Breast-feeding might not be possible for you or desirable. You might well opt to breast-feed initially and then switch over to bottle-feeding, or you might choose not to solely breast-feed by additionally using complementary bottle-feeding. Combining both breast-feeding and bottle-feeding should only be considered after a six-week period, because your breast-feeding by this point in time will have become fairly well established.
It is worth noting that by introducing partial bottle-feeding you might negatively affect your breast-feeding, and that reversing a decision you have made to no longer breast-feed is quite difficult.
Bottle-feeding using cow’s milk infant formula has some advantages:

  • You can allow other people to feed your baby and leave your baby with other people to catch up on lost sleep or to take a break
  • You can measure exactly how much milk your baby is drinking
  • Because formula milk is more difficult than breast milk for your baby to digest, bottle-fed babies often sleep for longer

Infant formula milks, which are nutritionally complete, are the next-best alternative to your breast milk. These formula milks contain nutrient levels that fully comply with British regulations. However, infant formula milks do not contain the antibodies that are present in your milk, and thus bottle-fed babies are more prone to infection, constipation and diarrhoea.

What are the different kinds of formula milk?

Many infant formula milks are available in ready-made cartons as a convenient alternative. However, ready-made formulas must be warmed up for babies who are less than 6 months old.

First-stage whey-based infant formula milk powder

When should this be used?

  • This should be used for bottle-feeding your baby if you have decided not to breast-feed
  • This is usually called Stage 1 milk or first milk
  • First-stage formula milk can be used as a complement to breast-feeding
  • First-stage formula milk can also be used if you are moving on from breast-feeding to bottle-feeding

What age is this suitable for?

  • From newborn and throughout baby’s first year


Second-stage infant-formula milk powder with a higher casein content
When should this be used?

You should use second-stage milk if you have chosen to bottle-feed and not to breast-feed your baby
This is usually called Stage 2 milk or second milk.
Stage 2 infant formula milks are formulated specifically for hungrier bottle-fed babies
These Stage 2 milks are not always a necessary feeding stage because Stage 1 infant formula milks might well meet all of your baby’s requirements up until he or she is ready or has reached the appropriate age for weaning


What age is this suitable for?

  • From newborn and throughout baby’s first year


Follow-on milk powder

When should this follow-on milk powder be used?

  • Follow-on milk powder can complement your baby’s weaning diet
  • Follow-on milk powder is suitable for both bottle-fed and combination-fed infants
  • Follow-on milk powder has a higher energy content and is good for more active toddlers
  • Follow-on milk powder is nutritionally tailored to meet toddlers’ needs, unlike cow’s milk
  • Follow-on milk powder can support your toddler’s immune system
  • Follow-on milk powder is easier for your toddler to digest than cow’s milk is


What age is it suitable for?

  • From 6 months to 24 months