Types of formula feeding for baby

Types of formula feeding for baby

Infants who are not breastfed should be fed infant formula for the first year of life.

Formula brands are generally divided into two types, depending on whether they are whey or casein protein dominant.

Whey-dominant formula

Whey-dominant formula has a whey to casein ratio of 60:40. These formulae are made from cow’s milk that has been modified to reflect the composition of breast milk.

Therefore, they are recommended as ‘first milks’ for babies who are not being breastfed. Whey- based formula can be used up to 1 year of age.

Casein-dominant formula

The second type of infant formula available is casein dominant. This formula, also known as ‘second milk’, has a whey to casein ratio of 20:80.

These formulae are made from cow’s milk that has been modified to reflect the protein composition in full- cream cow’s milk. These milks are marketed for hungrier babies.

Casein-based formula has a similar calorie content to whey- based formula, but the larger casein protein fraction takes longer to digest and so the baby may feel fuller or more satisfied for longer.

The third milk group available is follow-on milks; these again are made from modified cow’s milk and contain extra iron, minerals and vitamins. They have been marketed for the older baby – for an infant over 6 months of age. These milks are designed to discourage mothers from feeding unmodified cow’s milk to infants less than 1 year of age.

However, if the baby is content and gaining weight well, there is no reason to change from a first milk to a follow-on milk. When bottle-feeding, it is better to avoid constantly switching formula feeds every few months.

Frequent changes form one brand of formula milk to another is strongly discouraged, as it carries a real possibility of error in preparation and is of questionable usefulness.


After the first few days of life, formula- fed infants take up to 100mL per kilo per day (1 fluid ounce = 30mL) and may later settle on 100–120mL per kilo per day. Fruit drinks should not be given in lieu of milk feeds or at bedtime. Tea, mineral water or fizzy drinks are not suitable drinks for infants. Breast or formula milk should remain the main milk of choice for the first 12 months of life, as cow’s milk is too low in iron.

Cup drinking should be introduced from after 6–7 months of age and the limiting of bottle feeds should be commenced at this stage.

Types of formula feeding for baby

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