Artificial Milk: Liquid or Powder?

The pediatrician explains how to choose the most suitable formula milk and how to prepare and store it correctly.

Now, the question is: Which formula to choose? Liquid or powder formula?

Let’s try to answer the most frequently asked questions from parents who use infant formula for their babies and clarify both options.

What is formula milk for newborns and infants?

The substitute of breast milk, more commonly called “artificial milk“.

It is a formula that undergoes treatments first in the course of manufacturing, then in the stages of packaging, transport, distribution, and storage in the depots of pharmacies or points of sale.

Cow or goat milk does not fall into this type!

There are many types on the market; once you purchase and open the container, store the leftover milk amount to prevent it from deteriorating.

As we will see, storage times and methods vary depending on whether it is a liquid or powder product.

Is Liquid Infant Formula Safe?

The ready-to-use liquid infant formula is sterile until the container is opened, making it the safest choice.

Once you open the container, the milk must be consumed within two hours.

What About Powder Milk Formula: Is It Suitable For Babies and Kids?

The powdered milk formula is not sterile..

Even if it may contain a deficient number of bacterial colonies, contamination of the powder can occur at the factory’s preparation time or after opening the container.

One of the common bacterias is Enterobacter sakazakii; which is indicated for causing severe infections in infants fed with non-sterile infant formula)

We can eliminate most bacteria by heating the water to reconstitute the product at a temperature of at least 70 ° C.

The milk thus prepared must then be cooled quickly to prevent residual bacteria from multiplying, and this can happen when the milk has a temperature between 7 and 65°C.

The longer the milk is at this temperature, the greater the risk of increasing its bacterial load; therefore, the risk of the baby becoming infected is higher.

Generally, the powder should be stored at room temperature in the tightly closed original container after opening the milk container.

Choose a cool and dry place, and use it within 10-15 days.

Besides, it is always a good idea to check the product’s expiry date.

How To Prepare The Infant Formula Properly?

It is essential to prepare a single feed at a time by pouring the water into a clean container following these indications:

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water, and then dry them thoroughly.
  2. Boil the water you want to use.
  3. Add the powder when the water temperature is 70 ° C; generally, this temperature is reached by covering the container with a lid after boiling the water for no more than 30 minutes.
  4. Put the amount of water necessary to dissolve the powder in a clean bottle.
  5. Add the exact amount of powder indicated in the package.
  6. Close the bottle and shake it well.
  7. Quickly cool the milk by putting the bottle in cold water.
  8. Check the temperature by dropping a few drops of milk on the back of the hand (the ideal temperature is lukewarm, around 37 degrees, the same as breast milk).

Related: Preparing And Storing Baby Milk Bottles: Step By Step Guide

Can I Heat The Infant Formula In The Microwave?

Be careful when using the microwave to prepare or reheat formulas, both powder, and liquid.

In fact, the microwave does not guarantee homogeneous heating and makes possible the dangerous presence of excessively hot spots, which could burn the baby’s mouth.

Shaking the liquid after heating is a wise measure to avoid temperature unevenness.

It is also essential not to reheat the reconstituted formulas several times!


Dema JS is the founder of and a mother of two little kids. Dema had her MBA from St. John’s University- NYC in dual concentrations: Executive Management and Marketing Management.

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