If your new to bottle feeding, you may have a lot of unanswered questions like, “At what temperature should you be serving infant formula?” Like many questions regarding bottle feeding, there’s not one right answer. The temperature of the formula at which you feed your baby will often be determined by your baby’s preferences. Some babies prefer warm formula and others are fine with cold formula. Either way, as long as your baby is happy and eating well, there’s no reason to be concerned if she prefers cold or warm formula.
The formula’s temperature may also be determined by your baby’s age. Newborns may be comforted by a warm bottle as it mimics mom’s warm breast milk. Babies who are teething may welcome a cold bottle, which soothes aching gums. Toddlers who are done teething and breast feeding may prefer room temperature formula.
If your little one prefers a warm bottle, there’s a couple of different ways you can heat formula. One of the easiest and most convenient ways to heat a bottle is a bottle warmer. There are many different models on the market, but you’ll want to get the brand that’s designed to fit your brand of bottle. Once you’ve prepared the formula, just pop it in the warmer and turn it on. The warmer heats the formula to just the right temperature.
Another way to heat a bottle is to place it in a bowl of hot water for 5 minutes. Shake the bottle to make sure heat is distributed evenly and serve! Regardless of whether you’re using a warmer or bowl of water, you should always check the temperature of the formula by placing a few drops on the inside of your wrist. The formula should feel lukewarm, but not hot.
Never heat a bottle in the microwave! Microwaves don’t heat evenly, which can result in pockets of heat. These pockets can be extremely hot and cause scalding burns.
If your baby prefers her formula cold, it’s important to remember that formula should be prepared as directed, which means you still need to boil the water used to make it. To cool a bottle down quickly, place it in a bowl of ice water for a few minutes. Or you can place the bottle in the fridge for 15 minutes or so. Don’t ever freeze formula or make it so cold it numbs baby’s gums.
No matter how your baby likes her formula, always follow the manufacturer’s preparation instructions. And, if preparing formula ahead of time, keep refrigerated or in a cooler. Don’t use formula that’s been kept at room temperature for more than an hour and discard stored formula after 24 hours of preparing.
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