If you have decided that bottle feeding is the best option for you and your baby it is essential that you have the right equipment and that you fully understand how to make up and store the prepared formula. You will need –
- Steriliser – there are now many choices available, steam sterilisers, microwaveable as well as sterilising solutions. You will need to choose the one that best suits you and your budget.
- Bottles, teats and caps.
- Bottle warmer – not essential but a gadget many people like.
- Travel bag – again not essential but handy for keeping everything in the same place when you are out and about.
process is all about following the right steps – if you do each step correctly and in the same order you will soon be able to prepare the bottles quickly and efficiently.
- Sterilisation – sterilising all of the babys feeding equipment is the essential first step in bottle feeding. When you bring all the new bottles home you may want to practice with the steriliser. First of all the bottles, caps, teats etc need to be washed in clean, hot, soapy water – and be sure to thoroughly rinse. Using a bottle brush will ensure you can reach into the all the sides of the bottle. Then, following the manufacturers instructions, place all the bottles and associated paraphernalia in the steriliser. Electric sterilisers are generally very quick – but if you are using a solution it may require overnight treatment.
- Making up the bottles once you have sterilised the bottles they will be ready to be filled.
- Fill a kettle with fresh water, boil and allow to cool for about half an hour.
- Carefully read the formula instructions and fill the sterilised bottle with the required amount of water.
- Each can of formula will have its own scoop – fill the scoop DO NOT pack the feed down into the scoop, using a clean knife sweep across the top of the scoop to remove excess formula, add the required number of scoops to the boiled water.
- Place teats, caps and lid onto the bottle and shake vigorously to mix.
- Before bottle feeding the baby check the temperature of the milk on the inside of your wrist.
- Bottle feeding you are now ready to start feeding your baby. Find the most comfortable position for both of you, offer the bottle and ensure it is slightly tilted so that the teat and bottle neck are full of milk and not air.
Anyone new parent will experience anxiety about bottle feeding – how to know when the baby is hungry, has had enough to eat, wants more etc. However you will quickly become proficient at noticing your babys needs.
- How many feeds should baby need? A babys appetite will vary from day to day. Newborns will want to feed little and often, as they grow the length of time between feeds will become longer and the amount taken in larger. You will soon recognise when your baby is hungry or has had enough for the time being.
- Warming a bottle – use a jug, pan or bowl of hot water and leave the bottle in it for 10 minutes, or use an electric bottle warmer. Never use the microwave.
- Storing readymade milk – if possible it is best to make a fresh bottle at every feed, however this is not always practical. If you are making formula in advance follow the usual routine and then put the bottles straight in the fridge to ensure they are fully cooled.
Bottle feeding your baby should not be something to feel anxious about, follow the steps and you will soon feel confident in the process.