Never use cows’ milk in place of breast milk or formula

It is not safe to use cows' milk in place of breast milk or formula.

Whole cows’ milk is not suitable for babies under 12 months. Use breast milk or formula as the main drink until baby is 1 year old. Infants fed cows’ milk before 1 year of age are at particular risk of developing depleted iron stores.

Most infant formula is based on cows’ milk. The Food Standard Code for infant formula requires that infant (up to 6 months of age) formula meets the complete energy and nutritional requirements for a healthy full-term infant up to 6 months of age.

Around 6 months of age, an infant should also be receiving complementary foods.

Where to get advice

If you have questions about feeding your baby, talk to your doctor, midwife, Well Child/Tamariki Ora nurse, lactation consultant, or dietitian.

For free information and advice 24 hours a day, ring Plunketline on 0800 93 39 22 or Healthline on 0800 611 116.

Back to top