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Mixing powdered infant formula


Below are guidelines for mixing powdered infant formula (20 calories per ounce) and for feeding your baby.

Things you will need

  • Powdered formula (Check date and throw out any expired formula)
  • Water (Tap w ater is OK)
  • Clean bottle or pitcher with cover

Getting ready

  • Wash your hands well with soap and warm water. For guidelines, see “Do you know… Clean hands.”
  • Gather together a sterile bottle and nipple.
  • Read carefully all the instructions on the powdered formula container.

Mix the formula

  1. Using the scoop from the formula can, measure 1 scoop of powdered formula (level, unpacked scoop).
  2. Pour scoop of powder into a clean bottle or pitcher.
  3. Add 2 ounces of water. (1 scoop powder (found in can of formula) for every 2 ounces of water)
  4. Mix the formula well.

Feeding your baby

  • Always hold your baby while feeding. Maintain eye contact with your baby as you feed, this is an important step in bonding with your baby. Never “prop” the bottle to feed your baby.
  • Throw away any formula left in the bottle when your baby is finished drinking or within an hour after feeding your baby.

Safety precautions

  • Formula does not need to be heated. If you choose to heat it, do not use a microwave because this can cause hot spots in the formula that can burn your baby.
  • Mix formula only as directed. Do not add extra water to formula. Adding too much water can cause these problems:
    • Too few calories for proper growth
    • Seizures because your baby does not get enough salt in the blood
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Restless or fussy baby
  • Not enough water in the formula can cause:
    • Thirst,
    • Weight gain because baby gets too many calories, and
    • Kidney problems because baby gets too much protein.


If you have questions or concerns about mixing infant formula or feeding your baby, please call Clinical Nutrition at 901-595-3318.


This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

ATTENTION: If you speak another language, assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

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