Artificial Baby Milk (Formula)

The World Health Organization, Health Canada, and the Canadian Pediatric Society agree:

  • Babies only need breast milk for the first six months
  • At six months, when baby is showing signs of readiness, age appropriate solid foods can be introduced
  • Continued breastfeeding for up to two years and longer is recommended

View our page on breastfeeding for more information.

If you have made an informed decision not to breastfeed your baby or if it is not possible to feed breast milk to your baby,  a breast milk substitute such as iron-fortified artificial baby milk (formula) may be used to feed most babies.

If feeding artificial baby milk (formula), this is the only food your baby needs for the first six months. 

At six months of age, when your baby shows signs of readiness, you can begin to offer iron rich complementary foods with artificial baby milk. View our page on feeding your baby solids for more information.

Things you will need to consider:

  • Different types of artificial baby milk (formula) available
  • Water used to make artificial baby milk (formula) if needed
  • How to sterilize equipment
  • How to feed your baby artificial baby milk (formula)
  • Safe preparation and storage of artificial baby milk (formula)

If you are considering using artificial baby milk (formula), you should speak to your primary health care provider or you can call 519-575-4400 to speak to a Public Health Nurse. 

For more information read our Formula Feeding Your Baby booklet.

Artificial baby milk (formula) and respiratory illness

When you are sick, it's important to use personal protective measures. This will help reduce the risk of spreading illness to others including your baby. 

  • Wash your hands and wear a face mask before touching your baby, the formula or bottles
  • Wear a facemask when feeding or holding your baby
  • Consider asking someone else in your home who is well to feed and care for your baby
  • If you are bottle feeding with formula, strict adherence to sterilization guidelines is recommended
  • Learn more about what to do when you are sick from Health Canada

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