Milk is the most essential and highly effective source of nutrients for babies. It contains numerous vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and other vital factors that make it the best-suited food for babies. It contains all the essential factors an infant’s body requires for digestion, brain development, and illness and infection prevention.
As a stay-at-home dad, I realized, more than anyone, the importance of milk. Especially when my baby was hungry and crying for his mother, so we decided that milk formula would be the best option for our baby. And with this began my intense research about milk formula because, like every parent, I wanted the best for my kid.
Waking up in the middle of the night and preparing the formula milk to feed my kid ended up being exhausting, and let’s be honest, frustrating at times. So finding out that I could microwave the formula was a revelation and a blessing.
Here I’ve compiled all you need to know about microwaving formula, so you don’t have to spend extra time researching over the internet!
Can You Microwave Pre-Made Formula?
Yes, you can heat pre-made formula in the microwave. Many parents heat their baby formula in the microwave as a safe, healthy, and faster option. Many reports show that microwaving baby formula is extremely safe and doesn’t harm kids in any way.
Just like with powdered formula, the same rules apply here. You shouldn’t let the formula overheat because that can destroy the nutrients. Also, keep the microwave on medium heat and keep swirling the microwavable bottle or dish to prevent any hot spots from forming.
How To Microwave Formula?
What Will You Need:
- A microwavable glass/bottle
- A spoon
- A thermometer
- A microwave (you probably guessed this, right?)
Unclean bottles and nipples are a major cause of contamination in baby bottles. So, before placing the formula in the bottle, make sure that you have cleaned it tentatively.
Clean the nipple and the bottle with brushes that are made specifically for this purpose to maximize cleanliness. Before putting the bottle in the microwave, make sure that you remove the nipple.
- Add no more than 1 cup or 225ml of formula in a bottle or glass that is microwave-safe.
- place the bottle inside the microwave without the cap or nipple.
- Microwave it for 45 seconds at 10-second intervals.
- Swirl the bottle around after each interval or mix using a spoon.
- Once 30 seconds have passed, use a thermometer or test yourself to see if the formula is lukewarm. You can test by adding a few drops of the formula on your tongue (not your wrists as they don’t feel the heat as much as the rest of your body) and ensure that it isn’t hot.
- Proceed for another 5 to 10 seconds until the formula reaches a 90-degree temperature.
Make sure that the baby drinks the formula within 2 hours of it being heated, otherwise, it will cool down. Once it cools down, place the formula back in the fridge according to the health and safety guidelines provided on the package.
- Beware of glass and disposable bottles! They can explode if overheated.
- Swirl, swirl, and swirl some more! Swirling the milk is highly important and effective. It makes sure that the milk is getting warmed evenly and that no hot spots have formed.
- Remove the cap/nipple: Never put the formula in with a cap or nipple on top because it is usually made out of silicone. Silicone can cause uneven heating, and unavoidable hotspots, and can even potentially cause an explosion due to trapped steam.
- Add only half a cup or 115ml of formula in the microwave at first: This will ensure the even heating of milk and help avoid any hot spots.
Is It Safe?
Many of us might be told, by other parents or by the internet, not to warm formula milk in the microwave. We have constantly heard that when heated in the microwave, the formula gets warmed unevenly.
This uneven heating can cause hot spots that might scald a baby’s mouth and throat. So, it might be shocking for you to hear that you actually can microwave formula without bringing any harm to your baby. Yes, it is possible, by stirring the formula evenly and thoroughly!
Does Microwaving Formula Destroy Nutrients?
Any heating methods that use high heat can destroy some of the nutrients. This includes boiling and even microwaving. So when you microwave formula, make sure that you don’t put the microwave on high power. Medium to low heat is perfect for heating formula.
And, that is one of the best things about heating in the microwave: you can control the amount of heat you want to transfer and also the time you want the formula to get exposed to that heat.
Additionally, when preparing powdered formula, you don’t have to heat the formula mixture, but can just heat the water. Once the water is lukewarm, you can mix it with the powdered formula, and voila!
In comparison to boiling, heating in the microwave is quicker and easier. Heating breast milk and formula to the boiling point can destroy nutrients to a huge extent. This is why heating the formula to lukewarm temperatures is significant.
Benefits Of Microwaving Formula
- Time: Microwaves are first and foremost timesavers. At least for me, they are. They have saved me countless hours of sleep during the nights my baby is fussier and hungrier than usual. Preparing the formula quicker means there are more chances of me being able to fall asleep again. I’m telling you, lifesavers!
- Convenience: They are one of the most convenient machines that you can use at any point and for anything. Want to prepare the formula quicker, as you don’t want to spend a lot of time out of your cozy bed? Heat it in the microwave!
- No Direct Contact With Heat: One of the best things about microwaves is that you don’t have to come in contact with flames. The heating process happens completely inside the microwave, so you don’t have to wait in a blistering hot kitchen for the formula to heat up.
Can You Just Heat The Water?
Yes, you can! It is regular to see people boiling the water in the microwave instead of on a stovetop due to it being a lot quicker and way more convenient. And so, this water that you boil can be used in preparing formula.
If you prefer using powdered formula instead of premade formula, you’re gonna have it way easier. You’ll simply just have to warm the water in the microwave and once it reaches the desired temperature, you can mix it with powdered formula. And there you have it! Warm milk for the baby in no time.
However, just like before, you’ll have to keep swirling the water every ten seconds because hot spots can also form in the water. When you are heating, ensuring that you’re using a microwave-safe dish is also crucial. Opting for a dish with a larger circumference and surface area can help warm the water easily.
Now that you know the dos and don’ts of microwaving baby formula, you’ll know exactly how to keep yourself and your baby healthy. Learning this method has been a blessing for me and my wife. We can both sleep well at night because one: we know our baby is healthy, and two: we have more time to spend together after preparing the formula and not worrying about it the entire night.
Following these steps strictly is also very important, as you don’t want your child’s throat or mouth to burn, just because of a few tired careless seconds. Your baby’s safety comes before anything else. But once you completely learn this process, it’ll be a piece of cake and become a routine. Happy parenting with this new hack!