How you choose to feed your baby is entirely your choice, whether it’s exclusively breast fed (EBF), expressed breast fed with a bottle, mix-fed with breast milk and formula, or exclusively fed with formula (yep there’s a lot of different options). The most important thing is that your baby is indeed fed and loved. Nothing else should matter, especially other people’s opinions ;)
When I started my feeding journey with my daughter I set out to exclusively breastfeed. Through a series of tongue ties, jaundice, bad latching and incorrectly used pump equipment I soon learned just how hard it could be. I tell you this not for sympathy, but to show you that you’re not alone if your feeding journey was not what you expected it to be. When I brought my daughter home from the hospital I had no feeding equipment. 10 months in, it was like I was running a whole operation of pumping, storing milk and feeding my baby. There were moments of awkwardness, learning how much milk to pack, working out how to heat a bottle on the go and how to sterilize multiple bottles without ruining the integrity of my hands. Through the process I’ve learnt a lot, and so for any other bottle feeding parents out there, or for anyone choosing to feed their bub with a bottle, here are my top 5 products.
1. An anti-colic bottle: Through a lot of trial and error I learned that anti-colic bottles do actually work. Don’t ask me how. My husband tried to liken it to how an F1 car works, don’t ask me how that works either, but they do. Newborns are incredibly susceptible to taking in wind and that wind causing incredible pain. Dr Golly actually talks about how wind is one of the biggest troubles that newborns experience. One of my favourite anti-colic bottles is the Philips Avent Anti Colic bottle.
2. An Electric Sterilizer: I learnt this the hard way through washing bottles all day everyday. My hands were ruined by the end of this chapter of my life. Do yourself a favor and invest in an electric sterilizer if you are planning on using bottles on a regular basis. Your hands will thank you for it and you will likely use less water in the process too. You cannot go wrong with the Tommee Tippee Sterilizer.
3. Containers for breastmilk or formula: When I introduced mixed feeding into my regime, I would actually lug around a tin of formula in my nappy bag (sigh). It’s so much easier to pre-measure your formula and pop it in a designated container that can easily be added to your baby's bottle on the go. If you’re breastfeeding, you can store your milk in the containers to travel with too. I love the Phillips Avent containers as they fit all Philips AVENT breast pumps and nipples.
4. A breast pump: If you’re committed to pumping for the long game you’re going to want to invest in a breast pump. One of the most popular electric pumps on the market is the Medela Swing Flexi Pump. Its convenient, compact design makes it easy to assemble, use and clean. It’s also ideal for daily use!
5. A bottle prep system: Again, this one is for the long game. If you’re formula feeding your bubba, then it actually might be worth investing in a bottle prep system. It makes making bottles seriously easy and it takes the hassle out of it, especially at 3am when you’ve got a very hungry newborn crying at you. I love the Tommee Tippee Bottle Prep because it makes a bottle in just 2 minutes.