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Feeding your baby

Follow-on milks

You may have seen advertisements suggesting that follow-on milk is better for babies over the age of six months. This means that it is better than cow's milk as a source of iron. However, follow-on milks are not better than breastmilk. Breastfeeding is still the best way to meet your growing baby's needs.

If you are not breastfeeding, or if you plan to stop, formula milk contains added iron. It is important to include good sources of iron in your toddler's diet (see vitamins and iron).

When can my child have cow's milk?

After about six months, cow's milk can be given as part of a mixed diet, such as in mashed potato or home-made sauces.

The Department of Health recommends that it should not used as a main drink until about 12 months, as it does not have the range of vitamins and minerals which are in breastmilk. However, there is no reason why your child should not have small amounts of milk, unless there are allergies to dairy foods in the family.

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