Should You Heat Up Formula or Breast Milk for Your Baby?

Should You Heat Up Formula or Breast Milk for Your Baby?

There are huge debates on whether you should breastfeed or formula feed your baby.  People all over the internet or even in your family will try and tell you what is best for your baby and what you should do.  The choice totally comes down to the new mom and dad and what they think is best for their baby. Neither is wrong, both choices make for happy healthy children. 

Formula feeding does not have the immune molecules that are passed to your baby if you breastfed, they will still have lots of nutrients no matter what kind of formula you feed your baby.  Along with trying to tell you how you should feed your baby once you pick a way to feed your baby you will for sure get bombarded with people telling you how to go about it.

If you don’t have pressure from family and friends, while you are making your registry list you may see the hundreds of different bottle warmers that are available to purchase these days.  You may wonder if this would be a gadget that you need to buy. No, no it is not. There is no medical reason that you have to heat up your baby’s formula or breastmilk. Now you may choose to heat up your baby’s bottle and just like lots of other things to do with your baby it is your choice.

With formula there is no medical reason to have to heat up the bottle, so room temperature or even cold from the refrigerator bottles are acceptable for your baby.  You baby may prefer a warm bottle, but if you start your baby on formula from the start that is room temperature or cold then that is all they will know and be used to.  Some people believe that warm formula bottles are better. One reason being that if you breastfeed your baby breast milk is at least body temperature which is 98 degrees.  Meaning that some people believe biologically your baby will just be expecting warmth from their food. Some people believe cold beverages can also cause belly aches for babies.  Also warm beverages tend to have a soothing factor so it may be more relaxing for your baby to slurp down on a warm bottle. This is all opinion and preference of what your baby likes.  You will learn what your baby prefers.  

Make sure you prepare your baby’s bottle correctly. 

  • First check expiration of formula. 
  • Second wash your hands.
  • Third prepare bottle, making sure nipple and bottle are clean and sterilized. 
  • Fourth measure out your water. Remember to make sure you know what is in your water, distilled or bottled water is best, but you can use tap or well water if you know if there is bacteria in your water. 
  • Fifth measure out formula, make sure you only measure out enough for one serving. Then add to the water and shake or mix well.
  • Sixth warm up formula if you choose to or is baby’s preference. Make sure you never warm up a bottle in the microwave. 
  • Seventh store unused formula safely in the refrigerator, writing down expiration dates.  

Breast milk has no medical reason to need to be reheated either.  Again it can be baby’s or parent’s preference. If you are pumping and storing milk in the freezer make sure you thaw milk in the refrigerator overnight.  Before you automatically heat up your baby’s refrigerated milk you can try and give them some, some babies are fine with cool milk. If not you can always run the bottle under warm water from the tap to take the chill away.  If you need to heat up the bottle more than that you will need to do so on the stove or with a bottle warmer. Heating up the bottle on the stove make sure you put the bottle in a pot filled with water not directly on the stove top.  Heat the bottle through the water but do not heat up to a boil. Test on your wrist to make sure the liquid is not too hot. If you notice that refrigerated breast milk has separated in while in the fridge this does not mean it has spoiled.  Just give the bottle or bag a little shake or mix before feeding to your baby.  

Bottle temperature is all down to preference of baby and parents.  There is no medical benefits from a warmed up bottle. Make sure you speak with your pediatrician if you have any questions about formula feeding or breastfeeding.  Watch your baby and see how they respond to the temperature of the bottles to see what they prefer. If there are any concerns your pediatrician will be able to help you figure out if there is something you need to change in your baby’s diet or if these concerns are unrelated.  Do what makes you comfortable. If you do warm up the baby’s bottle make sure you don’t ever use a microwave and that you test the temperature of the bottle before feeding your baby.  


Bottle temperature is all down to preference of baby and parents.  There is no medical benefits from a warmed up bottle.


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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators.The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.
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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.

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