Infant milks
Information for parents & carers

The different types of infant formula, and other infant milks, marketed for babies and young children can seem confusing when you see lots of different ones on the supermarket shelf, but the information you need as a parent or carer is really quite simple. The majority of infants who are formula fed or mixed fed should be given a first infant milk (sometimes called first stage or stage 1 milk) throughout the first year.

All infant formula on the UK market must meet compositional regulations, so all products are perfectly ok to feed a baby. More expensive brands still have to meet the same compositional standards as cheaper brands. In this section you will find answers to questions you may have about infant formula (or other infant milks) and some information on making up infant formula safely and responsive bottle feeding. More detailed information can be found in the infant milks section for health workers.


Infant milks:
A simple guide to infant formula, follow-on formula and other infant milks

This simple guide provides a summary of infant milks suitable for use across the first 2 years of life, a series of questions and answers to explain some of the common issues that families may ask about infant milks, and provides details of how to make up milks safely. The rationale and evidence for this advice can be found in the report Infant Milks in the UK: A practical guide


What infant formula to choose

A 10 step guide


guide to bottle feeding
how to prepare infant formula and sterilise feeding equipment to minimise the risks to your baby

Guide to Bottle Feeding by UNICEF Baby Friendly and Start4life provides information on safe preparation and storage of infant milks.

It is important that infant milks are made up safely. Powdered infant formula is not sterile and needs to be made up a temperature which will kill any potential bacteria present. All equipment needs to be sterilised, and it is important to know how to make up and store milk safely.