Whether you plan to feed your baby formula from day one, you’re switching from breast to bottle, or you’re mix feeding your bundle of joy; formula feeding your little one can be as filled with questions as any other new phase of your baby’s life.
From choosing the right formula to preparing bottles, it may feel like there’s a lot to learn before you’re on the road to formula feeding success. Never fear, Amanda Nichols has your questions answered in five easy formula feeding hacks.
1) Picking a formula:
If you’ve ever looked at how many different brands of formula are on supermarket shelves, you’d be forgiven for wondering how do you choose the best formula. One mistake new mums commonly make is to trial one formula and a week later, switch to another. Switching formulas can cause constipation in babies as their gut is still learning to process the milk. Whether you’re planning on bottle feeding or not, research the different brands available and choose your favourite, because you never know when you’ll be making an emergency dash to the shops to grab a tin. Once you’ve picked a formula, stick with it unless you suspect there is a problem for your baby in which case, seek medical advice.
2) Go with the flow:
Choosing the right teat can be a mind boggling experience. Everyone has an opinion on what worked best for their baby. The truth is, all babies are different and will form a preference for different teats. Bottles come with their own brand teats but if your baby is rejecting the bottle, it might be time to trial a few new brands. Mix feeding mums might prefer Pigeon teats or Closer to Nature which are specifically made to be close in shape and texture to a nipple. Teats are available in feeding stages from newborn to older babies. If you are unsure, you can check with your pharmacist which flow is best for your baby based on age. Newborns will require a slow release teat whereas older babies will prefer a fast flow teat.
3) Formula shelf life:
Formula has a shelf life once it is mixed with water. If you are pre-mixing and refrigerating bottles, they can only be fed to your baby within 24 hours of preparation. Anything that isn’t used in that time must be discarded. It may be easier to prepare sterile water by boiling water and pouring it into bottles, storing it in the fridge then adding formula at feed time. The same rule applies for formula feeding on the go. Scoop your formula into a dispenser and put water in bottles and mix the two at feed time. If you offer a bottle and your baby doesn’t finish the feed, only offer it again within the hour. Bacteria from your baby’s mouth may have entered the bottle making it unsafe to drink beyond that.
4) Heating bottles:
Room temperature milk is ideal for your baby. The simplest way to heat a bottle is to submerge it in hot water until you are satisfied with the temperature. Alternatively, you can use a microwave to heat a bottle, but be careful not to overheat the milk. When out and about, microwaves can be found in parent rooms. Always test the milk on your wrist before offering it to your baby.
5) Invest in a bottle bag:
A bottle bag is a must for feeding on the go. Depending on how long you’ll be out, pack 2-3 pre prepared, sterile bottles and your formula dispenser with the correct amount of formula scoops (see the tin for instructions). Here are some of our favourite bottle bags and feeding hack products for your inspiration! Left to right, Made590, PackIt & Penny Scallon.
Formula feeding fun:
Feeding your baby is such a fun bonding experience not matter what method you choose! If you want to be the envy of your mother’s group, check out some of these fab formula feeding accessories. Left to right: B.Box Drying Rack, B.Box Formula Dispenser, Silicone Bottle Slings, Munchkin Bottle Brush, Iiamo Self Warming Bottles and Splash Dry Bottle Feeding Rack.
About the Author: Amanda is a magazine editor and an author of children’s books whose secret guilty mummy pleasure is binging on back to back episodes of anything from Gossip Girl to Sons of Anarchy and The Walking Dead. While writing is her passion, being a mum to her two beautiful girls is what she does best. Amanda’s husband constantly complains that her stories are never ending, a trait which she has almost certainly passed onto her three year old who not only looks just like her mum, but can talk underwater like her too. Hailing from the Blue Mountains in NSW, Amanda is currently loving life as a family of four and spending every minute she can spoiling her girls. Any spare time she has after that is spent playing Candy Crush.
These are NOT sponsored links, just products our author thought you may like 🙂