Bottle feeding

It’s your choice to breastfeed or use formula milk to feed your baby.

You also do not have to choose one or the other. It is possible to breastfeed and formula-feed your baby if you wish to. This is known as combination feeding, or mixed feeding.

Formula Milk

The formula milk that you can give from birth is good for your baby for the first year. All newborn formula milks are almost the same because the law says so. You should only use first milks that is based on cows’ milk for the first year. Avoid milk that is soya based, for hungry babies or comfort milk as they are not recommended. When your baby is one year old you can move on to full fat cows’ milk. There is no benefit using follow on milk.

Remember, if you give any formula to your baby, you need to do it in a safe way. Bottle feeding can increase the chances of your baby getting sick with tummy bugs. So, it’s very important that you make feeds as safely as possible. Make sure you know how to use your bottle cleaning equipment. You need to wash all feeding items with warm soapy water, rinse them well, and sterilise them before each use.

Your midwife or health visitor will show you how to safely prepare formula and feed your baby.

You can find more information about making and giving formula milk to babies on the NHS Choices website How to bottle feed – NHS (