Choosing Infant Formula

Choosing Infant Formula

There are many formulas available.

There are many formulas available. There is no evidence that one company's formula is better than another's. Changing from a standard formula to a different or more expensive one is not necessary unless your midwife, doctor or nurse specifically recommends it for your baby.

Follow-on formula is labelled as being suitable for babies aged 6 months and over. This formula should never be given to babies under 6 months old and is not necessary for most babies over 6 months of age. Use the same infant formula up to 12 months, then switch to standard (dark blue top) cow’s milk.

Cow's milk formula

Formula made from cow's milk is usually recommended for healthy babies who are not breastfed. Before you buy infant formula, talk to your midwife, doctor or nurse about which cow's milk formula is best for your baby.

Soy-based infant formula

Your doctor may advise using a soy-based infant formula if your baby is allergic to cow's milk formula or is unable to tolerate it.

However, a large number of babies who are allergic to cow's milk may also be intolerant to soy. The Ministry of Health recommends using soy-based infant formula only where there is a clear medical need for it.

If you have any concerns, ask your midwife, doctor or nurse about alternatives to soy-based infant formula.

This page last reviewed 24 June 2013.
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