Follow-up formula: Okay for five month old?

I breastfeed my five month old but sometimes bring a bottle of formula when I go out. Is it okay to use follow-up formula?

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Sue Gilbert

Sue Gilbert works as a consulting nutritionist. For many years she worked with Earth's Best Organic Baby Food, integrating nutrition and... Read more

Follow-up formulas were designed for babies who are six months and older to be used as a better alternative to cow's milk for the liquid part of a weaning diet. They have advantages over cow's milk in that they contain less protein, are iron-enriched and contain all necessary vitamins as defined by the World Health Organization and by the Food Agricultural Organization. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics states: "Follow-up formulas, although nutritionally adequate, offer no clear advantage for infants receiving sufficient amounts of iron and vitamin-containing solid food."

In light of this information I would suggest that you wait until your baby is at least six months or older, as this is the age the formula was designed for. In the meantime, use expressed breast milk or regular formula. After six months, you can continue to use breast milk or regular formula until you introduce whole cow's milk at age one, or you can use follow-up formula. It seems that one does not have any particular advantage over the other.

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