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Why can't you dilute formula?

(10 Posts)
HappyAsASandboy Wed 12-Jan-11 17:31:23

Just out of interest, I'd like top know why it is unsafe to add more water to formula.

I am bf, so don't use formula, but it seems to me that giving correctly diluted formula and (seperately) cooled boiled water as people seem to do, would be the same as giving overly diluted formula.

As I say, I am not using formula, but I'm still interested in why this is such a no-no.

SenoritaViva Wed 12-Jan-11 17:35:29

I think it is to ensure the child gets enough nutrients. If you just over dilute then you have a less accurate idea of what they are having. It happens in the third world with babies dying of malnutrition.

AngelDog Wed 12-Jan-11 17:35:41

I thought ff babies only needed extra water when the weather's really hot, so unless you lived in a very hot country I doubt the need to do it would arise often.

(But again, I'm bf so I don't know the details.)

theborrower Wed 12-Jan-11 17:41:26

Making formula is a science, not like cooking where you can add a pinch here and there. You always need to add a scoop per ounce of water, and make it up correctly using water that has been cooled to no less than 70c (in order to kill any bacteria that may be lurking - powder formula is not sterile). Adding too many scoops or too much water means it's not prepared correctly - if you diluted it they wouldn't be getting the appropriate nutrients and if you added too much you risk damaging their kidneys apparently.

formula fed babies don't need additional drinks of cooled boiled water, or so I'm led to believe, except in very hot weather.

Secondtimelucky Wed 12-Jan-11 17:46:16

Because if you dilute the formula and the baby doesn't finish the bottle, you risk them not getting all the nutrients they need. If they have their normal bottles and then, because it is extra hot say, take some water on top, if they don't finish it it doesn't compromise their nutrient intake.

Does that make sense?

MumNWLondon Wed 12-Jan-11 23:44:50

I don't see why its such a no-no although clearly a totally dreadful idea for every feed or even for baby not get on solids due to malnutrition....

I have diluted formula (over 6 months) in the following circumstances:

- trying to cut out feeds eg 10.30am and 10.30pm feed, or with DS1, middle of night feeds, eg cut it down to 2 scoops in 3oz of milk before i dropped it altogether, at that age, 8 months baby was on 3 solid meals a day and 3 bottles rather than 5 were enough
-in very hot weather abroad, baby unkeen to drink water, offering diluted milk between feeds helped to avoid dehydration
- on doctor's advice, can't remember why now...

HappyAsASandboy Thu 13-Jan-11 09:38:53

Thanks for explaining - these points make sense.

Thank you smile

CuppaTeaJanice Thu 13-Jan-11 09:49:07

I diluted formula when DS was over 6 months as he didn't like drinking water on its own. I still dilute semi skimmed milk with hot water now (he's 2.8) because a. He likes it warm and that's the easiest way to do it and b. He drinks so much of the stuff that if it wasn't diluted he'd be having far too much milk.

theborrower Thu 13-Jan-11 10:12:11

Is it different after 6 months then, if it's not a feed that is being diluted? (in the case of the very hot weather and baby not liking water). It makes sense in that situation I guess, but still seems a no-no if it's a proper feed.

happylittlebear Thu 13-Jan-11 22:25:10

my gp told me to add an extra ounce of water to ds feeds when he was ill, to ensure he is getting enough fluids so it cant be that terrible.

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