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One decision you do not need to research or worry over is choosing between powder, liquid concentrate, or ready to feed. There is no substantive difference between them. Whichever you choose, it's important that you follow the directions for refrigeration and preparation very carefully. Ready to feed and liquid concentrate formulas must be refrigerated and used before their expiration dates, and once the powdered formula is mixed with water, it should also be refrigerated immediately.

When you mix the formula yourself, make sure to use the proper amount of water. Under-diluted formulas can cause problems in organ and digestive development and over-diluted formulas may not provide adequate nutrition. You may also need to boil the water for one to two minutes before using it even if the water is bottled rather than tap to protect your baby from anything that may be lurking in the water supply.

When it comes to sterilizing the bottles and nipples, your dishwasher will probably do the job for you, but if you want an insurance policy or another option, you can place them in a pot of boiling water for five minutes. There's no need to warm the actual formula before a feeding, but babies do prefer it to be served at least at room temperature. A good way to warm a bottle of formula is to place it in a pot of water and heating it on the stove (microwaves don't heat evenly), remembering to test its temperature on the inside of your wrist before serving.

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