Listen there is no shame in feeding your baby formula. I know it may seem like it with so many people pushing “breast is best,” but formula feeding your baby is a great option! I promise. I had a lot of guilt when I first started supplementing with formula, but in time I realized it was due to the opinions of others. My babies were happy to drink formula and they are growing to be healthy children.
One thing I do recommend when feeding your baby formula is looking at the quality baby formula brands you use. Our food matters! It is the fuel for our growing, developing bodies. When your babies are rapidly developing they should be eating quality foods to support positive growth. For the first 6 months of their life their nutritional needs will be met by formula and/or breast milk alone.
My first experience shopping for formula was shocking. One of the first ingredients in most baby formulas is corn syrup and oils. SERIOUSLY? Do babies really need to start their lives getting pumped full of corn syrup and vegetable oil? I was out to find a better alternative, and I found one with Bobbie infant formula.
- Why Choose Bobbie Organic Infant Formula?
- How to Prepare Bobbie Formula.
- How to Properly Store Bobby Organic Infant Formula.
Table of Contents
What is Bobbie Formula?
One mother, Laura Modi, felt much like myself when searching for formula for her new baby. I felt so guilty considering buying my daughter formula that was full of corn syrup, fillers, and palm oil. I didn’t want to put those ingredients in my own body, so how could I give that to my newborn through baby formula as a primary source of nutrition.
In 2019 she joined forces with Sarah Hardy and started building a EU style infant formula recipe for the US market. Their focus was on quality ingredients that are FDA approved so that moms and dads in the US could feel good about the food they are providing their babies.
Why Follow European Standards?
Many parents have been looking to European baby formulas for some time because of their higher standards. Unlike the US, the EU bans certain added sugars, like corn syrup and requires that at least 30% of the carbohydrates come from lactose. This follows more closely to human breastmilk content.
Many parents are purchasing European products and shipping them to the US. There is an inherent danger to doing this. One is maintaining the product as it is shipped. There is a risk that the product will not be safe after being exposed to time and elements.
Many European products are also printed in another language. There is some inherent risks that products will not be used appropriately because users cannot read and understand manufacture instructions.
The EU style infant formula that Bobbie organic infant formula produces is mirroring that option for mothers in the US to purchase without having to face the risks involved with shipping European baby formulas to the US. Bobbie is an FDA approved organic baby formula that parents can feel good feeding their infants.
Making intentional better choices when it comes to sourcing ingredients is important. Bobbie Organic Infant Formula ingredients are sourced from grass-fed organic valley cows. These cows spend more time in a pasture than typical cows used for standard milk production. Happy Cows = Quality milk!
Instead of using palm oils and vegetable oils Bobbie Infant formula uses a blend of sunflower/safflower and coconut oils to meet the fat content similar to breast milk. Bobbie also uses organic lactose to meet carbohydrate levels that are needed for growing babies.
Whey protein is used to provide the needed protein composition of mature breast milk and also comes in a 100% partially hydrolyzed form for those infants that need a gentler recipe.
Bobbie also has higher DHA levels than any other US formula brand. They meet they EU standards by using plant based forms of DHA nutrition to support healthy brain and eye health. Check out the full list of ingredients and nutrients below:
How to Prepare Infant Formula
When preparing infant formula it is important to ensure you have clean hands, bottles, and accessories. Take a moment to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Then ensure the bottle, nipple, and any other accessories are in fact clean and ready to use. You can use an electric bottle sterilizer, dishwasher, or hand wash thoroughly with soap and water to ensure your bottles and accessories are safe to use for your little ones!
In this example we will be making a 4 ounce bottle of milk. You would adjust the amount of water and # of scoops according to your babies needs. Follow instructions placed on the canister.
- Check the expiration date on the formula container prior to preparing your infant’s formula.
- Add 4 fluid ounces of filtered or bottled water
- Add 2 unpacked level scoops of Bobbie formula. (Use scoop provided in the formula can)
- Place the cap on the bottle and shake until powder has dissolved in the water.
- Feed infant
- Bottle should be consumed within one hour of preparation. If bottle is not consumed place bottle in the refrigerator to preserve freshness within one hour of preparation or discard the contents.
**always add water to your bottle first to ensure you are getting the correct water to formula ratio.
What Type of Water Should I Use for Baby Formula?
There are a few options to choose from when making your baby a bottle. It is important to understand your options and make a choice that is best for you and your baby. If you have a premature infant or immunocompromised infant please consult with your medical provider as well.
You can use tap water, but it is recommended that you boil the water for at least a minute in a pan with a cover and then allow it to cool to room temperature.
It is best practice to check with your local water supplier about your water quality. Speak with them about possibility of lead exposure in your water. It is also advised to test for chemicals, germs, or minerals that may be harmful.
You must also consider how you feel about fluoride. Most public water sources have fluoride added to prevent tooth decay. Too much fluoride can actually lead to fluorosis or white lines or streaks on the teeth. There has also been some recent research done that high levels of fluoride can be neurotoxic during child development leading to lower IQ scores.
Should I purchase a Water Filter?
If you are concerned about the safety of your water purchasing a quality water filter could be a great option. It can be more affordable in the long run than buying bottled water. Boiling water can be a great option to kill bacteria, but it doesn’t get rid of other harmful chemicals that can be found in our water.
Buying the right water filter system for your needs can help prevent your child from being exposed to high levels of nitrate, lead, chlorine, fluoride, and other potentially harmful substances. Check out the EWG tap water database to learn about your water’s safety and the best filter for you.
Well water should be tested prior to using it in your baby formula. Well water sometimes contains nitrites that come from plants and fertilizers. Other contaminants, chemicals, and microorganisms can get into your well water through the ground. This can sometimes be very dangerous for babies. Test your water frequently to determine if it is safe to use. You may need to switch to city water or bottled water.
Boiling your well water is often not sufficient in preventing exposure to many possible contaminates such as lead, nitrates, and other chemicals.
Bottled water is another safe option to use when mixing baby formula. The FDA requires that bottled water must indicate if fluoride has been added. Bottled water that is labeled as de-ionized, purified, demineralized, or distilled are typically free from fluoride.
Make sure you are aware if electrolytes or fluoride have been added to the water you are using. Additional nutrients should not be added to the water you use for baby formula as those nutrients are already present in your formula.
It is best to still boil bottle water that is not labeled distilled or purified.
How Do I Warm a Bottle?
When warming a bottle it is important to note that it should be room temperature and not any warmer. If it is warmer than room temperature it can cause burns to your little one’s mouth. If you want to warm your bottle you can use two different methods safely.
- Place the bottle in a container of warm water or in a bottle warmer for a few minutes. (Be cautious with some bottle warmers as they can make bottle too hot if not careful)
- Run the bottle under warm tap water for a few minutes. Make sure you don’t get water into the bottle or on the nipple.
Make sure to check the temperature prior to giving to your baby. Gently swirl the content of the bottle to ensure it is well mixed. You can then drop some of the formula from the nipple onto the inside of your wrist. It should feel comfortable and not too warm. You can then safely feed it to your baby.
DO NOT MICROWAVE YOUR BOTTLE: This can cause hot spots in the bottle resulting in burning your baby’s mouth, throat, or esophagus.
How Long is a Bottle Good?
The CDC states that prepared infant formula needs to be used within 2 hours of preparation and within one hour from when feeding begins. If you do not start using it within that time frame it should be placed in the refrigerator and should be used within 24 hours. Place the baby bottle in the back of the refrigerator to ensure that it is staying cold. Every time you open the refrigerator door warm air rushes in. This will ensure a more constant temperature to avoid bacterial growth.
Throw out any formula that is left after your baby is done feeding, as the saliva from your baby’s mouth can encourage bacteria growth. To avoid wasting formula try to only make what your baby normal eats. Try to avoid pressuring your baby to finish the bottle because you don’t want to waste formula. Learn more about responsive feeding here.
How to Store Your Baby Formula?
If you want to maximize your formula’s shelf life it is important to store it properly. Formula can be very expensive and ensuring you get the most out of your money is very important. Unopened infant formulas should be stored in a cool, dry place indoors. This is to ensure a more constant predictable temperature. Sunlight, heat, and moisture can affect the long term quality of the product even if it has not been opened.
If you have opened the formula container continue to keep it in a cool, dry place. Make sure you are closing the lid tightly immediately after use to avoid contamination and prolong the life of the product. Always wash your hands with soap and water prior to opening the container or scooping out the product.
Most formulas need to be used within 4 weeks of opening. Check your particular product for specific recommendations. When you open the container write the date that it was opened and expiration date on the canister with a marker to ensure you know when to discontinue using the product.
Can You Mix Breast Milk with Baby Formula?
Yes. It is safe to mix breast milk with baby formula. Make sure you mix the formula first to ensure the proper water to formula ratio. After the formula is properly mixed you can add the breastmilk to the formula.
Can You Use Cow’s Milk or Plant Milk Instead of Formula?
No. This is not a safe alternative for children under the age of 12 months. Cow’s milk can actually put a lot of stress on a newborn’s body. This can lead to illness, fever, or diarrhea. Cow’s milk lacks the proper amounts of iron, vitamin C, and other essential nutrients for proper development. This can lead to iron-deficiency anemia in some babies. Cow’s milk can also irritate the lining of the stomach and intestines leading to bloody stools. Unless there is no other option Cow’s milk and plant based milks should not be used as they do not meet your babies dietary needs and can lead to deficiencies and poor development.
If you don’t have access to baby formula consider speaking to your pediatrician about other safe options. Many mothers donate breastmilk and other government agencies may be able to help you gain access to affordable baby formula if you need it.
Can You Add Extra Water to Extend Formula Quantity?
NEVER ADD EXTRA WATER TO EXTEND FORMULA QUANTITY. This is a very unsafe practice. This can lead to a dangerous condition called water intoxication. Babies under the age of 6 months do not need any additional liquids outside of breastmilk or formula. Adding extra water can lead to electrolyte and mineral imbalances in your baby’s body. This imbalance of essential nutrients such as calcium, sodium, and potassium can lead to major health problems such as seizures along with improper growth and development.
Always follow instructions for proper mixing as directed by the formula manufacturer. If you are having difficulties affording formula reach out to your pediatrician. You can also reach out to your local health department, food pantry, or social services.
WIC is a US based program to help women, infants, and children to get the nutrition needed for healthy growth an development. Reach out to your local WIC program to see if you qualify for WIC benefits.
Can you Batch Prepare Formula Bottles?
Yes, you can batch prepare baby formula if you want to make better use of your time. If you know your baby will feed every 3-4 hours you can prepare 6-8 bottles for the day at one time. Then warm the bottles as instructed above when you are ready to feed.
If you choose to batch prepare your bottles for the day remember to keep the bottle in the back of the fridge to keep them cold throughout the day. Remember to only prepare enough for the next 24 hours. Dispose of any remaining formula when baby is finished feeding from that bottle. Do not mix remaining formula from a used bottle with the rest of your prepared formula bottles.
Opting for formula feeding is a choice that many mothers frequently make. Rest assured, you are not alone in this decision. Whether you choose to formula feed exclusively or supplement with formula, you are effectively nourishing your growing baby. Managing breastfeeding, formula feeding, and the cleaning and preparation of bottles and accessories can sometimes feel overwhelming. Our aim is to empower and educate you, enabling you to make the best decision for yourself and your baby. You’re doing an exceptional job, mama!
Jess is a registered nurse with over 6+ years of critical care experience for patients young and old and is the mother of two small children. After having her own children she felt inspired to provide mothers with real actionable guidance and education to make informed decisions throughout their pregnancy and postpartum experience.