When breastfeeding is not possible, a commercial infant formula product can be used as an alternative to breast milk until the baby is 1 year old.
Choosing how to feed your baby is an important decision. If you are thinking about using formula, you should talk with your midwife, doctor, or nurse first to make sure it is the right choice for you.
When breast milk is not available, a dairy-based infant formula (made from cow’s, goat’s or sheep milk) is the next best choice for most babies. Research suggests that no particular infant formula offers benefits over any other.
Before buying a commercial infant formula, check the label for the appropriate age group to be fed to and the use-by date. Infant formula that is past its use-by date is not safe to feed a baby.
Infant formula must be prepared and stored carefully to minimise the growth of any bacteria that could harm the baby. Carefully follow the instructions on the formula tin.
If you have made a decision to use infant formula, read the booklet Feeding Your Baby Infant Formula. It contains information about preparing and using infant formula. It will tell you:
- what equipment you need
- how to prepare formula safely
- how to bottle-feed your baby.