For advice on how to transition from breastfeeding to bottle feeding, and the changes to expect, visit combination feeding.
Using formula is simple, but it’s important to follow the directions carefully. With all the boiling, cooling and mixing do’s and don’ts, there is a lot to remember. Follow these five important tips to make sure your baby’s formula is prepared safely every time.
If you plan to bottle feed from birth, whether with formula or expressed milk, there are a few things to remember in the run up to your due date. Before the big day it is a good idea to check with the maternity ward if you need to bring your own bottles and equipment as not all maternity units provide these.
If you plan on formula feeding your baby, you may need to think about bringing the formula you plan to use at home into the hospital with you, in case the hospital doesn’t have it. This will prevent you having to switch your baby to a new formula after the first few feeds.
No matter what your chosen method of feeding is, ask your health visitor or midwife to provide advice on feeding your baby. Be sure to ask all the questions running through your head so you can feel confident feeding your baby.
Unprepared, powder formula:
Prepared, liquid formula:
Where possible, each bottle should be made up fresh for each feed. Storing made-up formula may increase the chance of your baby becoming ill. However, there are times when this may not be practical and feeds need to be prepared in advance. Follow the steps below for a safe way to pre-prepare feeds for later use:
Once stored at the back of the fridge, the feed should be used within 24 hours.
If you need to transport your feed out of home, make sure the bottle has been cooled in the back of the fridge for at least one hour. Then take it out just before you leave and carry it in a cool bag with an ice pack. Use within 4 hours.
If you have had to prepare feeds in advance, it is safe to give it to your baby at room temperature (or cold). However, if they are used to warm feeds they may prefer it warmed up. Here’s how to safely re-warm feeds for your baby:
After using previously boiled water, how can you be sure a feed is not too hot for your baby? There’s an easy test – shake a few drops of feed onto the inside of your wrist. The drops should feel lukewarm, not hot.
If you do think the feed is too hot, replace the cap and hold the bottle under cold running water for a few minutes.
Breastfeeding is best for babies and is recommended for as long as possible. If you have any concerns about feeding your baby or your baby’s health, please contact your health visitor or GP.
Date of preparation: September 2016
Date of preparation: May 2016