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Figuring out what type of formula to feed your baby, and how much, and how often, can be very confusing! In this video, I explain the basics of formula preparation and feeding guidelines.


Hi everybody, Melissa here. This show is about the basics of bottle-feeding with formula. There are really three different main types of formula. And you're going to talk to your doctor figure out which one is the right choice for you. But I'm going to quickly run through them here.

Okay, number one cow's milk formula. I've got some examples here. I have Similac and I have Enfamil. You can also find lactose-free formulas. Here's one that is a soy-based infant formula. And you can get lactose-free formula's that are based on cow's milk. So talk to your doctor, figure out which one you want to use. When it comes to what type of formula, again, three main types: powdered formula and then you can also get liquid formula or concentrated liquid formula.

Now, most people I know use the powdered formula for a couple reasons. Number one, it's very easy with powdered formula to make smaller or larger quantities and not to waste it. It's also good storage-wise because it doesn't take up as much space and it does tend to be cheaper.

However, if you're going on a long trip or something like that and you don't think you're going to have access to water you might want to consider one of the liquid formulas. It's sort of a nice option. So in terms of how to prepare and store powdered formula, first make sure you use an iron-fortified infant powdered formula per the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics during your baby's first year of life.

Always check the expiration date on the formula can. Formula can go bad and can be unsafe for your baby. Once a can is open it's good for one month.

Lastly, formula actually has a very short shelf life after the powder's mixed with water. So do not leave powdered mix formula at room temperature for more than one hour and always throw out what your child does not drink. Good reason to not make more than you need.

Once you mix the powder with water, it will keep for up to 48 hours in a refrigerator.

Okay, now can I use tap water in making formula? This is something on which you should check with your doctor. I did talk to my doctor about this and he said in New York City it's fine. But you have to make sure because in some cases actually fluoride levels can be too high and doctor's will want you to alternate between using tap water and using other types of water. So this is something you should check out.

Okay, so let's now get down to the mechanics of how you're going to prepare your formula.

Now the first thing you to want to do you want to make sure you have a very sterilized bottle and nipple and that you're hands are clean. So wash your hands carefully.

And here I am, I've got my bottle, I'm going to use my Born Free bottle. And Born Free actually has these nice inserts, these, of course, all have to be clean, too. And the first thing I'm going to do is I'm going to put my water in my bottle, not the other way around, because that can skew the measurements of the formula.

So I'm just for demonstrations purposes, I'm going to pour up to four ounces, and I'm using my Brita. So this is tap water but it is sterilized tap water. So I go right up to the four ounces on the bottle and then I'm going to add my formula. I'm going to use the one I've already opened, wait not that one, I've got to get the Similac.

Okay, so typically with formula, one level scoop of the formula is equal to two ounces of water. So we have four ounces here, not being a great mathematician, but that's going to tell me I need two scoops of formula. And I'm going to make sure that they are quite level.

All right so I round it out like this and then I use my clean index finger to just, just like that, just you make your cookies when you don't want to overdo it on the salt or sugar. Okay, so there I go. Nice smooth rounded scoop full.

It's really, really important that you don't underestimate it in terms of the quantity of formula. You want to make sure that your baby is getting all that nutrition and you cannot under-do it. That's very, very important. It's better to use room temperature water because that's going to dissolve more quickly and more easily in your bottle.

So now, I've attached my little Born Free piece, I'm screwing on the top of my bottle. Make sure you get this on level and tight sometimes when I'm in a hurry it goes on slanted and then it will leak. Then I'm going to put on my top and I'm just going to shake and I'm going to wait. And those clumps are going to go away. And I'm going to wait until the formula is completely dissolved into the water. Do not give it to your baby before its completely dissolved into the water.

Okay, I'm not drinking this on camera guys. You're going to have to imagine how good it is for the baby. I'm not going to go that far. But I'm going to make sure it looks totally incorporated. Okay, looking good- shake it back and forth- looking good.

Okay, let's talk a little bit about warming up your baby's bottle and how you're going to want to do that. Do not warm bottles in the microwave. This can cause unevenness in temperature.

The best thing to do is to take your prepared bottle of formula out of the fridge one hour prior to use or place your bottle in a pan of hot water. Then test a few drops on the backside of your hand to make sure it's not hot but just lukewarm.

When it comes to bottle feeding your baby, and I'm a big fan of back position, but make sure that you're sitting in a way that's very comfortable for you and the baby is nicely propped up. And you want to make sure that her head is over her tummy.

And then, when you give her the bottle- I'm going to keep the top on here because otherwise it's going to start to leak down- you want to make sure that there is no air at all in this nipple area so that there's not any excess air that your baby is ingesting because this can cause colic or gas and a very, very fussy, fussy baby. So you're going to sit like this, you're going to prop up your bottle, it's going to be kind of coming from up above, and you're going to start giving your baby the bottle in that way.

So I hope that these little tips will help you in giving formula to your baby. And I'll see you next time!

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