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Introducing a formula feed - advice for a novice please!

(52 Posts)
JBroRo Tue 27-Jul-10 16:37:47


I'm a 1st time Mum so apologies if this sounds like the most basic question(s) ever!

My LO is EBF at the moment but I'm thinking about introducing 1 formula feed some time in the next few weeks. I'm thinking that I will introduce this feed at about 10-10.30pm.

I'm an intelligent person but seem to be having a complete mind blank when it comes to making up these feeds + timing grin

I've got a big tub of Aptamil and have been reading the instructions. It says to allow the kettle to cool down for 30 mins and to only make up a feed as you need it and not in advance? Therefore, because I can't exactly predict when my LO wants to feed how can I occupy them while Im waiting the 30mins for the water to cool?? By this point, I think she would be purple and hysterical.

Also, when it comes to her having formula during the day how do I go about making up a feed when I'm out and about?

Really, I'm looking for any top tips/suggestions that other more experienced mums have got.

I obviously don't want to cut corners/risk hygiene/health but want some ideas about to make things easier/more organised.

My mum's advice is to make up feeds in advance as that's what she used to do.

Many Thanks in advance

tiktok Tue 27-Jul-10 16:56:09

"Therefore, because I can't exactly predict when my LO wants to feed how can I occupy them while Im waiting the 30mins for the water to cool?? " breastfeeding her? grin

This is one of the advantages of bf, after all - the 'no waiting'.

You'll be helped by thinking round the reasons for introducing the formula, I think, JBroRo. If it's to make things 'easier', as you say, then intro'ing a bottle when your baby is upset won't do it. Ditto feeding formula when you are out, as it's usually easier to bf when away from home - although people who are ff away from home take a flask of water and powder with them, and do it that way.

OTOH, you can use ready-to-feed milk, which pours straight into the bottle, though this is quite a bit more expensive than powder.

You also need to know that using formula may have an impact on your milk supply, and formula introduces health risks which you can avoid with excl. bf....just sayin'...

JBroRo Tue 27-Jul-10 17:14:04

Thanks for your response tiktok but I was hoping for some practical advice re bottle feeding rather than a lecture about breastfeeding. smile

EldonAve Tue 27-Jul-10 17:15:37

the easiest thing is to buy the ready made cartons

tiktok Tue 27-Jul-10 17:32:37


I didn't 'lecture' you.

I gave you 2 practical points to help you. I also lightheartedly answered your point about keeping your baby waiting, and I pointed out the drawbacks of what you planned to do.

tiktok Tue 27-Jul-10 17:34:05

Actually, make that 3 practical points - add the one about not introducing a bottle when your baby is upset.

I'll not bother next time, shall I?

StealthPolarBear Tue 27-Jul-10 17:43:27

yes i have to admit i thought that was one of the drawbacks of ff - keeping the baby waiting while you make the feed. Not sure there is a solution really?

Morloth Tue 27-Jul-10 17:46:21

I think the only way you could get around the wait for the water to cool to make it up and then the wait while it drops from 70degrees to drinkable would be to use ready made formula. As SPB says the delay is one of the drawbacks.

lizzytee Tue 27-Jul-10 17:50:18

OP, please don't be offended! I won't second guess your reasons for wanting to introduce a formula feed it's just that.....well you have correctly identified some of the logistical complications of doing this.

Can I make an observation? It's my perception that some mothers (and again, I'm not assuming it's you) feel that it's "right" to introduce a formula feed at a certain stage of breastfeeding. If doing so meets your needs, then fine. But if you are finding it complicated and possibly distressing then.....?

MumNWLondon Tue 27-Jul-10 17:54:17

OP: why are you planning to introduce bottle?

The "answer" is:

fill bottle with right amount of freshly bottled water and sit in bowl of cold water. When it reaches 70c add the powder and then sit back in bowl of cold water until 37c.

still takes 15 mins instead of 30 though...maybe less if you add ice cubes! yes,sounds like too much hassle to me, am still EBFing

otherwise make up in advance.

When out and about either ignore the safety advice and mix room temp water with powder, or take thermos flask of 70c water and wait for it to cool or use ready to use cartons.

Flossbert Tue 27-Jul-10 17:55:56

I had exactly the same thought process as you JBroRo - it all just seemed so complicated, but you soon get into a routine so long as you're not too precious about it all.

Have your bottle washed and sterilised in good time - do it in the morning if you can - and boil the kettle with frshly run water at some point in the afternoon and put it in bottle to cool. Then you can either heat the water or add the powder and heat the made up bottle. Or maybe your baby will save you this hassle and take the bottle at room temperature.

It gets so much easier (but breastfeeding is considerably less faff, no question).

tiktok Tue 27-Jul-10 17:58:42

(flossbert - water has to be no cooler than 70 deg C at time powder is added, per guidelines, to kill bugs in powder. So heating cool/cold/room temp bottle after powder is in is not guidelines....)

Flossbert Tue 27-Jul-10 18:05:46

Oh buggrit. Well, I must try harder! But mixing the bottle up when it's that hot tends to cause scalding spurts everywhere, although I accept that is less bad than poisoning the baby.

Chunkamatic Tue 27-Jul-10 18:10:43

I give my DS one bottle of formula a day - which varies slightly but is usually around 5pm. THis is what I do:

Around 4.15pm I boil fresh water in the kettle and pour out required amount into bottle. Leave for ten mins or so and add powder. Shake and then I put the bottle in the freezer! I tuck it in between bags of frozen veg and it takes ten mins to get to room temp.

So if he is hungry and ready for it at 5 he doesn't have to wait, but equally - like tonight he has had it a bit later. I believe you have two hours in which to use the milk so that should be plenty of time.

The other option is to add half cooled boiled water to the half the hot water with all the powder (if that makes any sense?!) but I found this doesn't get it as cool as they need it.


Chunkamatic Tue 27-Jul-10 18:13:13

Oh and as for going out and about, I don't see a way of doing this safely so would just use the ready made cartons.

I have to say that whilst I have (I think) good reasons for introducing a bottle, it has really made me realise what a faff it is compared to BF!

Whoamireally Tue 27-Jul-10 18:18:49

If you know roughly what time you want to do the feed then just time it so everything's ready for 10-ish.

I have to admit we do all sorts in our house, including using previously boiled water then making up the milk when needed and microwaving it which will no doubt draw a few shock 's.

Otherwise you can cool milk down quite quickly by holding under a running tap and swishing it around - make sure you use the wasted water for doing the plants or something though!

StealthPolarBear Tue 27-Jul-10 19:05:56

tiktok, can you mix the powder thoroughly with half freshly boiled water and then add the other half of the amount of water, that has previously cooled to room temp?

tiktok Tue 27-Jul-10 22:51:20

SPB - I don't know, sorry.

tabouleh Tue 27-Jul-10 23:16:15

SPB - as far as I know there has been no research on this. Baby Milk Action suggested that it would be a good area for research to be done.

Personally I don't think that the smaller volume of hotter water could be guaranteed to kill any bacteria contained within the powder as there wouldb't be enough water.

JBroRo - some ideas for you:

1. The formula should be used within 2 hours of being made up - this gives you a bit of a window to get it ready.

2. Use a flask so that you have a supply of water at 70 degrees. (You will need to do some experiments with a thermometer to ensure that the water is 70 degrees).

3. Prepare in advance, cool rapidly and place in a fridge at 4 degrees C. Rapidly heat in a jug of boiling water and feed immediately.

The major risk comes from not using water which is at least 70 degrees C. This is because formula is not sterile. NB in a kettle at least 1 litre of water needs to be boiled if you are going to leave for 30 mins.

People mistakenly think that the main problem is not making bottles in advance. It is not, however it is safer to make fresh.

Guidance for HCPs on making fformula safely.

WHO guidelines.

<<Maybe it is time for MN to consider a separate BF and FF section? As soon as I saw OOP I thought - some is going to say - don't introduce the FF - that is because this board is (understandably) populated with mainly BF ladies. However I fear that this means that advice on safer FFing is compromised - with the best will in the world you BFing ladies often don't have first hand experience of FFing.>

tiktok Tue 27-Jul-10 23:16:37

Adding a bit more to my previous: I understand that formula should not be mixed with water that's too close to boiling, as it denatures the prebiotics (if that matters....hmm). So you should wait for it to cool. 70 deg C will be hot enough still to kill the bugs in the powder, but not too hot for the prebiotics.

But I can't direct you to anything written down in anything official that explains this, sorry.

tiktok Tue 27-Jul-10 23:20:32

tabouleh - most people do breast and bottle feeding, and it is artificial to split the board. You know that sooner or later, the good information comes up when people ask about preparation of formula - and I think it is educational for everyone to read how woefully badly mothers are informed about safe use of formula.

tiktok Tue 27-Jul-10 23:21:15

To clarify: I don't mean most people mix feed. I mean most people who use this board have experience of both ff and bf.

tabouleh Tue 27-Jul-10 23:24:51

tiktok - yes you are right I have seen the info that the water should not be more than 70 degrees in many places.

It is actually more serious than "it denatures the prebiotics (if that matters....)hmm" - it is actually a case that it can

The Irish Food Safety Authority do a brilliant pdf Guidance Note 22.

A quote from there:

"The higher the temperature of the water used to make PIF, the greater the degradation of essential
nutrients. However, the water should be at a sufficiently high temperature to kill harmful bacteria.
The use of a thermometer is the most accurate method to ensure that the most effective balance
is achieved between these two risks.Water should never be used below 70°C."

tabouleh Tue 27-Jul-10 23:29:15

tiktok it's interesting that on most other forums the BF/FF is split.

You are right that the correct info always makes its way onto the threads.

I just think it is tricky when people ask about how to FF and the answer is "don't - BF!" Don't want to draw you all into a massive discussion about this - tis just my observation.

blinder Tue 27-Jul-10 23:30:59

shock that the OP jumped on tiktok who is a goddess mine of very useful information. Tut tut!

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