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Friend making formula with cold water

(60 Posts)
marzipananimal Thu 21-Jul-11 12:40:04

I'm looking for a bit of advice on how to deal with this tactfully, if at all.

My friend has started introducing ff to her 9 month old and I noticed she mixed the powder with cold water. I know about the risks and preparation guidelines etc and feel a bit uneasy.
Should I say something? If so, what?
I don't want to offend, especially as I don't use formula (though I did when DS was newborn for a bit so I know how to use it).
She may know the risks and have decided to do it anyway, which is her decision, but given that she has bf up til now she may not know.

Any advice?

Ragwort Thu 21-Jul-11 12:42:29

Is it strictly wrong? A long time since I had to worry about this sort of thing but I used the ready made milk and never warmed it up although the 'guidelines' said you could or should (can't remember which).

Surely manufactures instructions change all the time so perhaps you can use cold water these days?

StealthPolarBear Thu 21-Jul-11 12:43:45

I don't know whether this is OK at 9months (assuming it's not then warmed) - lurking

pooka Thu 21-Jul-11 12:44:06

Ready made is fine - already sterile.

Powdered formula needs to be mixed with hot water to kill any bacteria in the non-sterile powder.

Solo Thu 21-Jul-11 12:47:07

I thought it was meant to be cooled boiled water hmm

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Thu 21-Jul-11 12:47:56

Tell her the guidelines have changed, in a matter of fact way and leave it at that. Plenty of people know the guidelines and make it up with cold water anyway, which is up to them.

marzipananimal Thu 21-Jul-11 13:05:11

but the guidelines changed before her baby was born and she doesn't have older DC so she wouldn't know what the old way was either

To those who aren't sure - the powder should be mixed with water that is at least 70 degrees as it is not sterile and the hot water will kill the bacteria. See here for the Food Standards Agency guidelines

marzipananimal Thu 21-Jul-11 13:06:38

Stealth I would assume it still matters regardless of the age of the child as even adults can get food poisoning

nunnie Thu 21-Jul-11 13:08:02

If she has been breastfeeding she may well have been given the advice from someone of an older generation. Just mention that they have changed, then she can look for herself if she wishes.

pozzled Thu 21-Jul-11 13:09:14

Just ask her if she knew that you're supposed to use water over 70 degrees. If she didn't, she can ask you about it or look into it further. If she did know, you'll have to leave it there.

nunnie Thu 21-Jul-11 13:10:48

My son is 9 almost 10 months and I have been making it according to the guidelines, my DD is 4 and the guidelines were similar to that of today, no mention of making with cold water then either.

LemonDifficult Thu 21-Jul-11 13:11:09

I think it's cooled boiled water. Well, that's what I used with my two.

LemonDifficult Thu 21-Jul-11 13:11:41

Oh, just seen - new advice.

EPPP Thu 21-Jul-11 13:14:06

She may have read the instructions but think that the water must be hot to sterilise the water rather than the powder.So she may think that as her dc is drinking tap water there is no need to boil the water. Unfortunately the formula manufacturers don't explain that the formula powder is not sterile and contains bacteria.

hazeyjane Thu 21-Jul-11 13:15:19

The guidelines were the same 5 years ago (when i ff dd1) as they are now, which is that water has to be HOT (no < than 70 degrees) in order to kill the bacteria in the powder. It makes no different how old the baby is. Ideally each feed should be made up as required, but if this is unfeasible, then should be made with HOT water, cooled quickly and stored in the back of the fridge.

The method of making it up with cooled boiled water, is not a good idea, as at this temperature, bacteria will thrive.

I would just say something like, 'ooh I thought the water had to be really hot to make sure the formula is ok to drink', then at least she is aware.

marzipananimal Thu 21-Jul-11 13:17:30

yeah think you're right pozzled
I was wondering about saying something like 'so do you take thermos flasks when you go out or make the milk at home and use ice packs?' (pretending I haven't noticed her using cold water, which is plausible) but maybe I shouldn't beat about the bush and just say it

Eglu Thu 21-Jul-11 13:43:43

I made up my DSes formula with water that had been boiled and was left at room temp. They survived. Her child is 9mths old, I'm sure it will be fine.

RitaMorgan Thu 21-Jul-11 13:54:47

Just say "oh, I thought you were supposed to make it up with hot water to kill any bacteria in the water?" - then she can always say, "I think it's not worth worrying about at 9 months" or "I never realised".

It's up to individuals to decide if they want to take risks or not, but I think it's far to make sure she knows there are risks.

RitaMorgan Thu 21-Jul-11 13:55:37

Should be "bacteria in the powder" of course!

hazeyjane Thu 21-Jul-11 14:04:33

The thing is, Eglu, your child might be fine, but it is still a risk (however old your child), and it is a risk that is avoided easily by using hot water.

JellyJenko Thu 21-Jul-11 14:13:38

Yikes - I have a 9mo and have been using cold boiled water to make up his formula since he was 6mo. blush If he sees me making his bottle up, he won't be happy to wait for it to cool before he's allowed it (hence always having a jug of cooled boiled water to hand). Am I a terrible mother? sad

<skulks off to re-read the instructions and marvel at the fact my DS hasn't been throwing up everywhere for the past 3 months!>

To help you out OP, I would appreciate a friend saying 'they're always changing the rules on those things, when I used formula I had to use boiling water' or something like that. Much more preferable to 'You're doing it wrong' kind of approach! grin

DilysPrice Thu 21-Jul-11 14:14:38

Tell her the guidelines and explain why they are as they are and then it's up to her - the risks are tiny but non-zero for a 9 month old.

weaselbudge Thu 21-Jul-11 14:15:37

I thought that there were clear instructions on the side of the formula packet - in which case unless she's blind she has made the decision to use cold water anyway. Don't 9 months eat things off the floor all the time anyway - isn't that more of a risk? I would butt out.

RitaMorgan Thu 21-Jul-11 14:17:42

The things 9 month olds eat off the floor don't tend to contain bacteria like salmonella and enterobacter, so the risk is different.

organiccarrotcake Thu 21-Jul-11 14:19:43

A very young baby died in Belgium relatively recently, having been fed (Nestle) formula which was contaminated with E-coli I think, (IIRC). Certainly a really nasty food poisoning bug. Clearly any person getting e-coli would potentially become seriously ill, so it doesn't matter how old the baby, using hot water is important. Nestle then fought against changing the recommendations on the package to say to use hot water because they thought it was a rare occurance and didn't matter enough (to paraphrase). angry.

It's very, very rare that the powder will be contaminated with potentially fatal bacteria, which is why so many people have used cold water and their babies have been fine. However, milk powder is such a wonderful environment for bugs to grow in that if it does happen, it's incredibly serious. It's far more likely to be contaminated with a less serious bug (one of, but not the only reason why babies who are FF are more prone to gastro diseases), but we'd all want to avoid those, too.

It's a hard thing to approach your friend with, but an important one none the less. If you were doing the same thing and didn't know the risk, and she mentioned it to you, how would you feel? Personally I'd be appreciative.

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