It seems like there is all sorts of information available out there on breastfeeding. But what about formula feeding? Formula feeding tips are not as easy to find.
That’s why I thought I should write a post on the topic. I have done my fair share of formula feeding. Between using it to supplement when I breastfed my singleton or using formula when breastfeeding my twins didn’t go as planned.
I learned a lot along the way, which is why I want to share my formula feeding tips with you.
This post has been sponsored by Store Brand Formula. All thoughts and reviews are my own.
Please note there are affiliate links in this post. Read my privacy & disclosure policy at the bottom of this page to learn more.
How Much Formula Does Your Baby Need
The first question you need to answer for formula feeding is how much your baby should eat and how often. This will change as your baby gets older during the first year.
In the newborn phase you can expect your baby to eat 2-3 ounces of formula per feeding and to eat approximately every 2-3 hours. As time goes on, the amount your baby eats during a feed will increase and the time between feedings will also increase.
Formula To Water Ratio
It’s important to know how many scoops of formula to mix with water. For every 2 ounces of water you will add one scoop of formula. The scoop is provided inside the powdered formula container.
We always used either filtered water or bottled water for making formula. When mixing formula it’s important to avoid making bubbles. To do this, swirl the bottle around in a clockwise motion as much as possible.
The reality is it can be hard to get all the formula to mix this way, but the more swirling you can get away with, the less bubbles you will make.
A great invention that I wish I had known about when my twins were babies is the Baby Brezza. This little machine measures and mixes formula for you, a huge time saver!
If I was pregnant now, I would definitely be putting the Baby Brezza on my registry.
How Long Does Formula Last?
Once you mix formula, your baby needs to drink it within 1 hour or it must be stored in the refrigerator within 1 hour. Additionally, if your baby has drank part of the bottle – it must be thrown away after 1 hour because bacteria can build up.
This video from Store Brand Formula explains how long mixed powdered formula can be stored in the fridge really well. Now, what about an opened container of powdered formula?
Any unmixed powder must be used within 1 month of opening the can. I recommend writing the date opened directly on the formula container, so you can easily keep track.
You can also buy bottles of ready-to-feed formula. These bottles have different requirements. Once opened, ready-to-feed formula should be stored in the fridge and must be used within 48 hours.
Ready-to-feed formula is definitely convenient because no mixing is required. But, it is much more expensive than powered formula.
Warming Up Formula
Although I typically made formula on demand with room temperature water. There were times I needed to warm up formula from the fridge.
The simplest method I found was to get a pint glass and fill it half way with the hottest tap water you can get. Place the bottle in the pint glass for about 1 minute.
This should warm it enough to take the edge off and allow your baby to accept the bottle. It always worked for all 3 of my children.
I prefer this method to a bottle warmer because you don’t have to worry about bringing a bottle warmer with you when you travel. Plus, now you don’t have to worry about buying a bottle warmer.
You can also check out our post on warming bottles on the go for more useful tips.
Bottle Feeding Tips
Next, I want to share a few formula feeding tips specifically related to bottle feeding. The first one is to practice paced feeding with your newborn.
Allow your baby to drink about 1/4 to 1/3 of the bottle. Then, stop and burp your baby. Repeat these steps until the feed is over.
Next, make sure you use the appropriate nipple flow size. Start with the slowest flowing nipple possible. As your baby gets older he will show signs he wants to drink faster. When this happens, buy the next size up for nipple flow.
Finally, when feeding your baby a bottle, tilt his head slightly up. This helps to prevent too much formula from draining to the back of your baby’s throat, which could cause him to gag or spit up.
Best Bottle For Formula Feeding
As a mom of twins plus one, I’ve used my fair share of different bottle brands. I highly recommend the Philips Avent Natural baby bottles.
I love these bottles for two simple reasons:
- They don’t leak.
- There are very few parts.
Since there are not many parts, cleaning them is easy too!
Formula Feeding Tips For Nighttime
My husband and I used a very easy method for feeding our twins formula during the night, which I thought I would share. One reason I like feeding formula this way is you don’t have to worry about warming the formula up.
Before going to bed, pre-measure the scoops of formula you will need and put them directly in the bottle. Take both a bottle of water and the baby bottle (with powdered formula inside) to your bedroom.
Put the baby bottle and water on your nightstand. When your newborn wakes up, you don’t even have go get out of bed. Just add the amount of water you need to the bottle and mix.
Now, pickup your baby and feed him the bottle. Keep lighting low and be as quiet as possible.
After settling your baby back down to sleep, it will be much easier for you to get back to sleep too – since you never got out of bed.
If you prefer to pre-mix formula you can do this too. Just bring bottles of pre-mixed formula in a cooler with you to bed. Have a bottle warmer on your nightstand, so you don’t have to get out of bed to feed your baby.
Formula Feeding Tips When You Are On The Go
This was a time when I would bite the bullet and pay more for ready-to-feed formula. It’s very convenient when you’re traveling a long distance or out running errands.
For newborns, I recommend the ready-to-feed 2 ounce bottles. You just screw on a nipple and feed. A helpful hint, the Dr. Brown’s collars and nipples or Medela collars and nipples fit on these bottles for feeding.
Another great option are single serve powdered formula packets. You can pre-measure the amount of water you need in your bottle at home. Then, when you are out, just open the packet and add it to the water in the baby bottle.
Lastly, you can also use the nighttime method. Pre-measure the amount of powder you will need into a baby bottle. Bring the baby bottle and a bottle of water with you. When needed, add water to the baby bottle and mix.
Even More Formula Feeding Tips!
For even more bottle feeding tips, check out our article on bottle feeding newborns.