is a great place to start. It has the same amount of iron as Stage 2 (1 mg) and also contains DHA, as well as maltodextrin. It also contains just a few more calories than the other two stages, but this uptick is necessary and natural as your child grows.
While it contains the same vitamins as Stage 2, essential mineral levels are increased just slightly, though iron stays the same at 1 mg.
To prepare the formula, you’ll combine the following ingredients:
- 10 months onward: 180 ml of water plus 6 measuring spoons of formula = 200 total ml per day (2 bottles)
Want to get right to the point? Here’s a quick table to help you break down the differences between Loulouka Stage 1, Stage 2, and Stage 3 Formula.
|Stage 1: Infant Formula||Stage 2: Follow-on Formula||Stage 3: Follow-on Formula|
|Suitable Ages||Birth to 1 year||Six months to 1 year||10 months onward|
|Essential vitamins||C, E, A, D, B, K, folic acid||C, E, A, D, B, K, biotin, folic acid||C, E, A, D, B, K, biotin, folic acid|
|Essential minerals||44.8 mg calcium, 47.4 mg chloride, 7.7 mg fluoride, 0.7 mg iron||60.8 mg calcium, 50 mg chloride, 8.1 mg fluoride, 1 mg iron||78.4 mg calcium, 60.2 mg chloride, 7 μg fluoride, 1 mg iron, 47.6 mg phosphorous|
|Carbohydrates||Lactose||Lactose, maltodextrin||Lactose, maltodextrin|
|Grams per container||900||900||900|
How Do I Prepare the Formula?
The amount of water and formula you’ll need to feed your baby will vary by their age, and we’ve described the specifics in each of the stages below. However, you’ll follow the same basic four steps each time.
- Wash your hands and thoroughly clean your bottle, ring, and teat. This requires boiling the parts for three to five minutes before use.
- Boil your required amount of freshwater. Allow it to cool to approximately 40 to 50 degrees Celsius. Pour half of that water into your bottle.
- Take the measuring spoon provided inside the container and measure out the amount of milk powder you need. Use the edge to scrape it level. Add that powder to the bottle, then close and shake it well.
- Add the remaining water. Shake the bottle again until everything is dissolved. Once it reaches a safe drinking temperature (about 37 degrees Celsius), you’re ready to start feeding! Be sure to test it first to make sure it’s not too hot.
Answer: There are three main types of baby formula on the market. These include:
• Liquid concentrate
Powdered formula (like Loulouka) comes in a sealed container with a little scoop. You can also find packets designed for travel. You’ll need to mix it with water before feeding it to your baby.
Liquid concentrate formula is usually a little pricier than powdered formula. You’ll pour it from a container, but you still need to mix it with water before serving.
The ready-to-feed formula is already prepared and blended for you. All you have to do is pour it into your baby’s bottle. It’s the most convenient type of formula on the market, but also the most expensive.
Answer: Making a bottle now and planning to feed your baby a little later?
If you’re keeping it at room temperature, it’s best to schedule the feeding within two hours to avoid spoilage. If you prepare a bottle and store it in the back of the fridge, it will last for up to 24 hours. Don’t freeze prepared formula.
Answer: Generally, it’s fine to switch your baby’s formula to a different brand, as long as you go with the same type. For instance, Loulouka would be a safe and healthy swap if you’re already using another iron-fortified brand made with cow’s milk.
On the other hand, if your baby is used to a soy-based formula or a protein hydrolysate formula, talk to their pediatrician for guidance on how to comfortably make the transition. Some babies cannot tolerate cow’s milk as a protein base or may have a protein allergy.
Answer: No. The Loulouka formula is only available in a 900-gram powdered container. The company also manufactures a line of baby food pouches for children six months and older.
Answer: Loulouka formula is not FDA-approved in the United States. However, it is available online through multiple distribution channels. This article explains the FDA’s current process for regulating and approving infant formulas.
Organic Formula For Every Baby Stage
You don’t have to go organic in every aspect of your baby’s life. However, a formula like Loulouka offers an excellent foundation for their early growth and development. Whether you’re rocking a newborn, a 1-year-old, or any age in between, there’s a product stage meant for you.
This guide to Loulouka stages explained all the details you need to make a smart, informed comparison. Filled with wholesome Swiss milk and coconut oil, the formula contains all the nutritious ingredients you’d want for your baby, without any of the additives or preservatives you don’t.
As you navigate this exciting, tiring, beautiful season of life, we’ve got you covered. We’ve reviewed the best gear, furniture, accessories, and food products for your little one.
Looking for the best bottles as you begin your feeding journey? Check out our guide to find the best ones for your baby!