Preparing infant formula safely

Preparing infant formula safely

Good hygiene is important for keeping your baby well. Wash and dry your hands thoroughly and prepare the formula in a clean kitchen area.  Refer to the manufacturer’s preparation instructions on the side of the can before you start.

Preparing infant formula guide

  1. Wash bottles, teats, caps and knife in hot soapy water.
  2. Sterilise bottles, teats, caps and knife by boiling these for 5 minutes or by using another sterilising method.
  3. Boil fresh drinking water and allow to cool until room temperature.
  4. Pour the correct amount of cooled boiled water into a sterilised feeding bottle.
  5. Fill the enclosed measuring scoop with formula powder and level with lip of the can or the back of a sterilized knife. Add the required number of levelled scoops of powder to water in the feeding bottle.
  6. Place the teat and cap on the bottle and shake gently until the powder dissolves.
  7. Before feeding make sure the prepared formula is the right temperature, by testing a few drops on the back of your wrist.
  8. Feed your baby and enjoy this special time!
  9. Throw away any unfinished feed.


  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the pack.  Incorrect formula preparation can make baby very sick.
  • All feeding equipment should be washed in hot soapy water and rinsed before sterilising. It is recommended that bottle feeding equipment is sterilised until baby is 12 months old.
  • Until baby is 12 months old, all water for preparing formula should be boiled and cooled on the day that you use it. 
  • Always add water BEFORE the powder.
  • Always use the measuring scoop supplied in the formula can. Don’t use the scoop from another brand of formula, as scoop sizes can vary between brands.
  • Don’t pack down the powder or add heaped scoops.
  • Don’t add more or less powder to the water than recommended.
  • The infant age feeding guidelines on the can are just a guide. Your baby may need more or less prepared formula than the guide.  If you need more advice, speak to your health professional.
  • Prepare only one bottle at a time and as close as possible to feeding.
  • Close the formula can lid tightly after each use and store in a cool dry place. Use can within four weeks of opening. 


You can find more information on preparing infant formula safely in this New Zealand Ministry of Health resource


The materials published on this website are of a general nature and have been provided for informational purposes only. Always consult your medical practitioner or a qualified health provider for any further advice in relation to the topics discussed.


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