Baby Formula Guide: Must-Know Dos and Don'ts

A mama who is formula feeding her child has to learn the ins and outs of preparing her little one's beverage. Unlike breast milk, which comes out ready to eat, a mixing mum needs to make sure she's using the proper steps to ensure her baby's liquid diet is healthy and nutritional. From measuring to storage, here are a few things you do and don't want to do when getting your baby's formula ready.

  • Do Abide By Expiration Date - There is an expiration date on the formula's packaging for a reason. If you don't abide by it, you can't be sure that the formula is safe (or nutritional).
  • Don't Use Damaged Cans - Just like you would probably not eat from a can that has been damaged and bent, do not feed your child formula from a package that looks damaged. According to the Mayo Clinic, "Formula in a damaged container may be unsafe."
  • Do Wash Your Hands - Washing your hands is the number one way to keep yourself and your baby germ free. Be especially cautious to wash up before preparing your little one's formula.
  • Don't Overdo Tap Water - If you know that your tap water is fluoridated, don't only use that water as your source for mixing with the formula. Getting some fluoride is a good thing, but too much fluoride leads to fluorosis. Talk to your child's doctor about your water and if it's better to use distilled bottled water as well.
  • Do Warm the Bottle - Some children will drink cold or room temperature formula with ease, while others prefer it to be warm. Feel free to warm your child's formula by placing it under running hot water, or warming it in a cup of hot water.
  • Don't Microwave It - Warming the formula in the microwave is not recommended as it can create hot spots and burn a baby's mouth.
  • Do Store Unused Formula Properly - Formula has different storage requirements than breast milk. To ensure that prepared formula stays fresh, put any unused bottles in the back of the refrigerator, toss it if it's been in the refrigerator more than 24 to 48 hours, and do not freeze bottles.
  • Don't Feel Bad About Using Formula - Doctor's have said that breast is best, but breastfeeding is not always an option for everyone. If you decided to give your child formula, try not to beat yourself up about it. Making sure your child gets the proper food and nutrients to thrive is the most important thing.
  • Do Measure Accurately - Follow the directions on the label and measure accurately when preparing baby's formula. For powder mixtures, only use the scoop that is provided and level off the surface with a knife to ensure the measurement is accurate to the manufacturer's directions.
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