Formula Feeding Tips

At Carolina Birth and Wellness, our postpartum doulas support our clients in however they choose to feed their babies. Using formula to feed babies is a great way to ensure babies are getting enough to eat and to know exactly what they are eating.

You Have Our Permission to Use Formula

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We have found that so many clients justify why they use formula, and in our eyes, no justification is needed. We support our clients however they decide to feed their babies. As long as your baby is fed and happy, we are happy!

You Do NOT Need Others Permission

Whether it is just a perception or reality for some, there is a concern that other people will have an opinion about formula feeding. Yes, they might. But guess what? That does not matter. Let me say that one more time:

Other’s opinions about how you feed your baby do not matter!

Now that we got those two important points taken care of, we wanted to answer some of the frequently asked questions that we get from our formula feeding families:

How Do I Safely Prepare Formula?

  • Wash hands before preparing bottle of formula

  • Measure the water first

  • The CDC recommends parents boil water for formula prep for infants under age 12 weeks or if they have a compromised immune system

  • Add the appropriate amount of scoops per oz of water according to the directions on the formula packaging (level, unpacked scoops)

  • *note: European brands have smaller size scoops than American brands of formula*

  • Once a bottle is prepare it should be ingested within 2 hours. However once baby’s lips touch the bottle nipple, the formula is safe for one hour only.

  • Store unopened formula containers in a cool, dry place

Read the CDC’s official guidelines for How to Prepare Formula for Bottle-Feeding at Home.

Are All Formulas Equal? 

Mostly yes, there are small differences in ingredients from brand to brand but largely formula is consistent. There is little difference in name brand versus store brands. 

Some formulas are pre-made, and some you had water to a powder to make. We recommend what works for you and your family with considerations of time, prep, cleanup and cost.

How Will I Know When Baby Has Had Enough Formula?

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When feeding your baby formula, it is important to recognize signs they are full. It can be easy to overfed bottle fed babies due to the almost unlimited supply. A few common signs your baby is full are:

  • Open, relaxed hands

  • Relaxed, soft body

  • Arms across lower body

  • Falls asleep at the breast or bottle

  • Turns head away

  • Has “wet burps” where milk dribbles out of the side of the mouth

  • Spits out nipple

How Do I Do Combination Feeding with Breastmilk and Formula?

Truthfully it can be tailored to your individual needs/schedule. Some parents choose to breastfeed baby at night and on weekends and do bottles of formula during the day when baby is in someone else care. Some families choose to nurse 2-3 times a day and offer bottles the other feedings. It is best practice to not mix breastmilk and formula into the same bottle as you’d have to discard whatever it is not consumed within an hour.

Our postpartum doulas are here to help you with all your feeding needs!

Contact us today to learn more!