Do You Prepare Formula Properly?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-16-2009
Do You Prepare Formula Properly?
22
Thu, 09-23-2010 - 11:12pm

I posted this before but we have lots of new faces, and this one got a lot of posts last time so I thought it might be worth another go around. It seemed most people thought this was made up to make formula look harder than it was and that the many steps were not important. Even though I took the info straight from the WIC and Similac websites.

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I wonder how many believe they prepare their formula properly - and how many actually do? How many believe that the "rules" are not that important or that they know better, based on what their mom or friends do/did?

The following info was taken from the Similac formula website & WIC handout posted online:

Do you...

- always wash your hands thoroughly with soap, before preparing the formula?

- always clean the lids of formula cans to remove any dust, germs or soil?

- when using Ready to Feed or concentrate, always shake the formula container before opening?

- if the formula is in a can, be sure your can opener is clean.

- always measure the amount of water & formula exactly? For powder, that is 1 unpacked level scoop of formula per 2 fl oz of water.

- Always use a clean knife to level off the scoop? Never tap the scoop on the edge of the can, or the measurement will be wrong.

- never add extra water to make it go farther? Adding too much water to formula can significantly impact a child's nutrition because it dilutes essential nutrients in the formula.

- never add extra formula?

- never feed your baby formula that has expired, or use formula if the container is dented? Did you know the "use by" date means the first day of the month printed on the can, not the last day of that month?

- always used cooled, boiled water for mixing?

- If tap water is fluoridated or has substantial natural fluoride (0.7 mg/L or higher), do you use a low-fluoride alternative water source? Bottled water known to be low in fluoride is labeled as purified, deionized, demineralized, distilled, or prepared by reverse osmosis.

- always let the water cool before adding to formula? Making formula with boiling water can cause clumping and hurt the nutritional value.

- After the boiled water cools to 70C (160F), add it to the formula - then rapidly cool to drinking temperature. Room temperature water is not the safest for making up formula as it's not hot enough to kill the pathogens that may be lurking in formula powder

- always boil clean utensils, bottles and nipples in water before use? For at least 3 months, and up to one year old?

- if you sterilize on the stove, do you bring cold water to a rolling boil, and then turn off the heat? Any longer and you’ll actually increase the concentration of impurities.

- if you wash them in the dishwasher, does your dishwasher get hot enough to sterilize your bottles, etc?

- do you always replace your bottle nipples every month? Or if they become discoloured, swollen or sticky?

- Always use a clear, silicon nipple (versus latex rubber)

- Never use plastic bottle liners, which leach chemicals

- never use bottles with BPA (particularly those labeled #7)? The chemical has come under scrutiny, as some studies show that it mimics the hormone estrogen and other studies have raised questions about its effects on cancer risk, fertility and behavioral problems.

- if using disposable bags, do you use a new bag at every feeding? The nipples, rings, and caps should be still be sterilized.

- once mixed, always sprinkle a few drops on the inside of your wrist to make sure it’s not too hot (or cold).

- know that bottled or filtered water is not a suitable replacement for water that has been boiled.

- avoid vigorous shaking right before feeding — it can cause air bubbles that can lead to gas in your baby.

- never microwave formula? It can cause “hot spots” that could burn your baby. Yes, even if you shake it up after.

- store powdered formula containers, covered, in a cool, dry place, not in the refrigerator and use contents within one month?

- once mixed, feed immediately or refrigerate in a sealed container and use within 24 hours?

- never leave prepared formula at room temperature?

- never freeze formula? Doing so can cause the fat to separate.

- Never save it for later? If your baby doesn’t finish a bottle of formula within one hour, toss the leftover. During a feeding, your baby's saliva can contaminate the formula in the bottle. Once this occurs, reheating or refrigerating won’t kill the bacteria.

- Always throw it out, if you heat the formula, and your baby decides not to take it? Don’t refrigerate it and reheat it again later.

- never add cereal, sweeteners or flavours to the formula?

- always hold your baby for every feeding (barring emergencies) and never prop a bottle, or leave a baby unattended with a bottle?

- never feed in a moving vehicle?

- always let your baby guide the feedings to ensure baby is getting enough to eat - and not being overfed?

- regularly check that there have been no recalls on the brand of formula you are using?

Anything I missed?




~*~ Catherine, mom to three grown men - Jason, Michael & Joshua and Granma to Christopher & Leia.



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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-16-2009
Thu, 09-23-2010 - 11:15pm

__Infant Formula Preparation, Handling, and Related Practices in the United States__

Objective:
To describe practices related to infant formula feeding: diluting and concentrating formula, mixing formula with warm tap water, sterilizing, storing prepared formula, heating in a microwave oven, putting the baby to bed with a bottle, and adding cereal and sweeteners to formula; to analyze characteristics related to compliance with recommended practices; and to examine the relation between formula handling and infant diarrhea.

Subjects/design:
Subjects were mothers who fed their infants formula (more than 1,000 subjects at each infant age). Data are from the US Food and Drug Administration's Infant Feeding Practices Study (IFPS), a national longitudinal survey with a nonprobability sample. Data were collected by mail, and formula practices were included at infant ages 2, 5, and 7 months.

Statistical analyses performed:
Logistic regression was conducted and percentages and odds ratios were calculated, adjusting for instruction in preparing formula from a health care professional, education, income, age, parity, work status, and breast-feeding practices.

Results:
Failure to comply with recommendations was high for several practices with clear health implications; 33% of mothers mixed formula with warm tap water and up to 48% heated bottles in a microwave oven. Mothers of 2-month-old infants who received instruction from a health care professional and who breast-fed showed increased compliance, but few demographic characteristics, such as education, were related. Diarrhea increased with ambient holding of formula for older infants.

Source: http://www.adajournal.org/article/S0002-8223(99)00304-1/abstract




~*~ Catherine, mom to three grown men - Jason, Michael & Joshua and Granma to Christopher & Leia.



CL Breastmilk vs. Formula Debate Board









Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Angel and Memorial tickers





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~*~ Catherine, mom to three grown men - Jason, Michael & Joshua and Granma to Christopher & Leia.


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-11-2004
Thu, 09-23-2010 - 11:53pm
not hot enough to kill the pathogens that may be lurking in formula powder



bottled or filtered water is not a suitable replacement for water that has been boiled.



omg...






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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2009
Fri, 09-24-2010 - 8:39am

The UK NHS guidelines given to every mother when her baby is born are broadly similar. They add:

All the equipment used for feeding your baby needs to be sterilised (not just washed in the dishwasher but using a proper sterilising unit).
Followed by specific instructions on how to sterilise using each method.

Before making up a feed, clean the surface you are going to use. However, do not put teats (nipples) or lids onto the surface keep them in the steriliser until needed.

If you are abroad and need to use bottled water you must still boil it first

Check temperature of the formula before feeding the baby

Never make feeds up in advance, if going out for the day take boiled water in a thermos and make up the feed there and then, use ready-to-feed, or make the feed at home, cool quickly and carry it in a cooler with ice and use within four hours.

I have no idea how many moms follow all these instructions - all the FF moms I know use a steriliser but as for the rest I don't dare ask. I don't think these rules exist just to make formula seem more difficult - afterall you are trying to make a regular substance as sterile as milk that has never been in contact with the air let alone the inside of a factory.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2010
Fri, 09-24-2010 - 10:30am
I honestly don't think that I could possibly be able to do all of this after giving birth to a baby. I'm not a scientist. I don't even measure when I cook. Learning to BF is sometimes hard, but not that hard. This would take up the whole day!

Geneva



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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-16-2008
Fri, 09-24-2010 - 11:02am

****Coming out of lurkdom to respond to this.****

DD was mostly breastfed, but we did supplement on occasion as she was/is a lazy sucker. I can honestly say that whenever I used formula, I followed all of these rules. Until she was 9 months or so, whenever we used formula it was RTF. This was mainly because powdered formula freaked me out somewhat. It is not sterile and I was afraid that I would mess up the preparation somehow and cause her to be ill.

When she was a little bigger, I relaxed a little bit and we did use powder sometimes. When I opened the can, I always checked it wasn't past the 'use by' date and then put a sticker on the can to remind myself that I had four weeks from that date to use it or throw it away. I always prepared formula using the correct ratio of water to powder and using water that had boiled and then been allowed to cool for 25 minutes (meaning it was hot enough to kill bugs but not so hot that it destroyed the nutritional value). We strelised all bottles, teats etc (we had a cold water sterilizer) until she was over a year old.

I would NEVER have prepared her formula using tap water, or made up several bottles in advance or saved a bottle that she didn't finish for later. Just like I would never have put her formula in a bottle that hadn't been sterilized or 'ball park' the measuring.

 


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-16-2009
Fri, 09-24-2010 - 11:45am

Welcome to the debate board Claire - it is great to see you come out of lurkdom and posting! I hope that now that you have, you will stick around and keep posting.

I know that some moms do all of these steps, I am trying to remember if I did when I was FFing my son? I used the concentrate formula, sterilized his bottles for a year and boiled his water and then made up each bottle as needed.

But many moms are unaware of the steps, and some don't think they are important. What I have observed is that some moms grab a bottle that has been previously used, perhaps a quick rinse under tap water if available, or not if they are out, add the scoops of formula, fill it by eyeball with tap water, shake, heat it in the microwave, shake again and feed.

They honestly do not see the harm in that.




~*~ Catherine, mom to three grown men - Jason, Michael & Joshua and Granma to Christopher & Leia.



CL Breastmilk vs. Formula Debate Board









Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Angel and Memorial tickers





Pregnancy Stories By Age - 43-56+yrs old!




You Can Get Pregnant in Your 40's




Frugal Freebies



~*~ Catherine, mom to three grown men - Jason, Michael & Joshua and Granma to Christopher & Leia.


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-02-2011
Thu, 08-04-2011 - 2:47pm

I use tap water and always use the correct amount of formula to water. I don't sterilize bottles or nipples. I just wash out with warm water or soapy water and occaisionally wash in the dishwasher.

Here is something that was missed: I pump as much breastmilk as possible and supplement with the formula. So after I mix up some formula with the correct amount of water, I add several oz. of breastmilk to it. That helps the formula be digested more easily and my baby still gets mostly BM.

I leave formula at room temp for 2-3 hours especially if there is breastmilk mixed in because the breastmilk prevents bacteria from growing so quickly. I have had no problems and my little guy is healthy and has a good appetite. This whole obsession with throwing out the formula if it isn't all eaten at once is a ploy to get you to buy more formula. Smell it and taste it to see if it is good. Too expensive to throw away all the time.

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Thu, 08-04-2011 - 5:19pm
farahnips wrote:

I leave formula at room temp for 2-3 hours especially if there is breastmilk mixed in because the breastmilk prevents bacteria from growing so quickly. I have had no problems and my little guy is healthy and has a good appetite. This whole obsession with throwing out the formula if it isn't all eaten at once is a ploy to get you to buy more formula. Smell it and taste it to see if it is good. Too expensive to throw away all the time.

welcome

Welcome to the debate board. It's wonderful to see you posting here and I hope that you will stick around and post more often!

I wonder - does the small amount of breast milk counteract the growing bacteria in formula?

Having no problems could mean you are right - or it could mean you just got lucky.I imagine that some babies have a stronger consitution than others. Some can cope with good enough, and some need stringent cleaning and storing.

Does all bacteria smell?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-05-2007
Thu, 08-04-2011 - 6:07pm

Coming in late (and out of lurkdom) here, but I think a lot of the listed items are true for any bottle users - pumpers or FFers.

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Thu, 08-04-2011 - 7:02pm
notsureatalllanymore wrote:

I guess I'm not so much debating, as genuinely curious as to whether there's any disparity in FF bottle feeders verses BM bottle feeders, if one group tends to be more diligent about cleaning/sterilization, etc?

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