Having a baby of your own is such a blessing and at the same time such a responsibility. You have to make sure your child gets everything he/she needs and that requires a lot of effort and knowledge. While being a parent, you get to learn so many new things on how to calm your baby, on how to satisfy all his/her needs and millions of other details considering your baby’s health.
A huge issue surely for every parent is the matter of their baby’s nutrition. Some parents are able to provide their baby with the gift of breastfeeding, while others are choosing formulas to satisfy their babies’ hunger. Now, as said in previous articles, those busy parents that for several personal reasons are unable to breastfeed can now be entirely relieved with the unique formulas that are out on the market.
Nowadays these formulas are so evolved and innovative that they offer the perfect replacement for breastmilk. They include vitamins, prebiotics, and other ingredients to make infants’ immune systems powerful. They provide babies with every nutritious ingredient they need, if not more!
However, parenthood is very demanding. Finding the right formula is not the end of it, unfortunately. Parents also need to figure out how to prepare it for their kids and of course, and also safe ways to store baby formula.
Storing baby formula can be a bit tricky for a new parent; that’s why it requires attention.
Why does storing baby formula need extra attention?
When it comes to storing your baby’s food, you need to be extra careful. That’s because you want to make sure that no germs are left in the formula when storing it. Thus, as you understand yourself, it is vital for your children’s health to make sure no bacteria are involved in the whole process.
But you do not need to worry anymore about storing prepared baby formula and whether or not storing baby bottles in fridge is a good idea. Here is our detailed guide on how to store baby formula, that will clear out things for you and that will make storing formula a piece of cake:
Step one: Cleanliness means everything! Before preparing and storing prepared formula, you need to have ensured that everything is nice and clean. Infants and young children, in general, are very sensitive to bacteria which is why you have to be very careful when it comes to cleaning your hands and all the formula parts.
First of all, before you begin preparing the formula, you have to wash your hands and make sure you don’t touch anything related to your baby’s formula preparation process. After you have cleaned your hands, you should air dry them or use paper towels. Do not use dish towels that you’ve used before since they might be covered in bacteria and other germs found in a kitchen.
Afterward, you will have to make sure every part of the formula’s package is thoroughly cleaned. That means cleaning the lids of the formula covers or cans. Furthermore, you’ll have to take away any dust or other germs that could cover the surface. A washed cloth would do the trick, although you should not use the kitchen sponge because again it could be full of germs.
Next, you will have to wash all the can openers with very hot, soapy water so that all harmful residue or bacteria will be removed. Moreover, electric can openers are specially designed to allow the blade device to be removed to be cleaned and then be put back.
Lastly, you need to sterilize any nipples or bottles. To do so, you have to submerge those in boiling water for about five minutes before placing the formula inside them. After the whole sterilization process, the nipples and the bottles can be cleaned with hot soapy water and of course a clean rinse. Also, most bottles are safe to be put in the dishwasher, so you can use your dishwasher to clean the bottles properly for you. However, if you do not own a dishwasher and you wish to clean them by hand, be extra careful. Clean bottles, nipples or any other accessory with a special brush that is designed exactly for this cause. Once you are finished, allow nipples, bottles, etc. to air dry.
Step 2: It’s all about proper storage. If you are wondering how to store baby formula, it all depends on the kind of formula you are using. You could be using powder or ready-to-feed formula, liquid concentrate formula, etc. and the process of storing formula could be pretty different.
The first rule when it comes to storing the formula is to keep unopened containers at room temperature. You can probably find this information written on the formula package too. So, make sure that the containers are not exposed to extreme cold or heat and that they are not placed in direct sunlight. Somewhere between 55 and 75 Fahrenheit degrees is a pretty good temperature for your formula container.
As for the opened formula containers, they can be stored in two ways.
If you are using powder formula, you should store it in a cool and dry place after you’ve made sure that the lid is securely placed. Be careful though! You should never store opened powder formula in the refrigerator since the humidity could harm the powder.
On the other hand, if you choose to use a ready-to-feed formula in liquid form, you should place all opened and ready-to-be-consumed formula in a sealed container and discard any left portions you didn’t use, after 48 hours.
If you are using a liquid concentrate formula, you should store your opened formula in the fridge in a covered container, instantly after opening. Discard any portions you did not use, within 24 hours of preparation.
Step 3: Prepare yourself properly before you purchase formula and before you give it to your infant. There are many mistakes a parent could make when buying a formula or when feeding it to his/her baby. Some of the things you should pay attention to are: expiration dates, measurements, the use of water, the temperature of the formula and some possible money saving tips.
Firstly, you need to avoid buying or even using expired formula. You should always check the date on which each formula expires, before buying it and of course, before giving it to your baby.
Moreover, you should avoid ingredient separation. Don’t forget to shake the ready-to-feed formula before opening the container since the ingredients might separate as they settle.
Another thing you should pay significant attention to is the measurements. You should use accurate measuring tools so that you can measure the water and formula correctly. It is vital to follow the instructions carefully since too much water could cause an insufficient supply of nutrients while not enough water could cause dehydration to your baby.
Furthermore, you should use water and be extra cautious. Use water that has been officially labeled as safe or use water that you have boiled yourself for two minutes. After sterilizing it and killing all germs allow it to cool for about 45 minutes before mixing formula with it.
*Note* Keep in mind that filtered water or boiled water does not necessarily mean bacteria free water. The filters should be changed now and then to avoid any bacteria growth.
Also, you should test the temperature of the formula before feeding it to your baby. Shake the bottle a bit so that the temperature will be spread evenly and then spill a drop or two onto your wrist to check it. If it feels too warm, you’d better let it cool a bit more.
Lastly, one money saving tip is to use as much as you need. For example, if you are planning on making a batch of formula, then make exactly as much as you need for the next 24 hours. This way you are going to reduce the wasted portions and eventually save money.
Step 4: Use appropriate disposal techniques to harmful formula. Figure out when it is time to get rid of formula before it’s too late.
- Get rid of any dry formula that you didn’t use after one month of being opened.
- Toss ready-to-feed liquid formula after one day of being opened as well.
- Last but not least, you should discard any unfinished formula after an hour. Do not feed your baby a bottle that he/she has not finished if one hour has passed. The saliva of your baby could cause contamination and refrigerating or reheating the formula would not be enough to kill the bacteria in it.
Step 5: Tread Lightly. Attention and awareness in whatever concerns your child!
You need to be very careful with every matter considering your baby. The following are some of many the things you should strictly avoid:
- Don’t purchase or use formula in containers that have been “squeezed”, or dented. The tin layer inside might have been cracked, and that could mean the contents touching the steal. Obviously, a damaged container could cause spoilage or rusting.
- Try to avoid buying expired formula. You should also get rid of any expired formula you might have inside the house since someone could accidentally feed it to your little angel. If you have an unopened one that has expired, you can perhaps return it to the shop you got it from, and they could replace it with an up to date one.
- Moreover, you should abstain from cooling (keeping it in the fridge) prepared formula because that could lead to separation of the fat and protein contents.
- Another thing you should avoid is leaving formula out. You should not forget the formula out in room temperature for more than an hour due to the bacteria that could grow. Unfortunately, this is a perfect temperature for bacteria to come and ruin your baby’s formula.
- Furthermore, you should be careful when heating your kids’ formula. Avoid the use of the microwave since it could leave hot spots that could burn your baby’s mouth. Also, when you are about to warm up the formula, you should avoid placing the bottle on a pan that is heating on the stove. Remember to always remove the pan before putting your bottle in it.
- As said before, don’t use a dish towel to dry the parts that you used in the whole feeding process since those towels could be filled with bacteria. Always prefer the use of paper towels or air drying.
- In addition, to avoid breeding germs you should always keep your formula cool until feeding time. Also, remember to keep formula bottles in an insulated bag or even a cooler full of ice, so that bacteria growth is prevented.
- Last but not least, you’d better keep an eye for product recalls on your baby’s formula. Contamination does happen occasionally which is why awareness is so important to avoid feeding it to your baby. However, if by accident you offered recalled formula to your baby, make sure that you contact your baby’s doctor or health care provider as soon as possible!
The feeding process is admittedly one of the hardest tasks that a parent will have to deal with. Finding the right formula and then storing it in the right way..it can all seem overwhelming for new parents that simply can’t breastfeed.
This whole process might seem complicated to some people, but that’s just parenthood. Nobody said it’s easy and simple, being a parent. Nonetheless, you will quickly figure out everything you need to understand in order to store and prepare your baby’s formula properly. Do not worry about anything as long as you follow the steps above.
Being constantly careful and having awareness 24/7 might be exhausting but at the end of the day, this is all for your little angel. Your little descendant. The joy of being a parent and watch your little miniature slowly grow and thrive cannot compare to anything in this world. The unique feeling of having given life and passed your legacy to some tiny miracle is itself outstanding!