What's the best way to prepare infant formula?


Whichever type of infant formula you choose, proper preparation and refrigeration are essential. Follow these steps: 

  • Wash your hands and utensils. Before preparing formula, wash your hands with soap and water. Be sure all the utensils you'll use are clean, too, including bottles and nipples. You may want to sterilize bottles and nipples before using them for the first time. After that, cleaning them in the dishwasher or washing them by hand with soapy water is enough. If you're opening a new can of formula, wipe the top of the can with a clean towel or napkin before you puncture it.  
  • Measure the formula. Don't take shortcuts in measuring. If you're using powdered formula, fill the scoop provided and shave off any excess formula with the flat side of a knife. Don't use a spoon or any other curved surface. You can pour liquid concentrate directly into a bottle with ounce levels marked on its side, or you can use a measuring cup. Make sure that the quantity is level with the correct measurement mark.  
  • Mix the formula. Powdered and liquid concentrate formulas must be mixed with water. If you have any doubts about the safety of your drinking water, check with your local water utility or have your water tested. Use the exact amount of water the manufacturer specifies on the label. If the formula is too dilute or too concentrated, you may upset your baby's electrolyte balance and your baby's nutritional needs won't be met. Never dilute formula to make it last longer.  
  • Warm the formula, if needed. It's fine to give your baby room temperature or even cold formula. If your baby prefers warm formula, place a filled bottle in a bowl or pan of hot water and let it stand for a few minutes. Shake the bottle after warming it. Then turn it upside down and allow a drop or two of formula to fall on your wrist to test the temperature. It should be lukewarm — not hot. Don't warm bottles in the microwave. The formula may heat unevenly, creating hot spots that could burn your baby's mouth.  
  • Refrigerate extra bottles. If you prepare and fill several bottles at once, refrigerate the extra bottles until you need them. Discard any prepared formula that's been in the refrigerator more than 24 hours — or any formula that remains in the bottle after a feeding.


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