One of Australia’s leading medical experts is urging parents not to buy follow on formulas.



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One of Australia’s leading medical experts has declared follow on infant formulas ‘a waste of money’ and is urging parents not to buy the products.

The President of the Queensland Branch of the Public Health Association of Australia, Dr Paul Gardiner, is concerned about the rising prices of follow-on formulas after a widespread product shortage due to increased overseas demands.

Follow-on formulas are formulas suitable for six to 12 month old babies. They are also often labelled ‘stage two’ or ‘step two’ formulas.

Dr Gardiner blames the marketing of formulas, claiming “advertisements play on parental guilt (and emotions), making it difficult for parents to seemingly deny their children these products.”

He says “parents need support from their health professionals and reassurance to follow recommended advice,” citing evidence-based in line with the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) infant feeding guidelines which proves many of the pricey products are not needed.

Stage one infant formula can be used up until the age of 12 months of age. After 12 months, it’s recommended children can drink full cream cow’s milk and continue to breastfeed for a healthy diet.

‘The NHMRC states “special complementary foods or milks for toddlers are not required”,’ Dr Gardiner explained.

In 1986 the World Health Organisation said follow-on milks were ‘not necessary’ and has repeatedly reissued the message since.

I personally think it is great if you have a fussy child that won’t eat anything, so you have that ease of mind that they are getting some nutrients. But in general it is really not required.

Share your thoughts below.

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  • I don’t know what to do.. confused… My son is not eating properly and getting cold ear infection … so GP asked to stop cows milk(says its for cow’s baby..) and give formula and incremin.. its really expensive but we buy them so that our baby gets everything he needs…
    He will be 3 years in April.


  • I have worked as a nurse for too many years & am a fully qualified child health nurse. This argument has been going on for decades now. I am appalled by the upsurge in special toddler formulae being advertised as being essential.
    If there are no known allergies, toddlers should be at this stage eating an appropriate family diet, & also drinking the normal milk enjoyed by the family & their community. A health professional – preferably with training in baby, toddler & family health & nutrition – is the best source of information for parents. The companies promoting toddler formulae have only one thing in mind – company profit.
    Professional advisors in the area must not be influenced by commercial gifts, promotions & the like to advise families concerning milk formulae products.


  • They are probably a good idea if you are traveling and unable to access fresh milk for bottles given after eating solids. Or find out if you can give your little one UHT milk. It doesn’t have to be refrigerated or chilled until opened. If you have a little one who is lactose intolerant it is probably worthwhile continuing with stage 3 lactose free, especially if you discover your liitle one is also allergic to soy. I know a lady who has to use Goats Formula for her baby and in some places it is almost impossible to get it.


  • Six children and none of them have suffered because I did not use follow on formulas. Yes I have had some fussy eaters but they will eat when hungry and there are was of hiding the good food inside of what they think is really good food. Vegetable muffins in this house are always changing and a good back up.


  • Very true I see it in my 12 month old baby all she do is drink the formula and doesn’t eat well , I think I should stop her completely .


  • I don’t think they are needed if the child has an adequate diet


  • With a healthy, balanced diet for your child i dont think that follow on formulas are worth it. They should be getting all the nutrition from the foods they eat.


  • There is a place for it but if you dont have a fussy eater not worth the money you have to pay


  • I’ve never used follow on formula but I think it’s great to have option. My kids all stated in cows milk around 18 months.


  • to each, their own. if your fussy child accepts the formula, maybe that is fine for your family. I don’t think that formulas should be that expensive though as it is food for the littlies and a lot of people need it.


  • Lke bf


  • Yep total waste of money


  • I could not breastfeed both of my kids so if it weren’ t for S26 they would have starved . My son was such a big eater that I attempted to feed him for a month PLUS a top up from the bottle so sometimes you don’t have a choice . Thank goodness it is a trusted brand for generations .


  • There really is need for these and they are so very expensive. Use this age bring in a balanced and healthy long term diet.


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