Saturday, October 12, 2013

Mixing Large Batches of Formula

Nursing is best, if you can.  We all know the health and emotional benefits of it.  Sadly, we had a lot of issues arise, and ended up having to supplement with formula, and later to use it exclusively.  That story is another post for another time.  But, if you also are using formula, for whatever reason, and especially if you're mixing it for multiple children, read on. 

At first, we used Similac Advantage powdered formula (though later found that the generic Target version is exactly the same and less expensive), and I would tediously mix each bottle by hand.  With the babies eating 8 times a day, that was 16 bottles.  (By the time they were 6 months old, we were down to just 4 bottle feedings a day, but with larger amounts in each bottle.)  To make the mixing easier and faster, I started making one batch of formula in the morning for all we would need in the next 24 hours, using a "recipe" on the Similac website to create the right ratio of powder to water for large batches.  Note that I used this ratio with Similac and Target brand formula, but it may vary from brand to brand.  (Please also check out this  BabyCenter article on mixing and storing formula safely.) 

1 cup formula to
23 ounces water

Later I doubled this so that I would only have to mix one time to yield enough for a whole day (8 bottles of about 7 ounces each):

2 cups formula to
46 ounces water

But if you are making less than 23 ounces, stick to using the little scoop that comes with the formula:

1 scoop to
2 ounces water

I washed my hands first, and used a large plastic pitcher, a plastic measuring cup, and a plastic spatula or whisk to mix my batches, making sure each implement had been run through the dishwasher or at least very well washed with soap and hot water.  Then I poured out the formula into bottles and stuck them all in the fridge, to be taken out two at a time throughout the day.  

I did run across a few sources that said there is greater risk for infection if you mix up formula too far in advance.  If you are worried about this, you can still make it easier on yourself by measuring out the water into bottles ahead of time, and pre-measuring formula for each bottle into divided containers such as these.


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