Formula can provide all the nutrients your little one needs during the first 6 months of their life – but not everyone appreciates the importance of preparing formula correctly.
Choosing the right formula to match the age and nutritional needs of your baby is important – but so is reading the label carefully, following the manufacturer’s instructions and handling the formula correctly.
The number of scoops and the amount of water can vary between different types and brands of formula – so it’s a good idea to always check the manufacturer’s instructions for the correct amount of water and powder to use before making up the formula. Always use the scoop that came with the formula as scoop sizes can vary too.
- If the formula made is too strong (when too much powder is added to the water) your baby may become constipated
- If the formula is too weak (when not enough powder is added to the water) your baby may not be getting all the nutrients they need to help them grow and develop.
A baby’s immune system is not as well-developed as an adult’s, so it is important to use good hygiene practices when making up formula – to help prevent illnesses and infections.
Simple hygiene steps to remember:
- Always wash your hands thoroughly before starting to prepare the formula
- Make sure the surface area you are going to use to prepare the formula is clean
- Remember to wash all the feeding equipment carefully (both inside and out)
- Sterilise equipment by boiling in water for 5 minutes or using another approved sterilising method – remembering to follow the sterilising directions carefully.
Preparation steps 1-2-3
Step 1. Sterilising the water
Boil fresh water and allow it to cool – until lukewarm – before making up the formula. If the water is too hot it may scald your baby or affect the quality of the nutrients in the formula.
Bottled water (but not sparkling mineral water) can be used but it is not sterile and should always be boiled first.
Step 2 – Making up the formula
Check the instructions on the formula pack for the correct amount of water and powder to use before starting – it’s also a good idea to check the expiry date!
- Pour the correct amount of boiled (cooled) water into the sterilised feeding bottle
- Add the correct amount of powder (measure the right amount of powder by carefully levelling off the scoop provided)
- Cap the bottle and shake until the powder dissolves
- Ideally prepare each bottle individually just before you need it.
Step 3 – Feeding
Always check the temperature of the formula before giving it to your baby – you can do this by testing a few drops on the inside of your wrist. Make sure you discard any formula left over in the bottle after a feed.
For more on how to prepare a bottle, see our demonstration video
In this animation we look at how to prepare a bottle of formula, as well as some useful tips on discarding, storing and transporting formula.