11 Formula Tips for New Moms
New moms are often overwhelmed by the new responsibility of caring for a precious bundle of joy. One of the most daunting tasks for new parents is formula feeding.
To ease the burden, here are 11 tips to help new moms with formula feeding:
1. Choose a Formula
With so many formulas to choose from, it can be difficult to decide. Consider the following factors when selecting a formula:
- Your baby’s nutritional needs – Consider the availability of nutrients in the formula and consult with your pediatrician for the best option for your baby.
- Your budget – Formula can be expensive and cost varies widely, so choose an option that fits your budget.
- Your convenience – Think about the ease of preparation. Is a powdered formula the best option, or would a pre-mixed liquid formula fit your lifestyle better?
2. Proper Storage
Storing your formula properly is essential to ensuring your baby’s health is not compromised.
- Powdered formula – Keep opened and unopened powdered formula in a cool area away from excessive humidity or heat. Do not freeze.
- Pre-mixed formula – Keep unopened cans of pre-mixed formula in a cool area away from excessive humidity. Discard opened cans within 48 hours.
- Prepared formula – Prepare formula only when you are ready to feed your baby. Store prepared formula in the refrigerator for no longer than 24 hours.
3. Understand the Water to Formula Ratio
Mixing the formula with the right amount of water is essential for both nutrition and safety. Make sure to mix according to the instructions on the formula can. If no instructions are provided, follow the general guideline of 1 scoop of formula to 2 ounces of water.
4. Prepare Formula Safely
Preparing formula with contaminated supplies can be dangerous, so make sure to practice safe habits.
- Wash hands – Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before handling formula.
- Clean all supplies – Clean all supplies with soap and hot water. Allow to cool before using.
- Sanitize bottles and nipples – Boil clean bottles and nipples for 5 minutes to sanitize. Allow to cool before using.
5. Learn the Right Temperature
Learning the right temperature for your baby’s formula is essential for their safety. Never heat a container of formula in a microwave, as this can cause hot spots that can burn your baby’s mouth. Instead, prepare bottles of formula one at a time. Place the prepared bottle in warm water for a few minutes to reach a warm, but not hot, temperature.
6. Avoid Overfeeding
Formula is a filling meal for babies and overfeeding can lead to serious health problems, so it is important to avoid it. Feed baby only when hungry and stop when full. Following a routine can be helpful in avoiding overfeeding.
7. Measure with Care
Using the correct amount of formula is essential to ensure your baby is receiving the nutrition and calories they need. Be sure to measure water and formula accurately.
8. Shake Carefully
Be sure to shake the bottle gently to mix formula and water and avoid creating air bubbles. Always test the temperature before feeding.
9. Discard Leftovers
Once you have fed your baby, discard any leftover formula. Do not store it in the refrigerator and do not re-feed.
10. Excel in Cleaning
It is essential to clean baby bottles after every use. Wash with hot soapy water and rinse thoroughly with clean hot water. Allow to dry before re-use. For added hygiene, you can sanitize bottles, nipples and rings in boiling water for 5 minutes.
11. Consult Your Pediatrician
Always consult with your pediatrician for the best advice for your baby. Your pediatrician can answer any questions you may have about the formula, or other aspects of caring for your baby.
Formula feeding your baby can be a daunting task, but with the right information and a few simple tips, it can be a smooth and enjoyable experience. The tips above are great for new moms who are just starting out on the formula feeding journey.