Is follow on milk necessary?

Do I need to use follow on milk? Which formula milk is best?

Did you know that follow on milks aren’t necessary?

Brief history

In the UK we have laws for the marketing of formula milk. Back in the 1950’s/60’s the marketing of baby formula milk became quite aggressive and with false claims. This happened worldwide and caused babies to starve in poorer areas and countries. The World Health Organisation with UNICEF decided to develop guidance around best practice in an attempt to lower risks. Many countries decided to implement this, or at least part of, as law. In the UK, Formula milk for under 6 months old cannot be advertised.

So, the baby formula manufacturers invented follow on milks so they could get around this and improve profits. With some clever marketing slogans over decades many believe follow on milk is needed to keep up with increased nutritional needs. This is, simply, untrue.

Is follow on milk nutritionally better?

First stage formula is all a baby should need until around 6 months (when not breastfeeding). At around 6 months the current WHO and NHS recommendations are to begin to introduce usual family foods. Follow on milks do not hold any more benefit than regular formula milk and introduction of family foods post 6 months.

Follow on milks are a marketing tool. They aren’t necessary or any better that first stage milks.

* NOTE: This article is not offering medical advice and is based on healthy babies. Please speaker to your GP and/or health visitor if you have any concerns around the nutritional intake of your baby. Our peer supporters and doulas can help with infant feeding support