Are You Safely Preparing Your Baby’s Formula
Studies have shown that more than half of the parents that bottle-feed their babies do not prepare their baby formula safely. This can result in babies being injured or becoming ill and, in extreme circumstances, can result in babies dying. This post aims to help you learn how to prepare your babys formula in the safest way possible.
Please note that the information included in this blog post is for informational purposes only. It should not be construed as medical advice.
What You Need To Know About Formula Feeding
Figuring out what type of formula to feed your baby, and how much, and how often, can be very confusing! In this video, I explain the basics of formula preparation and feeding guidelines.
Hi everybody, Melissa here. This show is about the basics of bottle-feeding with formula. There are really three different main types of formula. And you’re going to talk to your doctor figure out which one is the right choice for you. But I’m going to quickly run through them here.
Okay, number one cow’s milk formula. I’ve got some examples here. I have Similac and I have Enfamil. You can also find lactose-free formulas. Here’s one that is a soy-based infant formula. And you can get lactose-free formula’s that are based on cow’s milk. So talk to your doctor, figure out which one you want to use. When it comes to what type of formula, again, three main types: powdered formula and then you can also get liquid formula or concentrated liquid formula.
Now, most people I know use the powdered formula for a couple reasons. Number one, it’s very easy with powdered formula to make smaller or larger quantities and not to waste it. It’s also good storage-wise because it doesn’t take up as much space and it does tend to be cheaper.
Always check the expiration date on the formula can. Formula can go bad and can be unsafe for your baby. Once a can is open it’s good for one month.
Once you mix the powder with water, it will keep for up to 48 hours in a refrigerator.
Baby Formula Preparation Types
While there are different types of formulas, there are also differences in the ways formulas are prepared. Some provide convenience, while others are more economical.
When you think of baby formula, its probably the dry powder form. It comes in a canister, is measured with a scoop, and is mixed with water.When not prepared, powder has a longer shelf life than ready-to-feed or concentrated liquid formula, which makes it a good option for those supplementing breast milk with formula.
This type of formula is convenient and ready to use, and it requires no water or mixing. Similac Ready to Feed is available in 2-fl-oz, 8-fl-oz, and quart-sized bottles. Its great for traveling and on-the-go, anywhere.
Concentrated liquid formula
A type of liquid formula that comes in a can and mixes easily with waterjust add one part water to one part concentrate.
Once youve found a formula thats the right fit for you, here are some great tips on How to Make a Bottle.
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Is It Ok To Use Half Scoops Of Formula
If your baby isnt finishing their bottles, and you find yourself pouring unused formula away, it might seem to make sense to try and make a slightly smaller bottle using half scoops.
The same is true if theyre draining, say, a 4oz bottle, but arent ready for 6oz yet. Since most brands specify 1 scoop per 2oz of water, can you use half a scoop to make just 1 extra oz of formula?
This is almost certainly a bad idea. Formula measurements need to be precise to provide the perfect balance of nutrients and hydration. While you may be able to measure a rough half scoop, its impossible to get it exactly right.
How To Make A Baby Bottle: How To Make Baby Formula In 3 Steps
Understanding how to safely prepare and store formula for your baby can be a little intimidating, but we’ve got you covered.
There are different guidelines for powdered formula, ready-to-use and concentrated formula. We’ll start with these three simple steps and then branch out into other instructions and information. Prepping your babys bottle will become second nature in no time.
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Tips On How To Formula Feed A Baby
Be loyal to one bottle brandIf you find a bottle brand that works for you, it helps to stick with it. That way you wont need to search through mismatched nipples and rings when its feeding time. It also helps with neater storage!
Plan for on-the-go feedingYou wont always be able to prep formula in the kitchen. Pack your baby bag with unopened bottled water and baby bottles with premeasured scoops of powder formula. When its time to feed your little one, add the appropriate amount of water to a bottle, shake, and serve.
Prep bigger batchesInstead of mixing just one bottle of formula every couple hours, save time by preparing a full pitcher in the morning. Keep the pitcher covered in the refrigerator and feed it throughout the day. Just make sure to toss anything thats left the next morning, since prepared powdered formula is to be fed within 24 hours. Follow the label instructions for refrigeration details.
Alternate feeding to get more sleepWhats great about formula is that it makes it easier for mom to get help with feeding. Alternate nighttime feedings with your partner so both of you can get more sleep.
Skip the warming stepSome babies will only drink warm milk, but some babies arent quite as picky. If your baby doesnt mind room-temperature bottles, you can use small, 2-fl-oz bottles of ready-to-feed formula and skip that step.
* No significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rbST-treated and non-rbST-treated cows.
Feeding Cues Of Babies
Babies need to feed often, possibly every 2-3 hours. Every baby is different and so its important to learn to spot when the baby is hungry before it gets too upset and cries. The cues start with opening and closing the mouth, licking lips, sucking on hands and fingers or clothing. For up to 4 months of age it is common for them to root. Thats when they turn their head and opens their mouth towards your chest. Babies also make sucking motions and bring their hands to their mouth this is a good time to feed them. Older babies also move their head frantically from side to side while crying when hungry.
However, it can be hard to spot feeding cues sometimes. They may naturally root when you offer them the bottle even though they are not hungry but instead just want to be held by you.
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Tips For Storing Infant Formula
Storage tips for prepared formula
- Powdered Infant Formula: One dayâs worth of bottles can be prepped in individual bottles and stored immediately in the fridge in advance.
- Concentrated Infant Formula: Two daysâ worth of bottles can be prepared and stored immediately in the fridge in advance.
- Do not freeze prepared formula.
- Prepared formula should not be without refrigeration for more than 2 hours.
- Once baby begins to drink a formula bottle, it must be used within 1 hour. Any remaining formula after the hour must be thrown out.1, 2, 3, 7
Storage tips for unprepared containers of powdered, ready-to-feed, or concentrated formula:
- Do not use formula past the âUse Byâ date on the container.
- Powdered formula can be used for one month after it has been opened. Manufacturers donât recommend using the formula after the 30 days of opening because the nutrients start to degrade. Store powdered formula with the lid tightly shut in a cool, dry place â but NOT in the refrigerator.
- Open ready-to-feed or concentrate formula can be refrigerated for 48 hours. After this time it must be thrown out.1, 2
If you canât remember how long you have kept formula in the refrigerator, it is safer to throw it out than to feed it to your baby.
For more information, see the CDCâs formula preparation and storage instructions at:
How Much Is A Scoop Of Parents Choice Formula
Walmarts Parents Choice brand offers a wide variety of affordably priced formula lines with similarly sized scoops, but they are not interchangeable.
- Parents Choice Infant 8.8 grams or approximately 3 ½ tablespoons* per six-ounce bottle
- Parents Choice Gentle 8.9 grams or approximately 3 tablespoons plus a heaping tablespoon* per 6-ounce bottle
- Parents Choice Sensitivity 9 grams or 3 tablespoons* per 6-ounce bottle
- Parents Choice Advantage 8.8 grams or approximately 3 ½ tablespoons* per six-ounce bottle
- Parents Choice Complete Comfort 9 grams or 3 tablespoons* per 6-ounce bottle
- Parents Choice Soy 8.9 grams or approximately 3 tablespoons plus a heaping tablespoon* per 6-ounce bottle
*Tablespoon measurements are approximated for six ounces of water and should not be used as a substitute for the correct scoop except in an emergency.
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How To Make A 5 Oz Bottle Of Formula
Maybe you’re wondering how many scoops of formula for 5 oz? And how big is a scoop anyway? And what if I lost my scoop, along with my marbles…
A scoop is extremely close to a tablespoon. So even if the bad luck fairies flew off with your scoop, hopefully you’ve still got a few tablespoons lying around that you can use to measure with.
Mix 1 scoop to 1 oz of water.
Oh but hang on how much is 1 oz of water? Tablespoon to the rescue again! An oz of water is about 2 tablespoons.
Ah the good old trusty tablespoon. Cutlery we can rely on.
So a 5 oz bottle has 5 scoops.
How Many Grams Of Formula Are In A Scoop
Most manufacturers include the formula portion size in grams on either the packaging or their website.
If you have a kitchen scale that measures to the tenth of a gram , you can use this as an accurate substitute for the provided scoop. Although there is a relatively wide range of scoop sizes, most standard lines the ones that are not formulated to address a specific concern or to be dairy-free are 8.7-8.8 grams.
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How Much Formula Does A Newborn Need
Generally, you need to administer approximately 150 ml of ready-to-use formula to an average child between the ages of 5 days and 3 months each day.
Most newborns can feed about 1.5 to 3 ounces offormula every 2-3 hours.
However, this varies widely and infants can eat different types of feeding depending on their specific needs.
The amount and timing of feedings also vary for low-birth-weight and premature babies.
For this reason, it is highly advisable to consult your pediatrician regarding your babys feedings.
How Many Oz Is A Scoop Of Formula
One scoop of formula is typically measured for 2 oz of water. From there, you will typically add another scoop of formula every 2 oz. Therefore, 4 oz of water will require 2 scoops, 6 oz of water will require 3 scoops, and so on.
If you are measuring at odd intervals, i.e., 3 oz, 5 oz, and so forth, youll need to measure in increments of half scoops. For ease, weve included a table below to help you calculate the amount of scoops needed to create your infant formula.
|Ounces of Water|
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Resources For Parents Families And Carers
Booklet: Child health information , Queensland Government
Growing StrongFormula feeding , Queensland Government
Raising Children NetworkNewborns nutrition, Australian Government
Raising Children NetworkBreastfeeding videos, Australian Government
Booklet: Breastfeeding and postnatal care, New South Wales Governmentavailable in English, Arabic, Chinese , Chinese ,Farsi, Hindi, Korean, Punjabi and Tamil languages
How To Mix And Prepare Similac Powder Baby Formula
Preparing Similac powdered formula is simple, but its still important to carefully follow the directions. Your baby’s health depends on it. Proper formula preparation is important in order for your child to receive the necessary nutrition.
Formula-to-water ratio: 1 level scoop of formula per 2 fl oz of water. Be careful not to add too much water. Watered-down formula is not recommended, as it dilutes essential nutrients and can affect your child’s nutrition.
Reminder: Powdered infant formula is not sterile and should not be fed to premature infants or infants with immune problems unless directed and supervised by your doctor.
Preparing formula with boiled water
Ask your babys doctor if you need to use cooled, boiled water for mixing and if you need to boil bottles, nipples, and rings before use. If you choose to boil, follow these steps:
1.Bring water to a rolling boil for 1 minute, then turn off the heat. Overboiling can increase the concentration of impurities.
2.Let the water cool to room temperature before adding formula. Making formula with boiling water can cause clumping and decrease the nutritional value.
3.Before feeding, sprinkle a few drops on the inside of your wrist to make sure it is not too hot.
4. Feed or refrigerate the prepared formula.
Mixing Tips for Similac Powdered Formula
Single bottle instructions
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How Do You Prepare Powdered Baby Formula
For many parents, formula is essential in the first year of feeding their babies. So learning how to make baby formula is a crucial skill. Its not hard, but its important to follow a few guidelines:
Use the correct formula-to-water ratio
Always follow the directions on the container for how much formula and water to use unless your pediatrician or pediatric registered dietitian recommends otherwise.
- Make sure its a full, leveled-off scoop, says Adler. But read the label: The directions on some formulas say to pack the scoops while others say to use an unpacked scoop.
- Use the scoop that comes in the container. This helps you nail the right formula-to-water ratio. Scoops can vary in size from formula to formula.
Avoid bottled water
You might be surprised to learn that tap water is usually the best water to use with formula. Tap water is safe to use for mixing with infant formula, reassures Adler. It contains fluoride, which is beneficial for teeth even before they start to show above the gums. Have a home filtration system? Thats OK since fluoride typically remains in the tap water after being filtered.
On the other hand, distilled, purified, deionized or demineralized water doesnt contain fluoride. Plus, bottled water isnt sterile, says Adler, except baby or nursery water, which has been boiled before being bottled. Bottled water also can become contaminated if it sits on the shelf too long.
Never use the microwave