Bottle feeding, where do I start? When Harley was born I felt there wasn’t really very much information about bottle feeding newborns in way of tips and the best products to buy, and ultimately had to rely on my mum, sister and friends for tips.
Both of my babies were bottle fed from birth. I had a very hard labour with Harley and contracted an infection, which meant I was sick during and after birth, and then basically knocked out with anti-sickness drugs almost immediately after Harley was born. Breastfeeding a baby whilst you’re vomming into a cardboard bowl isn’t fun so Tom took the reins and gave him his first bottle. Over the next 24 hours Harley quickly established a good feeding routine with the formula and when I was finally ready to give it another go our midwife suggested that it might be worth leaving him on the bottle as he was happy and content. And I’m so glad she did. Harley thrived, he quickly developed a feeding routine and follow his centile line perfectly.
When Ada was born I’d already decided that we would try with bottle feeding and instantly she took to it like Harley. Four months on (SOB) she’s growing and feeding well, and following her growth chart perfectly. She’s a happy, contented baby and doesn’t stop smiling.
I’m incredibly lucky that both Harley and Ada haven’t suffered from colic and reflux so our bottle feeding journey has been relatively straightforward. I wanted to share some of the products that I’ve used with them both from birth as well as some of the tips I’ve picked up along the way.
I’ve namechecked this product so many times on here but I couldn’t recommend the Perfect Prep Machine more. It’s genuinely my must-have product for baby and I feel lost when we’re away and don’t have it. With a couple of button pushes it has baby’s bottle ready at the perfect temperature and takes the hassle out of waiting for it to cool down. Unfortunately we couldn’t take it abroad with us on our first holiday with Harley when he was five months old so we concocted our own very basic version, take a read here.
Bottles and Formula.
These are both totally personal choice (we use Tommee Tippee bottles and Aptimal) and dependent on baby, and can sometimes take a bit of trial and error to find the right ones.
Buy thousands. Well not thousands but a lot. They’re the most useful baby item.
A good steriliser.
Not to sound like a Tommee Tippee preacher but we use the Tommee Tippee Electric Steam Steriliser. Totally easy and straightforward to use, and simple to clean too.
Track the feeds.
With both Harley and Ada I kept a note of every one of their feeds during the first three months noting the times and the amount they were taking on my phone. I didn’t use an app for this but I know some do exist, instead I kept it in my notes. Doing this gradually helped form a routine for them both and also gave me piece of mind that they were getting enough milk.
I’m all for making this as simple as possible, especially now that when I’m trying to feed Ada whilst we’re out I usually have Harley with me too. Therefore I tend to use the pre-made formula and heat it up with the Tommee Tippee Travel Bottle and Food Warmer Flask. It’s also very handy for when we’re staying away from home as all I need is some boiling water to heat up the bottle.
In the early days the night feeds can be a killer as we all know. Try making life as easy as possible for yourself by being fully prepared. We’d take the Perfect Prep Machine upstairs (the original is super loud but there’s a new model which is supposed to be a lot quieter), have the clean bottles and formula sat next to it waiting and enough muslins to last the night. It sounds so simple but at the time it was like a revelation not having to leave the bedroom to feed her!
Let them find their own groove.
Every baby feeds differently, Harley and Ada were completely different. Some babies like to take a little bit of the bottle at a time before wanting to be winded whilst others want to down the whole thing in one (my two are definitely in the latter camp). And as they grow their style of feeding changes too.
It’s still magical and beautiful.
I hate the term ‘artificial feeding’, it makes it sound so sterile. Bottle feeding is still amazing, especially in the middle of the night when it feels like you’re the only two people awake in the whole world.
Ultimately the best way to feed your baby is to feed your baby. Whether it’s breastfeeding or bottle feeding as long as mum and baby are happy and baby is fed, all is good in the world.
The Aspiring Yummy Mummy. x