Powdered or liquid infant formula

Should I use liquid or powdered infant formula?

Infant formula is available in three main forms. Ready-to-use infant formula is the most expensive, the safest, and easiest to use. Powdered infant formula is the cheapest but also the least safe and most difficult to prepare. Liquid concentrate is somewhere between the other two. All forms can become contaminated with microbes or other agents, so it is very important to follow proper technique when preparing and storing them. Babies with weak immune systems, such as very premature or sick babies, have the greatest risk of infection and extra care should be given to their infant formula preparation. If formula is needed, and families do not have access to safe, clean, and reliable water, ready-to-use infant formula is recommended.

A) Describing the forms of infant formula

There are three main forms of infant formula (formula):

  • Ready-to-use
  • Liquid concentrate
  • Powder

B) Safety

Formula is easily contaminated. It is very important to follow proper techniquesIt can be contaminated by:

  • Unsafe preparations:
    • Using unsterilized equipment.
    • Using unsterilized water used for mixing.
  • Improper storage.

Ready-to-feed and liquid concentrate formula are both sterile until the container is opened. Powdered formula is not sterile and can be contaminated with bacteria during production.

1) Families in risky situations

If mothers need to give formula and do not have access to safe, clean, and reliable water, ready-to-use formula is recommended. Ready-to-use formula is also recommended for emergency situations. Liquid concentrate is the second choice and powdered formula is the most risky.

2) Babies with a weaker immune system

Babies with weak immune systems have the greatest risk of infection. These include babies who:

  • Are premature.
  • Had a low birth weight and are less than two months old.
  • Are sick.

If they are given powdered formula, it should be prepared with water that has been boiled for at least two minutes and cooled to about 70°C (160°F). They can be given ready-to-use formula and liquid concentrate freshly prepared with sterile water.

C) Cost

Ready-to-use formula is the most expensive, the safest, and easiest to use. Powdered formula is the cheapest but also the least safe and most difficult to prepare. Liquid concentrate is somewhere between the other two.