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Formula feeding during an emergency

These pantry lists outline the food required for 1 baby if water and electricity have been interrupted for 3 days, based on the national guidelines. If your house has no water or power for more than 3 days, go to your nearest evacuation centre.

Your baby’s nutritional needs depend on their age:

  • 0–6 months rely on breast milk and/or infant formula. Offer breastfeeds or formula more often during hot weather. Water or other drinks are not needed unless recommended by a doctor.
  • 6–12 months need food and fluids in addition to breast milk or formula. During hot weather, offer small amounts of cooled boiled water after or in between breastfeeds or infant formula.
  • over 12 months need solid foods and drinks or give full cream milk via a cup.  During hot weather, offer cooled boiled water after or in between meals.  

Adapt the list for babies with food intolerances and allergies.

Preparing formula in an emergency

Chemical sterilising using cold water:

  1. Open the packaging of the feeding bottles with a clean knife.
  2. Wash the bottles and teats with cold, soapy water using wet paper towels.
  3. Prepare the sterilising solution in a clean plastic storage container
  4. Put the bottles and teats in the solution and ensure that all air bubbles are eliminated. Place a heavy plate on the bottles and teats to ensure they remain immersed, and secure the container's lid.
  5. Soak the items for a minimum of 15 minutes or according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  6. Use metal tongs to remove items from solution and shake off excess liquid when you are ready to use a bottle and teat. Use the bottle and teat immediately.
  7. Make a new sterilising solution every 24 hours.
  8. Do not reuse bottles until water and electricity have been restored and you can clean them properly.

Preparing a bottle of formula:

  1. Prepare only one bottle of formula at a time, just before feeding
  2. Boil fresh water and allow it to cool until lukewarm – sit for least 30 minutes. Bottled water can also be used.  
  3. Wet the preparation surface with water, squirt with detergent and rub with a paper towel. Dry the surface with a new paper towel and wipe with an anti-bacterial wipe.
  4. Wash your hands using soap and water
  5. Make up the formula according to the directions - do not wash the scoop as this can introduce moisture into the tin if not dried adequately.
  6. Test the temperature of the milk with a few drops on the inside of your wrist – it should feel just warm, but cool is better than too hot.
  7. A feed should take no longer than 1 hour. Throw away any remaining prepared infant formula within 2 hours.

An alternative option to bottles is a cup. Open cups are safest and can be cleaned easily.

Babies aged 0-6 months

 Item

Amount  

Infant formula

900 g can - unopened

 Bottled water (not sparkling mineral water or soda water)

24 x 250 mL

 Small bowl

 Feeding bottles and teats 

27

 Paper towels (two or three ply)

192 sheets 

 Detergent

1 small bottle

 Soap (hand washing)

1 small bottle 

 Antiseptic wipes

48 

 Disposable nappies

30

 Nappy wipes

80 

 Nappy sacks

30

 Disposable gloves

30 

 Hand sanitiser

1 bottle

 Solid storage container with lid 

2 (one container big enough to store all of the supplies and another smaller plastic container for sterilising bottles)

 Sterilising liquid or tablets

1L liquid solution or 30 tablets

 China plate

1

 Metal tongs 

1

Babies aged 6-12 months

 Item

Amount  

Infant formula

900g unopened can (based on 4 feeds per day)

Bottled water (not sparkling mineral water or soda water)

12 x 250 mL

Small bowl

1

Feeding bottles and teats

12

Paper towels (two or three ply)

96 sheets

Detergent

1 small bottle

Soap for hand washing

1 small bottle

Antiseptic wipes

48

Disposable nappies

30 

Nappy wipes

80 

Nappy sacks

30 

Disposable gloves

30 

Hand sanitiser

1 bottle 

Ready-to-eat food

9 jars or pouches:
3 x cereal
2 x vegetable
1 x fruit
2 x meat
1 x long-life yoghurt or custard.

Disposable teaspoons for feeding

10

Bottled water (for drinking)

3 x 500ml bottles

Disposable cups

24

Solid storage container with lid

2 (one container big enough to store all the supplies and another smaller plastic container for sterilising bottles)

Sterilising liquid or tablets

1L liquid solution or 30 tablets

China plate

1

Metal tongs

 

Last updated
16 December, 2016

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