Preparing & Storing Infant Formula

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Preparing & Storing Infant Formula

Feed your newborn iron fortified formula feedings as directed by your health care provider. Follow manufacturer's label for mixing and storing any infant formula.

Preparing Formula

  • Check expiration dates. Always throw away any expired formula.

  • Hands should be washed with hot soapy water and rinsed well before preparing bottles.

  • Bottles and nipples do not need to be sterilized but should be washed in hot, soapy water, or cleaned in the dishwasher.

Water for mixing powder or concentrated formula:

  • City tap water may be used for mixing infant formula. Cold water is recommended to reduce the amount of lead which could leak from the water pipes if hot water was used. Run cold water from the tap (15-30 seconds) before using.

  • Before baby is born well water should be tested for bacteria and nitrates, before it is used for formula preparation. Contact your county public health department for a water testing kit.

  • If using bottled water it must say for drinking purposes. Bottled water may have fewer impurities and contaminants, but could still have harmful bacteria.

Contact your health care provider and dentist with any questions or concerns.

How to safely prepare formula with water:

  • Check expiration dates. Always throw away any expired formula.
  • Hands should be washed with hot soapy water and rinsed well before preparing bottles.
  • Bottles and nipples do not need to be sterilized but should be washed in hot, soapy water, or cleaned in the dishwasher.
  • If using powder formula, mix well to make sure there are no clumps of undissolved powder in the bottle.
  • Some babies prefer bottles at a cool temperature, others prefer bottles warmed. If your newborn prefers warm bottles: place bottle in a bowl of warm water or under running tap water to warm safely. Always check the temperature of the formula by shaking a few drops on your wrist before offering it to your newborn. It should be lukewarm, not hot.
  • Do not warm formula or water in the microwave. This may overheat the liquid and can burn your baby's mouth.

Storing Formula

  • If your newborn does not finish a bottle of formula within one hour, throw it away. Do not save it for later. During a feeding, your baby's saliva gets in the bottle and can cause bacteria to grow. Reheating or refrigerating will not kill the bacteria.
  • You can decide whether to mix it up as you go or prepare a full day's worth at a time and refrigerate it.
    • Powder - prepared powder formula should be discarded after being in the refrigerator longer than 24 hours.
    • Opened or prepared ready-to-feed or concentrate formula should be discarded after being in the refrigerator longer than 48 hours.