Advanced search

To send this email to Tommee Tippee and be appalled that the advice they are giving?

(115 Posts)
TheDetective Tue 26-Feb-13 13:15:17

Copied and pasted from the email I have just sent...

"I visited your consumer site, as a parent, but I am also a Midwife.

I am contacting you because you are giving incorrect advice regarding the correct way to prepare infant formula.

Your website states:

'Health guidelines recommend you make up bottles one at a time. It may be easier to store the cooled, boiled water sealed in the bottles and then add the formula at feeding time.'

This goes directly against Department of Health Guidelines. A copy of which can be found here:

The correct advice is:

'To reduce the risk of infection, make up each feed as your
baby needs it, using boiled water at a temperature of 70 o
C or above. The step-by-step guide shows you how to do this.
Water at this temperature will kill any harmful bacteria that
may be present. Remember to let the feed cool before you
give it to your baby.'

This is followed up with the following information:

'Do not boil water in advance and store it in sterilised bottles
in the fridge for later use. The water needs to be hot when the
powdered infant formula is added, to kill any harmful bacteria
that may be present.'

Please can you explain why you are advising parents directly against the government guidelines for making up first stage formulas.
I would like to know where you found the information to display on your website.

There are some formulas which require preparing with cooled boiled water, but these are specialist milks, and the majority of parents and carers will not be using these milks.

The advice you are providing can and does make babies ill. I am very shocked that you would give such ill-informed advice.

I would appreciate a speedy response to my question."

Was I being unreasonable? I'm quite annoyed at them really! Am off to see what other bottle manufacturers websites say...! One woman mission here!

PseudoBadger Tue 26-Feb-13 18:46:45

Sorry the above link is general info on that bacterium.
This is a pub med showing a reduction in bacteria at 70 degrees

AnnieLobeseder Tue 26-Feb-13 18:49:20

How much of a reduction? Sorry on phone now so I can't read the paper.

PseudoBadger Tue 26-Feb-13 18:50:35

"When dried infant formula containing this strain was rehydrated with water preequilibrated to various temperatures, a more than 4-log reduction in E. sakazakii levels was achieved by preparing the formula with water at 70 degrees C or greater"

Shootenanny Tue 26-Feb-13 18:51:47

70 degrees is the level they pasteurize milk at. I'm sure that's a fairly proven method for reducing bacteria levels within milk

PseudoBadger Tue 26-Feb-13 18:53:42

If anyone has some spare time here is the codex for infant formula

AnnieLobeseder Tue 26-Feb-13 18:54:43

4 logs is quite substantial, do they say how many were in there to start with though? 4 logs off 10e6 is pretty substantial, but 4 logs off 10e12 still leaves 10,000,000 bacteria in your formula.

I'd be interested to know what level of contamination is standard in a tub or formula.

TheSurgeonsMate Tue 26-Feb-13 19:43:16

Ha ha benjamin given what i say above I see you've come specifically on make me feel [grr].

Getting back to ops point, tome tippee are suggesting that that's not necessarily how it's most easily done.

TheDetective Tue 26-Feb-13 23:39:59

I've found some more misleading information on the Mothercare website. Although, it isn't giving direct advice. I was looking for the tubs to store powder in as the SMA staydown formula has to be prepared with cold previously boiled water, and powder added at the time of the feed.

I came across this:

'Each compartment of the Philips AVENT Milk Powder Dispenser stores enough formula for 3 x 260ml feeds, so when you're ready to feed, simply pour the powder into your little one's bottle. Add the required quantity of cooled boiled water, and baby is ready to feed. '

Firstly, you don't simply pour the powder in to the bottle, and then add the water, you do it the other way around, unless you have the exact amount of water already measured out. Secondly, it talks aboout cooled boiled water again.

Jeez. There is so much misleading information out there!

I know it isn't anything to do with Mothercare really, and it isn't given as advice, and presumably the item would come with instructions with correct advice. But still. It gives the wrong impression IMO.

BTW. I haven't gone looking for these things, I have geniunely been searching for products that will help me now I have changed formula.

Murtette Wed 27-Feb-13 00:11:47

I'm glad you've raised this as I read the "how much of a faff is ff really" (or similar name) thread the other day and thought "well, it is as I don't know how to make up a bottle safely in advance". People on that thread contradicted each other so I googled "making up a bottle in advance" and the first link was the Tommee Tippee one and I read what OP has linked to above and was a bit confused as I thought that that was old advice and certainly contradicted what other websites (such as the NHS) were saying and so I've spent the last few days watching various friends make up bottles for their babies and they all do different things (including my friends who are GPs!) and when I mention that I thought the NHS advice these days differs from what they're doing they just say "but I've always done it this way and its never done my DC any harm"... which isn't really the point! I will have to leave DS with some bottles this week (he's usually bf and so has only had bottles of ebf to date) & they will have to be made up in advance and I still don't know what to do. Or what kit I need to be able to keep it safe once its been made. I am very tempted to just buy those ready made cartons except they're so expensive. DS is a pretty sturdy 9mo so, if he were to get infected with something due to incorrectly made up formula, he's probably in a better position to fight it off than a 9 day old would be but I still don't want him to get ill. The other thing which annoys me about it is that I consider myself to be pretty intelligent and have waited until DS is 9mo so am past the really sleep deprived stage yes I still can't understand it or find the correct advice. I think DS would have had more formula had I been more confident that any bottle I was going to make up would actually be safe for him to consume.

TheDetective Wed 27-Feb-13 00:36:54

Murtette The DOH guidelines say the following about preparing feeds in advance:

'Transporting a feed
If it is not possible to make up a fresh feed by following the advice above or if
you need to transport a feed – for example to a nursery or childminder – you
should prepare the feed at home and cool it, for at least one hour, at the back of the fridge.

Take it out of the fridge just before you leave and carry it in a cool bag with
an ice pack – and use it within four hours.
If you do not have an ice pack, or access to a fridge, the made-up infant
formula must be used within two hours.'

You can get insulated carry bags for the bottles, or a cool bag. I always add an ice pack to my insulated bag, even though it says you don't need to. I err on the side of caution!

Murtette Wed 27-Feb-13 00:54:29

I found this just now but thank you for pointing it out to me! So do I then warm the bottle to an acceptable temperature for DS by running it under a tap? Or will that causel all of the bacteria to have a party?
It does worry me how many of my friends are making bottles up completely wrong. One of them boils the kettle, leaves it to cool for 30 mins, makes up 6 bottles for the day & them leaves them on the window sill so that they're ready for use whenever she needs them; another always takes two bottles out with her which she makes up with boiling water & puts straight into the insulated bag so that they never get too cold; friends 3 to 6 take a bottle of cooled boiled water (although it will have been cooled in various different ways) and add the powder later.

Being very tedious... if I'm dropping DS at the childminder at 8, I need to leave home at 7.45 so the bottle needs to be in the fridge by 6.45 so the kettle needs to have finished boiling at 6.15... or do I have to leave the water to cool between letting it get to 70 degrees & putting it in the fridge? Do I really need to get up at 6.00am to get all of the process started or can I do it the night before and leave the bottles in the fridge overnight? And will I have to get the childminder to make up DS's afternoon bottle? Or can I take one which I made up at 6.45am, transport it in an insulated bag for 15 mins to the childminder and then put it in her fridge?

Sorry for asking such detailed questions but I want to make sure I get it right & you seem to know what you're talking about!

SquinkiesRule Wed 27-Feb-13 02:17:07

Wow we get completely different instructions here in the US, Cold water add powder and feed. I used to take bottles of boiled water with me out for the day and add powder from one of those Avent dispensers. I bought the ready to feed (single serve bottles like in the hospital) for a couple of months then onto powder.
They don't recommend sterilizing either, just rinse and throw them through the dishwasher, but I couldn't I used to boil the teats and scrub the bottles in hot soapy water before putting the bottles in the dishwasher.

thereistheball Wed 27-Feb-13 04:37:14

Squinkies - same here in France. Room temp mineral water (with low mineral content. Some have a special logo on to indicate suitability) straight into the bottle, powder on top, shake, serve. I use a powder dispenser when out and about. No need to sterilise, just bung through the dishwasher (though I usually do sterilise everything at least once a day out of habit).

sashh Wed 27-Feb-13 05:05:54

Genuine question OP

The danger of the bacteria is in the formula. If you zapped the formula (as a powder) in the microwave could you use it with boiled cooled and in the fridge water?

gingerbreadshoes Wed 27-Feb-13 06:26:37

Just out of interest I wonder how many people who make up the bottles any old way to suit them i.e not to the current guidelines would admit that their method was at fault if their dc became ill? Or would it be somebody elses fault if say the formula was found to be contaminated but illness could have been prevented by using water cooled to 70 degrees?

I am amazed that people have such little regard for their babies health because it is less convenient for them. You wouldn't cook food and leave it on a windowsill for a day before serving it (I mean chicken, shellfish etc which can cause food poisoning) would you or am I just being over cautious.

I am also not trying to start a bun fight it is just my opinion.

PurpleStorm Wed 27-Feb-13 06:42:14


Hopefully Tommee Tippee will correct their mistake quickly.

SalopianTubes Wed 27-Feb-13 10:03:02

YANBU to email them to point out the glaring error.

I formula fed DS for a short time last year and bought a bosch kettle which was great for making up feeds. You can set it to heat the water to 70c, so only takes a moment or two to get the water just at the right temperature to make a fresh feed every time. Much easier than faffing storing things in the fridge.

As I said earlier, the advice to use boiled water at or over 70 degrees, is the gold standard advice for making up formula. However, my suspicion is that it is super-cautious advice, based on the fact that the formula manufacturers want to cover their own backs - so they can't be blamed for any illness, and that, in a normal, domestic setting, with a generally fit, well baby (particularly one who is no longer a newborn), that it is over-zealous. Maybe the theory is that if most people achieve 80% of perfection, their babies will be OK, iyswim.

It is anecdotal, I know, but when I was formula-feeding my three, the advice was to make up a day's feeds in advance, and store them in the fridge, and I don't think there was any specific advice about using water above a particular temperature either, and my babies were fine, and didn't get any serious illnesses, nor were there any big news stories or health scares about babies fed this way at that time.

I do also think that, once you have a baby that is putting anything within its reach in its mouth, you can be a little less rigorous about their formula - but again, that is just my opinion, based on my experience.

It occurs to me, TheDetective that the Mothercare advice you quote isn't actually wrong, as such, but more ignores the reality of how people make up formula.

It does say to add the required amount of water, which would suggest measuring the amount of water needed before adding it to the bottle, which is a perfectly safe way to do it - what matters is that the formula is at the right dilution.

However, since the vast majority of people, in my experience, use the markings on the bottle to measure the water, rather than a separate jug, then the best advice is to put the water in first, ensuring you have the right amount, and then add the formula - and Mothercare should know this.

pumpkinsweetie Wed 27-Feb-13 10:56:07

Yanbu at all, the advice isn't the right advice! Every mother, especially new mums need the right advice on feeding formula, and they shouldn't be going against guidelinesshock

I made up each bottle as an when needed with dd4, since the new guidelines came in except for when on journeys or days out where that wasn't possible. If i were on a day out i made the days bottles, with hot water and left to cool and then refrigerated and kept in cool bags as that was the only way to evade the risk of germs in the powder.

Your thread reminded me of these op
Incidentally, they are probably exactly what you are looking for for you smile

RandallPinkFloyd Wed 27-Feb-13 11:11:22

The tommee tippee website gives the correct advic, I've just checked it now.

It does say what you quoted in the OP but it goes on to say that you can re-heat the water before adding the powder and shouldn't mix the formula until you are happy the water is at the correct temperature.

I'm only saying this because I hear this kind of thing on here all the time yet I never once saw incorrect advice anywhere when I was feeding DS. The only place I saw bad advice was from other parents on here.

TheSurgeonsMate Wed 27-Feb-13 11:29:07

No, Randall, it doesn't go on to say that. The suggestion is at point 8 of the bottle feeding dos and don'ts. It's presumably a "do".

EducationalAppStore Wed 27-Feb-13 11:55:38

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

VisualiseAHorse Wed 27-Feb-13 11:55:45

Well done you! I really honestly don't think people realise that the water thing is not about killing bugs in the water, but in the powder.

To pre-make bottles:
Boil kettle.
Fill bottles.
Cool till 70 degree, about 3 minutes.
Add powder.
Shake well.
Add to bowl of very cold ice water or run under cold tap until completely cold.
Put in fridge (not in door).

Will last for 24 hours. This information needs to be more widely available. In leaflets given by midwives, in with bottles you buy etc. I also think that bottles should come with an easy to use thermometer to test the water.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now