How to prepare formula

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  • Learn how to prepare powder, concentrate and ready-to-feed formulas.
  • How to prepare the water, warm the bottle, and clean after feeding.

Getting ready to prepare your baby’s first bottle may seem intimidating—and rightly so, as carefully following the instructions is key to your baby’s health. Good news: once learned, it quickly becomes second nature.


Get ready

  • Bottles don’t need to be boiled, unless your physician directs you. They can be placed in a dishwasher that uses heated water and has a hot drying cycle. You may also choose to wash the bottles in hot, soapy water and rinse thoroughly.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and work in a clean area.
  • Make sure formula has not expired and the container isn’t damaged.
  • Never add more water than instructed to dilute the formula.
  • Shake containers of ready-to-feed formula really well. 


Prepare water

Ask your health care provider if you should use tap, sterilized, or bottled water that’s designed for mixing with infant formula. Before using tap water, run cold water for at least 30 seconds.

  • If you choose to sterilize water, bring it to a rolling boil for one minute and let it cool fully before preparing the bottle.
  • Well water should be tested regularly, and often bottled water is the best alternative.
  • If using bottled water, we recommend mixing formula with infant water that is fluoride-free. GERBER® Pure® purified water* is a fluoride-free choice specially designed for mixing with infant formula.


Know your formula

You can buy formula in three forms: powder, concentrate, and ready-to-feed. Here’s a guide to preparing each:

Powder

  • Pour desired amount of water into a clean bottle. Always add the powder to the water for correct mixing.
  • For most powdered formulas add one unpacked, level scoop of powder for each 2 fluid ounces of water. 
    • Do not hard-pack the formula scoop, as it will make a formula too concentrated for your baby—and he won’t receive enough fluid.
    • There may be little air pockets in the lightly packed scoop, and that’s okay.
  • Cap the bottle, shake well and feed immediately.


Concentrate

  • Clean the top of the container before opening.
  • Shake well.
  • Mix an equal amount of water and concentrate in a clean bottle and shake.


Ready-to-feed [tetra] carton

  • Clean the top of the carton before opening.
  • Shake well.
  • Pour the formula into a clean bottle.  


Ready-to-feed nurser bottle

  • Shake the bottle well.
  • Unscrew the cap and with clean hands attach a clean nipple and ring and begin feeding.

Read the label.

Always follow the instructions on the label. Once a bottle is prepared feed baby immediately. Once feeding begins, use within 1 hour or discard. If necessary, refrigerate freshly prepared bottle and use within 24 hours. Refrigerator temperatures should be maintained between 35-40 °F.

Feeding on the go
Easy feeding anywhere

  • Ready-to-feed formula is ideal to use on the go.
  • Clean the top of the carton before opening.  


Feeding powdered formula on the go

  • Before leaving home, fill a clean bottle with pre-measured water. 
  • Add the correct amount of powdered formula when she’s ready for her feeding and shake well.

 

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Warming a bottle
These simple tips help make sure your formula will be safe for your baby.

  • Fill a clean bottle and let it stand in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes, or hold it under warm running water.
  • Gently shake the bottle to evenly distribute the warmed milk.
  • Shake a few drops of formula onto your wrist.
  • Liquid is a safe temperature if it feels barely warm on the skin.

Important to know

Never heat a bottle of formula in the microwave. Serious burns may result.

Clean after feeding
Take extra care cleaning your baby’s bottles to reduce germs. Here’s how:

  • Place bottle parts on the top rack of your dishwasher, or wash in hot, soapy water with a bottlebrush.
  • Scrub nipples in hot, soapy water.
  • Rinse bottles and nipples well and air-dry. 


Quick Guide

Do use powder, concentrate, or ready-to-feed formula within up to one hour after preparation. Once a feeding begins, use within 1 hour or discard.

Don't save any remaining formula left in the bottle after an hour. Microorganisms are transmitted from your baby’s mouth into the formula and, if allowed to grow, could make your baby sick.

*Minerals added for taste
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