While breastfeeding is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, there are some mothers who, for some reason, are unable to do so. Other parents also decide on formula feeding based on personal preferences. In such a situation, it is important that baby formula is administered properly in order to maximize its benefits and minimize possible risks.
Tip 1 — Check the can.
Before even start feeding your child formula, it is important to check the can for a number of reasons. The first thing to determine is the expiration date of the formula. Also, even if the formula is not set to expire for a long time, avoid getting cans of milk which have dents as these may have been inadvertently contaminated during transport.
Tip 2 — Control the temperature.
Just like medicine, baby formula should be kept in a cool and dry place. Once the formula has been mixed with water, you can warm the milk for consumption under hot running water. Do not microwave the bottle as hot spots in the milk might burn your baby?s tongue.
Tip 3 — Keep feeding bottles clean.
Baby formula does not have the same antibodies as breast milk does which makes it doubly important to ensure the cleanliness of your glass or plastic feeding bottles if you are formula feeding. If you do not have a bottle sterilizer, you can boil the bottles, nipples, and other feeding paraphernalia for five minutes. Special solutions for washing baby products are also available in the market. Some brands require you to mix a few drops with water and soak the bottles for a few minutes.
Tip 4 — Use only clean water.
While some parents use special bottled water for baby formula, it is enough to use purified water or water that has been filtered and boiled for about five minutes. If you are not sure about the quality of tap water in your area, make sure you find out first before using it for formula feeding, especially if your baby is only a few months old.
Tip 5 — Use the right proportions.
Formula can be pricey, so some parents may be tempted to use more water for baby formula. This is a bad idea because it compromises on the amount of nutrients your child gets. Read the label and follow it as precisely as possible to avoid dehydration from too little water and malnutrition from using too much water.
Tip 6 — Store milk wisely.
While preparing a big batch of baby formula in the morning sounds like a great idea to save on time, don’t prepare too much or you may have to throw the excess away. Refrigerated baby formula can keep for up to 24 hours. Once your baby has been fed from a bottle, give him an hour to finish it, or else throw it away to avoid the risk of bacterial contamination. By preparing and storing baby formula properly, you will be able to ensure that your child gets the most out of this feeding method.