The 1-hour rule for formula

Watch Video: The 1-hour rule for formula by Suzanne Barston, CLC, ...
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The 1-hour rule for formula

You might notice that on the back of the formula can, there is a vague warning about feeding the baby the formula either two hours of making it and sitting out, or within an hour, if the baby has touched it with their mouth. This is because the longer the formula is sitting out -- and this goes for breast milk that's been pumped, as well -- the more chance for bacterial contamination and colonization. The more bacterial that grows, if it's a dangerous bacteria in your bottle, the more likely it is that your baby is going to get sick. Now, the doesn't happen 99 percent of the time, in the First World, where we have all these resources and clean water and air conditioning and all these things, this isn't going to happen; but with babies, we have to worry about that 1 percent happening. It's better to be safe than sorry. The reason that, once you start feeding your child the formula bottle -- The reason that things are so sticky with formula is because, for some reason, bacteria loves formula. Breast milk, one of the great things about it is, it has some antibacterial properties, so it tends to be a little more resistant to bacteria. Unfortunately, formula isn't; so these rules are a little more important for formula feeders. Once your baby started drinking from that bottle, there is bacteria in their mouth that can get into that formula and breed bacteria later. All these rules are not to make your life more complicated, even though, unfortunately, that is the end result; they are there to keep your baby safe.

Watch Video: The 1-hour rule for formula by Suzanne Barston, CLC, ...


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Suzanne Barston, CLC

Blogger & Author of Bottled Up

Suzanne Barston, CLC is the former Editor-in-Chief of Los Angeles Family Magazine, a Certified Lactation Counselor, and a freelance writer specializing in parenting, women’s interest, and science/health topics. She is the author of Bottled Up: How the Way We Feed Babies Has Come to Define Motherhood, and Why It Shouldn’t and blogs as her alter ego, the "Fearless Formula Feeder". "FFF", as it’s known to an international fan base representing over 40 countries, supports parents dealing with issues of guilt, fear, conflict and uncertainty regarding infant feeding difficulties and choices through critical assessments of research, pithy commentary, practical advice, and a weekly series allowing parents to share stories in a cathartic way. She is also the co-creator of the #ISupportYou movement. 

Barston was raised outside of Boston and earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Northwestern University in 2000. After living and working in Chicago and London, she now resides in Los Angeles with her husband, the photographer Steven Barston, and their two obnoxiously cute children. She and her husband were featured on two award-winning online reality series for, A Parent is Born and Welcome to Parenthood, about their pregnancy and first years as parents. Suzanne's writing and her work with FFF and Bottled Up have been featured in the New York Times, the Huffington Post,,, Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine, Parenting, Babytalk, OhBaby!, Fit Pregnancy, The Observer, Yahoo Shine!, Australia's Good Weekend magazine, and on a variety of radio programs including KPCC's "Take Two", numerous NPR affiliates, "Parenting Unplugged", "Positive Parenting", "Mom Enough", "For Crying Out Loud", "Voice of Russia", and more. Suzanne was honored to be one of the keynote Voices of the Year in 2012 for the annual BlogHer conference.

She currently works both as a writer and as an Infant Feeding Counselor. 


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