Using breastmilk substitutes

If you’re thinking about using infant formula, it’s important to discuss it with your midwife, Plunket nurse, or lactation consultant.


Use an infant formula that’s right for your baby’s age.

Your midwife or Plunket nurse can tell you about preparing infant formula, the equipment required and sterilisation techniques. It’s important to make up the infant formula correctly. Follow the manufacturer’s directions.

Make up the infant formula as close as possible to feeding time.

If your baby is not breastfed, then use an infant formula as the milk source until they are 1 year of age.

Plunket supports all whānau to grow healthy tamariki. If you would like information on and support with formula feeding please have a chat with your Plunket nurse or call PlunketLine, and we will tailor advice to suit your needs. 

Cows' milk

After 1 year cows’ milk may be introduced as a drink. Cows’ milk should not be given before 1 year of age, because it contains higher levels of protein and salt than are safe for a baby’s immature kidneys. Cows’ milk doesn’t have the vitamins and minerals a growing baby needs, especially iron.

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