Breast milk provides the best nutrition for babies. It is rare that a woman is unable to or advised not to breastfeed her baby. If you are unsure about breastfeeding or are considering formula feeding, talk to your provider for more information. However, for some families, breast milk isn't available or breastfeeding isn't the right choice. In these cases, a store-bought infant formula is recommended.
If you're using formula, it is the only food your baby will need for the first six months. At six months, you should begin introducing solid foods. However, continue to give formula until your baby is 9 to 12 months old. Once your baby is eating iron-rich foods every day, you may offer milk substitutes. Milk substitutes include whole cow milk, evaporated or powdered milk (provided that it is full-fat and properly diluted with water). If you choose whole goat's milk, it must be pasteurized and have vitamin D and folic acid added. It is too early to give lower fat milk, soy or other plant-based drinks (e.g., almond, rice or coconut). These drinks do not have enough nutrition to meet your growing baby's needs.