Every new mother must decide what kind of formula to use if she is bottle feeding rather than breast feeding. Luckily there are a variety of choices available. You will find powdered formula, liquid concentrate and even ready to feed baby formula on store shelves. Formula that is ready to feed does not require any water to be added. Rather, it is simply poured into the bottle and warmed before feeding. There are both advantages and disadvantages of this kind of formula.
One plus of ready to feed formula is that preparation is fast and easy. However there are still some steps you need to take to ensure safe feeding. First of all always make sure the bottle you are using has been properly cleaned and sterilized. Also the formula will need to be heated to the proper temperature. Heating can be done by placing the filled bottle in a container of very hot water until the contents are the ideal temperature. While some mothers do use the microwave to heat bottles this can be dangerous because there can be hot spots in the bottle that can burn your baby’s mouth.
If you do go the microwave heating route, always heat the bottle on a low setting for only a few seconds at a time and keep checking until desired temperature is reached. Eventually you will find the perfect setting and heating time. Never heat bottles with the nipples or caps on, and always shake the heated bottle thoroughly to distribute the heat evenly. Always check the temperature of the warmed formula on your inner wrist to ensure it is not too hot or cold for your baby. Discard any leftover formula in the bottle rather than saving it for later.
Ready to feed baby formula isn’t without its disadvantages. It can be expensive, and often costs substantially more than powdered or liquid concentrate. Also you will need to store the opened but unused formula in the refrigerator until you are ready to use the rest. Refer to package instructions to find out how long unused opened formula can be safely stored in your refrigerator. Powdered formula never needs refrigerator storage even after opening, making it convenient for most parents. Whether you go for ready to feed or a concentrated variety of formula keep your pediatrician informed as to what, when and how you are feeding your baby.