Making up a bottle feed
A step-by-step guide to making up a bottle for your baby.
It is important to follow the instructions on the pack and to use only the scoop provided in the pack when measuring out the powder. All feeding equipment should be thoroughly washed and sterilised before use.
Wash your hands and ensure that all equipment is thoroughly washed and sterilised following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Boil 1 litre of freshly-run tap water and leave to cool for no longer than 30 minutes. Do not use artificially softened or repeatedly boiled water.
Measure the required amount of water into a sterilised bottle, following the feeding guide on the pack (see our feeding guide below as an example).
Using the scoop provided, add the correct number of scoops of powder – one level scoop of powder for each fluid ounce of water (approx. 30 ml). Level off the powder with the back of a clean dry knife, but don't press the powder down into the scoop.
Place the sterilised teat and cap on the bottle and shake well until all the powder has dissolved (approx. 15 seconds).
Cool the milk to drinking temperature (approx 37°C) by holding the bottle under cold running water. ALWAYS test the temperature of the milk before feeding by dripping a bit onto the inside of your wrist; the milk should feel warm, not hot.
- Make up each feed as you need it
- Use the made-up bottle within two hours
- Discard any leftover milk
Heating up ready-made formula milk:
Pour the required amount of formula into a sterilised bottle and seal with a sterilised teat and cap.
Place the bottle in a bowl of hot water. Once the bottle is warmed through, shake it to make sure the temperature is even and test on the inside of your wrist.
Don’t use a microwave – uneven pockets of scalding milk can form.
Each feed you give your baby should really be freshly made, as powdered formula is not sterile. If you absolutely have to prepare a bottle in advance, though, read the advice from NHS Choice here.
If you're going to be out and about, you might want to consider taking a carton of ready to feed formula milk instead; they're sterile at room temperature until opened. NHS Choices also has some advice on preparing feeds when you’re out and about.