If you came here thinking you were going to have to wade through bottle-shaming propaganda to get to the good stuff, you’re in the wrong place! This community LOVES bottle feeding! There are so many positives that come to mind when we think about supporting parents in introducing a bottle like giving both parents the ability to feed and granting the gestational parent some newfound freedom. It also allows for other people to help care for your baby for instances like overnight care (one of our most requested services) and for a much needed date night. Another positive with bottle feeding that you don’t get from breastfeeding is knowing (and seeing!) exactly how much your baby is eating. This can be so relieving to some parents and worth it all in itself!
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times...and I’ll continue to remind you--we don’t care how you feed your baby. We care that your mental health is being protected and that your baby is being fed. The rest can be figured out and we can help!
Over the years, we have supported hundreds of families in this transition so we’ve learned a thing or two about giving your baby a bottle. Our ultimate goal in everything we do is to make your life easier and the transitions smoother, so we’ve gathered the exact tools you need to make bottle feeding a breeze!
1. Fave Bottles-- This is a no-brainer! If you’re going to bottle feed, finding the right bottle for you and your baby is a must! We have 3 bottles that we looooooove! The first bottle is the Tommee Tippee bottle! This bottle is the most like a human nipple. I rarely meet a baby that doesn’t like Tommee Tippee bottles so I think it’s your safest bet when ordering a bottle! The chances that your baby rejects the Tommee Tippee is slim to none because it will feel so familiar! On the off chance that you baby does reject the Tommee Tippee, give the Comotomo a try! This is a silicon base bottle that also closely resembles the human breast. As your child grows and learns to hold their own bottle, you can add these slip-on handles to support your child’s intellectual leaps and independence! Finally, our third choice is Dr. Brown’s bottle! They even come in glass which we love!
Personally, I believe that “colic” or “anti-gas” bottles are a big gimmick. I don’t recommend spending substantial amounts of money on these fancy words when purchasing bottles. When we think about gas in babies, most of the time it is not actually the bottle itself, but the way we are feeding the baby. #humanerror This also means that with a few simple tweaks of the wrist and the positioning of your baby, we can cut down on their gas (and spit up!).
2. Soap-- This is intentionally the second on this list because it’s so important! Most people don’t consider the impact of the soap you’re using to clean your child’s bottles, but it can affect so much from skin rashes to spit up to gas. Here’s why: each time you heat up a plastic bottle (the nipples are silicone/plastic as well), the heat breaks down the plastic particles and makes the bottles a bit more porous. This includes heating them to sanitize and clean, too. The soap that you use will be absorbed into the bottles and then digested by your baby. This shouldn’t be too scary, as it happens to us everyday with our dishes, cups, and tupperware. However, it does mean that you have some control here. We recommend using Dr. Bonner’s Pure Castile Baby Soap that is designed for just this! We believe so heavily in this soap because we’ve seen the simple switch be the answer to severe reflux, eczema, and gas! If you think about the toxins in everyday dish soap, it’s no surprise that it can cause so many problems. You don’t want that going into your newborns belly.
3. Bottle Brush-- If you’ve already introduced a bottle, you’ve probably noticed the thin layer of “slime” that is leftover from breastmilk (and some formulas) in the bottle. If you haven’t introduced a bottle yet, stay tuned, you’ll know what I’m talking about soon enough. This thin layer of ick is actually fat and we want to make sure that it gets cleaned before using that bottle again. Unfortunately, a bottle sanitizer (or boiling the bottles) isn’t going to get rid of the fatty remnants. You are going to need a bottle brush to accomplish this. Like many things in life, not all bottle brushes are created equal. In order to truly get every crevice in your baby’s bottle clean, you’re going to want a bottle that has bristles and a sponge like this one!
4. Warmer-- Your baby’s belly is not designed to consume and digest cold milk--not even room temperature milk for the first few months. Before 6 months old, you should be warming your baby’s bottle to slightly warmer than body temperature. Each warmer will come with its’ own set of instructions and will step you through how long to warm up each bottle based on the ounces being warmed. Our favorite warmer is the Phillips Avent warmer! It’s sleek, fits almost all bottles, and has tons of varying heat settings. We also love the Kiinde bottle warmer, but it is slightly higher in price!
To check the temperature of your baby’s bottle, warm up the bottle and test it on your forearm. Hold out your arm and squirt a tiny amount of your forearm. if it is body temperature or slightly warmer, you are all set to serve it! If it’s too hot, you can either take off the top and blow it like hot soup or you can run the bottle (top on) under cold water for 90 seconds and test again. Be very careful not to scald your baby’s mouth and throat as this could cause an aversion to bottle feeding.
5. Grass + Trees-- This one is not self-explanatory, I know! Once you begin bottle feeding, you are going to need a place to store all these bottles...and nipples, and caps, and vent systems. While storing in the cabinet may seem logical, it isn’t quite that feasible because you will be reaching for these things every 2-3 hours. You’re going to want your child’s bottles to be stored conveniently and compactly. This grass drying rack is perfect for that. You can add these trees in to hold nipples and caps, plus any pacifiers! I recommend two trees for every pallet of grass!
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6. Sanitizer-- When it comes to sanitizing your baby’s bottle, you have lots of options! You can use this Nanobébé microwavable sanitizer system! It comes with moveable pegs to accommodate different bottle sizes and types plus sterilizes in just 4 minute! Another microwavable favorite are these Medela Quick Clean Bags! You simply put water in the bottom of the bag, place it in the microwave, and drain the bag! Be careful because it does create a lot of steam! This Baby Brezza Sterilizer is like a deluxe version of bottle sanitizers! It has all the bells and whistles, plus it looks like something from the future! If none of these fancy your liking, a good old fashioned pot of boiling water will do just fine! Bring the water to a boil and dunk each piece of the bottle and all pacifiers in the water. They should be submerged for 10-15 seconds to sanitize properly. Remove the pieces and hang on your grass rack and trees to dry!
7. Bottle bag-- This is often something that parents forget about when it comes to bottle feeding! If you are bottle feeding with breastmilk, you’re going to need to keep the breastmilk cool on the go so it doesn’t spoil! We love this SkipHop Bottle Bag! It’s stylish, affordable, and perfect for taking your bottles wherever you go! If you are formula feeding, this portable pre-measured formula dispenser will be the biggest game-changer for you! You can thank me later!