How Long Is Stored Formula Good For
The unopened formula you have sitting in your pantry is good until the expiration date on the cans or ready-to-feed bottles. Once opened, powdered formula lasts one month. After that time, formula makers cant guarantee nutrition quality. Its best to start with a fresh can.
Bottle-feeding is one of the many skills new parents have to learn, but within no time, youll be a pro. With these tips in mind, you can keep your little one safe, nourished and healthy.
Fluoride And Preparing Baby Formula
Experts often recommend that children should get fluoridated water to help prevent cavities. However, powdered formula is often fortified with fluoride too, so infants who are fed powdered or concentrated liquid formula which is mixed with fluoridated water can get too much fluoride.
Getting too much fluoride when your child’s teeth are still forming can lead to enamel fluorosis, which can cause tooth staining. This staining may appear as faint white markings on your child’s baby teeth, and even more importantly, may also affect permanent teeth as they are forming underneath your baby’s gums.
Fortunately, fluorosis is usually very mild when it is caused by fluoridated water and baby formula and the staining is barely noticeable. You don’t have to be concerned about fluorosis if you’re breastfeeding your baby or using a ready-to-feed baby formula, and supplement with powdered formula.
To reduce your baby’s chance of developing even mild fluorosis, it can help to use low-fluoride water when you prepare your baby’s formula. This may mean some types of tap water, or water that has been purified, deionized, demineralized, distilled, or filtered by reverse osmosis.
Bottle And Nipple Cleaning Tips
- If you wash the bottles and nipples by hand, use hot soapy water.
- Use special brushes to get the bottles and nipples clean. Make sure the nipple holes are cleaned well.
- Rinse well with hot water.
- Let the bottles and nipples air dry.
- You can also wash bottles and nipples in a dishwasher. Use a basket to hold the nipples, collars and caps.
- Do not store clean nipples and bottles in an air-tight container. Small amounts of milk could remain on them and cause mold.
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Boiling Water To Avoid Infection
The advice to boil water is based on the idea that hot temperatures can kill most microorganisms. For those using tap water from public water supplies, there is little danger, as the water supply is constantly monitored and warnings are issued if there is a risk of contamination. But because babies have weaker immune systems, many parents choose to boil tap water.
In addition, using freshly boiled water can kill any bacteria that may be in the formula itself. This is beneficial, unless the formula contains added probiotics. Boiling water will kill the probiotics.
In the past, packaging on infant formula stated that water should be boiled prior to preparation. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that if you have any concerns about whether your tap water is safe, you should boil it for up one minute and then use the boiled water within 30 minutes to mix the formula.
However, the AAP does not make an official statement about whether you need to boil the water that you will use in mixing your baby’s formula. Instead, it recommends that you check the safety of your water with the local health department.
Preparing A Bottle Of Formula And Breastmilk
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What Kind Of Cows Milk Should I Give
For almost all children ages 1-2, plain whole cows milk is recommended by the experts, including the CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics .
The extra fat in whole milk helps promote your little ones growth and brain health, and encourages their body to absorb Vitamin A and Vitamin D.
Learn more tips for weaning baby and transitioning to cows milk from Dr. Mona:
Only use a lower-fat milk instead of whole milk if thats what your doctor recommends.
Types Of Protein In Formula
There are three main types of protein found in baby formulas.
- Cow’s milk protein is the most common.
- Soy protein is sometimes an option for infants with certain health conditions or an allergy to casein or whey, the two proteins found in cow’s milk.
- Hypoallergenic formulas contain protein that has been broken down into smaller parts. These formulas are expensive, most of them don’t taste very good, and they are typically used for babies who cannot digest intact protein.
When switching to a new brand of formula, be sure to stick with the same type of protein. If you want to switch to a formula with a different protein source, check with your doctor first.
Contrary to popular belief, spitting up or excess gas in your baby is usually not due to the type of protein in the formula. Still, switching between brands can help parents see if their baby has any reaction to a particular brand.
The biggest difference between formulas is usually taste. Some children are quite picky about what they eat and may prefer one formula over another.
However, considering that the taste of breast milk changes depending on what a breastfeeding mother eats, flavor is not usually a huge factor for most formula-fed babies.
Below are some indications that your baby may have a true formula allergy:
- Blood in a baby’s stool or vomit
- Hives or other skin rashes
If you notice any of these signs, call your pediatrician right away.
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Choosing The Right Formula: 3 Basic Steps
To start with, here are 3 easy steps that will help you choose the right formula, plus a few things to keep in mind before you prepare it.
Step 1: Choose the right formula for your baby. If youre not sure what formula is best, talk with your pediatrician for advice. Use our Formula Finder to get tailored suggestions.
Step 2: Choose the type of formula that works best for you: powder, ready to feed, or concentrated liquid.
Tip: Use powder or concentrated liquid for everyday use and ready to feed for convenience when traveling.
Step 3: Read all the information below before making your first bottle. We hope this will answer any questions that may come up along the way.
Reducing The Risk Of Infection
Even when tins and packets of powdered infant formula are sealed, they can sometimes contain bacteria.
Bacteria multiply very fast at room temperature. Even when a feed is kept in a fridge, bacteria can still survive and multiply, although more slowly.
To reduce the risk of infection, it’s best to make up feeds 1 at a time, as your baby needs them.
Use freshly boiled drinking water from the tap to make up a feed. Do not use artificially softened water or water that has been boiled before.
Leave the water to cool in the kettle for no more than 30 minutes. Then it will stay at a temperature of at least 70C. Water at this temperature will kill any harmful bacteria.
Remember to let the feed cool before you give it to your baby. Or you can hold the bottle under cold water from the tap.
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How To Mix Formula And Breastmilk
This article was co-authored by . Julie Matheney is an International board certified Lactation Consultant and the Founder of The LA Lactation Lady, her lactation consulting business based in Los Angeles, California. She has over eight years of lactation consulting experience. She earned her MS in Speech-Language Pathology from Miami University and has earned a Certificate of Clinical Competence for Speech-Language Pathologists . She also earned her Certified Lactation Educator Counselor certificate from the University of California, San Diego.There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 65,393 times.
Breastmilk provides complete nutrition for growing babies, but sometimes it might be necessary to supplement breastmilk with formula. Whether you want to taper your baby off of breastfeeding, get them used to the taste of formula, or make a supply of breastmilk last longer, combining formula and breastmilk may be a good strategy. Prepare a bottle of formula for your baby, combine it with an equal amount of breastmilk, and make sure to follow safety guidelines as you do this!
Can I Prepare Formula Ahead Of Time
Some parents make a fresh bottle just before each feeding. But many parents make and refrigerate enough formula ahead of time to use for the day. If you know your baby eats every 3-4 hours, for instance, you can make 6 to 8 bottles to last you all day.
If you prepare formula ahead of time, store it in the refrigerator. You can use pre-made formula for up to 24 hours. Open containers of ready-made formula, concentrated formula, and formula prepared from concentrate can be stored safely in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours. Do not store unmixed powder in the refrigerator.
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Combining Breastfeeding And Formula Feeding
Many families choose this type of combination feeding method, whether out of necessity , convenience, or simply personal choice. In some cases, breastfeeding and providing formula may be recommended by a doctor for medical reasons.
Should Bottles Be Sterilized
Washing bottles with soap and water removes germs, but exposing them to high heat takes it one step further. I do recommend sterilizing bottles and nipples before using them the first time, Adler says. But after that, thoroughly washing them with soap and water is fine.
However, if your child has a compromised immune system or was born prematurely, you may need to regularly sterilize their bottles. Ask your pediatrician if this step is necessary for your child.
There are a couple of ways to sterilize bottles. The cheapest route is to place them in boiling water for five minutes. But you can also purchase a bottle sterilizer, which uses steam to kill germs.
If you have questions about what bottles to use, read what a pediatrician says about the safety of plastic bottles and other alternatives.
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Are There Downsides To Boiling Safe Water
If your tap water is safe to drink, should you still boil it before using it to mix formula? This is a complicated question. There are two major downsides:
- It complicates feeding at a time when most caregivers are stretched very thin already.
- It raises the risk of burns to the caregiver and the infant.
The AAP recommends boiling water if you are uncertain about the safety of your water source.
Topics Covered For Formula Feeding
If your baby is healthy, skip the “What to Do” section. Go directly to the topic number that relates to your question for advice:
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Should I Boil Water Before Making A Formula Bottle
Typically, tap water from developed areas wont need to be boiled before you prepare a bottle.
Verywell Family writes, For those using tap water from public water supplies, there is little danger, as the water supply is constantly monitored and warnings are issued if there is a risk of contamination. But because babies have weaker immune systems, many parents choose to boil tap water.
If you are unsure whether or not you should boil your baby’s water in your particular area, we recommend asking your childs pediatrician.
Reasons For Supplementing With Formula
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization recommend breastfeeding exclusively for the first four to six months and then continuing to breastfeed up until one year or longer, along with the introduction of solid food.
For this and other reasons, including emotions and cost, making the decision to supplement with formula may not be an easy one.
While many parents breastfeed their babies and give them formula because they want to, others do so because they have to. Regardless of whether all or none of these reasons for supplementing apply to you, the decision is entirely yours.
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Use Quickly Or Store Safely
- Prepared infant formula can spoil if it is left out at room temperature.
- Use prepared infant formula within 2 hours of preparation and within one hour from when feeding begins.
- If you do not start to use the prepared infant formula within 2 hours, immediately store the bottle in the fridge and use it within 24 hours.