mother feeding baby with bottle

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How to prepare Formula Milk

Important Facts about preparing Formula Milk

Breast milk contains all of the essential vitamins, trace elements, nutrients and minerals needed for the first few months of baby’s life. The antibodies in breast milk also help to strengthen baby’s immune system. However, women are not always willing or able to breastfeed. There are a variety of reasons why many families combine breastfeeding with bottle feeding and baby formula. Read on to find out why you should only feed your baby first infant formula in these cases, as well as how to prepare a baby bottle correctly!

Types of milk: Choosing the right formula for your baby.

The first infant formula is most like the mother's milk in terms of composition. Just like breast milk , pre-formula only contains lactose, has whey protein, which is thought to be easier to digest than other types of formulat, and a better fatty acid composition. Unless a midwife, health visitor or GP suggests otherwise, first infant formula is the only formula you need to give your baby throughout the entire first year of his or her life.

What is the best way to prepare a bottle of milk?

Correct preparation of a bottle is important for babies because the immune and digestive systems are not fully developed yet. For example, some key "good" intestinal bacteria responsible for digestion are missing at this stage of life. Since some antibodies are still lacking, careful hygiene is essential to avoid harming your baby's health. Here are some tips:

1. Keep a clean bottle ready

Only use sterilised bottles for the first 12 months. It is best to always have clean bottles on hand so that your little one does not have to go hungry (and maybe cry) for too long. MAM bottles can be sterilised in a few different ways: in boiling water, using an electric or microwave steam steriliser , or in the microwave with no added parts. The MAM Easy Start™ Anti-Colic bottle has an innovative self-sterilising function that makes it possible to sterilise the bottle in the microwave in three minutes by just adding water.

MAM Easy Start Anti-Colic Bottle in Microwave

How to self-sterilise MAM bottles?

  • Before sterilising make sure your bottle is nice and clean by washing all 6 individual parts (lid, teat, collar, body, base and valve) in warm, soapy water.
  • Rebuild into the 4 main components (lid, teat & collar, body, base & valve) ensuring the white silicone valve is pushed firmly into the base, and the teat is pulled through the collar until flush).
  • Measure out 20ml of tap water (the bottle lid has a handy measure) and add the water to the base.
  • Stack the bottle components, (with the teat and collar sitting on the base, inside the body and finally place the lid on top – DO NOT SCREW COMPONENTS TOGETHER) 
  •  Pop in the microwave for just 3 minutes! (Allow to cool for at least 10 mins before use)

2.  Follow the instructions on the packaging

The method of preparation and in particular the quantity can vary depending on the baby formula and the manufacturer. It is therefore best to follow the instructions on the packaging during preparation.

3. Always use boiled water

Boiling kills dangerous germs that may be present in the water, as well as in pipes and tanks. Warm water from the tap is particularly prone to contamination with bacteria.

Tip: You should use freshly boiled drinking water; never use bottled water, water that has been artificially softened or boiled before.

Important: let the water cool down a little after boiling (for no longer than 30 mins, so that the temperature remains at, at least, 70° C) and check the temperature, e.g., with a thermometer, before adding it to the bottle. You will find precise information on the correct water temperature on the formula packaging.

4. Stir thoroughly

Make sure that the powder is completely dissolved and that the heat is evenly distributed. Allow the bottle to cool on the side or by holding the bottle under cold running water. Check the temperature again before feeding – e.g., against the inside of your wrist or with a thermometer. The ideal temperature is 35-37°C because this corresponds to body temperature. The milk should never be too hot! This is important in order to avoid scalding your baby, but also because valuable fats are destroyed at 40°C.

5. Create a pleasant environment

A relaxed atmosphere also ensures a calmer drinking flow – and that in turn helps to prevent too much air from getting into your baby's tummy and your little one suffering from unnecessary gas. It is best to allow plenty of time and pause every now and then during feeding to prevent choking and spit up.

6. Wind your baby

After feeding, always lay your baby over your shoulder for a while and gently rub up and down its back to burp your baby and allow any swallowed air to escape.

Tip: there are also special bottles that help prevent babies from swallowing air during feeding.

7. Bottle cleaning

Unscrew the bottle, separate and rinse all parts with water and mild detergent. You can also wash the parts of the bottle in the top compartment of the dishwasher. Only after washing the bottle should you sterilise it.

Tips for bottle feeding a newborn:

  • Have measured portions of formula ready in case you need to prepare a feed quickly.
  • If your baby doesn't finish a feed, pour the leftovers away. Germs and bacteria begin to multiply in warm milk after a short time.
  • When out and about, we recommend taking a thermos flask with boiled drinking water  with you in order to prepare bottle feeds on the go.
  • And finally, the most important thing: skin and eye contact is significant for the parent-child relationship and for bonding. Make sure you look at your baby and cuddle and caress him or her while bottle feeding.