When I told everyone I had decided to bottle feed Lily, a lot of people made remarks about me taking the ‘easy option’. Now whichever way a mother chooses to feed her child is fine, but as I bottle fed, I thought I’d go over some of the struggles I had:
- Which type of bottles?
There are so many different brands on the market and they all state how they are as near to breast feeding as possible with fancy gadgets added in to stop you baby getting reflux and so on. You need to think about what is also comfortable for you too. Everyone highly recommends Tommee Tippee bottles. They are really good and last quite well even after repeated sterilising, but I personally found them uncomfortable to hold. The shape of them never really fitted in my hands. For me, Boots, own bottles were really good. They were a good, reasonable price, came in a variety of sizes and did the job fantastically. They also kept their shape well and were easy to clean.
This is a big element of bottle feeding. You have to thoroughly clean the bottles after every use and then sterilise them to kill the germs. This is because formula can contain a lot of bacteria which is then killed off when you add the boiling water. Someone was really generous and bought me the Tommee Tippee electric steam serialised which has been amazing and simple to use. You just ad 10ml of water, plug-in and turn it on. Also, if you leave the lid on, the bottles will stay sterile for around 24 hours.
- Which formula?
This is a tricky one. There are a whole range of formula options available. Some are the same but you can get some special ones for things such as severe reflux. It can be a bit of trial and error. I started with Aptimal as a lot of mums I know highly recommended it, but at nearly £10 a tub, it slowly became too expensive. I switched to Cow & Gate which was a little bot cheaper and very similar to Aptimal. Changing formula often can make your child sick so be careful and ask for advice from your health visitor if you get really confused or worried.
- Making them up
There are a lot of different opinions about how and when to make up your formula bottles. The official advice from the NHS is to make them up as you need them and wait for them to cool down. For me, this just seemed a bit silly and time-consuming. I, along with a lot of mums I have met, made the bottles up earlier and stored them in the fridge. I would make up the bottles I would need during the day first thing in the morning and leave them in the fridge, then just warm them up later. There are a couple of things to remember though if you do this.
- Use them within 24 hours
- NEVER WARM THEM IN THE MICROWAVE
You should never warm up bottles in a microwave. it can leave boiling hot patches in the milk which will burn your baby’s mouth. Stand the bottle in a jug of hot water and test the milk on the inside of your wrist to gauge the temperature.
Until next time…