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Confused...new to formula feeding
Making bottles

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#1 Stellabella1980

Posted 23 February 2013 - 10:49 PM

Ok so I am weaning my baby off bf and onto ff and I am bit confused about how I have to prepare formula. (Am using Bellamys)
Can I boil water at night and use it for the first feed of the next morning (not mixing powder in until I need to use it)?
Can a make a formula feed and then refrigerate it? And when I go to use it from the fridge do I need to warm it up?
How long can a mixed formula last outside? If I make a bottle in the morning can I use it 3-4hours later if it hasn't been in the fridge?
I am about to take a flight from Australia to Europe, how do I prepare the bottles? Do I boil enough water for each 10hour flight and then only carry enough formula powder for the 4-5 bottles (150mls each) Can you take opened tins of formula on board a plane?
I am sorry if these are questions that have all been answered before, I have had a look through pages on this topic to try and find my answers
Thanks for any advice original.gif

#2 tinkster23

Posted 23 February 2013 - 10:55 PM

Yes you can boil the water the night before.
Yes you can make up the feed and refrigerate it. In hospital we make up big batches and keep it for 24 hours in the fridge, taking the amount we need for each feed and warming it.
For a long haul flight I'd take the prepacks of formula but you can put the water in the bottles and add formula at feed time, from one of those little formula dispensers.

Don't stress, it seems bigger than it is.

Edited to remove something, I'd believe the document lucky2 linked, it must have come out after I went on łeave last year.

Edited by tinkster23, 23 February 2013 - 11:38 PM.

#3 ubermum

Posted 23 February 2013 - 10:57 PM

When I used formula, I filled the bottles with boiled water and kept them in the fridge. With the lid on, they would be fine on the bench too, but it was my first and I was a bit anal. Then just add the powder when you are about to feed the baby. You don't have to heat them, but many babies prefer it if you do. I started keeping the bottles out at room temp so i didn't have to heat them.

If you make up a feed, it must be kept in the fridge. There is instructions on the tin about that.

Going on a flight, I would take pre-measured formula in one of those containers that has the dividers especially for that. Big W sells them. Flight attendents will be able to give you boiled water in your bottles and then you can add your powder and wait until the feed cools down to feed your baby.

Edited by ubermum, 23 February 2013 - 10:58 PM.

#4 lucky 2

Posted 23 February 2013 - 11:19 PM

The link below is to the newly released Australian Infant Feeding Guidelines from the NHMRC.
If you scroll down to formula (p. 73>) it has lots of information on formula and preparation and transporting of formula.
It is designed for health care workers (to provide consistency in advice/practices around the country) but I think it gives all of the information in a very simple format.
It clearly advises prepared formula to be refridgerated and if out of the fridge then discarded after one hour.
All the best.

#5 Paddlepop

Posted 23 February 2013 - 11:33 PM

How old is your baby? If he/she is only a few months old you need to be quite careful with hygiene and cleanliness of formula preparation. If your baby is older and crawling and shoving random disgusting things from the floor into their mouth, you don't need to stress so much and just use normal food prep cleanliness.

Can I boil water at night and use it for the first feed of the next morning (not mixing powder in until I need to use it)?
Yes. My DD was FF from 2 days old. I would boil up about 24 hours worth of water in one batch, and leave it on the bench in a sealed container.

Can a make a formula feed and then refrigerate it? And when I go to use it from the fridge do I need to warm it up?
Yes, but it generally is better to make a fresh bottle each time and not make it in advance. Less time for any bacteria to grow. It will depend on your baby whether you need to warm it up or not. My DD preferred her bottles warm so we would warm the water in the microwave, add powder, shake and check the temperature.

How long can a mixed formula last outside? If I make a bottle in the morning can I use it 3-4hours later if it hasn't been in the fridge?
One hour, and no. Throw it away. We stuck pretty strictly to the one hour unrefrigerated rule. It seemed like such a shame to throw out the unused formula but it was better than having a sick baby. Also, you will learn how much your baby will prefer at each feed and be able to make up the right quantity and minimise any wastage.

I am about to take a flight from Australia to Europe, how do I prepare the bottles? Do I boil enough water for each 10hour flight and then only carry enough formula powder for the 4-5 bottles (150mls each) Can you take opened tins of formula on board a plane?
No idea. I've never been on a plane. I would imagine that you would need to check each airline's policy for what you can take on the plane.

When we went out, I would prepare a formula dispenser container with the right number of scoops of powder for a few feeds. I would then fill two (or 3 or however many were needed) bottles with the right amount of preboiled water, heat them in the microwave until they were quite hot, and then place them into an insulated bottle bag. I would then get a hot/cold pack (for sprains and muscles) and heat it until really hot in the microwave and put that in with the bottles. By the time DD would need a feed (approx. 2 hrs) the water would be about the right temperature. If it was too hot, we would either leave it sit for a few minutes or run it under some water to cool it off. Obviously, always shake and check the temperature before giving it to baby. Some Parents Rooms will have a microwave for warming bottles.

You also don't need to sterilise everything depending on the quality of your water supply that you use to clean the bottles and teats. A good hot soapy wash to remove all traces of milk, a thorough hot rinse, and leave to air dry is all that is needed if your water supply is reliably safe enough to drink. If your water isn't reliable or safe enough to drink then you will need to sterilise everything. We stopped sterilising by the time DD was 3 weeks old.

An Australian website that you might find helpful is:

Formula preparation seems overwhelming at the start. After a few weeks you will have your routine worked out and it will be easy.

#6 strawberry blondes

Posted 24 February 2013 - 12:26 AM

For your flight i would check with the airline and airport first. We were told by the airline we could take the pre made cartons on to the flight but they were confiscated by the airport security because they couldn't see the liquid inside! We ended up having to buy a different formula inside the airport in powder form and our DD vomited the whole way as it upset her stomach!

I boiled water and kept the bottles in the fridge and took one out an hour before i needed it to take the chill off it and used those powder dividing tubs.

#7 Lightning_bug

Posted 24 February 2013 - 12:54 AM

OP, a tip I got from here which worked out incredibly handy was to boil the water and fill the bottles and then leave them on the bench out of the fridge.

It reduced heating time considerably.

To heat the bottles I would microwave the water and add the formula last.  For night feeds when I wasn't fully awake I would measure out formula doses into one of the travel containers.

There's no 'right' way OP.  It's what works for you.  After two fully FF babies I found I could largely trust my instincts when it came to preparation system I employed.

#8 fizzy19

Posted 24 February 2013 - 01:27 AM

Hi I keep a small jug on the bench.  At night I boil a full kettle of water and in the morning I pour that into the small jug , so it's room temperature.  When I need a bottle I fill with room temp water to about 30 - 40 mls less than I need then top up the bottle with hot water out the kettle.  You can put these into an insulated bottle holder and user a formula container to keep the powder in

#9 IShallWearMidnight

Posted 24 February 2013 - 02:17 AM

I boiled the water for 24hrs, and measured it into bottles in the fridge. Then added the formula each feed.

For long haul I would carry my boiled water in a bottle (tell them its for bottles and they will let you bring them) and use a formula dispenser on the plane, plus have an extra tin in carry on, incase your luggage was lost, and bub wouldnt take another brand of formula. (both of my kids have taken whatever, though)

#10 lucky 2

Posted 24 February 2013 - 09:55 AM

I'd believe the document lucky2 linked, it must have come out after I went on łeave last year.

It was finally published last week! Yay, it was due out late last year.
The previous Guidelines were rescinded in 2003 so that was a 10 year period for confusion and inconsistent information to build.
I know some people wont follow these guidelines but hopefully it will make it easier for health care professionals to give consistent and current evidence based information on all things related to babies, feeding and safety.

#11 Madnesscraves

Posted 24 February 2013 - 10:05 AM


This is a bit Of a rort, but you can but sterilised bottled water from the baby section called bebi. It's handy to know if you can't get near boiled water.

Otherwise, when out I'd just take a formula dispenser container and pre boiled water, mixed when required. It's fairly easy to do! Better than carrying around made up formula. I'd often boil the water before I left, take hot bottles with me in a thermal bag for bottles and when DD wanted a drink, it cooled down enough that it was warm for her to drink and I didn't need to worry about finding a microwave to warm up bottle.

#12 tinkster23

Posted 24 February 2013 - 09:47 PM

Rofl lucky2. I don't feel so bad now if its only been out for a week! original.gif

#13 Isolabella

Posted 24 February 2013 - 10:08 PM

I have been to the US and back and EU and back with sub 6mo.

Invest in formula dispensers. I took these on the plane with me. I calculated how many bottles end to end (from leaving home to arrival at destination) and assumed a bottle every three hours. I also measured out our more feeds in glad sealable bags for backup. My bubs did do some long stretches sleeping so on average I would end up with six to eight spare feeds by the end of my destination.

Depending on where you are going I have taken enough tins of formula or my total trip.

You can take fluids for infants on the plane. Just beware that you may be asked to taste them at security. I had 2x 500mls bottles with cooled boiled water for the plane. When one was empty I would refill. Reading lucky2s post I would consider using bottled water too.

I served my bottles at room temp. Dump formula in, shake and serve.

I also took small dish washing liquid on the plane. Would immediately rinse bottle with boiling water. Then put mix of cold water and boiling plus dish washing liquid to wash bottle. Rinse four times with boiling water. Teats I used a coffee cup to wash teats and rinse with boiling water. Other option is to take extra teats with you and just reuse the washed bottle but with a new teat.

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