I see a lot of formula feeders who are overwhelmed and at a loss for how to do it properly. A big one is boiling the water- you’re supposed to boil the water, add formula to the boiling water, killing the bacteria in both, then let it cool to the proper temperature. Letting it cool, of course, takes time. Time that, when you have a baby screaming for a bottle, is simply not an option. You can pre-make the bottles and store them in the fridge for up to 24 hours, but then you have to warm them up and you can’t use the microwave (or can you?) because it heats unevenly and causes burns, so you have to warm it up in a slower method.
You could buy a bottle warmer- I have no idea how long they take- but they cost money and isn’t the formula expensive enough? So, here’s another option:
-Boil a day’s worth of water and keep it in the fridge in a sealed container. A safe one, BPA free, all that jazz. We filter the water before we boil it.
-When you need a bottle, pour roughly 1/4- 1/3 of the water needed into a bottle (so if you’re making a 4 oz bottle, use .5-1 oz, a 6 oz bottle 1-2, a 8 oz bottle 2-3; tweak this as needed)
-Microwave for 30-45 seconds, the water should be boiling when you open the door. If you’re uncomfortable with the microwave, get a good quality thermos and keep boiling water in it. This is also a good way to make bottles on the go.
-Add the formula to the bottle, swirl it around to mix it (you can also shake it if your bottle comes with a cover, or if you don’t mind burnt fingers).
-Pour the water from the fridge into the bottle to fill it up the rest of the way
-Cover the bottle (with a cover or nipple), shake well, check the temperature, serve.
There we go, a method that only takes a few minutes.
-The bottle gets warmed up as well, so if your baby holds their own bottles, you may want to make sure it’s not too hot. We’ve never had a problem, but be careful.
-I don’t worry about uneven heating from the microwave because I’m using twice as much fridge water to counter the heat. Use your judgement.
-You can probably pour the formula in first, then microwave the water, but the one time we did this the formula seemed to “separate” and I just don’t trust it.
-If the fridge water cools the bottle too much and you don’t want to boil more water at a time, you can also have a container of boiled-then-cooled water at room temperature and boil a little less water. My partner uses a combination of fridge and room temperature water to make bottles.
-I am not a medical professional, I’ve done no studies, this is based on research I’ve done into how best to use bottles, use your judgement and talk to your baby’s doctor if you have concerns when using any method to prepare bottles.
-If you’re using formula that has probiotics or such in it (ex. Gerber Soothe), boiling water will also kill the probiotics and eliminate any benefit from them.