If you decide to formula feed your baby it is important that for the first year of your baby's life, that he or she only receives first milk formula. After the first year your baby can progress to full fat cow's milk. Babies do not require follow on milks.

We suggest that you responsively bottle feed your baby.

  • when he shows feeding cues
  • limit the number of people who feed your baby
  • hold baby in close
  • look into baby’s eyes
  • pace the feed, watching out for when baby needs a break or has had enough

Ideally your baby’s first feed should be carried out with baby skin to skin. There are benefits to carrying out skin to skin feeding throughout the postnatal period.

Prior to discharge from hospital you will receive a copy of the NHS Scotland Formula Feeding booklet. This will provide guidance on how to prepare formula safely and how to sterilise your feeding equipment. It is extremely important to follow recommended guidance as babies can become unwell if feeds are made incorrectly or by using equipment that has not been sterilised properly.

For reassurance that bottle feeding is going well use this checklist. If you have any concerns then please contact your midwife or health visitor.

For accurate and unbiased information about all formula available in the UK, visit the First Steps Nutrition website.