Steps to Safely Prepare Commercial Infant Formula
- Tap water and bottled water can be used to make formula. There is no advantage to using bottled water when public water is safe. It is recommended not to use carbonated or mineral water to make formula. Distilled water is not necessary.
- Water should be brought to a hard boil in a pot on the stovetop for two minutes. Sterilized water can be stored in a clean covered container at room temperature for 24 hours or in the fridge for two to three days.
- All equipment that will touch the formula should be washed with a brush in hot, soapy water and rinsed well.
- Nipples that are swollen, cracked or sticky should be thrown out.
- All feeding equipment should be sterilized before each use.
- Clean bottles, nipples, tongs, knife and can-opener should be placed in a pot of water and boiled hard for two minutes.
- Items should be removed from pot with sterile tongs and placed on a clean towel to dry.
- Dishwashers do not reach a high enough temperature and do not sterilize equipment.
- Microwave sterilizers are safe to use. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
There are three different forms of commercial infant formula:
Powdered infant formula (PIF) is not sterile. Harmful bacteria (such as Enterobacter sakazakii (Cronobacter spp.) and Salmonella enterica) have been found in powdered formula and can cause food- borne illness. This is rare and is less of a risk for babies that are healthy and born full term. Proper preparation, handling and storage practices for PIF are recommended to reduce the risk of bacteria-related illness.