How to prepare formula milk

When it comes to feeding your little one, you want to make sure you’re getting things just right.

And if you’re wondering about how to prepare formula milk, you’re certainly not alone.

Below you’ll find the answers to some common questions about how to prepare formula milk, as well as a handy video to show you just how it’s done.

Your step by step guide to preparing Cow & Gate formula milk

If you’re looking for a simple step by step guide on how to prepare baby formula, then you’re in the right place. We’re here to make preparing your baby’s bottle as easy as 1, 2, 3.

A good place to start is to check the instructions on your formula pack, which you should always follow before you start to make your baby’s feed. After all, there are lots of different ways to bring up a baby, but only one way to safely make a bottle of formula milk. Here’s how:

  1. Wash your hands and sterilise all utensils according to manufacturers’ instructions.
  2. Boil 1 litre of freshly run water - don’t use artificially softened or repeatedly boiled water. Leave the kettle to cool for 30 minutes and no longer. Measure the required amount of water (refer to feeding guide) into a sterilised bottle, whilst being careful of scalding.
  3. Using the scoop provided, level off the powder with a clean knife or the built-in leveller if provided. Don’t press/heap the powder.
  4. Add the correct measure of powder to the water (please refer to the pack instructions), because adding too many or too few scoops can be harmful. Place the sterilised teat and cap on the bottle and shake immediately, vertically and vigorously for at least 10 seconds, until all of the powder is dissolved.
  5. Cool under a running tap before checking the temperature of the feed. Once at the correct temperature, feed immediately.

Cow & Gate Infant Formula Powder Preparation Video Guide

It’s important for you to feel confident when making your baby’s Infant Formula feed, and that’s why we’ve created a handy video to show you just how to do it, giving you the guidance you need at every step.

Take a look.

Cow & Gate Follow On Milk Powder Preparation Video Guide

If your baby’s a little further on their growing-up journey, they might be ready for Follow On milk. Again, it’s important for you to know you’re getting the preparation of your baby’s formula feeds just right.

Our step by step video on how to prepare Follow On milk powder feeds will give you the information and guidance you need.

Take a look.

Cow & Gate Formula Preparation FAQs

If you’re getting out and about with your baby, you might be wondering how you can formula feed them on the go. And we’re here to help.

If you’re heading out, you’ll need to take the following with you:

  • The correctly measured amount of formula milk your baby will need - put this in a small, clean and dry container.
  • Freshly boiled water in a vacuum flask. Make sure that the flask is clean, and used only for your baby. If sealed correctly, the water will remain hot enough for several hours.
  • A sterilised feeding bottle or bottles, complete with the cap and retaining ring.

When it’s time to feed your baby, make up their formula feed as you usually would. It’s important that the boiled water is still hot, to ensure that any bacteria present in the formula powder is destroyed.

Once prepared, cool your baby’s formula feed to the right temperature and feed immediately.

If you’re going out for a longer trip, or would prefer not to carry around the additional things you’ll need, you could opt to use a bottle of pre-prepared baby milk.

No. It’s never advisable to reheat formula milk.

A formula feed should be given to your little one straight away. Any formula milk that hasn’t been drunk within 2 hours of being made should be discarded, and a fresh bottle of formula made when your baby needs it.

And there are two very good reasons for this. Firstly, the formula milk may reheat unevenly (particularly in a microwave), and be a little too hot for your baby to handle. Secondly, there’s the possibility that any bacteria present could potentially cause an upset to your little one's tummy.

We know that, when it comes to parenting, it can feel as though there just aren’t enough hours in the day. And whilst preparing formula feeds in advance to use throughout the night is tempting, it’s always advisable to prepare formula and feed it to your baby as and when they need it where possible.

Feeding your baby as soon as you’ve prepared their milk reduces the risk of upsets to tiny tummies. If you prefer, you can also use a ready-made formula to feed your baby during the night.

Once you’ve prepared your baby’s formula feed, they should drink it straight away. If that’s not possible, your baby should drink it within two hours of it being made, and any leftover milk discarded.

To prepare Cow & Gate Comfort Milk, always follow the instructions that are given on the pack.

It’s possible that the milk can separate once the formula feed is prepared. This is due to the blend of ingredients contained in Cow & Gate Comfort Milk, and if this occurs, simply shake the bottle vigorously to mix the formula and feed as normal.

As with all our baby formula milks, to prepare Cow & Gate Anti Reflux Milk,  it’s very important to follow the preparation instructions given on the pack.

Once you’ve added the correct amount of formula powder to the water and place the teat and cap securely on the bottle, roll it between the palms of your hands slowly for 5 seconds. Try to make the time between adding the scoops of powder and rolling the bottle as short as possible.

Once this is done, shake the bottle for 20 seconds and then leave it to stand for 7 minutes, giving it time to thicken.

Ideally you should only make up a feed as and when your baby needs one. However, there may be times when that’s not always possible. For example if your baby is going to nursery, or if you’re going on a trip.

If this is the case, prepare your baby’s feed, carefully following the instructions on the pack. Cool the feed, and put it at the back of the fridge for at least one hour.

When you’re ready to leave, put the prepared bottles of formula in a cool bag with an ice pack and use within 4 hours. If you don’t have an ice pack, the formula must be used within two hours once taken out of the fridge.

Alternatively, use a ready-made formula milk when you’re not able to prepare feeds as and when your baby needs them.

Your little one can go from happy as a clam to beyond famished in no time at all. But when it comes to preparing their formula feeds, there are no shortcuts.

There’s no ‘quick’ way to prepare formula and you should always follow the instructions on the pack to make sure you’re preparing feeds safely for your baby.

Again, ready-made formula milk might be something to consider here.

Preparing the water for your baby’s formula feed is very important.

You’ll need to boil 1 litre of water and leave it to cool in the kettle for 30 minutes. Leaving it to cool for 30 minutes means that the temperature of the water will be around 70℃, which is the right temperature for mixing according to the World Health Organisation/Department of Health (UK).

This is for two reasons: firstly to kill harmful bacteria that may be present (as formula milks are not sterile) and secondly to ensure the water is not too hot when mixing it with the powder, as there’s a risk it may affect the nutritional value of the formula.

We always advise that you follow the specific instructions on your pack of formula powder, and use the scoop provided. This way, you can be sure that you’re preparing the formula safely for your little one.

Many parents use the Perfect Prep machine to prepare their baby’s feeds. If you choose to do the same, then we recommend that you follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer carefully, as they differ from World Health Organisation/Department of Health (UK) recommendations.

Yes, you can store prepared Cow & Gate baby and toddler formula in the fridge.

Prepare your baby’s bottle as you normally would, following the instructions on the pack carefully. Cool the feed under a running tap and store it at the back of the fridge.

Once prepared, a bottle of formula can be stored in the fridge for up to 24 hours, but no longer.

No. It’s never advisable to freeze formula milk. Try to prepare your formula feeds as your baby needs them, so they’re always freshly made.

Once you’ve prepared a bottle of formula, it’s always best to feed it to your baby immediately. However, if this isn’t possible, it can be stored for:

  • 2 hours at room temperature for 2 hours.
  • 4 hours in a cool bag with an ice pack.
  • 24 hours in a fridge.

Figuring out how much formula powder to use might be giving you a headache! For some guidance on how much powder to add, you can take a look at our handy milk intake chart here.

Remember that the instructions on the formula pack are there to help and guide you, so always make sure that you read and follow them in the first instance when preparing your baby’s feeds.