CARE AND FEEDING BASICS

Formula Preparation

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Proper formula preparation ensures that babies are getting the right concentration of nutrients, and that all steps are taken to reduce the chance of contamination and spoilage. Formula is available in three forms: ready-to-feed, concentrate, and powered. It is important to note that powdered formula is not sterile and may contain bacteria. When preparing powdered formula or concentrate the water must be boiled prior to use. Never add more water than is recommended to formula as this can lead to a dangerous condition called water intoxication.

Equipment Needed:

• Formula
• Water if needed
Bottle or storage container
Bottle sterilizer (alternately, you could use a pot of boiling water)
Refrigerator

Steps for Ready-to-feed Formula:

  1. Always wash your hands before starting. 
  2. Sterilize bottles prior to use.
  3. Ready-to-feed formula does not require any preparation. Simply add to the feeding bottle and feed.

Steps for Concentrated Formula:

  1. Always wash your hands before starting.
  2. Sterilize bottles prior to use.
  3. Add boiled water to the concentrated formula per the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. Follow proper storage guidelines. Mixed formula needs to be consumed within 1 hour of preparation, or can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours. 

Steps for Powdered Formula:

  1. Always wash your hands before starting.
  2. Sterilize bottles prior to use.
  3. Preparation instructions vary by brand and you want to make sure you are measuring the right amounts of water to powder.
  4. The water source is important, especially for babies younger than four months. If you are concerned about the quality of your water, contact your local health department.
  5. Bottled water is not sterile. Whether you use bottled water or tap water, boil the water for one minute.
  6. Wait for five minutes then add formula.
  7. Measure the powder precisely. Use the scoop that comes with the specific brand you are using, and check to see if you need a packed or unpacked scoop. This ensures that you are getting the right ratio of water to powder.
  8. Follow proper storage guidelines. Mixed formula needs to be consumed within 1 hour of preparation, or can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours.

Follow Up:

Your baby’s healthcare provider is an excellent resource for the type of formula to use and the amount to offer during feedings.

Resources:

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