Though it is highly encouraged for mothers to breastfeed their baby, if you have opted for formula or need to supplement with formula, it is super important that you pay extra attention to the safe preparation of your baby’s milk each time because unlike a breastfed baby, a formula-fed baby does not have the immune factors. Hence here are the dos and don’ts to a safe formula feeding.
#1 Do ensure you are giving the right powdered formula for your baby. As powdered formula is not sterile, for babies under two months or those who are born prematurely, should only be given concentrated liquid or ready-to-serve formula. Do consult your pediatrician and stick to the advice!
#2 Do stress on cleanliness. Prior to preparing, wash your hands thoroughly and maintain hygiene of the countertop or table where you will be mixing the formula. Do keep the container of formula clean too! Wash its lid and its outside surface before you open it. Once you open the container, check for foreign particles like piece of glass or insects. Make sure to wash bottles and teats properly. Sterilize and clean them before using.
#3 Do measure and mix thoroughly. Ensure to measure the formula and water ratio carefully before mixing them together. Follow the guidelines on the container or check with your pediatrician to have better understanding on the exact amount of ingredient you need. Also, another crucial practice to note is be wary to not let the water to cool below 70°c to ensure bacteria are killed.
#4 Do store the formula safely. Do place any leftover made-up formula in the back of the fridge where it is the coldest. But do not freeze them! And do discard formula after 24 hours in the fridge. And if you are travelling, ensure to use a cooler bag with ice packs to prevent them from going bad.
#5 Do not warm the bottle in a microwave. It could create hot spots in the milk that could burn your baby’s mouth. The safer way to warm the milk is to run warm or hot water over the bottle. Or you can place the bottle in an electric bottle warmer.
#6 Do not use formula that has been in room temperature for more than two hours. And always discard leftovers if your baby does not finish a bottle.
#7 Do not try to force the entire bottle. If your baby shows signs of being full and wanting to stop, stop the feeding and do not force the entire bottle. This may leads to excess weight gain! Moreover, you should give your baby only the amount that she/he needs.
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