How to Prepare Infant Formula: Perfectly and Safely

By: Suzanne Renee' - Updated December 13, 2023 - 13 Minute Read

How to Prepare Infant Formula | The Milky Box

Whether you plan to formula feed your baby from the start, want to supplement your breast milk with formula, or are switching from breastmilk to formula, you probably have questions. 

This article provides families with a complete guide on how to prepare and store your infant’s formula correctly. It is crucial to follow the instructions for preparing the formula to ensure that your baby receives the necessary nutrients. 

These recommendations will help you ensure that your infant's formula is always fresh and safe for consumption.

Preparing Infant formula: Start with The Best Formula

Choosing the best formula is the first step in making the perfect bottle. Making the right choice of healthy ingredients that also work best for your little one digestively, although not always easy, will help the rest of the process fall into place. 

Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients and regulations that best support physical growth and cognitive development from newborns to toddlers.

Organic Baby Formula

Your baby deserves organic nutrition without harmful additives, heavy metals, or added preservatives. The best formula is designed without toxic additives such as corn syrup, glucose syrup solids, or table sugar.

European baby formulas ensure that your baby receives all the necessary nutrients in the healthiest way possible.

Closest to Breastmilk

By choosing the most natural ingredients, European baby formula gets as close to breastmilk’s innate goodness as possible.

Start with natural fats to give your infant the carbohydrates and protein they need for physical and cognitive development, followed by naturally sourced essential vitamins and minerals.

We cannot think of a more perfect way to start a bottle of baby formula.

European baby formula | The Milky Box

How to Prepare a Baby Bottle: Basic Hygiene 

Bacteria growth can be prevented, or germs can be controlled through appropriate basic hygiene and regularly washing bottle parts. 

Wash Your Hands 

🧼 Washing your hands thoroughly each time you prepare baby formula or heat a bottle

🧼 Washing is essential after using the restroom, during diaper changes, or when in public

🧼 Using warm soapy water, rub hands together vigorously for 20 seconds

🧼 Make sure to wash in between fingers and fingernails

Clean Surface

🧼 Clean and Sterilize any equipment or kitchen tools used in preparing baby formula. If possible, it is best to have utensils and contains that is for baby formula construction only.

🧼 Use a non-toxic cleaner to wipe down surfaces where your baby’s formula will be prepared or stored.

Sterilize Bottles

🧼 Sterilize all bottles, bottle rings, nipples, and caps when using for the 1st time

🧼 Cover all pieces with water and boil for 5 minutes

🧼 Remove carefully with tongs before letting them air-dry until cool

🧼 After the first use, it is not necessary to sterilize each time

Organic Baby Formula: Container Condition

Your baby formula box or container is essential. Check boxed baby formula for any obvious punctures, rips, holes, or leaks to the inside container.

Minor dents and dings are acceptable if they do not leak or cause the seams to open.

Does Baby Formula Expire? 

Extending hygiene to the powdered formula means checking to see if your baby’s formula has expired. Do not use baby formula with an expiration date or a use date that has passed.

Baby Formula must be used by the best date. The formula starts tasting bad, and bacteria can begin to grow, putting your infant at risk.

 *Important note* European dates format is always DAY / MONTH / YEAR

Best Baby Bottles

With so many baby bottles on the market, choosing the best baby bottle your little one will take that is safe can be overwhelming. 

Glass vs Plastic Baby Bottle 

Plastic baby bottles are convenient, cheap, and unbreakable, but are they safe? Studies have linked exposure to the chemical BPA (and related chemicals like BPS)—which can rapidly leach out of plastic bottles when exposed to a hot liquid—that can damage developing brains and tissues and a heightened risk of cancer later in life.

There is also a concern as an estimated average bottle-fed baby using plastic baby bottles could be ingesting 1.6 million plastic microparticles every day during the first 12 months of their lives.

As for the future, landfills are unavoidable, and each plastic baby bottle can decompose for up to 1,000 years.

Are Glass Bottles Better Than Plastic?

Glass baby bottles and stainless-steel baby bottles are options families can feel good about. The choice is yours, as both are made without harmful chemicals, toxin-free, and eco-friendly.   In general, both are superior to the plastic bottle options.

Best Water for Baby Formula

European baby formula is chemical and additive-free. Mixing your little ones’ powder nutrition with water that is just as clean will give your baby the healthiest present and future. 

Can You Use Tap Water for Baby Formula?

Most water in the United States and Canada comes from home faucets and may be relatively safe to drink although not ideal. Tap water typically has substantial amounts of noxious chlorine and fluoride additives as well as trace residues of pharmaceutical drugs, pesticides, heavy metals (sometimes large and dangerous amounts), and none of this is good for your infant. 

So it is best to get a home water filtration system or buy a verifiably clean spring water in glass bottles (to get away from the plastic derivative). If using tap water, it is still best to boil tap water and let it cool to the correct temperature before making your baby’s formula.

Bringing cold water to a full-bubbling boil kills germs, bacteria, or viruses. These things can find their way into the water supply if pipes are old or leaky, if there’s heavy rain or flooding in your area, or if there are problems with the main water supply.

Steps for boiling water for baby formula | The Milky Box

You can use an electric kettle to boil water. Handle boiling water very carefully. You’ll need to use both hands near a stove or hot kettle, so don’t hold your baby while making the formula; keep them safely away.


Tap water in many communities in the US has added fluoride. This cavity preventive mineral is found naturally in water and soil. Still, the levels are too low to have any benefit, so the American Dental Association supports the addition of fluoride to water.

Babies can receive too much fluoride in water, and daily use may be harmful. Unfortunately, boiling tap water does not change how much fluoride is in it, and some water filters can’t remove fluoride, either.

Suppose you or your health care provider is concerned about your baby getting too much fluoride. Families can alternate between tap water and low fluoride bottled water to mix the perfect bottle.

Low fluoride tap water might be labeled as “demineralized,” “purified,” “distilled,” or “deionized.”

Well Water

Families with a well for drinking water might have higher levels of minerals than are usually wanted to make baby formula. Well water can easily be contaminated with toxins from the dirt or groundwater around it. This leeching is known to add toxins that can be dangerous to babies. 

Ask your local municipality or order a water testing kit from a reputable company like National Laboratories to test your water samples if your home gets tap water from a well. 

While waiting for the test to be returned, avoid using the well water to make your baby’s formula. Consider using low-fluoride, high quality spring water instead. Mountain Valley Spring Water has verifiably tested clean.

Best Bottled Water for Baby Formula

If you prefer to use bottled water to make your baby’s formula, specialty gallons are sold. “Nursery Water” labels mean that these companies have followed guidelines to ensure the water is sterilized by boiling before being bottled.

Parents can use bottled water to make baby formula, although you still need to boil it. While bottled water is safe for adults, it might not be as safe for babies.

Boiled Water for Baby Formula

You can boil water in advance so that you are ready for your little one to be hungry. Remember hygiene at every step of baby formula preparation.

Boiled Water for Baby Formula: Advanced Preparation 

Boiled water can be stored at room temperature, out of direct sunlight for 24 hours, or refrigerated for up to three days.

🧼 Start with clean hands

🧼 Sterile glass jars or jugs and the lids you will use to store the boiled water

🧼 Sterilize them by pouring boiling water into them and rinsing them out with boiled water

🧼 Don’t use tap water to rinse them out; they won’t be sterile anymore if you do

How to Mix Baby Formula

Now that you have researched, inspected, sanitized, and boiled, it is time to put the baby bottle together.

First and foremost, it is essential that you mix the powdered baby formula precisely as instructed. Baby formula preparation is an exact science and has been designed perfectly to meet the nutritional needs of your infant.

Steps for preparing infant formula | The Milky Box

How to Warm Baby Bottle

Babies strongly prefer warm milk; in newborns, the warmed baby formula helps maintain body temperature and is comforting.

When a baby is hungry and crying, we want to quickly warm a bottle and soothe our sweet little one. It can be frustrating for both the caregiver and the baby to wait.

Be Patient 

It is best to raise the temperature in the bottle gently to ensure that all the nutrients stay intact. The ideal milk temperature is at or just below body temperature – 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

Slowly raising the temperature of your baby’s formula will also help keep hotspots or uneven heating that can cause burning on your baby's skin, mouth, or throat at bay.


Microwaving baby formula is not recommended. The most pressing reason being that while the bottle may feel cool after microwaving it, the baby formula inside can be hot. This uneven heating will cause severe burns to your little one’s mouth and tongue. There has also been a debate for several years on microwaving baby formula.

Some conjecture is that most of its anti-infection properties and antibodies are lost, creating an environment where bacteria could flourish. Some contemporary thoughts are that microwaving baby formula will not harm the nutrients found in baby formula most parents do not consider this a chance worth taking.

Hot Tap Water Method

A quick method is to simply use running tap water.

🍼 Hold the baby bottle filled with cold prepared formula under warm-to-hot running water

🍼 Rotate it around to reach all sides for roughly two minutes. Families may prefer to use hot tap water in a glass mug to place their baby bottle in.

🍼 Fill a mug ¾ full of warm-to-hot tap water

🍼 Place baby bottle filled with cold prepared formula in a mug

🍼 Let sit for approximately 2 minutes

Stove Top Method

🍼Heat water in a pan until just above room temperature

🍼Remove the pan from the heat

🍼Set the bottle in it until the desired temperature

Baby Bottle Warmer

Baby bottle warmers are a hands-free solution that warms your baby bottle with the touch of a button. With preset temperatures, they can take the guesswork out of heating a bottle.

Bottles come in different shapes and sizes, so be sure your bottles will fit into the warmer you select or choose one that adjusts to many dimensions.

 🍼Start by removing the nipple and collar of the bottle

 🍼Cover with a warming cap or travel cap

 🍼Set for the recommended time

 🍼Remove the bottle carefully

 🍼Replace collar and nipple

Test the Temperature

No matter which bottle-heating method your family prefers, remember your little one's safety comes first! It is imperative to always test the baby’s formula before giving the bottle to your baby to avoid burning their mouth.

An easy method is to dab a few drops of milk onto your inner wrist; you should feel almost nothing if it’s the appropriate temperature. Most babies prefer milk that’s as close to body temperature as possible. The temperature is perfect if you feel no warm sensation on your wrist.

If it’s slightly cool, your baby may still find it acceptable, but if you feel too warm, the bottle is too hot. Wait until it cools down before offering the bottle of baby formula to your baby.

Preparing Baby Formula

To ensure a perfect bottle of baby formula, you must start with a formula entirely free from harmful additives, chemicals, or preservatives and always use toxin-free water. You should settle for nothing but the best for your precious little one.

At The Milky Box, we understand the significance of pure and wholesome nutrition during your baby's formative years. Therefore, we proudly offer the best European baby formulas specially formulated to support your baby's current and future health and well-being.


Please be aware that this information is based on general trends in babies, and it is not medical advice. Your doctor should be your first source of information and advice when considering any changes to your child’s formula and when choosing your child’s formula. Always consult your pediatrician before making any decisions about your child’s diet or if you notice any changes in your child.

Breastfeeding is the best nutrition for your baby because breast milk provides your child with all the essential nutrients they need for growth and development. Please consult your pediatrician if your child requires supplemental feeding.

Suzanne Renee' is an accomplished professional with extensive expertise in the area of infant nutrition, dedicated to promoting the health and wellbeing of children. She started this journey as a foster parent. Suzanne has emerged as a strong proponent of the European baby formula and has become a full time writer of the subject. In her free time, she enjoys camping, hiking and going to church.

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Reviewed by Dr. Eric Wood, ND, MA

Dr. Wood is a licensed naturopathic doctor, with a doctorate degree from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto, Canada. He received his post-graduation certification in Mind Body Medicine at Harvard University.

With 15 years of experience, Dr. Wood is an Associate Professor of Holistic Nutrition at the American College of Health Sciences in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Wood is an educator, clinician, author, media figure, consultant, and owns his own holistic (naturopathic) medical practice in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Dr. Wood is currently researching and drafting books on cancer and pediatrics.

Outside of the medical profession, Dr. Wood loves singing with the Miami Lyric Opera and is an avid musician in South Florida. He also loves spending time with his wife and kids.