Formula Feeding

Formula feeding is an alternative to breastfeeding, and is available in a variety of forms. Be sure to properly prepare the formula as per instructions. Consult your child’s health care provider before changing formula.

  • Powder

    • Powdered formula is not sterile and may contain bacteria that is harmful to babies

    • It is recommended to not give powdered formula to babies under 2 months of age

    • Use powdered formula within one month of opening - discard after 30 days

    • Once mixed, the unused formula should be refrigerated and used within 24 hours

  • Liquid Concentrate

    • Should be mixed at a one-to-one ratio with water

    • This type of formula can be refrigerated for up to 48 hours

  • Read-to-feed

    • Once opened, ready-to-feed formula should be refrigerated and used within 48 hours

A few key points to understand about formula feeding are as follows:

  • A prepared bottle of formula should be left at room temperature for no more than an hour

  • Use prepared bottles within 24 hours

  • Never freeze infant formula – it changes the fat in the formula

  • If you are going out of the house, put prepared bottles in a cooler with ice packs

  • If formula is re-warmed, it should be used within 2 hours

  • It is important to buy iron-fortified infant formula. This will help your baby grow and develop!

  • Infant formula is recommended until age 1, followed by whole milk until age 2

  • Follow the instructions and labels accordingly

    • Putting too much water in formula causes it to over dilute, and your baby will suffer from weight loss

    • Putting too much formula causes it to under dilute, and your baby can experience kidney damage from too much protein


City of Toronto. (2018). Feeding your Child. Retrieved from

Smith, V. (2016). The importance of infant nutrition. International Journal of Childbirth Education, 31(1), 32-34. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-