Taking care of a child

Infant formula and follow-on formula

Bröstmjölksersättning och tillskottsnäring - engelska

Babies who do not receive breast milk need to be given infant formula. This is made to resemble breast milk. When the baby starts to eat regular food, they can be given what is known as follow-on formula instead.

Some babies are given both breast milk and infant formula. Others are only given infant formula. 

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Infant formula

Infant formula contains everything a baby needs during the first six months of life. It resembles breast milk as closely as possible. However, it does not provide the same protection against infection as breast milk. 

Infant formula is also called baby formula, infant milk, false milk or just formula. 

Follow-on formula

Follow-on formula is designed as nutrition for an infant over six months of age. It can be given to a baby who has started on solid foods. Follow-on formula is not intended to be the baby’s sole source of nutrition.  

If you would prefer to continue with infant formula, that is also fine. In such case, your baby may need a little extra iron. 

Use only approved formula

Babies should be given formula that is made for their age. You can buy infant formula and follow-on formula in grocery stores or pharmacies.  

Use only formula that is approved in Sweden. 

Formula is available as a powder that you mix with water. Premixed formula is also available.  

Teats and baby bottles

The most common way to give a baby infant formula is in a bottle. There are many different models of teats and baby bottles.  

Try out different types to find a model that suits your baby. 

Here are some tips about bottles and teats to keep in mind:  

  • Choose a bottle that holds at least 250 millilitres.  
  • Make sure there are no cracks in the teat. 
  • Replace the bottle if it is scratched. 
  • Choose a teat that is the right size for your baby’s age.  

How to mix formula

It is important to maintain good hygiene when mixing formula.  

Important things to keep in mind: 

  • Wash your hands first. Make sure everything around you is clean.  
  • Check that the bottles and teats are clean. 
  • Use cold water from the tap. If your water comes from a private well, you should first check the quality of the water. 
  • Follow the dosage listed on the package. Do not use too much or too little powder.  
  • The formula should be lukewarm. Test the temperature by putting a couple of drops on your wrist.  
  • Avoid heating the formula in the microwave.  
  • Mix new infant formula or follow-on formula for each meal. Do not save mixed formula for more than one hour.  

How to feed your baby

How to bottle feed your baby:  

  • Hold the baby close to your body. Preferably skin-to-skin. 
  • Rub the teat against your baby’s mouth. When your baby turns toward the teat and opens their mouth, you can insert the teat into it.  
  • Angle the bottle so that the entire teat fills with formula. Otherwise, your baby could swallow air. 
  • Hold the bottle still and let your baby set the pace. Take breaks if your baby needs to. 
  • Allow the baby to suckle until they release the teat. 

How to clean the bottle and teat

Wash the bottle and teat in hot water with dishwashing liquid. 

You can wash the bottle in a dishwasher, but preferably not the teat. 

If you need advice and support

It may take some time before bottle feeding works smoothly, and you may need to be patient. If you have any questions or need help, you can contact a children’s health centre (BVC). In the first week after the baby is born, you can contact the BB ward (maternity ward). 

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