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Right Formula Feeding for Baby’s Growth & Development
While we, as caregivers, take a lot of care in selecting the right baby formula for our little one, not many of us take the time out to research the best way to prepare it. The correct preparation of the formula is very crucial.
Types of Baby Formula Milk
Before we get to the preparation part, let us cover the formula types in brief. Baby formula is available in two broad types – liquid and powdered form. Liquid itself is available as ready-to-feed as well as liquid concentrates. Liquid formula is usually recommended for premature babies who are highly susceptible to infection, and hence liquid formula minimises human contact due to lack of any preparation intervention. Powdered formula is also highly effective if prepared the right way.
WATCH: Here’s The Correct & Safe Way To Prepare Formula Milk
How to Prepare Formula Milk for Your Baby
Baby formula milk may not always be a personal choice. All mothers know that breastfeeding is the best feeding for their baby! However, some mothers may be unable to breastfeed their baby, in which case, formula is the next best thing.
1. Get the equipment ready
Collect all the equipment and utensils required, and keep them accessible for preparation. For e.g. the utensils required, measuring spoons, thermometer, feeding bottle and a clean counter top.
2. Spotless cleanliness
Clean your hands well before you start preparing the formula milk. It is also imperative to clean everything that we are about to use thoroughly to negate any chances of infection in the food. Begin with sterilising the bottle that the formula will be prepared in. To sterilise the bottle, we recommend using a steam steriliser. Boiling bottles by immersing them in hot water has been the traditional approach to cleaning. However, boiling doesn’t sterilize, it just disinfects. The bacteria spores may still stay alive after the boiling! It is therefore advisable to use a steriliser that kills germs using natural steam and doesn’t use any chemicals. Once you have done this, wash the vessel and measuring spoon. Ensure you use a good cleanser for at least 20 seconds to clean all. Now, proceed to the counter top where the formula will be prepared.
3. Measure the formula
For powdered formula or liquid concentrate, decide the quantity of formula to be given to your little one in conjunction with her paediatrician.
4. Pouring out the formula
In case of liquids concentrate, shake the container thoroughly before pouring into the feeding bottle. For liquid concentrates and powdered formula, measure out the required quantity with the measuring spoons and keep it aside.
5. The mix
Read the instructions on the formula container to understand the quantity of water to be added to the mix to get the prescribed amount of formula. First pour the prescribed level of clean water into the bottle, and add the formula into that. Then close the bottle with the sterilised nipple and shake the bottle well before use.
6. Warm the formula
If you would like to warm the formula before giving it to your little one, place the bottle in a pan with warm water, not boiling though. After about ten minutes, take the bottle out and shake it well. Then turn it and let a few drops fall out on your hand to test the temperature.
7. Store formula safely
Store unopened formula containers in a cool dry place. Try to buy a formula that has better shelf-life, or you can consult your baby’s pediatrician for a good recommended baby formula. Formula that has been prepared should be stored in the refrigerator, not the freezer though, with clear marking of the date of preparation. Discard any prepared formula that has been in the refrigerator for more than 48 hours.
Remember that if you are choosing formula feed, it must be prepared accurately to be safe and effective for the baby’s development.