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Article: Feeding Your Baby Infant Formula

In This Article:
  • Feeding tips
  • How much to feed
  • Traveling with infant formula

Warming Bottles Before Feeding

  • The safest way to warm your baby's bottle is to stand it in hot water until warm. Remember to shake and turn the bottle occasionally to evenly distribute the heat. Check the temperature before feeding it to your baby by shaking a few drops of the formula onto the inside of your wrist.
  • Heating formula in a microwave is not recommended as it heats the milk unevenly and can create hot spots which could burn your baby's mouth and throat. If you do wish to use the microwave, mix formula in a sterilized glass measuring cup, heat it for a few seconds and then pour it into our baby's bottle. Shake the bottle thoroughly to evenly distribute heat. If it feels warm then it will be too hot for your baby to drink. Leave to stand for a few minutes and check the temperature before feeding to your baby.

How To Feed Your Baby From A Bottle

How Much To Feed Your Baby:

  • Newborn babies need small amounts of formula every two to three hours over the day and night.
  • Most babies will demand about 10-12 feedings a day, many dropping the night time feeding at around six weeks.
  • By four months most babies have about four or five bottles (or approx 200 - 250 ml per bottle per day).

Feeding Your Baby:

  • Wash and dry your hands thoroughly.
  • Check that the formula is the right temperature (lukewarm) by letting a few drops fall on the inside of your wrist. Too hot? Stand the bottle in cold water. Too cold? Stand it in a bowl of warm water.
  • Hold your baby in the bend of your arm in a semi-upright position. Do not hold baby in a lying position as fluid may enter the middle ear and cause ear infections.
  • Check that the nipple is not screwed on too tightly as this prevents the milk from pouring out evenly and your baby may get tired and frustrated. Hold the bottle upside down to check the nipple flow – it should release a few drops of milk every second.
  • Put the nipple in your baby's mouth. Hold and angle the bottle so that the nipple and bottleneck are always full of milk.
  • Ensure your baby's mouth is wide open to draw in enough of the nipple, so that a tight seal around the nipple is formed, and air is not sucked in at the same time.
  • While your baby is feeding, the nipple should sit directly in the centre of baby's mouth.
  • Take the nipple out of your baby's mouth occasionally to allow the nipple to regain its shape.
  • Remember to burp your baby during feeding to bring up air swallowed. If he wants to stop feeding too soon, a burp may be needed before you can go on feeding.

When You Are Finished Feeding:

  • Discard any formula left over at the end of a feeding.
  • Don't allow your baby to fall asleep with the bottle in his mouth as milk will 'pool' around any new baby teeth causing decay. This can also increase the risk of choking and fluid entering the middle ear causing ear infection. Make sure your baby has swallowed all the milk in his mouth before putting him down to sleep.

This is a special time together so make regular eye contact with your baby, relax and enjoy the quiet time.

What Do I Do If My Baby Is Still Hungry After A Feeding?

If you think your baby is not being satisfied by the recommended amount of formula, you may need to give larger feedings or feed more frequently.

Don't be tempted to start solids too early. Aim for around six months.

Traveling With Infant Formula

When you are going out, take a sterile bottle that contains a pre-measured amount of cooled boiled water. Pack a pre-measured amount of formula in a clean airtight container. Take an insulated container or flask of hot water plus a container to stand the bottle in for heating.

When your baby is ready for a feeding, add the powder to the sterile water in the bottle, place the top on the bottle and shake gently a couple of times. Stand the bottle in the container with the hot water for a few minutes. Shake gently and check the temperature on the inside of your wrist as usual.

Always take extra supplies when you are out in case you are unexpectedly delayed.


Never carry an already prepared bottle of warm formula for your baby because germs grow in warm food such as formula and this can make your baby very sick.



Breastfed babies need extra iron at around six months. Your baby should have 7 mg of iron per day, which can be obtained from iron fortified infant cereals, strained meats or an iron supplement.



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