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  1. How to make up a feed
  2. Things you need for formula feeding
  3. How to sterilise equipment
  4. How to use formula

How to make up a feed

If you're formula feeding your baby, we have help on what you need to buy, how much and what type of formula is right for your baby – as well as how to make sure everything is safe and clean.

Making up a feed

Use fresh water from the cold tap to fill your kettle every time you make up formula. Do not use water that has been previously boiled or artificially softened water.

Bottled water is not recommended to make up a feed as it is not sterile and may contain too much salt (sodium) or sulphate.

To reduce the risk of infection, make up feeds as your baby needs them, 1 at a time.

1. Fill the kettle with at least 1 litre of fresh tap water from the cold tap (do not use water that has been boiled before).

2. Boil the water. Then leave the water to cool in the kettle for no more than 30 minutes so that it remains at a temperature of at least 70C.

3. Clean and disinfect the surface you are going to use. It's really important that you wash your hands to stop bacteria spreading.


If you're using a cold-water steriliser, shake off any excess solution from the bottle and the teat, or rinse the bottle with cooled boiled water from the kettle (not the tap).

4. Keep the teat and cap on the upturned lid of the steriliser. Avoid putting them on the work surface.

5. Follow the manufacturer's instructions and pour the correct amount of water into the bottle first. Double-check that the water level is correct.

6. Loosely fill the supplied scoop with the formula and level it off using either the flat edge of a clean, dry knife or the leveller provided. Follow the manufacturer's instructions and only put the suggested number of scoops in the bottle.

7. Holding the edge of the retaining ring, put it on the bottle and screw it in. Cover the teat with the cap and shake the bottle until the powder is dissolved.

8. It is really important to cool the formula so it is not too hot to drink. Cool the formula by holding the bottom half of the bottle under cold running water. Move the bottle about under the tap to ensure even cooling.

9. Test the temperature of the infant formula on the inside of your wrist before giving it to your baby. It should be body temperature, which means it should feel warm or cool, but not hot.

Leftover formula

If there is any made-up infant formula left in the bottle after a feed, throw it away.

Formula feeding away from home

If you are going out, have a look at the NCT website to find out how to prepare formula feeds away from home and what you'll need to take.