For most formula-feeding parents, by the time their baby is 1 week old, bottles can be made with only one eye open. However, even if you've gotten into the routine of making bottles quickly and easily, you might still discover lumps of unmixed powder in your baby's bottle. Luckily, this is a fairly easy problem to correct.
Water Temperature for Bottles
When mixing formula, use warm water rather than cold or room temperature water. Powdered formula, which is usually the type that gets lumps, will mix easier in warm water so heat water in a pan on the stove or bottle warmer before adding the powder to it.
Add Powder Slowly
Rather than putting in the full amount of powdered formula all at once, mix in just a little at a time, shake, then add more powder. For instance, for a 6-ounce bottle you might need three scoops of powder. Instead of dumping that all in at once, add one scoop, cover and shake. Then add another scoop, cover and shake. Repeat. Some formulas mix better a little at a time.
If you mix formula directly in a baby bottle, ensure that you shake the bottle thoroughly before feeding your baby. Hold the nipple closed or put the cap on and shake very well to get the lumps out. If this makes the formula too frothy, just let the bottle sit for a few minutes before giving it to your child if small bubbles in the formula tend to make him spit up.
Use Formula Mixer
Available online and at baby specialty stores, formula mixers can easily eliminate lumps. Formula mixers are handheld, manual and usually inexpensive. The only drawbacks are that it adds an extra step to making bottles because the mixer must be used in a bowl or pan, not the bottle itself, and that it makes one more item you have to wash later.
Choose Formula Carefully
Different kinds of formula are available, and if you're having an issue with lumps, take a close look at the kind of formula you're using. For example, some brands of formula have a type for spit-up that contains rice protein. This formula is slightly thicker, and can be more prone to lumps when mixing. Talk to your pediatrician about the best kind of formula for your baby.
Pre-Made Liquid Formula
If all else fails or this just seems like too much work to do every time your baby needs a bottle, consider using ready made formula. While it's more expensive, it rarely gets lumps and all you have to do is pour it into a bottle and you're ready to go.
- Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images