Preparing And Storing Baby Milk Bottles: Step By Step Guide

mommy preparing formula milk

Wondering how to prepare and store the baby milk bottles? Looking for the proper and right way to do it? 

Worry not, We’ve got you covered!

The conditions for preparing, handling, and storing bottles are essential to ensure the infant’s good health. 

That’s said,

Good storing processes prevent microbial contamination, which can cause serious infections, especially in premature or low-weight children.

This article is your guide to know:

  • Preparing and storing baby milk bottles guide
  • The correct way to heat and clean the bottles
  • ..and a lot More!

Let’s start and get everything ready…

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When it comes to infant feeding, breastfeeding is the benchmark. 

Therefore, it is recommended to breastfeed exclusively for up to six months, and if this is not possible, at least up to four months. 

Even for a shorter period, breastfeeding is still beneficial for the child.

However, breastfeeding is not always possible or desired. You will then feed the baby infant formula, which meets and exceeds all health standards.

Related: 5 Best Bottles For Breastfed Babies

What Are The Different Types Of Baby Milk? 

Most infant formulas come in the form of a non-sterile powder that you must mix with water. 

Once you open the formula container, you can use it to feed your baby for about a month. But make sure to keep it tightly closed and store it in a cool and dry place.

There are also sterile liquid kinds of milk that are ready to feed formula. Once opened, you can store it for a maximum of 48 hours in its original packaging, between 0 and 2 ° C. 

Most importantly, 

Ensure to store them in the coldest part of your refrigerator, usually located on the bottom shelf or on the vegetable drawer. Besides, your refrigerator should also be kept clean (be sure to clean it at least once a month).

You can safely store the unopened baby formulas (from both types) in your pantry until the expiration date.

 Related: Enfamil Vs. Similac Baby Formula: Which One To Choose?

Preparing The Baby Formula Bottle

mommy shaking a baby bottle with formula milk

Prepare the baby’s formula bottles on a clean work surface, wash your hands thoroughly with soap, and dry them with a clean cloth or disposable absorbent paper. 

When adding the powder formula, use the measuring spoon (pod) from the original formula container. 

Make sure to keep the pod dry all the time and discard it when the can is completely consumed.

Ideally, you should prepare the bottle just before you give it to your baby, and it should be consumed within an hour of being at room temperature; otherwise, you must throw it away.

When going out, carry the water in the bottle and the powdered milk in another container. At the last moment, add the powder to the bottle and mix well.

Exceptionally, preparing infant formula is possible in advance. Still, no more than 24 hours ahead and you need to store it in the refrigerator in the coldest part at a temperature of 4°C (39°F) or less (not in the refrigerator door).

If you are in a situation where preparing formula is a hassle, use the ready to feed bottles as a temporary solution.

But make sure to store it in the refrigerator once you open it. But keep in mind that it is suitable to be used within 48 hours only.

Related: Here Are The 6 Best Anti-colic Baby Bottles

What Water To Use For Powdered Infant Formula?

bottled water

You can use tap water to prepare the baby’s bottle. However, you should take some precautions:

  • Let the tap water run for a few seconds before filling the bottle with the desired amount.
  • Use only cold water (above 25 ° C, the water may be more loaded with microbes and mineral salts).
  • Regularly clean the tap head (descaling in particular).
  • Do not use water that has undergone filtration (filter jug ​​, for example, or any other type of filtration treatment at home) or that has undergone softening because these systems can promote the multiplication of microorganisms.
  • In old settlements (before 1948), the water pipes may still be made of lead. 
  • If you use bottled water, spring water, or natural mineral water, make sure it is suitable for infants. 

Using sparkling water is not suitable for preparing baby bottles… It doesn’t even taste the same!While abroad and in case there is no bottled water available, boiling water is the best option to prepare the baby bottle safely. But let the water cool before serving it to your baby.

Related: Should I Remove Pacifier When Baby Is Sleeping

Reheating The Prepared Formula

It is not essential to warm the bottle before giving it to your baby unless you store it in the refrigerator. 

The bottle should be warmed up quickly, and you can do this in many ways, such as:

  • Place the bottles under hot or warm running water for a few minutes. 
  • Use a hot water pan; once the water reaches the required temperature, remove the pan from the heat source and put the bottles inside for a couple of minutes. 
  • Use a bottle warmer. 

Once warmed up, your baby should consume the bottle within half an hour to prevent the development of possible germs.

Regardless of the heating method used, it is essential to shake the bottle vigorously to avoid burning the baby’s mouth. The easiest way to check its temperature is by pouring a few drops on the inside of your wrist.

Related: Here Are The 10 Top Baby Bottle Warmers

Baby Bottle Cleaning

pouring dishwashing liquid onto a scrub

When you’re done feeding your baby, empty the bottle from any leftover formula, rinse it first with cold water for a few minutes before cleaning it with soap. 

For cleaning, use hot water with mild soap and a bottle brush. Rinse thoroughly and leave the bottle to air dry upside down on a dish rack, disassembled in the open air. 

Most importantly, 

Do not use a cloth to dry the bottles or pacifiers, as in some cases, using it might bring germs to the cleaned bottle and bring undesired results.  

You can also clean the bottle, nipple, and cap in the dishwasher. But first, check the cleaning directions to make sure that these parts are dishwasher-safe.  

Rubber pacifiers usually cannot be machine washed and must be cleaned and rinsed by hand.

Again, always check the manufacturer’s instructions before you start cleaning!

In terms of sterilizing, if your baby has a weakened immune system or was prematurely born, make sure to sterilize his bottles, pacifiers, and other items regularly and based on the baby’s pediatrician’s recommendations.

Related: 6 Best Pacifier Wipes For On The Go Cleaning

Storing The Clean Bottles

There are two ways to store the bottle before using it again:

  • Disassembled: leave it in the open air on a vertical display, disassembled and upside down, in a clean and dry place (avoid the sink or the cupboard below);
  • Reassemble: Put the bottle’s parts altogether, and keep it in the refrigerator.

In any case, before using the bottle again, empty any residual drops of water it contains without using a cloth.


Q1: Why is it not good to make up formula feeds in advance?

At room temperature, the bacteria multiply faster. Even if you placed the bottle in the fridge, chances for bacteria growth are still there but slower than if put in a warm place. To keep your kid on the safe side, we recommend you prepare one bottle at a time before each meal, which reduces the risk of getting infected and sick. 

Q2: How long can ready made formula last?

If the formula is prepared but still untouched, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours; keep in mind to place the bottle at the back, not at the refrigerator’s door. If you opened the container of the Ready-to-use baby formula, make sure to get rid of it after 48 hours. If you are using powdered formula, you can keep using the can for a month of opening the tub. 

Q3: How do I prepare formula for night feeds?

The safest way to prepare your baby’s night bottle is by making the bottle ready in the evening. Add the powder milk to freshly boiled water, mix it well, and cool it using cold running water or place it in a cold water bowl before refrigerating it.

Q4: When can I stop warming my baby’s bottle?

We highly encourage you to stop heating the baby bottle once your baby is around six months age and start serving it to the kid at room temperature or as a cold formula. Heating the milk is highly recommended only for newborn babies, as they might show some signs of stomach discomfort after drinking cold milk.

Q5: How to make and store liquid concentrate formula?

Follow these simple steps to get a liquid concentrated formula for your baby: Boil the needed amount of water, wait for it to cool, and reach room temperature (warm water), then mix it with the recommended amount of powder formula – based on the formula to water ratio instructions. You can then serve the warm formula to your kid or store it in the refrigerator for later use.

Takeaway: Preparing And Storing Baby Milk Bottles

These strict rules in storing the baby’s milk are essential to avoid the consumption of milk containing too many microbes, which tend to multiply quickly in warmer temperatures and are harmful to your baby’s health. 

If you plan to go out and bottle-feed your child during this time, do not prepare the bottle in advance. 

It is preferable to put the necessary dose of milk in a suitable container and add the water once your baby wants to drink milk. 

It will allow you to serve fresh and healthy milk perfect for a good and healthy meal.