Formula Feeding: Preparation and Storage

baby drinking from bottleSo you've decided to start your baby on formula. But how do you prepare bottles of formula? And how do you store bottles ahead of time?

Powders are the most popular and least expensive type of formula, but there are also other kinds, depending on your needs. Concentrates are liquids that you dilute with water, and you can also buy ready-to-use formula that can be poured directly into bottles for times when you’re traveling. However, the latter two options are more costly.

 It is fine to feed your baby formula cold, lukewarm, or warm; it all depends on your baby’s preference! 

The instructions on the container of the formula you choose are your best friend! Pour the liquid concentrate or powder into the bottle and add the appropriate amount of water (depending on which formula you use, the instructions may tell you to add the water first, or last). The Mayo Clinic suggests always sterilizing the water you mix with the formula. To do this, boil cold tap water in a clean pan for one to two minutes and let it cool before pouring it into the bottle; however, don’t allow the water to cool below 70 °C because you’ll want the water to sterilize the formula mix as well.

{ MORE: Your Baby and Water }

According to the Mayo Clinic, as long as you have pre-prepared the formula with boiled water, it is fine to feed your baby the formula cold, lukewarm, or warm; it all depends on your baby’s preference! If your baby likes her formula warm, place a bottle of formula in a bowl or pan of hot (not boiling) water for several minutes. Be sure to shake the bottle and test it on your wrist or the back of your hand before feeding your baby. You don’t want the formula to be hot—just warm.

The Mayo Clinic discourages parents from using the microwave to heat up bottles. In the microwave, the formula could heat unevenly, and while some parts are lukewarm others may be hot and burn your baby’s mouth.

All prepared formula should be used or stored in the refrigerator within an hour after preparation. If a bottle has been out for more than an hour, throw its contents away. Do not freeze bottles, and get rid of any formula that’s been in the refrigerator for more than 48 hours.

If you’re ever not sure about whether the formula is safe for your baby, err on the side of caution and get rid of it.


What do you think?

Formula Feeding: Preparation and Storage

Tell us what you think!


  1. LIZ says:

    baby always drink room temperature, hot water makes her vomiting

  2. mommy nhoj says:

    We are using water in room temperature for formula. Baby’s just fine with that. Before when I used to store my milk in the refrigerator we put the bottle in a bowl of hot water for few minutes. I never put bottle itself in a microwave oven

  3. amelia says:

    i heard that they don’t like you to use a microwave because it take away the nutrition in the formula. has anyone else hear of this?

  4. Stacey_82 says:

    I use the ready made and it seems to sit better on my DDs tummy. If we are at home and are not planing to go out she tends to like it warm but if we are going out soon or are out I give it to her chilled or room temp. I have noticed that if we are out and she has had a warm bottle she tends to spit up more and I believe it to be because she gets to warm/hot so the warmth of her with the warm bottle doesn’t sit well. This is my first child and I am finding what works for us but I have cared for a number of children before and with that said each child is different so just follow the instructions on the packages and when in doubt toss it out. Good luck parents :0)

  5. EbyMom says:

    I don’t store my formula. I prepare them as the need arises. I used to store breastmilk but my instincts don’t agree with storing formula. The article above is good to note


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