The importance of nutrition for proper infant
Your baby’s formula is an important part of his or her development. It provides nutrition and is essential for your baby’s health. Choosing a formula is an important job for new parents, but just as important is the preparation of the formula.
Unless it is prepared properly, formula lacks the essential nutrition your baby needs. It can also make your baby sick. In order to provide a healthy meal for your newborn and prevent any formula mishaps, follow these steps for preparing infant formula.
Pay Attention to the Expiration Date
Before preparing formula, check the expiration date on the container. Formula lists a use-by date that indicates the point at which the contents of the container are no longer safe for your baby.
Gather Your Preparation Tools
Once you have a fresh container of formula, gather the other items you need for preparation. If you are using brand new utensils sterilize them in boiling water for five minutes. Previously used utensils should be clean thoroughly with dish detergent and water before reuse. Nipples should be cleaned with a vinegar and water solution to prevent fungus.
Measuring Your Formula
There are three different types of formula. Ready-to-use formulas should be shaken and poured directly into a bottle. There is no need to add water or any other liquid to this type of formula.
Liquid concentrate formulas are blended with water to create a complete serving. Follow the directions on the formula container for the appropriate ratio of water to formula concentrate.
Powdered formula is mixed with water to create the appropriate serving. Scoop the formula out of the container with the scoop provided. The correct amount of powder to water ratio should be listed on the container.
Though formula recipes differ, the general ratio is one scoop of powder to two ounces of water. Use the full scoop of powder, even if it creates more formula than your baby will eat. Filling the scoop ensures the measurement is accurate and the formula is not diluted or too strong.
Once the appropriate number of scoops is added to the container or bottle, you can add water. Never add more water than the recommended amount on the formula container because it can be dangerous to your baby’s health. You can use bottled, filtered, or tap water, as long as it is clean and cool. Boiling tap water for two minutes and allowing it to cool ensures purity.
Warming Your Formula
Once the formula is mixed, you can warm it. Some babies prefer cool or room temperature formula, but others enjoy formula that is warm. You can warm formula right in the bottle by placing it in a pot of hot water and letting it stand for a few minutes.
Running the bottle under hot water for several seconds also warms it. Avoid heating formula in the microwave because it heats unevenly and can damage the bottle. Once the formula is heated, give it several shakes before feeding your baby.
Unopened containers of baby formula should be stored in a dry, cool location away from extreme temperatures. Open containers of ready to use formula should be covered and stored in the refrigerator. This type of formula typically lasts about 24 to 48 hours after opening, so pay close attention to the date and time of opening.
If you prepare more than one bottle or container of formula at a time, treat it as you would ready to use formula. Label the bottles and refrigerate until you are ready to use. Prepared formula should be discarded after 48 hours or per the instructions on the formula container.