How to Prepare Formula Milk for your Baby

Feeding a tiny baby is hard and preparing formula milk can be a lengthy, complicated process that requires a lot patience, especially if you’re a first time parent!

You might not know where to start, but don’t be daunted, here’s a guide for getting it right.

  1. Whichever formula you’re using, make sure to read and follow the manufacturer’s guidance.
  2. Remember, it’s best to make up feeds one at a time.
  3. Start with an empty kettle, then fill it up with at least 1 litre of fresh water from the tap.
  4. Turn the kettle on and boil the water.
  5. Let the water cool down to a temperature of at least 70C. This shouldn’t take any longer than 30 minutes.
  6. Clean the surface you are going to use and wash your hands.
  7. Take the bottle and stand it upright on the cleaned surface.
  8. Fill the bottle with the correct amount of water required.
  9. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, fill the scoop with the formula powder.
  10. Level off the powder by using the leveller provided or a clean, dry knife.
  11. Pour the powder into the bottle.
  12. Holding the edge of the teat, put it into the retaining ring, check it’s secure, then screw the ring onto the bottle.
  13. Put the cap over the teat and shake, shake, shake!
  14. Cool the formula by holding the bottle with the lid on under cold running water.
  15. Test the temperature of the formula before feeding it to your baby.
  16. The formula should be body temperature, so when you test it on your wrist is should feel warm or cool, but not hot.
  17. Make sure to throw away any made-up formula left in the bottle after the feed.

Some important ‘dont’s’

  • Don’t use water that has been previously boiled
  • Don’t use bottled mineral water
  • Don’t press the powder down into the scoop, but level it off with a sterilised knife or the leveller provided
  • Don’t be tempted to add extra powder or extra water
  • Don’t heat the bottle in the microwave
  • Don’t ever add cereal to the bottle as this may cause the feed to be over-concentrated, leading to dehydration and a possible risk of choking

Read more about making up a feed according to the NHS Guidelines

How much formula does my baby need?

The NHS advises that newborn babies only need small amounts of formula to start with.

By the end of their first week, most will need around 150 to 200ml per kilo of their weight a day until they're 6 months old. This amount will vary from baby to baby.

Although most babies eventually settle into a feeding pattern, they vary in how often they want to feed and how much they want to drink.

You should feed your baby when they show signs that they want it. Babies tend to feed little and often, and may not finish their bottle.

Does bottle feeding cause colic?

Sometimes, babies can become windy during or following feeds.

It is recommended to give your baby breaks during the feed and allow them to release any excess wind by winding them.

Once the baby has brought up wind, you can carry on with feeding.

If you need advice on how to correctly wind your baby, ask your health visitor or visit the NHS website for advice.

Are formula preparation machines safe?

We advise you to look very carefully at the formula preparation machines on the market as the NHS advises against the use of some machines. This is because they deliver a small volume (‘shot’) of very hot water and then add cool water to make up the rest of the feed. This is not sufficient to kill the bacteria in formula milk. The Food Standards Agency recommends using cooled, boiled water above 70 degrees centigrade to make up infant formula.

What should I do if I’m out and about with baby?

If you’re heading away from home and need to feed your baby, you'll need to take with you:

  • A measured amount of formula powder in a small, clean and dry container
  • A vacuum flask of hot water that's just been boiled
  • An empty sterilised feeding bottle with cap and retaining ring in place.

If the flask is full and sealed, the water will stay above 70C for 2 hours. 

Make up a fresh feed only when your baby needs it. The water must still be hot when you use it, to destroy any bacteria in the formula powder.

Remember to cool the bottle (with the lid on) under cold running water before you feed it to your baby. 

Alternatively, you could use a carton of ready-to-feed liquid formula when you're away from home or use a RapidCool.

How do I prepare a feed using the Nuby RapidCool?

Our RapidCool™ Portable Baby Bottle Maker can safely cool boiling water to the recommended temperature for formula feed, in just 2 minutes*.

To use it as part of your formula feed preparation, simply follow these easy steps;

  1. Boil fresh tap water
  2. Measure out the required formula powder
  3. Fill the RapidCool™ with the hot water, add the formula powder and mix well
  4. Wait 2 minutes* for the digital display to show a green Nuby logo. This means it is ready to dispense the feed into a sterilised baby bottle
  5. Double check the temperature of the feed on your wrist as recommended by the NHS
  6. It’s ready to go!

RapidCool is designed for 90ml – 240ml (3oz-8oz) feed sizes, so you have the flexibility to increase feed sizes as your baby grows.

Watch the RapidCool™ video to see the future of bottlefeeding here.

Watch how to use the Rapidcool here.

RapidCool™ is the only quick solution for preparing formula feeding that follows the NHS guidelines. No expensive replacement filters are required every few months and plus, its portable so you can use it when out and about!

*Time varies between 2 – 5 minutes depending on size of feed.