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Preparing bottles in advance

(130 Posts)
birchykel Wed 01-Jun-11 16:20:22

Hi all,
I am 37 weeks pregnant and planning on breastfeeding but am open minded in case it doesn't work out. I had my first girl 8 years ago and back then I started breastfeeding but became poorly and ended up using Sma, I would make them up fresh before bed say 11.30pm and store about 6 in the fridge and then warm them up when needed during the night.
I emailed SMA to find out if this is ok and they said basically not really, I need to boil the water, leave to cool no longer than 30 mins and then make it up and either use it or keep it at room temp for no longer than 2 hours. Obviously whatever is best for baby but surly at 1 or 2am with a screaming baby in your arms, having to freshly boil, wait 30 mins, make it up and make sure its not too hot for babes is alot of waiting and no doubt a tad stressful??
Like I said I am hoping to breastfeed anyway but want to be prepared, anyone out there that can advise? Maybe I am being completely thick??

CJ2010 Wed 01-Jun-11 16:45:25

I had my DD last year and was told to make the bottles up as and when the baby needed them! I had bought a baby book, which stated that it was fine to make up all your bottles in advance and store them in the fridge (the book was written a few yrs ago). My midwife and I had a good laugh about this new 'guidance' I don't really think it's realistic to make a bottle up at 2am, what a complete load of tosh!! You wil lbe so tired and the baby will be screaming in hunger!

I believe this new 'advice' came in about 2 yrs ago, so everyone who was born before then would have had a pre prepared bottle and im sure they were all ok!!! Just make sure you are very hygienic and sterilise properly.

Personally, I think this new guidance is a complete load of bollocks and was created by someone who has never had to deal with a screaming, hungry baby in the middle of the night!

lucysnowe Wed 01-Jun-11 16:54:45

Do this: boil the kettle, pour a little bit of boiling water into the bottle and ALL the formula, shake completely to mix. That will sterilise the formula. Then add cold boiled water straight from the fridge (ideally in another bottle) up to your usual amount (this you have to be a bit careful about this because adding the formula adds the content a bit), shake well, and ...voila!

dribbleface Wed 01-Jun-11 17:11:31

Alternatively boil kettle, leave to cool for 30 mins, place in thermos by bed, along with formula and sterilized bottle. Make up, then cool as necessary (in my experience took as long as heating one up)

Moodykat Wed 01-Jun-11 17:17:46

DS is 2.5 and I did exactly what you did! Tried doing the make it up as you go thing and it was a complete disaster with him screaming for milk and me frantically trying to cool a bottle down. Although I must admit for the middle of the night I just had a carton and bottle by my bed and used to give him that!

Boogiemumma Wed 01-Jun-11 17:19:53

I'm same as you birchykel, I plan to breastfed and am more confident that it'll work out this time as it didn't with DS. So he was FF and I did the same, made up bottles of cooled boiled water in advance. If needs be I'll be doing the same, making sure everthing - hands bottles etc are as clean as they can be. No way I'd be making up formula mixes at 2am.

geordieminx Wed 01-Jun-11 17:29:38

The "new" guidelines are nothing to do with making sure everything is clean though.

You should not mix water that was boiled more than 30 minutes ago with formula as the powder itself is not sterile, and indeed has harmful bacteria in that can cause serious (I.e death in worst case) consequences if not destroyed.

Options:-
Ready made cartons for during the night
3oz of freshly boiled water, 7 scoops of formula, mix, add 4 oz of previously boiled but now cooled water, mix, and use (should be right temp)
Or make up feeds as per instructions, cool in back of fridge and heat as necessary.

This really isn't a new fangled scarmongering theory brought in to make things difficult for new mums, it's really important. The bacteria found in powder can be really harmful to tiny babies, and as mentioned has actually caused death sad

whenwill Wed 01-Jun-11 19:24:49

read a thread while back but can't find now. It said that water must not be freshly boiled and must cool a bit (i think to 70 degrees) otherwise it can destroy nutrients in the formula?

What kind of bacteria is it in the formula? Does it come with the bacteria in it?
I'm confused why some foods can be pasturised, sterilised but formula isn't.

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Wed 01-Jun-11 19:40:23

you can only pasturise liquids. You can irradiate powders but who wants radio active baby food? Cartons, being liquid are pasturised,

The guidelines say you can make in advance. Just a couple of bottles at a time. Use 70deg water and put straigt in the back of the fridge.

The temp is a compromise. Boiling water would kill all nasty things but would destroy the nutrients. 70 kills enough to make it unlikely the baby will get ill, while preserving the vits etc. As some bacteria are left they can multiply over time, that's why advice is to use asap.

There have been lots of threads re this on bf/ff if you want more info.

Op if you want to bf my advice to you would be to spend some time browsing the bf/ff board to get an idea of the common myths and teething problems. But do bare in mind that only people with problems post on there...plenty of people are sat around bf without a care in the world so don't be put off! Good luck. smile

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Wed 01-Jun-11 19:43:22

whenwill sorry, yes bacteria is in the powder. I can't remember the names but one can cause meningitus. There are a couple i think.

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Wed 01-Jun-11 19:44:40

whenwill sorry, yes bacteria is in the powder. I can't remember the names but one can cause meningitus. There are a couple i think.

frakyouveryverymuch Wed 01-Jun-11 19:44:57

Pasteurisation is for liquids only. Also for a carton or tin of formula it would only be effective until you made the first bottle. Then it's open season for any bacteria lurking in your kitchen!

Bacterial contamination can be salmonella, e.coli or e.sakazakii - none of them are minor infections in a small baby.

Making in advance with 70C water and rapid cooling before putting them in the fridge is fine and safer than a botched job using room temp water. 70C is the lowest it should be, boiling isn't advisable because of the a) potential scalding and b) very tiny likelihood that some nutritional value might be lost.

These guidelines have been around at least 5 years now, after a spate of infections from contaminated formula in Europe.

birchykel Wed 01-Jun-11 23:17:11

Thanks all, very interesting.
It all is a worry hey, I am going to try my hardest to breastfeed anyway and see how it goes.
If I do bottle feed then I will make a few up in advance but obviously letting the boiling water cool to 70c first. I did do this with my girl 8 years ago and she was and still is fine. But it was a long time ago and it all scares me!!!!

I do think reading all the things that could happen if bacteria did spread and make my baby poorly makes me more determined to breastfeed.

Does anyone know also if its ok to express before the due date? Maybe I need to look on bf thread but thought I would ask.

Many thanks
xxx

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Thu 02-Jun-11 13:06:00

I think most people are able to express some colostrum from about 20 something weeks (but not sure so don't panic if you can't...again more info on bf board). Colostrum is only produced in tiny quantities (this is normal) and you can hand express it and suck it up with a syringe to freeze. Tbh i think there's only really a point in doing this if you think you might not be able to feed or express after birth (eg surgery etc) as the best plan is to feed directly as this stimulates supply of milk, which normally comes in about day three post partum.

Afaik there is no problem with expressing before due date. Nipple stimulation can help bring on labour but it takes a lot and the oxytocin receptors on the uterus have to be "switched on" which only happens when labour is immenent.

DreamingOfABump Fri 03-Jun-11 16:49:05

As easy as it is for people to say "i made them up and my baby was fine" this is anecdote, not fact. It is a proven fact that bottle fed babies get more digestive problems than breastfed babies and part of the reason is that artificial milk powder is not sterile and sits in a tin growing things. By making them up one at a time with water over 70degrees you kill the bugs and protect your baby. Not the most convenient thing but then neither are babies really.

aethelfleda Fri 03-Jun-11 17:24:59

Hold on a mo, please correct me if I'm being daft here (my DDs are 3 and 5 so I missed all this)....

With my two who I BF and then mixed-fed from 4-5 months, I did this to make up bottles for a day:

1) sterilise bottles and teats x 4 (or whatever)
2) fill with the correct amount of boiling water and seal.
(this is now a closed system so no way to get bugs in)
3) when bottle needed microwave or immerse in boiling water to bring up to temp, then tip in pre-measured formula from one of those three-portion formula dispensers.

So I do the same thing next time round, all that should be different is reheating the water up to 70 degrees before the formula gets tipped in?
(assuming its easy to measure the right temp is reached?)
And then cool it to drinking temp?

Wow, I hope our babies are all a patient sort!!!

perrinelli Fri 03-Jun-11 17:41:52

I had similar dilemmas when I had trouble bfeeding and ended up bottle feeding my dd1. What I did which I think is safe and widely done these days is:

Boil kettle, let it cool a little bit, fill bottles for the day with sterile water, seal, leave out of the fridge on the side but not in direct sunlight. Just before you need them, put in correct amount of formula (also handy to be able to do this while you are out/upstairs at night using one of the powder dispenser things) and shake well. My dd1 used to have them happily at room temperature but you could obviously slightly warm the bottle. You just then need to make sure you use the bottle within 1 hour as the water was sterile but the powder is not, so after this time is when bacteria could multiply.

Please anyone let me know if there is a loop hole in my method that could place baby at risk of bacteria but I think it's ok - water apparently stays sterile for up to 24 hours if it's sealed and not in sunlight and doesn't have to be in the fridge.

Sosoembarrassed Fri 03-Jun-11 18:00:03

No, that's totally wrong I'm afraid.

The powder needs to be added to water that is hotter than 70 deg. If it isn't then the bacteria in the formula isn't killed.

It's got nothing to do with sterilising bottles, it's the powder and temp of water that's important.

You can make the bottles in advance (Like a days worth) and store in the fridge, warming as required or add 7 scoops of powder to 3oz of boiling water then top up with 4oz of cooled boiled water as Geordie suggests.

It's not very reliable to heat the water back up to 70 deg either, and I guess a bit pointless, in that you might aswell just boil it fresh?

aethelfleda Fri 03-Jun-11 18:49:47

Hmmm. So basically it's all about "sterilising" the formula by exposing it to very very hot water. What in all honesty is the real, actual risk of contamination? Not trying to poison baby, and will dO my best to fOllow the reccomendations, but is this legal-bottom-covering for an incredibly small risk, and it's one of those things where walking down the road with a buggy is a greater risk and yet we all do it without thinking?

Sosoembarrassed Fri 03-Jun-11 19:06:04

Quite a big risk actually... Info here

It's e.sakaZakii that is the concern.

I guess everyone has to make their own choices, weigh up the risks and all that, but let's be honest, there is a right way, and a wrong way. Read the info, do a bit of research and decide.

Right way and wrong way to put car seat into car... Right way bit of a faff, easy way, not right.. But hey, the chances of having a car accident are slim right?

Up to you?

aethelfleda Fri 03-Jun-11 19:08:01

Hmm, this piece of info suggests the risks are real, though it talks about relative risk and not an overall actual risk percentage...

http://www.fao.org/docrep/007/y5502e/y5502e0c.htm

I now see why Nestle are trying to market a coffee-machine-like gadget for making up baby bottles- plays on mums fears to make a fat profit!

PipCarrier Fri 03-Jun-11 19:21:20

The thing I wonder is why you never hear anyone say "oh my baby had such and such because I made my bottles up the wrong way"...surely if the risk were there then you'd hear people's experiences? All I ever hear is people saying they did it that way and it was fine. I'd love to be able to make one up properly but as others on here have said, in reality at 2am (or anytime tbh before you get into a routine) you're not going to be standing around waiting for it to cool.

Sosoembarrassed Fri 03-Jun-11 19:24:07

But surerly you could make up the bottles the correct way, before you went to bed, stick on fridge then when needed stumble whizz down and microwave/warm in water to correct temp? Wouldn't take that long?

lucysnowe Fri 03-Jun-11 19:28:58

Hmm, Sosoembarrassed (or anyone else!), am interested in what whenwill said about freshly boiled water killing the nutrients in the formula - is that true? So is it best to leave the water to cool a bit before adding - but surely then the water won't sterilise the formula??

Am a bit confused again now!

Sosoembarrassed Fri 03-Jun-11 19:35:09

I think the official guideline is not more than 30 minutes, no idea whether that means 30 minutes, or 20 or 10. It is very confusing.

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