Caution: Formula making machines
Recently, the baby formula industry introduced machines on the market that prepare baby formula claiming to be at the right temperature and thickness. Some machines simply heat water to the appropriate temperature and pour it into bottles so parents can add powdered or concentrated infant formula. Other machines heat and mix infant formula powder automatically before it is poured into a bottle.
Parents should be careful about using these machines as there are questions about the quality of the infant formula these machines make. Is the temperature right? Is there enough formula powder in the mix? Is the thickness of the formula good for babies at different stages?
- Parents are instructed to use purified water to fill the machine tank. Health Canada, however, recommends using sterilized water to prepare concentrated or powdered infant formula. (Sterilized water is water boiled for 2 minutes in order to destroy any pathogens in the water.)
- Powdered infant formula is NOT sterile. There could be bacteria that can make babies seriously sick. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that powdered infant formula not be fed to babies that are under two months of age, born prematurely, with low birth weight, or with immune system issues.
- The powdered formula will sometimes clump in the machine and the moisture can cause harmful bacteria to grow that can make your baby sick.
- It is recommended that ALL equipment used for feeding and/or preparing food for your baby be cleaned and sanitized to remove harmful bacteria. However, it is not possible to clean and sterilize ALL the parts in these machines.
Although many families will find these machines a great help, infant formula should be prepared by hand, one feed at a time to reduce the risk of bacteria growing in the milk.
For more information, call the Eastern Ontario Health Unit at 613-933-1375 or 1 800 267-7120 or visit a Watch Me Grow drop-in centre near you.