Frequently Asked Questions Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

SUPPORT AND ADVICE

About Novalac formula

Do Novalac formulas contain all the nutrients my baby needs?

Yes. All Novalac formulas are nutritionally complete for babies up to 12 months of age, with the exception of Novalac Diarrhoea, which is recommended for short-term use only and should only be used under medical supervision.

Novalac formulas contain all the necessary ingredients to help babies thrive, including essential fatty acids to assist with brain development.

Is Novalac available in New Zealand?

Novalac is not currently available in New Zealand, however can be purchased online through major retailers in Australia.

Are Novalac formulas gluten free?

Yes. It is a requirement by Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) that all infant formulas are gluten free.

Where is the milk used in Novalac formulas sourced?

We ensure that all the milk used in Novalac formulas is of premium quality. Novalac cows are raised and fed purely on green pastures in France and other areas of Europe (all within 30 km of the Novalac factory). No animal product contaminates their feed.

Is Novalac organic?

Novalac formulas are not certified organic, and cannot be compared to other organic formulas available in health food stores. However, Novalac formulas use the highest quality ingredients, with our farmers following strict guidelines as to the feed, environment and health of the cows that produce the milk used.

Will the iron in Novalac cause my baby to become constipated?

No. All Novalac formulas (except Novalac Diarrhoea) are fortified with iron. This is to ensure that babies receive all the iron they need after the iron stores they build up before birth run low, and also because the iron in formula is less readily absorbed than iron in breast milk. The amount of iron in Novalac formulas is in line with Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) requirements.

How long can Novalac specialty formulas be used for?

All Novalac formulas, with the exception of Novalac Diarrhoea, are nutritionally complete and provide all the nourishment your baby needs up until 12 months of age. However it’s important to note that Novalac Colic, Constipation, Reflux and Allergy are specialised formulas for babies with specific symptoms of feeding conditions (e.g. colic, constipation, reflux or Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy). These formulas are not intended for general use and should only be used under medical supervision.

When your baby's symptoms are being managed successfully with one of the Novalac specialised range and their symptoms have resolved or eased, you may continue to use Novalac until they are 12 months of age. Certain feeding conditions such as reflux tend to last longer than others, and it’s fine to continue using the specialised formula until your baby is 12 months of age.

Novalac Allergy should be used until your infant’s cow’s milk protein allergy resolves. It is recommended that you speak to your healthcare professional before introducing cow’s milk and solids.

Novalac Diarrhoea is designed for short-term use only (up to 5 days), and you can use a standard infant formula such as Novalac Gold once your baby’s diarrhoea has resolved. See the pack instructions for how to gradually reintroduce standard infant formula after using Novalac Diarrhoea.

If you wish to switch to a standard infant formula after using one of the Novalac specialty range, Novalac Gold Stage 1 or Stage 2 are high quality follow-on formulas suitable for everyday ongoing use.

Infant nutrition

What is the difference between infant and follow-on formula?

Babies have specific nutrient and energy requirements at each stage of their growth and development. Infant formulas such as Novalac Gold Stage 1 are formulated for babies aged 0–6 months. These formulas are designed to replace breast milk for infants who are not breastfed and provide all the nutrients, energy and fluids that infants need at this stage of their development.

As babies grow, their energy and nutrient requirements increase. Follow-on formulas are designed to meet the growing nutritional needs of babies 6–12 months of age. It’s recommended that solid foods are introduced when your infant is ready, at around 6 months, but not before 4 months to help provide the extra nourishment that babies need at this stage of their development.

Nutrition tips for babies >
How do I switch from breastfeeding to formula feeding?

It’s important to remember that breast milk is best for babies, and it’s also recommended that babies be exclusively breastfed until they are around 4–6 months old.1

If you’re ready to move on from exclusively breastfeeding, a premium formula such as Novalac will help your baby grow and thrive. When you first introduce formula-feeding to your baby, it may take some time for them to get used to the bottle, and for your body to adapt to the reduced demand for breast milk. Gradually switching one breast feed per day for a bottle feed will give both of you time to adapt.

Reference: 1. Australiasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) Guidelines: Infant Feeding and Allergy Prevention 2016.

Introducing formula feeding >
How do I change from one infant formula to another?

Most of the time it's fine to change formulas as long as you keep to the same type. For example, if you’re using an everyday infant formula designed for babies 0–6 months, changing to another brand of everyday infant formula for babies aged 0–6 months will not harm your baby, although their body may take some time to adapt. For example, at first you might notice a change in your baby’s bowel movements, or they may be reluctant to accept the unfamiliar taste, but this is usually temporary.

However, if your baby is on a specialised or pediatrician-recommended formula we would recommend that you check with your healthcare professional before switching brands or types.

What age should I introduce solids to my baby?

It’s recommended that solid foods are introduced when your infant is ready, at around 6 months, but not before 4 months, to help provide the extra nourishment that babies need at this stage of their development.

Infant formulas are designed to replace breast milk if you choose not to breastfeed or are unable to breastfeed, and solids should be introduced around 6 months of age in this case too. It’s important to note that ordinary cow’s milk, soy milk or other plant-based milks that are not specifically designed for babies are not recommended for babies under 12 months of age.

Preparing and storing Novalac

How do I prepare Novalac formula?

Follow instructions on the label exactly. Prepare bottles and teats as directed. Do not change proportions of powder except on medical advice. Incorrect preparation can make your baby very ill.

Always wash your hands before preparing a bottle. Each bottle should be prepared individually. Only use the measuring scoop provided. It is recommended that formula be used immediately after it is prepared.

Wash the feeding bottle, cap, teat and any utensils to be used and sterilise them in boiling water.

Boil clean drinking water for 5 minutes and allow to cool to 40°C. Pour the required amount of water (see Feeding Guide) into the bottle.

Measure the correct quantity of formula (see Feeding Guide) into the bottle using the scoop provided. Always use one level scoopful per 30mL of water.

Secure the lid on the bottle and shake for at least 30 seconds until the powder is completely dissolved. Let cool to lukewarm temperature (37°C) without re-shaking. Test the temperature on your wrist before feeding.


Novalac is best used with a variable flow teat.

Is it safe to keep made-up baby formula in the fridge?

If made-up formula is to be stored prior to use, it must be refrigerated and used within 24 hours. Any formula left after feeding your baby must be discarded immediately.

Can baby formula be reheated in the microwave?

Microwaving is not the safest way to warm your baby’s formula as it may not warm the formula evenly, causing “hot spots” that could burn your baby’s mouth. Closed bottles can also explode in the microwave.

It won’t hurt your baby to have cold formula, but many babies prefer it warmed to at least room temperature.

Test the temperature of your baby’s formula on the inside of your wrist.

It is recommended that you follow preparation and storage instructions as directed on the label.

How should Novalac be stored?

Store Novalac powder in a cool dry place and protect from light. Use within 3 weeks of opening the can. Do not use after the ‘Use by Date’, which is on the base of the can.

Diarrhoea

Why is Novalac Diarrhoea for short-term use only?

Novalac Diarrhoea has been specially designed to provide nutritional support for formula-fed babies with diarrhoea. It’s formulated to be low in lactose, easily digestible and contains electrolytes to help rehydrate your baby.

Novalac Diarrhoea is not nutritionally complete for everyday use and therefore should only be used for temporary relief of diarrhoea.

How long does diarrhoea last in babies?

Usually diarrhoea is a temporary symptom caused by a bacterial or viral infection (stomach bug). Your baby’s diarrhoea should go away once they recover from their infection, usually after 3–4 days.

Diarrhoea can sometimes be the result of food allergy or sensitivity, or taking certain medicines. If your baby has persistent diarrhoea that doesn’t seem to be the result of a temporary illness, it’s important to see your healthcare professional for medical advice.

Diarrhoea >
Do I always need to give my baby Novalac Diarrhoea for the full 5 days?

You should continue feeding your baby with Novalac Diarrhoea for a day after your baby’s stools have returned to normal (up to a maximum of 5 consecutive days). This will allow time for your baby’s bowel to repair itself before exposure to standard cow’s milk formula again.

When reintroducing standard formula after Novalac Diarrhoea, do I mix the formulas or use separate bottles?

When reintroducing standard formula to your baby, you should use separate bottles for each formula type. For example, on the first day, you would use 4 bottles of Novalac Diarrhoea and 1 bottle of standard formula, and on the second day you would use 3 bottles of Novalac Diarrhoea and 2 bottles of standard formula. An easy way to remember this is to reduce the number of Novalac Diarrhoea bottles by 1 per day and replace with a bottle of standard formula. See the Novalac Diarrhoea can for full instructions.

Constipation

How long does constipation last in babies?

It depends. Most of the time, constipation in babies happens when they’re not drinking enough fluid. Babies can also become constipated for a short time after solids are introduced, while their body is adjusting. If your baby is constipated, try giving them extra cooled, boiled water. Never dilute your baby’s formula if you are formula feeding. Your baby’s constipation should resolve within a week or two.

If your baby’s constipation doesn’t resolve, it’s a good idea to see your healthcare professional to rule out any underlying issues. If you’re formula feeding, try a specialised formula like Novalac Constipation, which is designed to draw water into your baby’s stools and aid movement through the digestive tract.

Constipation >
Will the iron in Novalac cause my baby to become constipated?

No. All Novalac formulas (except Novalac Diarrhoea) are fortified with iron. This is to ensure that babies receive all the iron they need after the iron stores they build up before birth run low, and also because the iron in formula is less readily absorbed than iron in breast milk. The amount of iron in Novalac formulas is in line with Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) requirements.

Cow’s milk protein allergy

Can I use a lactose-free formula if my baby has Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy?

No. Lactose intolerance is different to cow’s milk protein allergy, and is an inability to digest lactose, the sugar found in milk. Lactose intolerance is not an allergic reaction and does not cause anaphylaxis, rashes or other allergy symptoms. Lactose-free formulas are based on cow’s milk with the lactose removed. Giving a baby with a confirmed cow’s milk protein allergy a standard lactose-free formula may result in an allergic reaction.

Can I use a goat’s milk formula if my baby has Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy?

Many children who are allergic to cow's milk will also be allergic to goat's milk. It’s not recommended to give your baby goat’s milk formula if they have a cow’s milk protein allergy as it is likely to trigger similar symptoms.

Reference: Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy. Cow’s milk (dairy) allergy. 2016.

Can I use a soy formula if my baby has Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy?

Soy formula is based on soy protein, whereas Novalac Allergy is based on rice protein. Only 50 to 80% of babies with cow’s milk protein allergy can tolerate soy-based formula, and soy-based formulas are not commonly recommended for children under the age of 6 months. Novalac Allergy is tolerated by over 90% of babies with cow’s milk protein allergy and can be used from birth.

Reference: Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy. Cow’s milk (dairy) allergy. 2016.

When to see a doctor

When should I take my baby to see a doctor?

A clinical study of Novalac showed that the symptoms of most feeding problems begin to improve after 1 week, but may take longer for some babies/conditions.1

With the exception of Novalac Allergy and Novalac Diarrhoea, if your baby’s symptoms have not improved within a month, or if your baby’s symptoms get worse, you should seek the advice of your healthcare professional.1

If your baby has a confirmed cow’s milk protein allergy and is using Novalac Allergy, you should notice symptoms improve quite quickly. Symptoms like excessive crying and rash should improve within a month, but if your baby is underweight, it may take some time for them to catch up.2 If you’re concerned about your baby’s symptoms, or if they do not seem to be improving, see your healthcare professional for advice.

If your baby has diarrhoea and their symptoms do not improve within 3–4 days of using Novalac Diarrhoea, seek the advice of your healthcare professional.

References: 1. Pina et al. World J Gastroenterol. 2008; 14(2):248–54 (Eden Study). 2. Vandenplas Y et al. Arch Dis Child. 2014; 99:933–6.