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Thread: Formula Feeding - FAQs and Useful Info

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2003
    Beautiful Adelaide!

    Smile Formula Feeding - FAQs and Useful Info

    This thread is stickied and for info only, hence it is locked. If you have any questions or general chatter around Formula Feeding, please post in either the Formula Feeding Forum, or in the Formula Feeding General Chatter thread. There is an aticle on the main site for those struggling with the decision to use formula, Gulity Secrets - When Breastfeeding Doesn't Work Out which is well worth a read.

    What equipment do I need?

    8 Bottles
    8 Teats
    Bottle & Teat Brush
    Plastic Jug (for heating bottles)
    Cooled Boiled Water
    Insulated Bottle Bag

    Other useful items:

    Formula Dispenser

    Which formula should I use?

    There are many different types of formulas available on the market. If you start formula-feeding whilst in hospital, it is recommended that you stick with whatever formula the hospital has started your baby on, as it can sometimes upset their tummies by switching formula, unless of course it is recommended by your MCHN or GP that you switch to another formula for medical reasons.

    If you start formula-feeding after you have left hospital, it can be quite a challenge to decide on what formula to use for your baby. Talk to your MCHN, GP or your friends and family to see what they recommend and why, and thoroughly investigate the formulas available. This can be time consuming (particularly if you're wanting to read the cans whilst at the supermarket with a baby!) but it's definitely worthwhile to ensure that you make the right choice. You should ensure that you select the right formula for the age of your baby. There are special formulas available for babies with reflux or who are lactose intolerant.

    What kind of bottles and teats should I use?

    This is a tricky one! There are such a variety of bottles and teats available that it can be quite daunting trying to decide what to use. You can purchase short wide-necked bottles (usually fairly expensive) or simply purchase normal-sized bottles. Whatever you purchase, make sure that your insulated bottle bag will accommodate them! You should also ensure that your purchase the correct-sized teat for your baby's age.

    You can buy bottles and teats from supermarkets like Coles and Woolworths, as well as places like Big W, Target, K-Mart etc. There are certain bottles and teats that are designed to help with reducing colic, so if you have a windy baby, you might like to consider trying these. It is usually a case of trial and error as to what teat your baby likes.

    How do I store bottles and teats?

    Bottles and teats, once sterilized, should be stored in the back of the refrigerator. They should not be stored in the door, as this is the warmest place in the refrigerator. All bottles and teats should be sterilized every 24 hours (whether they are used or not).

    How do I make up a bottle?

    Always ensure that you follow the instructions on the can when preparing a bottle for baby. There are many different formulas available and the number of scoops that you need to add to each bottle and the amount of cooled, boiled water for the bottle varies.

    Bottles should always be made with cooled boiled water. You can leave the water to cool to room temperature in the kettle, or put it in the sterilized bottles to cool in the refrigerator.

    Making up bottles in advance

    It can be very convenient to make up bottles in advance, particularly in the very early days before baby is sleeping through the night. You can make up the bottles in advance, once the boiled water has reached room temperature (this makes mixing the bottles up a lot easier than if the water is left until it is totally cold from the refrigerator). Once you have prepared the bottle according to the instructions on the back of the can, place the bottles into the fridge for storage, preferably towards the back. Bottles prepared in advance should be used within 24 hours. Any bottles that have not been used within this time, should be disposed of.

    Making up bottles as required

    There are a couple of ways that you can go about doing this if you don't want to make baby's bottles in advance. You can:

    1. Heat the water in the microwave and then add the required amount of formula. Please ensure that the shake the bottle well. Microwave-heating can create hot spots and uneven heating and shaking the bottle well will ensure that the heat is well distributed.

    2. Take a bottle of water from the refrigerator, add the required amount of formula, and shake well. Heat the bottle in a jug of warm water.

    How do I heat a bottle?

    3. It is always preferable to heat a pre-prepared bottle in a jug of boiling water. This ensures that the bottle is heated evenly (& also handy to keep the bottle at the right temperature whilst burping/changing baby!).

    4. You may microwave the bottle if desired, however a lot of MCHN do not recommend doing this with pre-prepared bottles as the bottles then do not require shaking to mix the formula and water, and some MCHN suggest that this may damage some of the essential nutrients contained in the formula. The jury is out on this one!

    5. Use an electric bottle-warmer.

    Can I re-heat bottles?

    You can re-heat a bottle within 1 hour. If it is not used within this time, it should be disposed of and a fresh bottle used. Bottles should not be re-heated more than once.

    How do I sterilize bottles and teats?

    There are many different ways that you can sterilize your bottles and teats. Prior to sterilizing, you should give all the bottles and teats, a good hot soapy wash (using normal dishwashing liquid and a good bottle and teat brush), and rinse them off with warm water to remove any dishwashing liquid.

    Methods for sterilizing include:

    Microwave Sterilizer

    These are very fast, easy and convenient, and steam-sterilize the bottles and teats. Always follow the instructions that come with the sterilizer and for your type of microwave. You can pick one up from places like Woolworths, Big W, Target etc and they can be anywhere between $15 - $30.

    Electric Sterilizer

    Again, these are very fast, easy and convenient and work on the principle of steam sterilizing. These are more expensive than microwave sterilizer and can be upwards of $80. You can also pick these up from places like Big, Target etc.

    Boiling in a pot for 5 minutes

    This is a very fast and easy method of sterilizing also. You should bring a pot of water to the boil and then add the bottles and teats and boil for a full five minutes.

    Sterilizing Solution

    Sterilizing solutions such as "Milton" are still used, however they can be a little more time consuming than the above methods. If you wish to sterilize by this method, you will not only need the sterilizing solution, but also a bucket in which to sterilize your bottles and teats in the solution. Generally it takes around an hour for the bottles to be sterilized. Always follow the instructions carefully.

    What do I do when I am going out at a feed time?

    There are many different ways that you can go out and about with baby when it is approaching feed time. What works best for you will most likely depend on where it is that you are going, i.e. if you have access to a microwave, a kettle, or no access to electrical equipment whatsoever, e.g. a park.

    Access to microwave and/or kettle:

    Take a pre-made bottle with you, if you know that you can keep it extremely cold or if when you arrive at your destination, you can immediately store it in a refrigerator until it is required. Heat the bottle using a jug of boiling water from the kettle (or a microwave, but please note the comments above with regard to microwaving pre-made bottles).

    Take a formula dispenser filled with enough formula for a bottle, together with a bottle of cooled boiled water from the refrigerator (place the bottle in your insulated bottle bag). Microwave the bottle and then add the formula (ensuring that you shake well to evenly distribute heat). Ensure that you adjust the amount of time that you would microwave the bottle of water for, if the bottle has not remained totally cold. Alternatively, heat the bottle in a jug of hot water, and then add the formula to it.

    No access to a microwave and/or kettle:

    Take a formula dispenser filled with enough formula for a bottle. Boil the kettle, and fill the bottle with boiling water, and place in your insulated bottle bag. Once the bottle is required, make it up fresh (the water may have cooled to the right temperature by the time you need it). Take a plastic jug with you just in case, and a bottle of cold water. This way, if the water is too hot, you can cool it down to the required temperature.

    Place the required amount of formula in the dispenser, and take a cold bottle of water from the refrigerator, and place it in your insulated bottle bag. Also take a thermos of boiling water and a plastic jug with you. Make up the bottle fresh as you need it, and heat it using the boiling water and jug.

    You can buy special thermoses at places like Target, which are designed specifically for these kinds of situations! When you need to heat a bottle, you simply remove the plastic cover from the thermos (like a large cup) and then pour the boiling water from the thermos into it and then add the bottle to warm it.

    Is My Baby Hungry?

    Check out THIS article written by Pinky McKay.
    Last edited by onthefly; August 10th, 2012 at 05:45 PM.

  2. #2
    mummycate Guest


    Milton now only takes 15 minutes. I find it convenient as I can put bottle paraphernalia in and leave it overnight and make up in the morning. Steam sterilisers need to have items removed and "sealed" (put together with lid on) to keep them sterile for 24hours. Bottles can be left in milton for longer than the 24 hour period of water use, but nothing new can be added.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2006

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