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How to prepare formula milk feeds

Bottle fed babies are much more likely than breast fed babies to suffer gastro-intestinal infections in their first year of life.
In February 2006 the Department of Health and FSA issued revised guidance on the preparation and storage of infant formula milk.
View/Download the PDF "Formula Feeding"

Because infant formula powders are not sterile, the risks associated with using powdered infant formula are reduced if:

  • Feeds are made up using boiled water (that is greater than 70°C). In practice, this means using water that has been left to cool for no more than half and hour after being boiled.
  • Feeds are made up fresh for each feed. Storing made-up formula milk may increase the chances of a baby becoming ill and therefore should be avoided.
  • Any left over milk is thrown away.
  • Mothers who require a feed for later are advised to keep water, that they have just boiled, in a sealed flask and make up fresh formula milk when needed or use a liquid ready-to-feed formula.
  • 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.

Feeds must be made up according to the manufacturers' instructions on the packaging i.e. 1 scoop to 30mls/1oz of cooled boiled water. Never either water down or add extra powder to the formula as that may alter your baby's salt balance, which can cause fits.

Heating feeds in the microwave is not recommended as it can cause hot spots, which can scald the baby's mouth. If this heating method is used then the milk must be well shaken and tested to ensure that it is the right temperature before feeding.




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