Breast milk is best for babies, but breast-feeding isn't always possible. If you choose to bottle-feed, be sure to always use formula until your baby is 1 year old. When your baby is 1 year old, you may start to give your baby whole cow's milk.
Formulas are made especially for babies. Most are made with cow's milk. Others are made from soybeans for babies who are allergic to or have a hard time digesting regular formula.
You can get formula in 3 ways:
Always follow the directions. Do not add more powder or liquid or water than you are directed. If the formula is too concentrated or too diluted, your baby will not get what he needs.
Most city water supplies are safe. If you are making one bottle at a time you can use fresh, cold water from your tap. Let the water run for 2 minutes before you use it. Do not use warm or hot tap water. The warm water can cause lead to get into the water from the pipes. After you mix the formula with cold water, you can heat the bottle to the temperature your baby prefers.
If you have well water, you need to boil the water for 10 minutes (plus 1 extra minute for each 1000 feet you are above sea level). You can buy and use distilled water instead of boiling well water.
Babies do not need to drink extra water.
If you would rather make a batch of formula:
Use boiled or bottled water. Follow the directions printed on the side of the formula can. Put formula in the refrigerator. Use it within 48 hours.
Most babies need:
Your baby may start with 1 ounce per feeding. By 7 days, he may take 3 ounces. Divide your baby's weight (in pounds) in half to find the amount (in ounces) he will probably need. For example, if your baby weighs 8 pounds, your baby will probably drink 4 ounces per feeding.
When you are traveling, ready-to-serve formulas are the easiest.
When your baby is 6 months old and until she is 16 years of age, she may need fluoride to prevent dental caries. If the water supply where you live has fluoride and your child drinks at least 1 pint each day, the water should provide enough. Otherwise, it may be a good idea to use fluoride drops or tablets. Formula-fed babies should not take vitamins with the fluoride drops or tablets. Talk to your healthcare provider.