To make formula milk, you need hot water that kills all the germs and bacteria. For that, you need water that measures 158 degrees Fahrenheit or 70 degrees Celsius or above. The proper method to warm water is to boil the water in a kettle and cool it down for a maximum of 30 minutes. Doing so will provide you with water that measures 70 C or 158 F or above. Now mix this water with formula powder, but do not give it to your baby yet as it is too hot. Let it cool down to body temperature before giving it to your baby. Then, do a quick test by letting a drop of milk touch the inside of your wrist to see if it’s suitable for feeding.
After choosing the best baby formula and the finest quality of feeding bottles for your baby, you may think you are ready. Making formula milk might seem relatively straightforward; add formula powder and water in a feeding bottle, that’s it!
But what kind of water should you use? How long do you need to boil water for formula milk? Here you will find answers to all your questions.
Do I have to boil water for formula milk?
It is advised to boil water because hot temperature kills all kinds of harmful bacteria and germs.
If you use tap water, then there is a low chance your water is contaminated as the authorities continuously monitor water.
In case water is found contaminated, warnings are issued. However, if you use well water, your baby is in danger as boiling well water does not remove impurities and chemicals.
Babies have a weaker immune system; hence it is always safer to boil water, regardless of what kind of water you are using.
Earlier, the packaging on formula milk clearly instructed parents to boil water before adding formula. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that if you have any concerns about whether your tap water is safe, you should boil it for up one minute and then use the boiled water within 30 minutes to mix the formula.
On the other hand, AAP does not advise boiling water before mixing it with formula. Instead, it recommended checking the safety of your water through the local health department.
What kind of water is best for my baby?
1. Tap Water
In the United States, tap water is safe to drink. But your baby has a weak immune system; therefore, it is best to boil the water before mixing it with the formula. By boiling water, you kill viruses and bacterias that might have entered the tap water due to old pipes, heavy rain, or flood.
Home distillation systems do purify the water from dust and debris, but they do not kill bacteria. Hence boiling water makes it safe for you and your baby.
Another drawback of tap water is that fluoride is added to tap water in the United States to prevent cavities. The American Dental Association supports this action. Undoubtedly, fluoride in tap water protects your baby’s new teeth from cavities, but at times the level of fluoride can exceed due to continuous usage of tap water.
And boiling tap water does not eliminate fluoride from it. Therefore if you want to reduce the fluoride intake for your baby, you could alternate between using tap water and low-fluoride bottled water to prepare your baby’s formula.
You can also choose to use a liquid baby formula as they are prepared using less fluoride.
2. Well Water
Well water can be highly contaminated with dirt and debris; it can be very harmful to babies, children, and even adults.
Private well water is usually not checked by the Health Department; therefore, there is no report about how clean or contaminated it is. Therefore, make sure to test the well water before using it.
However, the best alternative for your baby is to use low fluoride bottled water.
3. Bottled Water
There are many bottled water created explicitly for babies, called Nursery water.
The manufacturers use specific guidelines, boiling the water properly before pouring it into the bottle, which usually makes this type of water a bit more expensive than regular bottled water.
You must boil the water before mixing it with formula as you are unaware that for how long the bottle has been there on the shelf and if it is any longer contaminated or not.
Why risk your baby’s health? Make it your habit to always boil the water before giving it to your baby.
How to make baby formula milk
Even though it seems pretty straightforward, it’s good to understand how to properly make formula milk for your little one. Here’s how you should do it:
- Fill the kettle with 1 liter of unboiled tap or bottled water.
- Switch on the kettle and boil the water for one minute. After that, cool the water for a maximum of 30 minutes so that the water temperature turns to 70 degrees C or above.
- Clean the surface and wash your hands.
- Rinse the bottle that you will use with the boiled water from the kettle.
- Follow the instructions of the packaging. Add boiled water from the kettle, double-check the water level. Now add the spoons of formula as instructed on the packaging. Always pour water before adding formula.
- Securely close the bottle tight and cover the cap. Then shake the bottle to mix the formula with water.
- Now, let the formula milk cool down to room temperature. Always check the formula’s temperature by pouring a drop or two on your wrist before giving it to your baby.
Things that you should not do while making formula milk
- Do as per the instructions on the packaging. Never add too much or too little or formula. Adding excess formula can make your baby dehydrated or constipated. While adding an insufficient amount of formula will not provide enough nourishment.
- Never add sugar or cereals to your baby formula. If your little one is in the infant stage, you can talk to your pediatrician before introducing cereal in milk to keep them full longer.
- Do not warm your baby formula milk in the microwave. This will heat the formula milk unevenly; hence your baby’s mouth can be burned.
- Never refrigerate a half-used bottle. After feeding the baby, always throw the remaining formula within an hour.
- Never mix the half-used bottle of formula milk with a new one.
How long can formula milk stay for?
A prepared formula milk bottle can stay for 2 hours at room temperature. Similarly, an unused bottle of mixed formula can remain fresh for 24 hours in the fridge.
Something as simple as boiling (and cooling) your little one’s water before adding it to her formula can be all the difference between pure water and contaminated water. Make sure to get above 70C or 158F to really kill off any impurities from the water.
If you’re able to, Nursery bottled water can be your best bet to guarantee clean and safe water for your baby.
Your baby’s immune system is not strong enough to fight against harmful germs and micro-organisms, so you have to be careful during this fragile stage in their life. It’ll also be one step closer to making sure your baby doesn’t sick frequently.
I hope this confusing yet straightforward question was correctly answered in this article. Feel free to leave a question below if you’d like to talk more.