It's good to get familiar with the different 'stages' of formulas you see around the supermarket. Usually they are numbered with 1, 2 or 3 to make it a bit easier for you. Formulas with a '1' are usually suitable from birth, formulas with a ' 2' are suitable from six months and toddler milk drinks suitable from 12 months usually have a number '3'.
1: Infant formulas from birth
Most infant formulas available in NZ are based on cow's milk which has been significantly modified to make it nutritionally suitable for infants. Infant formulas are sometimes referred to as 'breastmilk substitutes'.
Infant formulas suitable from birth are usually 'whey dominant'.
2: Follow-on formulas for babies older than six months
Formulas for babies six months and older are called follow-on formulas. They are usually 'casein dominant'. Follow-on formulas can also contain different levels nutrients compared with infant formulas, so they’re not suitable for babies younger than six months.
Make sure that you offer your baby solids from six months onwards, as they will need extra nutrition from food.
Remember, if your baby is happy and established on an infant formula, you don’t have to change to follow-on at six months - you can just continue using infant formula right up until 12 months.
3: Toddler milk drinks from 12 months .... bye bye baby, hello toddler
From 12 months onwards, your baby becomes a toddler - they’re busy, active and need extra energy and nutrients to grow and play.
Cows’ milk can now be your toddler's main milk drink, and around 2-3 cups a day (500 mL) is enough for most toddlers.. however toddlers need plenty of iron rich foods in their diet for healthy growth, learning and development. Some toddlers struggle to get enough iron - especially if they are picky eaters, don’t like to eat meat, or have small appetites.