Little Routines, Gillian Stewart

Bottle Feeding
Gillian Stewart, Friday, April 28, 2017
The decision to bottle feed your baby is never taken lightly. 

Breastfeeding is the method of feeding that is promoted by all healthcare workers so this can make your decision harder.

What ever your reasons are for choosing to bottle feed your baby,  please don't feel guilty. It is your choice and your baby.

Whether it is a top up bottle, an occasional bottle feed or complete bottle feeding, your baby will be well fed and grow and develop as you would expect. So please don't worry. At the end of the day your baby doesn't mind where the milk comes from. Babies just need feeding! A hungry baby is a miserable baby and a miserable baby means an unhappy mummy and daddy too!

Firstly decide on the formula you are going to use. Aptamil First Milk is good but there are many others to choose from. The formula comes in large tubs of powder or ready to feed milk bottles. 
The small ready to feed milk bottles are ideal for night times and for when you are out and about. Keep a couple in your change bag with your baby's bottles.

You will need a steriliser, bottle brush, at least six bottles with size one teats. A good supply of plastic backed first size bibs and several muslin cloths.

There is a huge range of bottles and equipment on the market which can seem quite daunting when you are considering what to buy. Choose anti colic bottles.
Stick to one type of bottle and teat so as not to confuse your baby. 
I do find that the MAM teats are extremely good. They are a perfect shape for your baby. 

Decide on the type of steriliser you would like to use. Electric steam, microwave or cold water. It is a personal choice as neither one is better than the other. Consider size of steriliser before buying. Philips Avent electric 3 in 1 steriliser is a good example.

Bottles should be washed and rinsed thoroughly before sterilising. Clean teats carefully to remove any residue milk. Push some water through to check that it is flowing freely.

Set up your steriliser and add the correct quantity of water. Put the bottles and other equipment that needs to be sterilised in and switch on. Once sterilised, leave the bottles to cool in the steriliser before putting them together ready to use. Do not dry the bottles. You can leave them for 24 hours unopened. 

To make up a bottle feed, use freshly boiled tap water. It can be handy to have a separate kettle for your baby's feeds. Leave the water to cool for twenty minutes. Pour the correct amount into your baby's bottle then add the correct number of level scoops of powder. Do not pack the powder down into the scoop. Put the bottle together and then gently swirl the bottle around. Do not shake the bottle as this will just fill the milk with air. Your baby is not quite ready for a 'baby chino'!
Check temperature and cool the bottle under the cold water tap if necessary, before feeding your baby.

A few little do's and dont's...

Always wash your hands before making up a bottle feed.
Measure carefully one fluid ounce or 30ml of cooled boiled water to one level scoop of powder.
Do not reheat a feed.
Room temperature is perfect for a feed but babies will also happily drink cold milk.
Once a feed is made up, it needs to be used within 2 hours.
Discard any feed not used.
Expressed breast milk will last up to 6 hours at room temperature!
If you are pumping to give your baby breast milk from a bottle, the pump parts will need to be sterilised.
Store expressed breast milk in small quantities in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to six months.
Try to hold your baby slightly upright and away from you, when bottle feeding.
Your baby will need winding during and at the end of the feed.
You should sterilise bottle feeding equipment for the first year.

Once you get into a pattern you will find sterilising and making up feeds quick and easy.