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What is the best temperature for baby's formula?

Is it better to give newborns warm formula or room temperature?


Elizabeth Walenz | Pediatrician

Elizabeth Walenz

Newborns will often let you know their preference.  In the hospital, if you choose to offer your baby formula, the nursette bottles the formula are in are usually given to the mother room temperature. 

Once you are home, you may continue to prepare the formula room temperature, but may find that your newborn prefers it to be warmed by running it under some warm water prior to offering the bottle.

Never warm bottles in the microwave.  Always check the temperature first. I will usually test a few drops on the inside of my wrist. If it is too hot, it will need to cool down.

Here are more tips to feed your baby from the bottle safely:

  • Be sure to sterilize all bottles prior to using the first time by running through the dishwasher or boiling bottles and nipples on the stove for 5 minutes. 
  • Tap water is fine to use to prepare bottles; however, if you are concerned about bacterial contamination, you may boil the water you intend to use for the day. 
  • You may prepare the bottles for the day and keep them in the refrigerator. 
  • A bottle that has been made and kept at room temperature should be discarded after 1 hour. 
  • Formula that has been prepared and kept in the refrigerator is only good for 24 hours.
  • After 24 hours, it should be discarded. 
  • As a general rule, if your baby finishes taking a bottle, you should discard the remainder. A child should not be reoffered formula he has already taken. There is a transfer of bacteria from inside the child’s mouth to the bottle with feeding.
Read more answers by Dr. Walenz