making up formula milk
Making up formula milk
Before you start making up your first formula feed, it can seem daunting, but you'll soon get the hang of boiling water and mixing formula for your baby's feeds. Formula feeds made with powdered formula, should be made up using fresh water which has been recently boiled and left to cool for no more than half an hour (the water should be no cooler than 70ºC when the formula is made up). This is because powdered infant formula milk is not sterile and there is a small risk of contamination from micro-organisms.
For this reason the UK Department of Health and the Food Standards Agency recently revised its advice; they now advise that feeds are made up fresh for each feed. If you do need to prepare a feed for later, they suggest that recently boiled water is kept in a sealed, clean flask and fresh formula milk is made up when required.
You should avoid making up enough feed for a whole day in advance, or warming up bottles of formula milk which have been made from powder. The temperature of the feed should be tested and, if required, cooled by holding the bottle, with the cap covering the teat, under cold running water.
Health professionals stress the importance of the following feeding, safety advice:
- The importance of very good hygiene practices in preparing and sterilising equipment when feeding your baby with a bottle and teat (whether using breast or formula milk).
- Failure to follow the formula milk manufacturer's guidelines may increase the chances of a baby becoming ill.
Infant formula powder is not sterile; the risks associated with using powdered infant formula milk are reduced if:
- Feeds are made up using freshly boiled water that is greater than 70ºC; in practice, this means using water that has been left to cool for no more than half an hour.
- Feeds are made up fresh for each feed; storing made up formula milk may increase the chance of a baby becoming ill and should be avoided.
- Any left over milk is thrown away.
- Mothers, who require a feed for later, are advised to keep water they have just boiled in a sealed flask and make up fresh formula milk when needed or use a liquid ready-to-feed formula (as already sterile).