1. Newborns
  2. Breastfeeding & bottle-feeding
  3. Bottle-feeding

Infant formula preparation: in pictures

0-1 years

Preparing bottles for infant formula

Clean equipment. Start by wiping down preparation area. Wash hands with soapy water. Wash bottles in hot, soapy water. Rinse thoroughly. Squirt water through hole in teat.

Sterilise equipment. Cover bottle, teat and ring with water and bring to the boil. Boil for five minutes. Or use a microwave, electric or chemical steriliser following directions. Store empty sterilised bottles in a sealed container in fridge.

Be safe. Keep children away from boiling water. To avoid scalding yourself, let equipment cool in the pot until you can touch it. Use sterilised equipment within 24 hours.

Making up infant formula

Boil fresh tap water. Cool for around 30 minutes until lukewarm. It’s best to prepare only one bottle at a time. Store sterilised, sealed bottles in the fridge.

Check instructions on formula tin for how much water to use. Put this amount of cooled, boiled water in a sterilised bottle.

Check instructions on tin for how many scoops of powder to use. Tap scoop, and level it with a sterilised knife. Add powder to cooled, boiled water in bottle.

Getting bottle ready for feeding baby

Put lid and teat on bottle. Tap bottle gently so powder falls down into water. Swirl and then shake bottle well to mix powder and water.

If needed, stand bottle in a pot of warm water until formula is just warm. Microwave ovens heat milk unevenly so don’t use them. Shake bottle and squeeze a drop of liquid onto your wrist to test temperature and make sure milk is flowing from teat.

When going out, put bottle with right amount of boiled water in insulated bag with cool pack. Pack measured amount of powder separately. Mix when baby needs a feed. Read more about how to bottle-feed.

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Raising Children Network is supported by the Australian Government. Member organisations are the Parenting Research Centre and the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute with The Royal Children’s Hospital Centre for Community Child Health.

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