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Formula Feeding Tips

Types of Bottles
There are three types of formula bottles: glass, plastic and plastic with disposable liners. Plastic bottles are lightweight and sturdy, but recent concerns about BPA levels have led some to select glass bottles or BPA-free plastic bottles. Check with your healthcare team to determine the right type of bottle for you and your baby.

Types of Formula
Most commercial formulas are available in three different forms. They’re ready-to-feed, concentrated liquid, and powder. In the hospital you’ll be given the ready-to-feed formula of your choice. Hospital ready-to-feed formula comes pre-measured in single-feed bottles. While your baby may not drink the entire bottle at one feeding, do not save what’s left. A new bottle should be used for each feeding.

While ready-to-feed formula is probably the most convenient, it’s also the most expensive. Concentrates and powders are less expensive but require more preparation. Most families find powdered formula to be the most convenient, since they can mix it when they need it, and don’t have to worry about unmixed portions going bad, if not used immediately.

Mixing Formula
Always follow the directions exactly when you’re mixing formula. Formula, like breast milk, has all of the nutrients that your baby needs. Adding extra water or other things like sugar, honey, or cereal can be harmful to your baby.

Bottles can be prepared one at a time, as needed, or in batches if it’s more convenient. Water for mixing infant formula must be from a safe water source. Check with your state or local health department. If you’re concerned or uncertain about the safety of tap water, you can use bottled water.

Prepared formula must be kept in the refrigerator and thrown away if it’s not used within 24 hours after you make it. For proper storage and handling of formula, check with your healthcare team.

Cleaning Bottles
Keep all of your formula and bottle supplies in a clean, dry place. Some healthcare professionals recommend that all bottles and nipples be sterilized for the first two months of your baby’s life, while others suggest that only an initial sterilization is necessary. Discuss with your healthcare team what they feel is best for your baby. Whether sterilized or not, bottles and nipples should be thoroughly cleaned between feedings. Most of today’s products are dishwasher safe or you can wash them by hand in hot soapy water, using a bottlebrush. Many parents today choose bottles with disposable liners to cut down on cleaning time.