Preparation and storage of infant formula
1. One hasn’t read the instructions on the packaging
Either you prepare the formula for the first, the second or the third time — you should begin by reading the instructions on the packaging. Even if you started preparing the formula in maternity hospital, where specialists showed you the process, you are still supposed to read the instructions. All the necessary information is represented on a pack or a jar: it includes the method of preparation, the water temperature for formula dilution, the number of measuring spoons needed for one feeding, and the amount of vitamins and nutrients your child will receive.
2. One hasn’t measured the water and powder properly
If you dilute the mixture in other proportions than those are indicated in the instructions you may harm the baby. For example, this is one of the most common cases: mother puts some powder, adds some water — and then suddenly she can’t remember how much powder she has put. In this case, it is better to pour the contents out and to prepare a new portion. If the powder is diluted too much, then your baby won’t get enough nutrition, vitamins and minerals, and if you put too much powder, you may overfeed the baby. Moreover, a highly-concentrated mixture is harder to digest, so the baby might begin to have problems with stools, colic etc.
3. One hasn’t followed the hygiene requirements
Haven’t washed your hands before preparing the mixture or before feeding the baby? Haven’t sterilised the bottles or dummies? Then you have created all the necessary conditions for bacteria growth. Sterilisation is essential — and we don’t mean “Just wash it with a brush.”
4. One has used unsafe water
Boiling water when preparing baby formula is important. The needed temperature is indicated in the instructions. Special water for formula doesn’t require boiling — but you should use it before the expiration date indicated on the packaging. Also this water is not safe if you have long kept it in a decanter, a bottle or a cooler. If the bottle label indicates that the water should be consumed within 24 hours after opening, then it can’t be used for formula preparation after this period.
5. Violation of storage conditions
Infant formula, which has exceeded the expiration date or has been stored in a damaged packaging, is unsafe for your baby’s health. If you buy formula in a jar, please, make sure that the container is not crumpled. The storage temperature for infant formula is indicated on the packaging. It’s not safe to keep an open pack or jar in a fridge, a car, of in the open air. Open packaging can be stored for up to three weeks.
If your baby starts a bottle of formula but does not finish it within one hour, throw it away. It quickly deteriorates both at room temperature and in the fridge.
It’s important to strictly follow the instructions while preparing a formula feed and to follow baby feeding schedule, unless otherwise specified by your doctor.