Parenting

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How Do You Prepare a Bottle?

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Whether you’re solely feeding your baby formula or using formula to supplement breastfeeding, it’s important to know how to prepare formula. While it can seem complex initially, once you know the basics, it’s a breeze! 

Talk to your pediatrician to determine which formula is best for your baby and then choose from powder form and ready-to-feed form. If you’re always on the go, the ready-to-feed formula may be most convenient for you. Or, you can alternate between both types, using the powder form at home and the ready-to-feed formula when traveling or on long outings.

How to Make a Baby Bottle

Follow the steps below every time you prepare formula for baby:

  • Begin by thoroughly washing your hands with soap and warm water.
  • When using ready-to-feed, shake formula container before opening.
  • If formula is in a can, clean the lid and use a clean can opener.
  • Carefully follow the directions on the container for the amount of formula and the amount of water to use when mixing powdered formula. For ready-to-feed formula, don’t add any water.

For proper mixing:

  • Measure and pour the amount of water stated on the formula container into the baby bottle.
  • Then, add unpacked, level scoop(s) of powder to the bottle as directed. Return dry scoop to the can.
  • Put the cap on the bottle and shake. 
  • Feed or store immediately in refrigerator.

Note that, since your baby’s saliva can contaminate the formula in the bottle during feeding, you’ll want to throw away any formula that your baby hasn’t finished within one hour of starting it.

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Best Water for Baby Formula

Boiled water is typically considered the safest to use for making baby bottles, however, you’ll want to find out what your pediatrician advises. While bottled and filtered water aren’t preferable compared to water that has been boiled, they may be better alternatives to tap water, depending on where you live. If there are any concerns about lead or other harmful substances in your tap water, talk to your pediatrician prior to making formula with your tap water. 

To prepare formula with boiled water:

  • Bring water to a rolling boil for one minute and then turn off the heat.
  • Let the water cool to room temperature before adding to formula. 
  • Once mixed, sprinkle a few drops on the inside of your wrist to make sure it isn’t too hot.

For more helpful information, read our tips for introducing a bottle to your baby and our bottle washing and sterilization tips

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