When can I start giving powder formula to baby is a question new moms always ask. You see, babies are fragile in every sense. Everything about them needs extra care; the cloth, environment, play toys, water, and food that they consume.
Their immune system is delicate. Despite the series of vaccines given to them at birth, the food they consume can still introduce pathogenic microbes capable of making them fall sick.
If you are worried about when to start giving your baby powdered formula, you aren’t doing the wrong thing. When it comes to nursing a child, you can’t afford to do the right thing at the wrong time.
In this article, you will be introduced to when to start giving your baby powder formula, how to prepare it, how to detect if your baby consumed spoiled formula, and lots more.
When Can I Start Giving Powder Formula to Baby?
Before I delve into when to give a baby powder formula, you must understand that powder formula isn’t the only kind of formula that your baby can consume. We have the:
- Ready-to-feed formula
- Powder formula
Now, back to the question.
For preterm and low-weight babies, you should stick to using the ready-to-feed formula for at least 2 months after birth. You can introduce powder formula after 2 months.
Powder formula isn’t sterile and healthy for them. Since they are preterm, they can contract infections more than full-term and healthy babies.
If you have no access to ready-to-feed formula, you can feed your preterm baby powder formula but on the condition that you must prepare it using boiled water.
This is to get rid of harmful microbes that may attack your baby. After preparation, allow it to cool to room temperature before feeding it to your baby.
Full-term babies are good to go with powder formula but you are advised to prepare it under good condition.
The fact that they are full-term doesn’t mean they are big enough to handle infection. They can still get infected if proper care is not taken.
Also Read: What Happens If Baby Drinks Spoiled Milk Formula?
Is there a Difference Between Ready-to-feed Formula And Powder?
Ready-to-feed and powder formulas aren’t the same. There are lots of differences between the two. They include:
1. Difference in quality
Ready-to-feed formula undergoes an extra purification process that makes it more sterile and safe for your baby’s consumption. Powder formulas don’t have this quality.
2. The color isn’t same
The ready-to-feed is different in color due to extra purification. Powder formula doesn’t go through this process and this makes its color different from ready-to-feed formula.
3. Easy to use
Powder formula takes more energy and time to prepare compared to ready-to-feed formula. The latter is easy to carry around while the powder formula isn’t as convenient.
Ready-to-feed formula don’t need much preparation like the powder formula. All you need to do is pour it into your baby’s feeding bottle but with powder formula, you will have to undergo the process of boiling water and all.
The ready-to-feed formula is costlier than powder formula. This is one of the reasons most parents choose to feed their baby with powder formula despite knowing the quality of ready-to-feed formula.
Can I Give my Newborn Powdered Formula?
Ready-to-feed formula is best for newborns. The chances of your newborn getting infected by bacteria are slim compared to powder formula. If no ready-to-feed formula is available, you can make use of powder formula.
You must ensure to prepare it according to the manufacturer’s instructions and also do so in a sterilized environment.
How to Prepare Powdered Formula
The process of powdered formula preparation is easy. The real deal is doing so in a clean environment to avoid exposing your baby to bacterial and fungal infections. Follow this process to prepare powdered formula for your baby:
1. Sterilize the environment and bottles
This is the first thing to do. You just get rid of the germs that might be lying low in the environment and on your baby’s bottles before preparing the formula.
Use soap and water for the table and boil the bottles for 2 minutes. After boiling, remove them from hot water, and allow them to dry for a few minutes.
2. Boil water for about 2 minutes
This is specifically for preterm babies. Their immune system isn’t strong enough to fight infection and so you must be careful while handling their food.
After boiling, allow the water to cool to 70°C. When the water is cool, pour the needed volume of water into the sterilized bottle, measure powdered formula based on the manufacturer’s instruction, and pour into the bottle.
3. Shake to mix
After adding the formula, shake the bottle gently to make the formula mix well with water. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature before feeding your baby with it.
To be sure the mixture is cool to room temperature, place a drop on your wrist or at the back of your palm. Note that you are not to give your baby a leftover formula, whether your baby is preterm or not.
If you intend to store the formula after preparation for later consumption, you must place it into a refrigerator at a temperature of 4°c.
Also, ensure the formula is consumed within 24 hours. You can also check the manufacturer’s leaflet to know if it can stay for more than 24 hours.
Before feeding your baby, warm the already-made formula with a warmer and not microwave. You can even boil water, pour it into a cup and place your baby’s bottle in it until it becomes warm.
Feed your baby once the formula becomes warm and never store warmed formula.
Is it Ok to Use Both Powder And Ready-to-feed formula?
Of course, it is.
You can combine the two kinds of formula for your baby if he is full-term and over 2 months old. It is expedient that you maintain one kind of formula for your newborn or preterm; ready to feed to be precise, to avoid them failing ill.
Also Read: Symptoms of Baby Drinking Spoiled Formula
Can I Switch My Baby from Liquid to Powder Formula?
Yes, you can.
You can switch from ready-to-feed (Liquid) to powder formula after 2 months. You have to introduce it slowly though to monitor your baby’s level of acceptance.
This is because your baby might develop allergies to the newly introduced formula, hence, you have to introduce it bit by bit.
You can follow the 3:1 pattern. This entails adding three scoops of the old formula and one scoop of the new formula.
If after consumption your baby didn’t react to it, move on to the 2:2 pattern which is two scoops of old and 2 scoops of the new formula.
You can continue adjusting till you completely get rid of the old formula. But if you notice any changes in your baby, halt the process and continue with the old formula.
Signs of Baby Drinking Spoiled Formula
Most times, it’s difficult to differentiate between spoiled or expired formula from the good one. This occurs most in powdered formula.
If your baby consumed spoiled formula, you will get to know by observing or looking out for these symptoms:
If after feeding your baby begin to act awkwardly or cry helplessly, it’s a sign that the formula might be spoiled or expired. This isn’t a sure sign but it can be a clue.
2. Abdominal pain
If your baby starts to have stomach upset, vomit uncontrollably, and also excrete watery poo. It’s a good sign that the formula he consumed is the cause.
Here’s another good symptom. If your baby isn’t active as usual after feeding, observe him for about 30-60 minutes, and if the situation continues, consult your doctor for advice.
4. Loss of appetite
Although your baby might lose appetite due to other factors, spoiled formula is a contributing factor. Check the formula to see if it’s expired or spoiled due to exposure to air.
If your baby is running temperature, it is likely that the formula he consumed isn’t good anymore. You should take a good look at it to be sure.
If your baby exhibits these symptoms, you should consult a pediatrician as soon as possible. If you waste time, your baby’s health will be in danger because he may become dehydrated due to loss of water.
The bottom line is, check the expiring date of your baby’s formula and ensure the lid is airtight before buying.
Also, consistently check the expiring date to know when to get rid of it. Never feed your baby or even a toddler an expired formula. Cover thoroughly after use to avoid the entrance of air.
Parenting is a hard but sweet job. It can be hectic; watching over babies, taking good care of their clothing, food, and environment isn’t a small job but on looking at the cute little humans, the stress vanishes.
If you are a mother and you worry about when to start giving your baby powdered formula and other related stuff. You aren’t alone and not wrong either. All you need to do is follow the guidelines here, they are trustworthy.