The Don’ts of Formula Feeding
If you’ve recently switched to formula or are using formula from the get go, you may have heard a lot of conflicting information about formula preparation. Every formula brand should come with preparation instructions and it’s important you follow these instructions carefully when giving your baby formula.
Not only do formula preparation guidelines ensure your baby is getting the nutrients he needs, they also help protect him against any serious health conditions like a bacterial infection.
When formula feeding, you should:
Avoid using the microwave
When preparing a bottle, do not use a microwave to heat the formula. We know it can be tempting to use a microwave when you have a fussy baby on your hands, but it’s not worth the risk. Microwaves don’t heat evenly and can create “pockets” of hot liquid, which can burn the inside of your little one’s delicate mouth.
Avoid using unfiltered, cool water
Although water quality varies from city to city, it’s always best to use filtered water that has been boiled and cooled to room temperature. Although illnesses and deaths related to bacteria in water are rare in the U.S., it can and does happen. Why risk your little one’s health when only a few extra minutes can possibly prevent him from getting sick?
The World Health Organization recommends boiling water to at least 70°C (158°F) before using it in the preparation of infant formula.
Avoid changing the ratio of water and/or powdered formula
Formula manufacturers have spent years of research developing the correct ratio of water and powdered formula. Changing the ratio of water and formula changes the composition of the product, which could have severe short and long-term effects on your child’s health and development.
Diluted formula could lead to nutritional deficiencies and thickened formula (not enough water) can cause dehydration. Adding anything other than water (e.g. cereal, solid foods) to formula could put baby at risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) or other serious health issues.
Avoid using mineral water
You may think it’s harmless, but using mineral water instead of fresh, boiled water could harm your baby. Mineral water can contain dangerously high levels of sodium and calcium, which could cause dehydration and/or kidney issues. If you’re not sure if fresh, filtered water will be available, take a bottle of boiled water with you. Please keep in mind: boiled water should be discarded after 24 hours of boiling.