- 1. Check the expiry date
- 2. Read the formula instructions
- 3. Wash your hands
- 4. Prepare your baby’s bottle
- 5. Fill the prepared bottle with water
- 6. Add the formula
- 7. Should you warm up formula milk?
- 8. Can you keep leftover formula milk?
- 9. How to store prepared formula milk.
- 10. How to travel with formula milk.
So, you’ve researched and chosen the right baby formula, but are you preparing and warming formula milk correctly? Whether you are using liquid-concentrate or powdered formula, you will need to add water. However you may be wondering do you add hot or cold water? Or, should you warm up formula milk?
In this article we will give you 10 top tips about how to prepare and warm up formula milk the right way:
1. Check the expiry date
Before making up your baby formula milk, always make sure to check the expiry date on the formula tin. Never use formula that is past the expiry date. In addition, throw away any tins of formula that have been opened after one month. A good tip is when you first open the container, write the date on the lid to help you remember.
You cannot be sure of the quality of expired baby formula. Plus baby formula that has been open for more than one month may become contaminated.
2. Read the formula instructions
Always read and follow the instructions about preparing and warming formula milk on the infant formula container. These steps will help you know how to prepare, warm and store your baby’s formula correctly. Preparing your baby’s formula according to the instructions is important because:
- Too much water may not meet the nutritional needs of your baby.
- Too little water may cause your baby’s kidneys and digestive system to work too hard and may cause your baby to become dehydrated.
3. Wash your hands
Always wash your hands with soap and water before preparing baby formula and before feeding your baby. In addition, always make sure you clean and sanitize the workspace where you will be preparing the infant formula. You want to eliminate any germs or bacteria that could affect your baby’s immune system, or cause a stomach upset.
4. Prepare your baby’s bottle
Before warming formula milk your baby’s bottle and teats need to be clean and sterilised. To learn more about how to properly clean and sterilise your baby’s bottles and accessories you can read our blog article about ‘How To Clean and Sterilise Baby Feeding Bottles‘.
5. Fill the prepared bottle with water
If you have safe drinking water from the tap then you can use room temperature tap water to fill your baby’s bottle. However, if you are concerned about the quality of your water, you may want to sterilise it to kill any germs or bacteria. Here’s how:
- pour cold tap water into a pot or pan;
- place the pot on the stove over a medium heat;
- bring the water to a rolling boil, and let it boil for about a minute;
- let the water cool until it’s at room temperature;
- add the formula within 30 minutes of the water cooling to room temperature.
6. Add the formula
Always measure the water first and then add the powder or liquid concentrate afterwards.
Using the scoop that comes with the formula tin, measure the right number of scoops into the bottle. Make sure you level off each scoop. You can do this with a sterilised knife or something similar. Attach the lid to seal the bottle. Then gently tap the bottle so that the powder ‘falls’ into the water. Swirl the bottle gently, then vigorously shake the bottle. This method will thoroughly mix the powder and water.
For liquid concentrate:
First shake the concentrated liquid before mixing it with water. Pour the amount of formula for one serving into the bottle. This should already contain the appropriate amount of water. Attach the lid and shake well. This will ensure the liquid concentrate and water are mixed well.
7. Should you warm up formula milk?
If you are using freshly prepared formula then it probably won’t need warming up. It’s fine to give your baby room temperature or even cold formula. However, if your baby prefers warm formula, you can place a filled bottle in a bowl of warm water and let it stand for a few minutes. Or you can warm the bottle under running warm water. The formula should feel lukewarm, but not hot. You can test the temperature by placing a few drops on the inside of your wrist.
Do not warm baby bottles in the microwave. The formula might heat unevenly, creating hot spots that could burn your baby’s mouth.
While this article is about preparing and warming formula milk, you can also use some tips about storing and warming breast milk.
8. Can you keep leftover formula milk?
No, you should never keep leftover formula milk. If your baby has not finished the bottle within one hour then you should throw the leftover formula away. The combination of your baby’s saliva and the formula can cause germs and bacteria to grow.
9. How to store prepared formula milk.
While it’s best to prepare one bottle of formula milk at a time, or each bottle just before you feed your baby, there maybe times when you need to prepare bottles in advance. You can store prepared formula in the fridge, or below 5ºC, for up to 24 hours. Make sure you store the bottles in the back of the fridge where it is the coldest and not in the fridge door where it may be exposed to temperature fluctuations.
Discard any unused prepared formula after 24 hours.
10. How to travel with formula milk.
The safest way to transport formula is to take cooled, boiled water and the powdered formula in separate containers. However, if you need to travel with bottles of formula already mixed, make sure the formula is icy cold when you leave the house. Carry it in a thermal baby bottle pack or a cool bag with ice packs.
If you need to warm the baby formula while you are out and about, you could consider investing in a travel baby bottle warmer which will save you the hassle of asking for warm water.
You can put an unused bottle of formula back in the fridge if it has been in the bottle pack or cool bag for less than two hours. But make sure to use it within 24 hours of when it was first prepared.