How to prepare bottles - a newbie here!

(9 Posts)
luna40 Sun 14-Jul-13 12:15:58

I have been exclusively breastfeeding my little one and now need to introduce mixed feeding. I am going to give a bottle of formula once or twice a day, and I have some very newbie questions about how to prepare a bottle!

1) Sterilising: once I sterilise bottles in my steam steriliser, how long do they last? Eg, if I sterilise first thing in the AM, take bottle out and put to the side, is it still okay to use for an evening bottle?

2) Boiling water: the formula tins and HV's say to use cooled boiled water to mix the formula, not cooled for longer than 30 mins. However, when I ask around at baby groups, Mums will tell me that they just use boiled water which is room temperature that they boiled longer than 30 mins ago. Ie, they will prepare several bottles with water in the evening that last throughout the night. Is this really okay to do? HV scared me in saying that it needs to be made fresh every time or I'm putting my baby at risk...

3) Once I prepare a bottle, within what time frame does it have to be used?

4) When going out and about, ie for a day trip, do people normally use those ready-to-pour cartons? Or do you bring powder and source a kettle?

Thanks for any tips you can give!

jkklpu Sun 14-Jul-13 12:42:12

How old is your baby? The important thing with formula milk is that the water should be at least 70C when it hits the powder so that it kills any bacteria which might be lurking in the formula itself. The sterilisation of the bottles is much less important - as long as you wash them in hot soapy water and rinse properly, they'll be fine. Lots of countries other than the UK don't advise sterilisation.

On making up several bottles at a time, the advice on this changed a few years ago. It used to be advised that it was fine to make several at once (as long as you made them with hot enough water) and put them straight into the back of the fridge for use the next day. You can then take them out cold and heat them out when you're out. Advice changed to say it was better to make each bottle up when it was needed but it's not always that practical and, as long as you don't have bottles hanging around out of the fridge for hours, there's unlikely to be a problem.

Isn't the specific info on the tins or relevant website? There are also helplines to ask these questions.

scissy Sun 14-Jul-13 14:20:05

I'm going to add that I use the bottles within an hour. I tend to make 3 bottles at once (with hot water) rapidly cool and store in the fridge. The NHS leaflet says it's ok to do this as long as the bottles are kept in the fridge (not the door) and used within 24 hours.

When out I use cartons, it's much less faff than having to source hot water, make it up then wait for the milk to cool! Using cartons over milk already made and stored in cool bag also means I don't have to worry it's been kept cool enough (especially in this weather).

luna40 Mon 15-Jul-13 15:18:14

Thank you both for your replies. Very helpful!

Dillydollydaydream Mon 15-Jul-13 15:37:52

1) Sterilising: once I sterilise bottles in my steam steriliser, how long do they last? Eg, if I sterilise first thing in the AM, take bottle out and put to the side, is it still okay to use for an evening bottle?
Once sterilise and sealed they're sterile for 24hrs I believe.

2) Boiling water: the formula tins and HV's say to use cooled boiled water to mix the formula, not cooled for longer than 30 mins. However, when I ask around at baby groups, Mums will tell me that they just use boiled water which is room temperature that they boiled longer than 30 mins ago. Ie, they will prepare several bottles with water in the evening that last throughout the night. Is this really okay to do? HV scared me in saying that it needs to be made fresh every time or I'm putting my baby at risk...
The water to make the bottles up is meant to be hot to kill any bacteria in the formula powder. The guidelines say to make each feed up at a time but obviously that's not always practical so people choose to make a few at a time and cool quickly and store in the fridge.

3) Once I prepare a bottle, within what time frame does it have to be used?
If you make a bottle up from fresh it can be used within 2 hrs. If reheating a bottle from the fridge 1hr. Once a feed us started discard after 1hr.

4) When going out and about, ie for a day trip, do people normally use those ready-to-pour cartons? Or do you bring powder and source a kettle?
Out and about a ready to use carton and sealed sterile bottle is the easiest solution. Unfortunately my baby will only drink warm milk so I take a flask of boiled water out with me. It stays steaming hot for 8hrs.

At home I use a method which I tweaked from seeing a product by Tommee Tippee called the Perfect Prep Machine.

I sterilise the bottles and keep them sealed on the side. When baby needs feeding boil kettle. I keep a sterile bottle in the fridge containing cooled boiled water.

If making a 5 oz bottle I add 2ozs of hot water from the kettle, dissolve 5 scoops of powder into it. I then add 3ozs of the cool boiled water from the bottle in the fridge (measured using markings on the water bottle). Gives perfect temperature milk and made up fresh.
At night or if I go out I just use hot water in a flask, take empty bottle, milk powder dispenser and bottle with cooled boiled water.

IWillStartOnMonday Mon 15-Jul-13 15:52:51

I make mine up the same way as dillydolly - add powder to boiling water from a kettle or thermos, and then add pre-prepared cooled boiled water. I'm also following a routine, so I can pre- prepare every bottle as I always know when she will need a feed.
When I go out I put the correct number of scoops into a container, them add boiling water from a thermos and either cool the water using cold water in a beaker, or add cold water if I have room to take two bottles. Tommie tippie do a good thermos.
I have a steam steriliser which goes on every morning and evening and just leave bottles in there and take them out when I need them.
I always chuck the milk away after max 2 hrs (unless it's been in a fridge and I'll leave for 12 hrs personally, but think it can be 24).

Dillydollydaydream Mon 15-Jul-13 17:32:29

Yes my flask is the tommee tippee one. If I'm going out for the day it stays hot all day.
That perfect prep machine is £99.99.😮
I saw it in toysrus but just couldn't justify the money!

hettybetty123 Tue 16-Jul-13 20:44:18

This is going to make me sound really lazy but because I also only give 1 bottle a day (occasionally 2) I always buy the cartons. It's really not cost effective - 69p for a carton of Aptamil - but so much less faff than measuring out powder and water.

Mind you, i've just done some ironing for the first time since dd was born and she's now 5 months old, so I'm not the world's most together mother blush

luna40 Wed 17-Jul-13 09:26:09

oo thats really interesting dillydolly about using both newly boiled, and cooled boiled water. I will give that a go! Thanks

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