Here are the steps to follow when preparing baby formula
- Clean your hands
Before you can begin preparing your baby’s formula feed, it is paramount you wash your hands thoroughly with water and soap to make sure you do not transfer any bacteria to the formula. Afterwards, dry off your hands carefully.
- Check the Expiration
Before you can begin to formula feeding your baby, it is a good practice to always check the expiration date of the formula on the container to confirm the formula’s quality and fitness for consumption. Check the expiration dates also before purchasing the formula.
- Prepare the formula bottle
When using the bottles for the first time, sterilize them together with the nipples, caps and rings for the first couple of weeks. You can do this by boiling the items in water for about 5 minutes. It is also possible to sterilize them with an electric steam sterilizer or with a microwave steam sterilizer. After using these items it is advisable that they be washed with soap and water and dried there afterwards. The use of bottle and nipple brushes can help in cleaning all the nook and crannies of these items. These items are also dishwasher safe.
- Add water to powdered formula or liquid-concentrate to mix
When using powdered formula or liquid-concentrate you should always mix with some water. The manufacturer’s instruction always provide guidance on how much water to use when mixing.
Here are a few things to consider on how and which type of water to use
- You can choose to use whichever type of clean water you can find, be it tapped or bottled, to prepare the formula
- Boil tap water for about a minute in order to kill harmful bacteria, then cool it to room temperature before mixing it with the formula.
- You can also use well water to prepare the formula but it is always advisable to visit your doctor or water department if you ever get concerned about the purity of the water.
It is also important to note the amount of fluoride in the water you usually use to mix with the powdered formula or liquid-concentrate formula. This is because some small exposure to fluoride can help prevent the decay of tooth in the baby. However, if formula is your baby’s main source of food and you regularly use fluoridated water with formula increases the chances of streaks and white lines on teeth (fluorosis).
To minimize the risk of fluorosis you might opt for the ready-to-feed formula which usually contains a little fluoride. Alternatively, you can use low-fluoride bottled water or use fluoridated tap water. However your doctor might recommend fluoride supplements if you regularly feed your baby with ready to feed formula or use low-fluoride water to mix with concentrated formula.
- Measure the formula
After determining the amount of feed you want to prepare, follow the instruction that comes with the individual formula to measure the right amount. For liquid-concentrate formula, always remember to shake well before you start mixing it with water.
When using ready-to-use formula it is important to note that you should always shake well before pouring it into the baby’s feeding bottle
- Warm the formula
If your baby is more comfortable taking warm formula, place the formula in a bowl filled with warm water to warm. Do not attempt to microwave the formula as this creates hot spots that might burn your baby. You can also give your baby cold or formula at room temperature.
- Store the formula
When using ready to use formula cover and refrigerate the contents of the freshly opened formula container. You should also discard formula that remains after a feeding.
Here is a guest post by Sophia Nguyen.
Sophia Nguyen is the founder of “Healthy Baby Happy Earth” website. She is a blogger, and she loves writing about babies and helping the parents by providing only the most useful information. Follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram