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The Right Temperature continued...

If you want to warm formula, here are some ways to do it safely:

  • Run the bottle under very warm or hot water. A few minutes should do the trick.
  • Fill a pan with hot water. Remove it from the heat. Place the bottle in the pan for a few minutes.
  • Use a bottle warmer from a baby supply store.

After warming the bottle, shake it vigorously. Test it by squirting a drop on the inside of your wrist. If it's hotter than lukewarm, let it cool before giving it to baby.

How Much?

Most newborns drink about 1.5 to 3 ounces of formula every 2 to 3 hours. But this varies widely. It's normal for infants to eat different amounts at different feedings.

For premature or low-birth-weight babies, both the amount and timing of feedings vary. "It's best to consult your pediatrician with any questions," Saltzman says.

Dos and Don'ts

DON'T water formula down. You might be tempted to eke out more servings, but diluting formula is dangerous. It takes away important nutrients your baby needs and can lead to slower growth and development. It can also lead to water intoxication, which can cause seizures.

DO be clean. Wash your hands before preparing the formula. Make sure your measuring cup is spotless, too.

DON'T use water that's not safe. If you use well water or your town's supply has problems, boil the water first. Or you could choose bottled water. If you boil it, give it time to cool off before mixing it with formula.

DON'T let formula sit around. When it's mixed and ready to drink, give it to baby or store it in the refrigerator within 1 hour. Toss prepared formula that's been sitting at room temperature for more than an hour. Throw away formula your baby didn't finish.