Before you start preparing a bottle feed, you must be sure to follow a cleanliness routine:

  1. Sterilise all feeding equipment.
  2. Clean the surface on which you are making up the bottles.
  3. Wash your hands thoroughly.

Make up each feed as it is needed. This helps reduce the risk of infection. Use water with a temperature above 70°C but not boiling hot. Water this hot will kill all bacteria in the powder. We recommend boiling the kettle and leaving it cool for 20 to 30 minutes. 

Read the instructions on the formula packet carefully to check the amount of water and the number of scoops required for each feed. Don’t use more or less powder than it says as your baby could become ill. 

Pour the required amount of water in to the bottle before adding the formula. Adding the water first is important as you need to measure the amount accurately. 

Add the formula using the scoop provided in the packet – again, this ensures accuracy in regards to the amount required. Be sure to not press the powder down for each scoop; a loose, level scoop is sufficient.

Screw a lid or teat on to the bottle tightly and shake well until all powder has dissolved completely. 

Once you have made up the feed you must cool it to the right temperature for the baby. When tested on the inside of the wrist it should feel neither warm nor cold on your skin. Babies enjoy their feeds at room temperature, which may seem lukewarm to you but is just right for the baby. 

After feeding, throw away used formula and never re-heat or re-use it.

Making up a Feed in Advance

Warm milk is a breeding ground for bacteria so making up bottle feeds in advance is no longer advised.  As it is not easy to anticipate when a baby is going to wake up (and therefore when to boil the kettle and let the water cool), it may be easier to put a measured amount of formula aside in a sealed container (Milk Powder Dispensers are ideal) and have a flask of cooled boiled water ready to make up the feed. You can re heat the cooled boiled water and then add the formula prior to feeding.  You should only mix the formula once you are happy the water is at the correct temperature as this minimises the amount of time within which bacteria can grow.

For more information about bottle feeding, you may want to view our other bottle feeding articles, including the dos and don’ts of bottle feeding.