Infant formula

How do I clean and sterilise (boil) bottles?

Good hygiene and cleaning and sterilising (boiling) dummies and bottles before feeding your baby are vital in preventing any risk of infection for the baby.

  • Rinse bottles and other items after use in cold water.
  • Wash the items thoroughly using a separate brush in hot, soapy water. Rinse thoroughly under running water.
  • Alternatively, you can wash them in a dishwasher using the highest temperature program.

Sterilise the bottles by boiling them or using a steriliser.

Boiling:

  • Place in a saucepan and make sure the bottle is completely covered with water.
  • Bring to the boil and leave to boil under a lid for 5-10 minutes.
  • Remember to set an alarm so that you don’t leave the pan to boil dry.
  • Using a bottle steriliser: Follow the instructions for use.

Drying and storage:

  • Make sure your hands are clean before handling sterilised bottles.
  • Once the items have been boiled (sterilised), remove them using sterilised kitchen tongs (or barbecue tongs).
  • Air-dry on a clean surface, such as a clean tea towel.
  • After air-drying, re-assemble the items and store them in a clean place. If you use a steriliser, the items can be left in the steriliser until you are ready to use

How do I prepare infant formula directly in a bottle?

Make sure you have a clean worktop and clean hands, and that the items have been sterilised (boiled). Boil some cold tap water that has been left running for a little while. Pour the water into a bottle. The water must be at a temperature of at least 70°C when you mix in the powder. This will kill any bacteria which is already in the powder or which is added during preparation. Take care with the hot water. Add exactly the right amount of powder to the water, as stated on the packaging. Too much or too little powder could make your baby ill. Use a measuring spoon. Fill the measuring spoon generously and flatten off the top using a knife. Screw on the teat and top. Mix by shaking or turning gently. Allow the mixture to cool until it feels lukewarm. The milk should be at hand temperature, i.e. 37°C. At this temperature, it will feel neither hot nor cold.

How do I prepare infant formula for several meals?

With good hygiene and careful preparation and storage, you can mix infant formula for several meals at a time. Mix in a large metal or glass container. Make sure you have a clean worktop and clean hands, and that the items have been sterilised (boiled). Add precisely the right amount of powder to the water, as stated on the packaging. Boil some cold tap water that has been left running for a little while. Pour the right amount of water into a clean and sterilised (boiled) metal or glass container. The water must be at a temperature of at least 70°C when you mix in the powder. Mix carefully. Allow the mixture to cool and pour the milk into the bottles. The milk should be given to your baby when lukewarm, or allow the milk to cool completely and store in a fridge at a maximum temperature of 4°C. Discard any milk that is not used within 24 hours.

How do I cool infant formula?

After you have mixed some infant formula, allow it to cool under cold running water or in a bowl of cold water with ice. With a small bottle, it will take about two minutes for the milk to cool enough for it to be ready to drink. Put on the cap, so that the milk is not contaminated by water from the tap or the ice water. Shake or turn gently, so that all the milk is at the same temperature. The milk can be given to baby when it feels lukewarm, i.e. at a temperature of 37 °C. You should barely feel the milk when you put a few drops on your wrist. For later use, allow to cool to below drinking temperature and then place the bottle(s) in a fridge at a maximum temperature of 4°C. The milk must be kept cold to prevent the growth of bacteria.

How do I warm a bottle from the fridge?

Remove the bottle from the fridge just before warming. Warm the bottle by placing it in a container of warm water. Warming should take no more than 15 minutes, to avoid the milk losing nutrients and prevent bacterial growth. Gently shake or turn the bottle, so that all the milk is at the same temperature. Do not use a microwave oven. Microwave ovens heat the milk unevenly. This could scald your baby. The milk can be given to your baby when it feels lukewarm (37°C) and you can barely feel it when you put a few drops on your wrist. Discard any milk that is not drunk within two hours. Bacteria can multiply rapidly in unused milk.

How do I take infant formula on a trip?

Cooled infant formula can be carried in a cooler bag with ice packs. If you arrive at your destination within two hours, bottles can be kept in a fridge up to 24 hours after preparation. Discard any formula that is not used within 24 hours.

If you go out, ready-mixed infant formula in a cooler bag can be used within two hours. The shelf-life is short because the temperature in cooler bags is not as low as it is in fridges. If you are travelling for more than two hours, carry the measured powder in a clean and sterilised container. The powder must be mixed with boiled, hot water (minimum of 70°C) in a clean and sterilised bottle and then cooled. Ready-mixed packs of infant formula can be used.

How do I mix infant formula when I’m on the go?

For trips lasting less than two hours, you can put the ready-made infant formula in a cooler bag. If you’re going to be away for more than two hours, you can mix the formula as you go along.

Take some boiled, hot water in a thermos flask with you. The water should be at a temperature of at least 70°C when you mix in the powder. Pour the measured powder into a clean, boiled container. Mix directly in the bottle and turn gently. Leave the cap on to avoid getting bacteria in the milk. Allow the mixture to cool until it feels lukewarm. Use a thermos flask with good insulation to maintain the temperature of the water. Some thermos flasks can keep the water at a temperature of at least 70°C for up to seven hours. How long the water will stay hot will depend on the ambient temperature.