Whether you want to formula or expressed breast milk for your baby, you’ll need bottle equipment. We’ve gathered a list of items you’ll need for bottle feeding. There are a few basics you’ll need and we’ve thrown in a few extras you might want to add to your registry. Let’s go.
Bottle Feeding Basics
These items are essentials that all moms will need if you plan to bottle feed. They ensure you can feed baby and maintain the equipment for safe use.
There is so much choice when it comes to buying baby bottles. A few examples of the different types include:
- Stainless Steel
A baby bottle will hold the milk while baby sucks it from a teat. They usually come in in two sizes of small (150ml) for new-borns or large (280ml) for older babies. Most bottle are made of plastic, however if you want to avoid this opt for glass or stainless steel bottles. Any plastic parts should be BPA free by law. We recommend at least 6 bottles for formula feeding or frequently expressing.
2. Bottle Nipples
Most bottles will come with nipple teats attached. The problem is babies can be very fussy about the type of nipple they like. Rather than changing the whole bottle you can try a new Nipple. They come in different flows which control how fast the milk comes from the bottle. The shape should be chosen on your needs, as breastfed babies need a bottle nipple designed to mimic their usual suck technique. Bottle nipples are also available in different materials such as silicone or latex which affects how soft or sturdy the nipple is.
You’re not going to get very far without having milk to feed to your baby. The type will depend on your choice of feeding:
Breastfeeding – You’ll need to use expressed breast milk in the bottle. You can express by hand or by pump. If you want to express regularly we high recommend a pump. For occasional pumping on a budget opt for a manual breast pump. For frequent quick pumping without much effort choose an electric breast pump.
Formula feeding – Your need to buy your baby formula. We don’t recommend any in particular as nutritionally they are pretty much all the same. The biggest difference between them is how they are made up. The three different formula types are:
- Liquid concentrate
- Ready Made
The kind you choose will depend on your budget and how quick and convenient you want to make your feeding routine.
A bottle sterilizer if designer to kill off any bacteria on the equipment. Baby’s immune systems are immature, making them much more prone to infection. The three main methods of sterilizing include
- Boiling – using a big pan of boiling water.
- Cold Water – Using sterilizing fluid made up from tablets.
- Steam sterilizing – Using a microwave or electronic sterilizer.
The American Academy of Pediatrics state you don’t need to sterilize after every wash. However sterilizing baby’s equipment for the first year is good practice to reduce the chances of infection.
5. Bottle Brush
A bottle brush is used to scrub off any residue from leftover milk. Bottle have quite a quite a few nooks which can harbor bacteria if not washed thoroughly. These brushes are designed specifically for bottle. The large side tackle the inside of the bottle. The small part get into the teat and any smaller edges. The bristles are usually very soft to prevent scratching plastic bottle surfaces.
6. Muslin Cloth
Muslin cloths are perfect for using as burp cloths when feeding. Winding your baby can be a very messy business is they decide to vomit. A muslin cloth can be kept close by to mop up any accidents quickly. It may even save your sofa from needing an industrial clean every week!
7. Drying Rack
Air drying baby bottles is essential when washing baby bottle. Don’t be tempted to use a dish towel to dry as they harbour a lot of bacteria which will transfer to the bottle. A bottle drying rack is designed to hold all the small pieces that make up a bottle allowing them to dry individually. You may be tempted to use your normal dryer rack but remember bottle can take up a lot of room.
Bottle Feeding Extras
These items are not necessary for bottle feeding. However if your budget will stretch they can make bottle feeding easier and more convenient.
8. Bottle Warmer
If you are using ready-made formula or expressed breast milk you may want to warm it up for baby. A bottle warmer is a quick and convenient way to heat milk to just the right temperature for baby. Other old school methods can create heat spots in the bottle which can scald baby’s mouth. Bottle warmer are available as:
- Electric – for home use these are large device which plug in and heat up.
- Portable – These are used when out an about. They are usually flask type warmers or powered with a car power socket.
You can read more about the best bottle warmers to use here.
9. Prep Machine
If you plan to use powder or liquid concentrate formula then you should make up feeds as you need them. This can be quite time consuming and stressful. Imagine having a crying baby and waiting for the water to cool to the right temperature. A formula prep machine is what you need. They are quite expensive, but the convenience they provide is sanity saving.
10. Formula Dispenser
Making bottle when out and about can be a hassle. A powder dispenser can keep your formula stored safely until you add water to make the feed. They are also ideal for baby’s in day-care so you know baby has fresh powder every day. They are great for night feeds when you are too bleary eyed to faff around measuring powder at 2am.
11. Bottle Soap
Baby bottles should be washed as soon as possible after use. Bacteria just loves the warm sugary environment the milk create and can grow quickly. A regular dish detergent is fine to use, but we recommend a bottle wash if it’s in your budget. These soaps are often formulated to contain less chemicals that are left on the bottles. They are great for removing any greasy layers cause by the milk fat and the any sour milk smell.
If you plan to express breast milk, you’ll need to store it until baby is ready to use the milk. There are a few different milk storage options to choose from. These will depend on your space requirement and how long you will store the milk.
- Bottle – Storage bottles are great for short term storage of milk but require a lot of room.
- Bags – Can be used for long term storage in the freezer and a fairly space saving.
- Trays – A great option for saving money by portioning and freezing so you don’t waste milk.
13. Travel Bottle Bag
Bottle bags are perfect for keeping pre-made or expressed milk cooled when you are out of the house. They are like mini cool bags for your bottles. You won’t appreciate the need for a bottle cool bag until you have a bottle of milk leaking all over your lovely diaper bag. They are also great for if you are returning to work and need somewhere to store your expressed milk until you get home.