Whether you’re venturing out for the day or heading out for just a few hours, you’ll want to make certain you’re prepared to feed your baby whenever and wherever he or she sees fit. For formula fed babies, be sure you’re prepared to feed your baby formula on the go. Consider these key tips for the mobile mom.
Invest in a washable diaper bag. Whoever said don’t cry over spilled milk has never had a pool of leftover infant formula from a leaky baby bottle at the bottom of their designer diaper bag. When it comes to diaper bags, practicality reins king. Opt for a bag that can be tossed into the washing machine or one that can be completely wiped down in the event you experience a formula spill.
Always pack extra infant formula. You never know when you’re going to get stuck in traffic or when a doctor’s visit is going to go much longer than expected. Add a crying, hungry baby to an already stressful situation and voila: you have the perfect recipe for a mommy meltdown. Always bring extra water, powdered baby formula, diapers, wipes, burp clothes and a change of clothes with you and you’ll be prepared for whatever situation you face.
Avoid overpriced options. It can be tempting to purchase single-serve tubes of powered formula or individual servings of readymade infant formula, but don’t. These solutions are short-lived and overpriced. Individual serving solutions are typically prepared in 4 ounce servings for formula fed babies. If your baby typically eats more than that, you can end up spending a small fortune per feeding or wasting a substantial amount of unused baby formula since it can’t be prepared in two ounce servings.
Pick up a formula dispenser. For less than four bucks, you can purchase a reusable, divided canister that will hold premeasured amounts infant formula. In each compartment, add the appropriate scoops of formula for your baby’s feeding amount; in your baby’s bottle, add the appropriate amount of water. When you’re out and about simply open the dispenser and pour it into the premeasured, water-filled bottle for quick and easy bottle prep.
Be formula prep savvy. If your baby only drinks warmed infant formula, consider heating water, adding it to a small thermos, and bringing it with you to avoid having to warm prepared formula on the go. Alternatively, place warmed water in a bottle and store the bottle in an isolated bag. If you’re not going to have access to a sink to clean bottles or if packing space is limited, consider using bottles with disposable liners and packing extra nipples and rings instead.
Brush up on bottle feeding safety. If you’ll be away less than two hours, you can make bottles in advance and store them in an insulated cooler with ice packs. If you’ll be away for more than two hours, prepare bottles as needed. And remember, if a previously chilled bottle of baby formula is left out for more than an hour, you’ll need to toss it. It’s also important to remember that once your baby starts eating from a bottle, uneaten formula can’t be saved for later use. Discarding excess baby formula is important in preventing the growth of bacteria that can occur from contact with your baby’s saliva.
While it can be tempting to take shortcuts to save time and money, when it comes to feeding your baby, shortcuts aren’t allowed. If you’re feeling pressured to stretch your formula further by saving uneaten formula for later or increasing the amount of water you add to your baby’s bottle, don’t. The health consequences your baby could encounter aren’t worth it. Instead, consider smart ways to save by avoiding high priced, single-serving solutions and by opting for store brand formulas. Store brand infant formulas meet all nutritional and quality standards set forth by the FDA; our baby formula calculator will show you how you can save you up to 50% on formula without sacrificing quality.
Michelle LaRowe is the author of the Nanny to the Rescue! parenting series, Working Mom's 411 and A Mom's Ultimate Book of Lists. A return-to-work mom and expert on formula fed babies, Michelle is called on by the media as a parenting expert and has appeared on local, national and international television and radio and has been featured in print.
Read Bio »
It's called formula for a reason™