Bottlefeeding: Sanitary Choices and Formula Selection

    When choosing bottle feeding for a baby, it is important to maintain a sanitary environment with the bottles, nipples and formula. Years ago, moms were told to boil nipples and bottles before each use. Today boiling bottles and nipples is  not required, but mom does need to keep a watchful eye on cleanliness. 

    Cleaning Bottles and Nipples

    Before using bottles and nipples for the first time, it is important to wash them in hot, soapy water. Rinsing bottles and nipples completely is also important to remove any residual soap. After the initial washing, bottles and nipples can be hand washed or placed in a dishwasher between uses. Dishwashers tend to use very hot water during the wash and rinse cycle which can reduce the lifespan of bottles and nipples. Moms can test the integrity of the nipple by pulling gently on the tip and visually inspecting the nipple opening. Certain baby bottles will use plastic inserts. These inserts are made for one-time use only. Plastic bottle inserts should never be washed and used again.

    Keeping it Cold
    If mom is using a prepared formula, unused formula needs to be refrigerated after opening. If the baby has taken a bit of the bottle before choosing not to eat, the bottle can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two hours. Formula should not be reheated. Babies do not need heated formula but they may take better to a warm formula than one that is cold or room temperature.

    Formula Selection

    Most babies are given a name brand formula in the hospital, but mom has the option to choose from store brand and second tier formulas once the baby is home; second tier formulas are made with the same ingredients and nutritional qualities as name brands.

    Formula typically comes in powdered, ready-to-drink and concentrated. Powdered formula are perfect for traveling, but may have a different texture than liquid formulas. Ready-to-drink formula is the most expensive, but provides the easiest option for mom. Concentrated formulas require refrigeration and need to be mixed with water before feeding it to the baby. Tap water is perfectly fine to use when preparing bottles from powdered or concentrated formula. Some moms choose to filter the water before making bottles but it's not necessary.