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I have breastfed my baby for the first two months but am now slowly introducing some formula feeds. My question is how to do formula feeds when out and about as this is all new to me.
Can you pre make feeds in advance? How long can they stay at room temperature for etc? I understand that you need to mix the formula with hot water.
Any advice would be greatly received
i Have a perfect prep machine for at home so during the day when out and about I take a flask of hot water and a bottle of cooled boiled water with me and make it that way. Seems like a faff at first but we’ve got used to it and I find it really easy now.
I used ready made milk for a while but dd soon stopped drinking it at room temp and wanted it warm
They last for 2 hours so I used to make one with boiling water before I went out and then cool it down if needed. On the relatively rare occasions I was out and needed 2 feeds or it’d be difficult to cool it down then I’d take a carton of ready made formula. I found it was relatively rare that I was out for enough time to need 2 bottles without being at someone’s house where I could make up a feed.
You can pre make feeds, put them in the fridge and then warm them. A lot of people do it but the advice is not to and make each fresh.
Advice now is to make up feeds as you need them.
I learnt this from complete formula feeder in my NCT group:
1. Go and buy yourself two new flasks of different colours - the ones I use are from Asda - and a formula feed dispenser - again I found mine in a large Asda but this time in baby department in the feeding equipment. One flask can be smaller than the other.
2. Clean all thoroughly.
3. When you know you are going out prepare one - the larger flask with cooled boiled water.
4. Then right before you go fill the other smaller flask with boiling water and put the number of scoops of formula you need to make up a feed in each compartment in your formula dispenser.
5. Then grab 3 empty clean bottles
6. When you are out and about put a small amount of hot water in the bottles. Add the formula and shake. Then make it up to the right amount with the cooled boiled water in the other flask.
If you want to take a made up bottle with you a made up bottle lasts 2 hours. However if you LO drinks from it in say 5 minutes after you go out then it only lasts an hour from then.
To be honest I find all that a hassle and I use the ready to go milk. So I just take a steriliser bottle and the carton of milk with me and it's ready to go in seconds. They aren't cheap though, I think about £3 for a pack of 4 in supermarket
I just used to fill up a bottle with 2/3 of the total volume with boiling water the night before so it would be totally cool when needed. Then I would add the final 1/3 of boiling water when preparing for immediate use and would add the formula. It would be the perfect temperature and ready to go.
Ok so if I am going to be out and baby needs feed within two hours I can pre make the bottle otherwise I can do the following
Flask of hot water, formula in dispenser and flask of cooled boiled water. When ready to make the feed I put some hot water in bottle, mix with formula and top up with cooled water. To make a 5oz feed how much hot and cooled water would you use? Could I put the cooled boiled water in another bottle rather than buying another flask?
Also if you premake and put into the fridge how long does it last for once out of fridge?
I feel like a complete tit reading this. I was effectively chained to my house for the first year because I couldn't work out how to formula feed safely whilst on the go. I was using ready made cartons, as suggested by a pp, but I got myself in a panic about how long the sterilized bottle itself would stay sterile once I took it out of the sterilizer. I couldn't find any reliable information so I just never really went anywhere. New mothers really need to be given more information about how to formula feed because I can't have been the only complete idiot out there.
(I was mixed/ combo feeding but, for some reason, I only ever had one functioning breast and that one was pretty flakey and unreliable, so I wasn't comfortable being away from home without formula as a back-up).
Depending on what brand you use you can get ready made cartons. We used hipp organic and they are suitable to drink at room temp. We normally had a stash in the nappy bag for when out and a complete life saver. We were originally going to use a flask but someone mentioned on a forum a few looks they got at a play group when they got a flask or boiling water out round children which did make me think, however obviously in the right setting would be ok but I loved the ready made ones. I often also found lo would drink more of it
I usually use approx half hot and half cold water when out and about, using the above two flask method. Well, only one small thermos flask really.
Say I was making up 180 of formula at a time, I would have some feeding bottles with 90ml cooled water in. I would pour 90ml of hot water into a feeding bottle, add powder (measured out into a sterilised container) and shake, add 90ml cooled water and shake, and this would usually be cool enough for them to drink straight away.
I usually make up a feed just before I leave the house and pop it in the chiller compartment of the changing back. I bring enough water out for 2 feeds, and a back up ready made bottle. Rarely have to use the ready made.
You do get used to it.
Yes, lots of people make up lots in advance, or use cool water to make them up, and usually it's fine - BUT for me it wasn't worth that risk. The consequences of it not being ok don't outweigh the increased convenience for me. Plus I'm in the habit of it now.
Oh and I second the more information needed about formula feeding - I tried so bloody hard to breast feed and my daughter was dropping through centiles like crazy so didn't have a choice but at every turn all I had was people trying to give well intentioned (conflicting) bf advice
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