Unsuitable formula milks

While your baby is just drinking milk, it's important to choose a milk that will provide everything needed to fuel that rapidly-growing body and brain.

Some types of milk just aren’t good enough to be an infant drink, either because they don’t provide your baby with sufficient nutrients, or because they are too processed.

  • Ordinary cows’ milk isn't a suitable main drink for babies under the age of 12 months; it contains the wrong balance of nutrients for babies, with very little iron, vitamins A, C or D, and it's higher in saturated fat than formula milk. (However, it’s perfectly fine to use a bit of ordinary cow's milk when you're preparing solid foods for babies over 6 months.)
  • Sheep's or goats' milk are sometimes recommended as alternatives for adults with lactose intolerance, but they're not suitable for babies. If you suspect your baby might be lactose intolerant, ask your health visitor or GP for advice.
  • Soya-based formulas are best avoided unless your GP or health visitor recommends them. Soya beans contain phytoestrogens, which are similar to the female hormone oestrogen, and it's possible these plant compounds could affect babies' reproductive development.
  • Evaporated or condensed milk might have been used as a baby milk in our grandmothers’ day, but trust us - these milks are totally unsuitable for feeding your baby.
  • Rice, oat or almond milk might be lovely on your porridge, but again, they don't have anywhere close to the right balance of nutrients for feeding your little one.