Choosing, preparing and storing formula

Find out more about how to select the right infant formula for your baby, as well as how to prepare & store infant formula safely

Choosing the right formula

Breastfeeding is best for mother and baby and support should be accessed early if difficulties exist with feeding, attachment, low supply, or any other aspect of feeding. The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), recommends exclusive breastfeeding to around 6 months, while the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, with continued breastfeeding up to two years of age and beyond recommended by WHO and UNICEF.

If breastfeeding cannot be used as the sole form of nutrition for infants, a2 Platinum® Premium Infant Formula will be the formula of choice for families choosing a2 MilkTM for overall wellbeing. It can also be used for infants with unsettled behaviour, colic, or digestive discomfort who do not have symptoms to suggest a cow’s milk allergy, gastroesophageal reflux or other conditions (as assessed following a medical review). If after two weeks on a2 Platinum® Premium Infant Formula, unsettled behaviour persists, medical advice should be sought. In addition, if you are still breastfeeding, your diet should be reviewed by an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD), experienced in the area of allergy and intolerance. To find an Accredited Practising Dietitian in Australia, visit Dietitians Association of Australia or in NZ visit Dietitians NZ.

For infants over six months of age through to 12 months, a2 Platinum® Follow-on Formula can be used either as a follow-on from a2 Platinum® Infant Formula, or introduced to your child for the first time if transitioning from exclusive breastfeeding. For active toddlers from 1 to 3 years whose intake of nutrients and energy from their usual diet may be inadequate for growth and development, a2 Platinum® Premium Toddler Milk Drink may be used to supplement the diet.

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Preparing and storing formula

Although preparing a bottle for your little one isn’t hard, like doing anything new, it may just take a bit of practice. So, to help guide you, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to preparing a bottle of feed.

If you would like any more help on preparing a bottle feed, you can call our qualified Healthcare Professionals on 1800 22 46 32 (1800a2infant) Australia – Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5pm AEST or New Zealand – Call 0800 22 46 32 (0800a2infant) Monday to Friday 10.30am to 7.00pm NZST.

Preparation Instructions

  1. Before preparing formula, wash your hands thoroughly and wipe clean the preparation area. In preparing formula, strict hygiene practices must be used to prevent your baby becoming unwell from exposure to harmful germs
  2. Wash all equipment with warm soapy water and a bottle-cleaning brush (or through the dishwasher) and then sterilise all utensils by submerging the equipment in boiling water for approximately 5 minutes
  3. Boil drinking water in a pan or kettle. Read the feeding guide instructions on the product can to find out how much water and powder is needed. Taking care to avoid scaling, pour the required amount of water into a sterilised feeding bottle. The water should be no cooler than 70⁰C, so do not leave it for more than 30 minutes after boiling.
  4. Measure the correct amount of cooled (previously boiled) water into a sterilised feeding bottle or sipper/feeding cup if your baby is around six months or older. The feeding guide on the can will advise the amount of water required to make up a feed. The water should always be put in the bottle before the formula powder
  5. Fill the enclosed measuring scoop with formula powder. Give the scoop a gently tap on the side of the can to get rid of any major air gaps. Level the scoop off with the in-built leveler. Always use the scoop provided with the formula because different formulas may have different scoop sizes. To help ensure your baby will be meeting their nutritional requirements, it is important to prepare the formula with the right amount of formula powder to water as prescribed on the can and according to the manufacturer’s instructions (unless under the specific guidance and instruction of a qualified health care professional such as your GP or paediatrician). Over-concentration or under-concentration can be harmful. For instance, if you add too much water, your baby’s feeds will be too diluted and they will not receive enough nutrition to help them grow well.
  6. Screw the teat and/or cap on the bottle or sipper/feeding cup and shake gently until the formula dissolves completely
  7. Always test the temperature by allowing a few drops to fall on the inside of your wrist – it should feel lukewarm before feeding your baby. If it is too warm, cool the bottle under running water or in a container of cool water. If it is too cool, you can warm the bottle by standing it in a bowl of hot (not boiling) water for around 5-10 minutes or until desired temperature is achieved. The time taken to warm the bottle should not exceed 10 minutes. Then always re-test the temperature on your wrist before giving to your baby. This is the traditional method and remains the safest way of heating bottles. Do not use a microwave oven for any formula preparation, because microwave heating can generate ‘hot spots’ within a prepared bottle or sipper/feeing cup and this can burn your baby’s mouth
  8. Feed your baby immediately and discard any unfinished formula. Any prepared formula which has been at room temperature for longer than 1 hour must be discarded. It is ideal to prepare only one bottle of formula at a time, although you might find it more convenient to prepare a sufficient number of sterilised water bottles to see you through a day. In this case, the sterilised bottled water should be stored in the refrigerator until ready for use. You can then warm the bottle with sterilised water by standing it in a bowl of hot (not boiling) water for around 5-10 minutes or until desired temperature is achieved
  9. After the feed, wash all equipment so it is ready to be sterilised for next the feed

Important Considerations

  • Use a fresh bottle for every feed
  • Test the formula is flowing out of teat by holding the bottle upside down and the formula should drip out at a constant, steady rate
  • The feeding instructions on the pack will give you an indication of the number of feeds your baby may need per day. This feeding guide is a general guide only as every baby is different. You should seek advice from your qualified health care professional such as your GP or paediatrician if you have concerns about your baby’s individual needs
  • If you are going out and need to take baby’s food with you, don’t take the formula already made up. It is best to take the pre-measured water in the bottle and the powder in a separate sterilised container or sachet. The water can then be warmed as specified above, after which you can tip the powder into the water when you are ready to feed your baby

Storing Formula

  • Check expiry date of formula on base of can to ensure the formula has not passed its expiry (use-by) date
  • Keep the scoop in the can when not in use. There is no need to wash the scoop after preparing a bottle. However if the scoop gets wet accidentally, you will need to wash and dry it thoroughly before putting it back in the can
  • Always keep formula in its original can and cover with the plastic lid to prevent contamination of the powder. Do not transfer the powder to another container because this is a high risk of contamination
  • Once a can of powdered formula has been opened, it can be kept safely for four weeks if stored in a cool dry place. Discard any unused formula after four weeks
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