Research has shown that a large percentage of parents who bottle-feed their kids don’t safely prepare the baby formula. This can lead to injuries, illnesses, and even death, in the worst scenarios.
In this post, we shall help you learn how to safely prepare baby formula.
What Does Baby Formula Contain?
When making baby or infant formula, most companies will make it similar to human breast milk as much as possible.
Typically, baby or infant formula contains protein, amino acids, fat, vitamins, electrolytes, and minerals, among other nutrients. Moreover, they comprise of cow milk or goat milk.
However, baby formulas don’t contain certain components of breast milk, like living cells, polyamines, cholesterol, free amino acids, and enzymes, among other biologically active elements.
This brings us to one major and critical question: how do you prepare your baby’s formula safely?
How to make baby formula
The following are the steps that you should follow during baby or infant formula preparation
The first thing to do is to wash your hands thoroughly before preparing the feeding bottle and feeding your baby. Besides, you must clean and sanitize the area where you’ll prepare the baby or infant formula.
Clean and sanitize the feeding bottle. Make sure that you follow the recommended procedure of cleaning feeding bottles for babies.
Please note that you don’t need to warm the baby formula or powdered formula before feeding your kid. However, we understand that some people still warm the baby’s bottle before using it, which is ok. In case you choose to warm the bottle, don’t use a microwave. Research has revealed that microwaves heat food and milk evenly, and this causes “hot spots” that risk burning your baby’s throat and mouth.
To warm the bottle, place it under warm running water. Please be careful to prevent the water from getting on the nipple or into the bottle. Then, you’ll need to put several drops of the powdered formula on the back of your hand to check whether it’s warm or too hot.
Here are the steps to follow when you choose to use the powdered baby formula:
Always use clean water baby powdered formula preparation. In case you have doubts about the quality of your tap water, you can use bottled water.
Use the amount of water indicated on the instructions of the ready to feed formula container. It’s always advisable to first measure the water, and then add the powder. Please note that excess water will result in a ready to feed formula that doesn’t meet the baby’s nutritional needs. Too little water, on the other hand, can cause dehydration, and make your baby’s digestive system and kidneys overwork.
Lastly, you must exercise extra caution when preparing a powdered infant formula for young babies—less than 3 months old, babies with a weak immune system, or if the baby was born prematurely, as this helps to protect them against cronobacter.
When mixing the baby formula, it’s recommended that you swirl the bottle gently, instead of shaking it vigorously.
When you shake the bottle, you are more likely to create air bubbles into the formula, and this can give the baby gas.
In case you realize that your baby is very uncomfortable after feeding, and you suspect that gas might be the root cause, be very observant to burp the baby.
Baby bottle storage
Most parents are curious to know how long can formula sit out at room temperature.
Prepared baby formula can go bad very quickly if you leave it at room temperature. Therefore, you should ensure that you use it within 2 hours after preparing it, and within 1 hour after you start feeding your baby. In the event, you cannot use the baby formula within 2 hours after preparation, store it in a fridge, and make sure that you use it within 24 hours.
However, you should never refrigerate any left-over baby formula. You should throw the baby formula away immediately.
The mixture of your kid’s saliva and the infant formula can cause bacteria to grow. Therefore, you need to clean and sanitize the feeding bottle before formula feeding again.
Also, you should store unopened baby formula containers in a cool and dry place, away from any direct sunlight.
Avoid storing the containers in places like garages, vehicles, or outdoors. Once you open the container, keep in a cool and dry place, with the lid tightly closed. Never put it in the fridge.
Typically, you should use your child formula within 1 month after opening the container. Never use expired baby formula. Besides, we cannot emphasize the importance of reading the instructions on the container when you buy a new batch.
This is essential when you decide to buy a new brand since the preparation instruction might differ.
Transporting the baby formula
As highlighted above, you should prepare child formula before feeding your child. However, if that’s not possible, you should put it in a sterile container, and store it in a fridge, and use it within 24 hours.
Besides, you should always keep the prepared formula refrigerated until the moment you need to transport it. And, when transporting the formula, always keep it in a cool box, cool bag, or any other insulated container.
Then don’t forget to put ice packs in the container to keep it cool. Today, we have containers specifically designed to help in insulating baby bottles while in transit.
Also, any formula transported in this manner should be used within two hours after being taken out of the fridge. However, you can still transfer the formula back to the fridge so long as you didn’t surpass 2 hours. However, the 24-hour rule must still be observed.
It’s the joy of every parent to see their baby in a good health condition. Preparing your baby’s formula following the correct procedure is essential. It ensures that your child benefits fully from the formula.
Lastly, don’t forget to read the instructions on the container about how to prepare and store the baby formula.