Formula Feeding

Breastfeeding is the healthiest way to feed your baby. If you decide not to breastfeed or to stop breastfeeding, it is possible to restart. Speak to your midwife if you want help to start breastfeeding. Giving infant formula to a breastfed baby will reduce your milk supply.

If you have chosen to formula feed your baby we will help you to do this as safely as possible.

The first feed after the birth of your baby

We will encourage you to give the first feed to your baby in skin contact with mother. All babies need as much skin contact as possible in the first days after birth Babies have very small stomachs when they are born and so the first feeds need to be small amounts; 10-20ml. Babies usually have small but frequent feeds.

Which formula should I use?

The brand of formula doesn’t matter. All formula milks in the UK are made to a standard and there is no milk that is better than any other. The cheapest milk is the same quality as the most expensive. It is important that you only give your baby first milk. This is the only formula milk your baby will need for the whole of the first year. When your baby is 12 months old you can use normal full fat cow’s milk. Your baby does not need follow on milks or toddler milks

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Getting to know your new baby and responding to their needs

Your baby’s brain is going to develop very rapidly in the first two years of life and there are lots of things you can do to help your baby’s brain to develop well:

  • Cuddling your baby
  • Kissing your baby
  • Responding to your baby when they cry
  • Talking to your baby
  • Making eye contact with your baby.

This will all help your baby to feel safe and secure and this will help good brain development. For more information visit

Newborn babies don’t need toys they just need their parents to respond to them.

How do I make up feed and sterilise bottles & teats?

Before you leave hospital ask your midwife to show you how to hold your baby when feeding and how to be aware of your baby’s cues that they are hungry and that they have had enough. This leaflet will also give you some information about how to follow your baby’s cues.

The following leaflet will give you information about making up feeds and sterilising bottles and teats

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