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August 18, 2020 4 min read

Parents may wonder, can a baby drink cold formula? Our simple answer is, yes, of course they can!

So why do we suggest warming the water first, and is there really a perfect temperature for the bottle? Also, are all babies okay with cold bottles or is that a learned preference? Keep reading, as we answer these questions and more.

Boiling Water for Baby Formula

If you visited our formula preparation guide, you will notice the first step is to boil the water. The reasoning behind this is to kill the bacteria and other microorganisms that could be present in your water.

Perhaps your water is perfectly clean, and we really hope it is! But as an extra precaution, it is highly advised to boil the water for your baby’s safety. Those microorganisms may not bother our grown-up adult body, but your baby could be more sensitive. Just play it safe.

Lastly, if you are using your tap water to prepare the water, please only fill your tea kettle or water warmer with cold water. The hot water heaters and plumbing in your house may have corrosion from running the hot water through them.

These metallic contaminants can be picked up, and boiling your water does not remove them from the water! Using the cold tap water may take longer to heat up, but it is the safest option.

Baby Bottle Warmer – is it necessary?

Many parents buy bottle warmers to bring the formula to the “perfect temperature” for their baby. While this may seem like a necessary item for new parents, many experienced parents realize this is not the only option.

In fact, many babies will drink the bottle if it is mixed with room temperature water. Perhaps you are out of the house and have a bottle of water you are using to mix the formula. Your hungry baby will drink that bottle with that room temperature water, even though it isn’t as warm as the bottle warmer will make it.

This doesn’t mean you can’t buy a bottle warmer, perhaps your baby is very finicky and will only take it warm. In this case, your bottle warmer will be a happy addition to your baby products.

Just remember, the temperature for the baby formula should never be hot. Always test it on your wrist first to make sure the baby formula is around body temperature.

Cold Formula for Baby

To save time, many parents mix up bottles for the next day and place them in the refrigerator. This is a great strategy, just remember mixed baby formula is only good for 24 hours.

When it’s time to feed your baby, you might not want to wait for the bottle to warm up. Some parents just give the formula to the baby as it is. Drinking the bottle warm all the time could possibly lead to a learned preference for the baby. Try varying up what temperature you serve the bottle, and see if your baby really doesn’t mind.

But does cold formula upset baby’s stomach? Not really. We drink cold milk all the time, and your baby might even enjoy the milk cold – especially if they are teething!

If you have a newborn baby, you might not want to give refrigerator cold formula at first; their digestive system doesn’t need to burn extra calories or energy warming it for them.

For newborns (or finicky babies), you can take the initial chill off from the bottle by running warm water over it in the sink for a minute and swirling it. Or to conserve water, you can place the bottle in a deep bowl filled with warm water for a few minutes.

Once your baby is past the newborn stage, serving bottles directly from the fridge might end up being the preferred option for baby. Just watch your baby, and let their cues tell you what is best for them!

Another note, some babies are okay with the cold milk, but they do not like the cold nipples. Try storing your bottle in the fridge with a top (some bottles have the top without the nipple). Or you can always run the nipple under warm water at the sink before serving baby.

Never warm the bottle up in the microwave! This can create hot spots in the milk, not to mention destroy the bottles and possibly leak chemical contaminates into the milk.

Conclusion

Cold formula does not hurt babies, and in fact might be the preferred temperature for your baby. Newborns shouldn’t have refrigerator cold formula, but after this stage, it is perfectly acceptable to introduce the formula cold.

Always observe your baby and don’t force your baby to have cold formula if they refuse it. It’s better to feed your baby and take the extra few minutes warming it up each time if they are finicky with cold formula.

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