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How do I know which formula is best for my baby?

All infant formula is strictly regulated by government agencies so that each tub contains the right amount of nutrients for your baby.

Saying that, not all formula is created equal, so do read our 3-step guide to baby formula before starting out.

If your little one has no known previous allergies, you are not vegetarian or vegan, then a cows’ milk formula will probably be a good fit.

What sort of water do I use?

Tap water and bottled water are both safe to use, depending on where you live.

If you can, find out the nutrient components of both as you’re looking for water with a low mineral composition—your formula will provide all the minerals your baby needs.

Read June’s comprehensive guide to the type of water that’s safe for formula feeding.

What should the water temperature be?

Using freshly boiled water when making up formula ensures you kill off any bacteria that may be lurking on the powder.

Boil the water and leave for no longer than 30 minutes in the kettle (it will be around 70º Celsius), before pouring it into a sterilized bottle and adding the recommended number of scoops of powder.

Ensure it has sufficiently cooled to room temperature (the good old ‘wrist test’) before feeding to your baby.

Formula feeding is not always a simple process!

Can I reuse leftover formula?

Harmful bacteria can grow in the leftover milk from your baby’s saliva, so do not reuse any formula that has been sitting out for more than an hour.

If you have untouched formula that you’ve prepared, you can reuse this within 24 hours if you refrigerate it immediately.

“Tiny glands on mom’s breasts produce a fluid that provokes an irresistible reaction in babies! Sometimes they can refuse other food when they smell breast milk.”

How long does a tub of formula last?

Each tub will come with instructions that indicate the number of scoops you’ll need for each feed—and it will be dependent on your child’s age.

On average you could expect a 900g tub to last about a week.

How do I store my tub of formula?

Ideally formula should be stored in a cool, dry location. Once opened, use by the best before date on the tin, or within 30 days (whichever is soonest).

Do not store your formula in the fridge as humidity can make the powder clump together and judging accurate quantities hard.

So if you notice the texture is off—particularly in Hong Kong summers—then it may be best to open a new one.

Pay attention to the texture of the powder in Hong Kong summers

How do I spot a formula allergy?

An allergy to the proteins in cows’ milk or goats’ milk is quite common in babies. It will often affect the skin and digestive tract, exhibited in symptoms such as a rash or eczema, vomiting, diarrhea, reflux or excessive crying.

If you think this describes your infant, please do seek medical advice.

How do I combine breastfeeding and formula?

Maybe dad wants to take a turn feeding or mom is returning to work and needs to make the switch—whatever your family reason, supplementing with formula is very common.

Success relies on your bambino being comfortable taking a bottle. You may need to try several bottle teats to find one with the shape and flow that most mimics mom’s nipples. Teats with a larger hole, for example, offer a faster milk flow that can be suitable for older tots.

If your baby is still struggling, mom may need to remove herself from the room: tiny glands on mom’s breasts produce a fluid that provokes an irresistible reaction in babies! Sometimes they can refuse other food when they smell breast milk.

Another tip is to mix breast milk with formula in ever-declining ratios: start with 75%:25% breast to formula and increase this over time, so that baby gradually gets used to the new taste.

Can I transition between formulas?

It may be that your favorite brand of formula is out of stock, or you wish to try a specialty formula. Either way, it is possible to make the switch!

Brands will taste slightly different, so if possible transition gradually by starting with a quarter of the new formula and mixing it with three quarters of the old. Increase this ratio each day until the switch is made.

Meanwhile watch their skin and digestive system for signs of any intolerance or allergy, such as rash or acute diarrhea.

Can formula be used to transition to solids?

It’s a common practice for parents to mix in some prepared formula with their baby’s first foods: be it rice cereal or fruit purees. It helps to produce a smooth texture for your little one, who has so far been only used to milk, and it will also add a little bit of recognition to the flavor.

Use your judgement to know how much formula to add in (always make sure to prepare it in the usual way first; never just add the powder)—you can thicken it over time once your baby is used to accepting solids.

Do you have a question we haven’t answered here? Post your query in the comments below and we’ll find you an answer!

June is committed to supporting the best possible outcome for moms and babies—whether that is through breastfeeding or formula feeding. We are here to provide evidence-backed information to allow each family to make the choices that are right for them.