Infant formula

Infant formula
An infant being fed from a baby bottle
Poster advertisement for Nestle's Milk by Théophile Alexandre Steinlen, 1895
A 1915 advertisement for "Nestlé's Food"

Manufactured food designed and marketed for feeding to babies and infants under 12 months of age, usually prepared for bottle-feeding or cup-feeding from powder (mixed with water) or liquid (with or without additional water).

- Infant formula

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Breast milk

Milk produced by mammary glands, located in the breast of a human female.

Two 25-milliliter samples of human breast milk. The left-hand sample is the first milk produced by the mother while the right-hand sample was produced later, during the same pumping.
Pumped breast milk
Breast feeding latch
Colostrum vs breastmilk
Bottle of pumped breast milk

In addition, feeding an infant breast milk is associated with lower insulin levels and higher leptin levels compared feeding an infant via powdered-formula.


Formal or specialised synonym for the common term baby, meaning the very young offspring of human beings.

A newborn infant, seconds after delivery. Amniotic fluid glistens on her skin, and the umbilical cord is still attached.
A crying newborn, a few days after birth
A yawning infant
Eight-month-old sororal twin sisters
Eight-month-old infant; as a common feature, eyes are usually large in relation to the face.
A newborn baby in Indonesia, with umbilical cord ready to be clamped
Infants sleeping at the maternity hospital in Kotka, Finland in the 1950s
Nine-month infant playing with plastic duck toys, 1970
A mother wishes joy towards her child in William Blake's poem "Infant Joy". This copy, Copy AA, was printed and painted in 1826, is currently held by the Fitzwilliam Museum.
An infant being immunized in Bangladesh
An East Asian baby
An African baby
An African baby born to two African parents, with an unusually light skin
An Indian baby
Infant in Zimbabwe

If breastfeeding is not possible or desired, bottle feeding is done with expressed breast-milk or with infant formula.

Baby bottle

Bottle with an attached teat on the top opening, on which can be suckled, and from thereby drank directly.

A modern, decorated, transparent plastic feeding bottle with blue cap and silicone teat, anti-leakage plate and screw mounting
Newborn drinking milk from a bottle
A "vented" bottle is also sometimes marked as an "anti-colic" bottle.
Bottle warmer with thermostat
Animal shaped ceramic feeding bottle from Regensburg, Germany (ca. 1350–800 BCE)
Early medieval infant feeding bottle from Castkedyke Cemetery, Barton upon Humber, from a display at the North Lincolnshire Museum
Baby with feeding bottle, 1922
Alexandra feeding bottle, sold with a screw glass stopper, early 1900s
Advertisement for Burr's Improved Nursing Bottle, one brand of "murder bottle"
A "banana" baby bottle (c. 1950s). The double-ended bottles did not have two teats: they had a teat and a valve. Photo credit: Time Tunnel museum.

Baby bottles can be used to feed expressed breast milk, infant formula, or pediatric electrolyte solution.

Baby food

Commercial baby food is often a humanitarian relief item. Delivery of infant formula may be criticized because it can discourage breastfeeding and the local water supply may be contaminated after a disaster, making powdered formula unsafe.
Market aisle stocked with commercial baby food
A Hindu child receives its first solid food in a religious ceremony called Annaprashana

Baby food is any soft, easily consumed food other than breastmilk or infant formula that is made specifically for human babies between four and six months and two years old.

Wet nurse

Woman who breastfeeds and cares for another's child.

Louis XIV as an infant with his nurse Longuet de la Giraudière
A 16th-century carving in a Belgian church, showing a woman expressing her milk into a bowl.
A Russian wet nurse, c. 1913
A funerary stele (akin to a gravestone) erected by Roman citizen Lucius Nutrius Gallus in the 2nd half of the 1st century AD for himself, his wet nurse, and other members of his family and household
Catherine Willoughby, formerly Duchess of Suffolk, and her later husband Richard Bertie, are forced into exile, taking their baby and wet nurse
The bureau of wet nurses in Paris
Enslaved Black woman wet-nursing white infant
"Visite Chez la Nourrice" ("Visit to the Wet nurse") by Victor Adam
An infant who has been living with a wet nurse being taken away from its foster parents by its natural mother. By Étienne Aubry

Wet-nursing existed in cultures around the world until the invention of reliable formula milk in the 20th century.


Inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract; the stomach and intestine.

Gastroenteritis viruses: A = rotavirus, B = adenovirus, C = norovirus and D = astrovirus. The virus particles are shown at the same magnification to allow size comparison.
Bristol stool chart
Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (ATCC 14028) as seen with a microscope at 1000 fold magnification and following Gram staining
Percentage of rotavirus tests with positive results, by surveillance week, United States, July 2000 – June 2009
Deaths due to diarrhoeal diseases per million persons in 2012

For young children in impoverished countries, prevention includes hand washing with soap, drinking clean water, breastfeeding babies instead of using formula, and proper disposal of human waste.


Swiss multinational food and drink processing conglomerate corporation headquartered in Vevey, Vaud, Switzerland.

Henri Nestlé, a German-born Swiss confectioner, was the founder of Nestlé and one of the main creators of condensed milk.
Aleppo Nestlé building Tilal street 1920s
The logo that Nestlé used from 1938 to 1966
The Brazilian president, Lula da Silva, inaugurates a factory in Feira de Santana (Bahia), in February 2007.
Nestlé Japan headquarters in Nestlé House building, Kobe, Japan
Nestlé USA headquarters at 1812 N Moore in Arlington, Virginia
Samples of Nestlé Toll House Cafe items in 2012

The company grew significantly during the First World War and again following the Second World War, expanding its offerings beyond its early condensed milk and infant formula products.


Process of gradually introducing an infant human or another mammal to what will be its adult diet while withdrawing the supply of its mother's milk.

Baby being offered baby food
A shellfish diver prepares for her work as a toddler nurses. (Japan, circa 1806)
Breastfeeding in tandem
1938 drawing of a calf weaner nose ring. This was strapped to the calf's face and made the calf's attempts to suckle very uncomfortable for the dam.
The yellow nose ring prevents the calf from suckling, but does not interfere with grazing or social contact with its dam or other members of the herd.

The infant is considered to be fully weaned once it is no longer fed by any breast milk (or bottled substitute).


Process by which human breast milk is fed to a child.

A baby breastfeeding
When the baby suckles its mother's breast, a hormone called oxytocin compels the milk to flow from the alveoli (lobules), through the ducts (milk canals), into the sacs (milk pools) behind the areola, and then into the baby's mouth.
Maternal hormone levels during pregnancy and after delivery of the placenta. Estradiol, estriol, progesterone, testosterone, and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) all increase throughout the pregnancy, and experience an abrupt drop-off after delivery of the placenta.
Two 25 ml samples of human breast milk. The sample on the left is foremilk, the watery milk coming from a full breast. To the right is hindmilk, the creamy milk coming from a nearly empty breast.
Newborn rests as a caregiver checks its breath sounds with a stethoscope
Example and indicators of a good latch
Example and indicators of a poor, shallow latch
Anterior tongue-tie
Formula and pumped breastmilk side by side. Note that the formula is of uniform consistency and color, while the expressed breast milk exhibits properties of an organic solution by separating into a layer of fat at the top (the "creamline"), followed by the milk, and then a watery blue-colored layer at the bottom.
Manual breast pump
Sign for a private nursing area at a museum using the international breastfeeding symbol
Percentage of babies exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life. Data from 2004 to 2011. 
Macierzyństwo ("Maternity"), a 1902 painting by Stanisław Wyspiański
Ilkhanate prince Ghazan being breastfed
The International breastfeeding symbol
Standing mother breastfeeding her baby, Canjambari, Guinea-Bissau, 1973
Breastfeeding – Cradle hold.
Breastfeeding – Cross cradle position.
Breastfeeding – Football hold.
Breastfeeding – Semi-reclining position.
Breastfeeding – Side-lying position.
Breastfeeding – Supine position.
Breastfeeding – Twins, cross cradle position I.
Breastfeeding – Twins, football or clutch hold.
Breastfeeding – Twins, parallel position II.
Newborn twins being breastfed
Woman breastfeeds 2 year old twins whilst reading them a book.
Woman tandem nurses an infant and a toddler.

Breastfeeding has a number of benefits to both mother and baby that infant formula lacks.


Allergies, also known as allergic diseases, are a number of conditions caused by hypersensitivity of the immune system to typically harmless substances in the environment.

Hives are a common allergic symptom.
A summary diagram that explains how allergy develops
Tissues affected in allergic inflammation
Degranulation process in allergy. Second exposure to allergen. 1 – antigen; 2 – IgE antibody; 3 – FcεRI receptor; 4 – preformed mediators (histamine, proteases, chemokines, heparin); 5 – granules; 6 – mast cell; 7 – newly formed mediators (prostaglandins, leukotrienes, thromboxanes, PAF).
An allergy testing machine being operated in a diagnostic immunology lab
Skin testing on arm
Skin testing on back
Patch test
Anti-allergy immunotherapy

The use of hydrolysed milk baby formula versus standard milk baby formula does not appear to change the risk.