Can Babies Drink Cold Formula?
As a parent of an infant, making the right feeding choices for your baby can be extremely overwhelming. Making a choice to feed formula for your little one is a major decision. Since many parents spend so much time feeding their little ones, there may be many questions, including “can a baby drink cold formula?”
It is entirely safe for a baby to drink cold formula or breastmilk. As long as your baby is happy and healthy, there is no need to be concerned about giving your little one the formula straight from the refrigerator. However, if your baby is used to being fed warm formula milk, it may be difficult for them to take the cold bottle of milk.
If a baby can drink cold formula, why is it suggested to warm the water first? Can all babies easily drink cold formula? Is cold formula safe for my baby? Here we’ll cover all these questions so that you can make healthy feeding choices for your baby.
Is Cold Formula Good For Your Baby?
For the sake of saving time, many parents prepare formula bottles for the next day and store them in the refrigerator. Although this is a time-saving strategy, it is essential to remember that prepared formulas should be used within 2 hours. This prevents bacteria buildup.
When it comes to feeding the baby, some parents just give the formula to the baby without waiting for the formula bottle to warm up. Drinking the formula cold or warm all the time could possibly be a learned preference for the baby. To check your baby doesn’t mind drinking cold or warm formula, you can serve the bottle with warmer or colder variations.
But is it true that your baby’s stomach can get upset with cold formula? No, it isn’t. The chances are your baby might enjoy drinking cold formula, especially when he/she is teething (more info on that to come!).
Many parents might not want to give formula straight from the fridge when they have a “newborn” baby; their digestive system may not tolerate it. Therefore, you can try taking the chill off from the bottle by placing the bottle in a bowl filled with warm water or running warm water over it in the sink for a few minutes.
If your baby is four to six months old, cold formula may be the preferred choice for the baby. Just observe your baby and how they respond to warm or cold formula.
An important thing to consider: your baby may be okay with the cold formula, but he/she may like the cold nipples of the bottle. For this, try placing the nipple under running warm water or placing the bottle in the fridge with a top before serving the baby.
Many parents give their baby the formula warmed in the microwave. This needs to be stopped because research has shown that warming up the bottle in the microwave generates hot spots in the milk, which can burn your baby’s mouth and throat.
Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of giving your baby the cold formula.
Pros Of Giving Cold Formula To Your Baby
1. Avoiding The Risk Of Overheated Milk
Feeding your baby a cold formula overcomes the risk of overheating the formula. Incorrect heating leads to overheating the formula, creating hot spots and destroying essential nutrients. When you choose to give your little one a cold formula bottle, you always know that you are feeding your baby in a safe manner.
2. Giving Cold Milk Is Faster
Although it does not take very long to warm the bottle of formula milk, when you multiply that by the number of bottles fed per day, the time adds up. Filling formula milk into the bottle straight from the refrigerator reduces the time to get the formula milk ready.
3. It is Easier to Travel
As a parent, you already know how challenging it can be to leave the house with a baby. Feeding the baby makes it even harder for you while traveling because you have to ensure that your baby’s formula bottle is all prepped and appropriately stored. You also worry about when and how to feed your baby while you’re out. Not having to warm the bottle makes things a lot easier.
Cons Of Giving Cold Formula To Your Baby
1. Cold Milk Is Not An Optimal Choice For Preemies
For full-term, healthy babies, it is nothing unsafe about feeding your baby cold formula. But for premature babies, parents should warm the milk prior to feeding. In newborn intensive care units (NICU), it is a normal practice for nurses to feed babies warm milk. Since preemies have a very low birth weight, feeding cold formula causes changes in their body temperature.
However, there is no confirmed evidence on whether a cold formula is unsafe for premature infants or not. Therefore, it would be good for you to discuss this with your baby’s pediatrician.
2. Your Baby Might Refuse Cold Formula
This is one of the most important things to consider while giving your baby the cold formula. If your baby has always been fed warm formula milk, the chances are they may refuse to drink cold formula, followed by extensive crying.
3. Risk of Bacteria-buildup
Opting to store and refrigerate the formula before using adds an increased risk of bacteria contamination due to cold milk storage. You can try to avoid some of this by always fully closing the bottle and never leaving it exposed and open to potentially come in contact with other food that may be in your refrigerator.
What If The Idea Of Feeding Cold Formula Backfires?
With the pros and cons of feeding your baby cold formula mentioned above, you have probably realized that giving your little one a bottle of cold formula isn’t always the optimal choice. If this idea backfires, we suggest you choose the option of warming up the formula bottle in a bowl of warm water. It will require one or two feedings to determine whether your baby will accept it or not.
What Should You Do If Your Baby Doesn’t Drink Cold Formula?
If your baby needs to be fed warm milk, you should warm the formula milk by running it in the warm water or placing it in a bowl of warm water until the milk inside the formula bottle warms up. Try testing the temperature of formula milk by placing a few drops on your wrist. If it feels neutral, it means the formula milk is not too warm and not too hot.
Boiling Water For Your Baby
If you’ve ever seen the “formula preparation guide” section on the formula package, you might have noticed that the first step to preparing the formula is to boil the water. It is because boiling the water kills harmful microorganisms, including bacteria present in the water. Babies are more sensitive to these microorganisms. Therefore, boiling the water for your little one’s safety is highly advised.
Bottle Warmers For Heating The Formula
Bottle warmers may be the best portable option for heating your baby’s formula bottle to the “perfect temperature” that your baby desires.
Bottle warmers are a good option because you always know that your little one’s formula milk is never overheated. They are portable and easy to use, keeping a charge for more than 12 hours. It means that you can warm up the formula bottles all day long without any hassle.
The Final Verdict
Since the cold formula is safe for your baby and is according to their preferred temperature, it is safe to give the formula to your baby that way. Newborns, especially premature infants, should not be fed formula straight from the refrigerator, but once your little one is past the newborn stage, it is entirely safe to introduce cold formula to them unless it is prepared with boiled water.
To conclude, always remember not to force your baby to drink cold formula if they cry or refuse to drink it. As a parent, it is crucial to keep your infant happy and healthy. Therefore, it is better to spare a few extra minutes from your routine to warm up the formula before feeding your baby.
Since every parent wants their baby to grow up strong and healthy with organic baby formula, Organic Life Start has a wide range of formulas to offer. We deal in selling organic formulas from trusted European brands, like Holle, Lebenswert, HiPP, and Kendamil. Still feeling a little unsure? Reach out to us so we can help you find the right formula for your little bundle of joy!