Once you’ve decided to bottle-feed your baby, there are many different elements to consider and plan for. If you are breastfeeding and plan to express your milk to feed your baby via a bottle you will need to decide how you would like to express it, with either a manual or electric pump.
Or if you are choosing to use baby formula, you will need to decide which formula to use. This can take some trial and error – speak with your midwife or GP who can help guide you on where to start when it comes to choosing the right formula for your baby. But don’t be surprised if it takes a few goes to find the right one that they will take.
Once you’ve decided on what type of milk you’re using, it’s time to get started. The bottle-feeding journey is by no means the easy one. With bottles to clean and sterilise, and formula to measure it can quickly become quite the chore. So that’s why we’ve partnered with Euky Bear to help share some helpful hacks all bottle-feeding parents need to know.
1. Finding the bottle
Just like finding the right formula can take trial and error – so too can finding the right bottle. There are so many when you’re standing there in the baby aisle it can be overwhelming – and all your friends and online forums will have their favourites. So before you go buying one type in bulk, make sure your baby will drink from it.
Then once you’ve found The One – stock up! You’re going to want at least half a dozen so you’re not having to wash as you go.
2. Preparation is key
Night feeds can be painful at the best of times so do yourself a favour and get everything prepped before you go to bed. The last thing you want is to be sterilising, measuring out a formula or trying to defrost breast milk in the middle of the night.
Trust us on this one, don’t – we repeat – don’t leave dirty bottles lying around. A quick rinse at the very least makes a world of difference when it comes to cleaning crusty milk out of all the nooks and crannies.
Then when it’s time to give them a good clean, the Euky Bear bottle and utensil cleaner is your secret weapon. The plant-based formula with a naturally derived enzyme means it’s gentle yet effective at removing tough milk and formula residue (for those days you do inevitably forget to rinse!).
The light consistency means it rinses off easily leaving your bottles and parts clean, fresh and safe for your little one.
Tip: It’s also great for dummies, breast pumps and for cleaning all their feeding bits and bobs once they start solids!
4. Get them used to others feeding them
This one is especially important for breastfed babies who are mixed feeding, as they often will only want their mum because that’s what they’ve become used to. So getting your partner or a carer to initiate bottle feeding right off the bat can help make sure your baby will accept the bottle from anyone.
Either way, it’s always a good idea to mix up who does the feeds so that your baby doesn’t become used to only one person.
It’s also important that the primary caregiver gets a break from time to time – which after all is one of the blessings of bottle feeding!
5. Don’t forget your bottle grows as your baby does!
This seems obvious but can be easily overlooked. Once you’ve found that perfect bottle and teat combo, life is good. You get into a nice little feeding groove and you think “we’ve got this”. And then out of nowhere, your little one suddenly starts getting fussy at feeding time and starts refusing the bottle.
But don’t worry, it’s not you, it’s them! They’re growing up, and just as they grow their milk needs and feeding abilities do too. So it’s time to upgrade their teat size and/or bottle.
A newborn will start with a slow flow teat, which will increase in size as they develop. This is usually based on age and listed on the packaging of the bottle you choose – so be sure to note when it may be time to transition from one teat size to the next.
6. Don’t warm the milk!
If you can, start your baby off with room temperature milk right from day dot. There’s no reason that milk should be warm and this will streamline your preparation process (and time spent making up bottles in the middle of the night) dramatically!
If your baby is used to breastmilk it might take some adjustment, you might want to slightly warm the milk and gradually get them used to it at room temperature.
No matter how you feed your baby – breastmilk or formula, bottle or boob – it’s a truly wonderful thing. A special time for you to sit and connect with your little one, looking into their eyes and connecting. Knowing you are proving them with the nourishment they need to grow and learn and discover the world.
This is a paid partnership between Kiindred x Euky Bear.