You’ll need to sterilise your bottle and teat before you start to prepare formula milk. It’s also a good idea to make sure the surface you are working on is clean and that you’ve washed your hands. If you choose a Tommee Tippee steriliser, your bottles will stay sterilised for 24 hours if they remain in the steriliser.
As tempting as it is to save time by making up bottles in advance, it is better to make up each bottle as it is needed to reduce the risk of infection. If you need to prepare in advance (for example if you are going out), then store the cooled, boiled water sealed in the bottles and take them with you in baby's bag. When its feed time, try and heat the water (most cafe's or restaurants have bottle warmers or will provide you with a flask of hot water to stand the bottle in. Once warmed, you can mix in the formula and prepare the feed. Our handy formula dispensers allow you to pre-scoop your formula and store it inside your bottle ready to use.
Using water over 70°C ensures any bacteria in the formula milk is killed. The easiest way to get the right temperature is to boil the kettle and leave it to cool for around 20 to 30 minutes. Never pour boiling water into the bottles but equally don’t let the water sit in the kettle for longer than 30 minutes. Pour the amount of water according to the formula instructions into your bottle.
The formula packaging will clearly state how many scoops you need to make up a bottle according to your baby’s age or weight. Even in the blur of the night feed, it is important to count these out as using too much or too little could make your baby unwell. Level each scoop out but don’t worry about pressing the powder down – you want a loose, level scoop ideally. For speed and accuracy in the middle of the night or to avoid taking your formula with you when you leave the house, use a milk powder dispenser.
Screw a lid or nipple on to the bottle tightly, unleash your inner bartender and gently shake or swirl the formula cocktail well until all powder has dissolved completely.
Babies are a bit like Goldilocks and need their milk just right – not too hot and not too cold. The best way to test this is to put a drop on the inside of your wrist where the skin is sensitive like your baby’s mouth. It should feel lukewarm. If it feels too hot, you can cool the milk by holding the bottle — with a cap covering the nipple — under cold running water.
After feeding, throw away used formula and never re-heat or re-use it. It is not safe for your baby. This is also why it is recommended that you don’t mix formula and breast milk in the same bottle. Breast milk can be kept whereas formula milk must be discarded soon after preparation. Mixing the two can thus lead to wasted breast milk, which nobody likes!
Always wash the bottles you have used in warm soapy water before sterilising using your bottle and teat brush (there is no need to sterilise the brush itself), then rinse.
It’s worth keeping an eye on your bottles. Don’t use bottles that are badly worn or scratched and keep an eye out for splits in teats. It’s recommended that you buy new bottles for each baby you have.
Don’t be tempted to heat the bottle in a microwave for speed – it will destroy the nutrients in the formula and could also create hot spots which may burn your baby. Equally, if you’re looking to thaw frozen breast milk, do this at room temperature rather than zapping it.