Parents have been long warned of the dangers of microwaving formula. After all, microwaves heat food and water to very high temperatures that can kill all the nutrients in the formula. But is it really true that microwaving formula is dangerous? What has the study of microwaving formula revealed? Can you microwave formula safely?
In this blog, I’m going to attempt to clear up some of the confusion surrounding the safety of microwaving formulas. I’m also going to teach you how to safely microwave formula.
Can You Microwave Formula?
You can microwave formula. However, you should be careful as the bottle heated in the microwave can feel deceptively cool to the touch, even when the milk inside is dangerously hot.
The best way to ensure that your baby’s bottle is not too hot is to test the temperature of the formula before feeding it to your baby. You can either use a food thermometer or simply shake a small amount of the formula onto the back of your hand. If you notice that it feels too hot for you to hold against your skin comfortably, then it’s too hot for the baby.
Here’s a short guide on how to microwave formula:
Pour four ounces of formula into a clean, microwave-safe bottle. Remove the nipple from the bottle. Place the bottle in the microwave and heat on low for ten seconds. Take the bottle out of the microwave, swirl, and test the temperature of the formula on the back of your hand. Continue reheating the bottle in the microwave for 10 seconds at a time until it reaches the correct temperature.
Does Microwaving Formula Destroy Nutrients?
Heating the formula using the microwave or any other method can pose a risk of destroying some of the nutrients in the formula. But there is a way to safely heat up the formula in the microwave so that you can retain more of the nutrients in it.
There was a study conducted by an assistant professor of nutrition, Madeleine Sigman-Grant, and her colleagues at Pennsylvania State University, which involved heating up infant formula in the microwave for 40 seconds to one minute using different types of containers such as glass and plastic baby bottles.
They found that not only did the study show that heating up the formula using the microwave is safe, they also discovered that microwaving for one minute actually did not rob the formula of its nutrients.
Can You Heat Up Premade Formula?
It’s extremely common for parents to pre-make their baby’s bottles in the morning before work and heat it up as needed throughout the day using a bottle warmer or a simple container of hot water. But is it safe to heat up pre-made formula?
The answer is yes, it’s safe to heat up premade parenting. There are two things to keep in mind when doing so, though.
First, you have to heat it properly. Follow all steps and tips that I’ll share with you below.
Second, don’t heat the formula and refrigerate it multiple times. Doing so will not only destroy all of the nutrients in it, but it will also increase the risk that harmful bacteria which could make your baby sick.
How Long Do You Microwave Formula?
As a general rule of thumb, a 4-ounce bottle of formula should be microwaved no more than 30 seconds, and an 8-ounce bottle should be microwaved no more than 45 seconds at full power.
Use 10 seconds intervals to check if the milk is warm enough for your baby, and swirl the bottle every time you check it to help distribute the heat evenly.
Tips on How To Microwave Formula
As mentioned before, microwaving formula can be done, but you have to follow some precautions to make sure that your baby’s bottle of formula is safe to give.
Here are some simple tips on how to safely microwave formula:
- Use only microwave-safe plastic bottles. Never use glass bottles or disposable liners that go in baby bottles as they can become too hot and explode.
- Keep the bottle open during microwaving. Don’t put a lid or cap on the bottle while heating as it can cause the temperature to soar, which leads to hot spots in the bottle. The bottle may also be at the risk of exploding from the pressure.
- Always stand the bottle up in the microwave.
- Never warm less than four ounces of formula at once to minimize the risk of scalding your baby’s mouth or throat.
- Inspect and swirl the bottle every 10 seconds.
- Heat only refrigerated formula. Don’t microwave formula that has been at room temperature for a long period of time. It’s best to only heat up the amount that you’ll need for one feeding.
- Before serving, put the nipple on the bottle and shake it ten times. This helps distribute the heat evenly throughout the fluid and removes hot spots in the bottle.
- Always test the formula’s temperature on your wrist to make sure that it safes before feeding it to your baby. If the heated formula feels warm on your skin, it’s probably too hot for your baby and should not be given immediately.
- Don’t microwave the formula twice. It’s best to only heat up one bottle at a time and as I mentioned before, make sure that you only heat up the amount of formula that you need.
Is Warm Formula Easier To Digest?
Yes, the warmed formula is easier to digest. This is because when babies are breastfed, the milk enters the baby’s stomach at room temperature. So naturally, your baby’s digestive system is more likely to easily digest heated formula that has been warmed. In addition, some parents also find that warm milk is less likely to cause tummy problems.
So, to answer your question, it is safe to microwave formula. But you have to make sure that you follow the right steps and always test the temperature before feeding it to your baby.
To heat up your baby’s feeding bottle, first, measure out the right amount of formula, then heat it up in a clean microwave-safe plastic bottle for no more than 30 seconds. Next, inspect and shake it thoroughly before testing its temperature on your wrist. After that, you can give it to your baby.