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Making up a feed

  • 0-1 Years
  • 1-5 Years
  • Feeding and eating
Baby On Chest Of Woman

Feeds should always be freshly made. This will reduce the likelihood of your baby becoming ill. When making up a feed, make sure you follow the manufacturer's instructions. Pay close attention to the ratio of boiled water to formula feed powder.


Water used when making up a feed

When making up a feed always use boiled tap water that is over 70°C.

Do not use the following types of water to make up a feed:

  • Bottled water
  • Water that has previously been boiled
  • Artificially softened water (water that has been through a filter)

Removing sterilisation solution

If you are using a cold water steriliser to sterilise your bottles and teats make sure there is no sterilising solution on the bottle and teat.

You can do this by shaking off the excess solution from the bottle and teat or rinsing the bottle with cool boiled water from the kettle. Do not use water from the tap to rinse the bottle or teat. 

Read more about bottle hygiene and equipment sterilisation

Steps for making up a feed

  1. Clean and disinfect the surface you are going to use. Make sure you also wash your hands.
  2. Using fresh water from the cold tap, fill your kettle with at 1 litre of water. You may need to empty your kettle first.
  3. Boil the water.
  4. Leave the water to cool in the kettle for no longer than 30 minutes. The water should be at least 70°C.
  5. Avoid putting your teat and bottle lids on the work surface. Put them on the upturned lid of the steriliser. 
  6. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the feed.
    • Pour the correct amount of water in the bottle first. Double check the water level is right.
    • Using the scoop provided, loosely fill the scoop with infant formula.
    • Level off the formula using the leveller provided or a clean dry knife. Never use heaped scoops.
    • Put the scoops of formula into the bottle. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the number of scoops to use. 
  7. Screw the teat and cap on the bottle. Put the bottle lid on. 
  8. Shake the bottle until the powder is completely dissolved.  
  9. Cool the infant formula so it's not too hot for your baby to drink. Hold the bottom of the bottle under tap with cold running water. Move the bottle under the tap to make sure it has cooled evenly.
  10. Check the temperature on the inside of your wrist before giving it to your baby. It should be body temperature, so warm or cool but not hot. 

Read the Guide to bottle feeding PDF for instructions with pictures


Video on making up a bottle by Sandwell and Birmingham NHS Trust.

Last reviewed: 1 November, 2023


Who can help

If you have any questions or concerns about making up a feed for your baby, a health professional in our team will be able to offer advice and support.

You can Call Us on 0300 029 50 50 or Text Us on 07520 649887 to start a conversation.

Open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm (excluding bank holidays).

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