Getting your baby started on Neocate infant formula

Getting your baby started on Neocate

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Key takeaways

  • Neocate is a hypoallergenic, amino acid-based formula
  • Gradually introduce Neocate by phasing out your old formula and phasing in Neocate to help baby get used to the taste
  • Try adding 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla essence (no sorbate) to Neocate to help baby get used to the taste
  • Neocate can be added to solids to support taste acceptance
  • Babies may need to be exposed to a new taste at least 15 times before accepting it1
Getting your baby started on Neocate

The type of protein in Neocate makes it different from other infant formulas. Neocate is based on free amino acids, which are the non-allergenic building blocks for all proteins. The amino acids in Neocate give the formula its unique smell and flavour.  Some parents notice their baby does not notice the unique smell or flavour, whereas other babies may take a little longer to get used to the change in taste. 

Our top tips to get your baby started on Neocate are: 

  • If possible, you can try mixing Neocate with breast milk or the previous formula used. For example, 25% Neocate and 75% breast milk or previous formula, and then gradually increase the amount of Neocate and decrease the amount of the other formula. Ideally, try this over 3-4 days. This option may not be possible for all children, so we recommend that you check with your healthcare professional first. 
  • You can also try changing the flavour of Neocate initially, and then gradually stop this practice. For example, try adding 1-2 teaspoons of pure, unpreserved vanilla essence (those that contain no sorbate) to a bottle of Neocate for the first few days. Gradually decrease the quantity, then stop adding vanilla altogether. Speak to your dietitian or treating healthcare professional about an appropriate vanilla essence to use. 
  • Another option if your baby is eating solids, is to try adding Neocate to suitable foods so that your baby can get used to the taste. For some allergy-friendly recipe ideas visit the recipe section. 

Persistence is key; Research has shown some babies can take at least 15 tries before they accept a new taste.1  

While it may seem like an impossible task to get your baby started on an amino acid formula, it is important to remember that it is normal to expect some babies to take a little longer to get used to the taste. However, it only takes a short time before you can expect to see an improvement in symptoms. Your little one will also start to feel better and won’t associate the formula with pain or discomfort, which means your baby will be more accepting of the formula over time. It just takes a little patience and persistence from you and your little one. 

If you are concerned that it is taking too long for your little one to adjust to Neocate, please talk to your healthcare professional for guidance. 

This article is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice. Always consult your doctor, especially before your child begins a new diet. 

Neocate Support Program

To learn more about what to expect after being diagnosed with cows’ milk protein allergy
and commencing a cows’ milk protein-free diet, register for the First 14 days Support Program now.


  1. Ventura & Worobey. Current Biology. 2013;23:R401-R408. 
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