If you’ve never bottle fed your baby before then it can be quite a daunting time. But remember, you have grown and birthed a baby so really there’s NOTHING you can’t achieve with a little research.
What you need to know before you start bottle feeding:
1. Own it
Your decision to bottle feed your child is exactly that, YOUR decision. Don’t look back, don’t have regrets, just remember you need to do what works for you and your baby. You’ve got this.
2. Do your research
Not all bottles, teats, and sterilising equipment are created equal, so spend time looking at what’s available in your price range. Remember the most expensive product isn’t always the best.
Tip: If you’re on a budget you can borrow bottles from friends and just buy new nipples.
3. Buy enough equipment
You’ll need between two to six large bottles, go for BPA free, and several nipples. It can be stressful choosing a teat but be guided by your baby, try one and if it’s a winner get more.
4. Keep it clean
A bottle brush is a must-have and for some, so is a sterilising system. You don’t have to spend big bucks; you can get cheap containers for the microwave or just boil equipment on the stove. Some sterilise for the first six months and others don’t sterilise at all; this decision is yours.
5. Choose the right formula
There are many formulas on the market, so do your research to find out which is best for your bub. Keep in mind that Goat Milk formula is a nutritious alternative for babies and toddlers with sensitive tummies. Hint: Invest in a good formula dispenser for when you’re out and about. It saves you carrying the huge tin around with you.
6. Don’t break the rules
When it comes to bottle feeding there’s no room for guessing how much water to add, follow the instructions on the tin exactly because it’s a scientifically-formulated product. Never add any food.
7. Be prepared
If you know you’re going to need a bottle when you’re out, boil the jug, let the water cool and then add formula.
8. Safety first
Always check the temperature of your baby’s bottle before feeding; test it on your wrist or someone else’s if you’re not sure. Heating in microwaves can lead to hot spots, so if you use this method ensure the bottle is thoroughly shaken, left for a few minutes and then temperature checked.
Tip: Some mums don’t even warm formula; instead they serve at room temperature or straight from the fridge.
9. Don’t be a hoarder
Rewarming milk more than once is not a wise idea as it increases the chance of bacteria forming. Try making smaller quantities if you’re unsure your baby will drink it all, you can easily make more if they do.
10. Keep an eye on bowel movements
Babies often get constipated when starting formula or switching brands, so keep an eye on bowel movements and watch for straining. Poo pebbles aren’t a good sign but a nice pasty consistency is –too much information? Always see a healthcare professional if you’re concerned.
Keep in mind that: Breastfeeding is best for babies and it has many benefits for both mum and baby. Breast milk contains all the nutrients your growing baby needs to thrive, especially in the first 6 months of life; it also contains antibodies to help your baby fight infections. Therefore, it is important that mum eats a healthy and balanced diet during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.
About the author - Emily Toxward:
When former journalist Emily Toxward isn’t wrangling her three kids, she’s busy juggling the demands of her writing business Write Styling. She left full-time work to have children and now juggles the demands of motherhood, domestic life and writing from home. To keep her sanity Emily makes frequent trips to the picturesque beaches of the Gold Coast.