So you’ve decided that you want to bottle-feed, but you have no idea where to start when shopping for the essentials. Whether you’re at home or on the go, it’s always better to be prepared for your baby’s feeds. This will mean you won’t be spending unnecessary time preparing feeds when your baby is cranky and crying out for a feed – and being prepared will leave you feeling in control and less stressed. Below is a list of essential items every new bottle-feeding parent should invest in.
Formula – Before your baby arrives, invest in a supply of formula to keep you going for at least the first month. Research the various formulas available, I would however suggest choosing a formula which is made with whole milk, palm oil and fish oil free and containing no GMO’s to ensure you offer your baby a formula which has a lower risk of causing issues such as colic-like symptoms and milk intolerance. Our most popular stage 1 formulas include Hipp Combiotic Stage 1 Ready to Feed Formula, Kendamil Stage 1 Organic Baby Formula, and Holle Stage 1 Organic Infant Milk Formula.
Bottles – The bottle will be the container in which you mix your baby’s feed. Keep your bottle sterilized, cleaned and dry well before it’s time to feed your baby. It’s always worthwhile having a couple of bottles ready to go as this will help with preparation time and also means you won’t be running out when you least expect it. Shop my favorite bottles here.
Nipples – The nipple is what fits onto the top of the bottle and then goes into your baby’s mouth to feed. Nipples come in different flow rates, always start with a slow flow nipple, progress to a medium flow around 12 weeks of age and then a fast flow nipple at around 5-6 months. Keep nipples sterilized as part of your bottles and keep an eye out for signs of wear, replacing if necessary. My favorite Avent bottles (above) come with a flow 1 nipple, but I prefer to start my newborn on a flow 0 preemie nipple, which can be purchased here.
Washing Solution – Your baby’s bottles will need to be washed in hot soapy water before sterilizing to remove any milk residue. You can use simple dish soap or you can invest in a soap specifically for cleaning baby bottles. Amazon has several good options available. Dapple Baby has the highest reviews followed by Babyganics.
Bottle Brush – A bottle brush is an essential item to have when cleaning your baby’s bottles prior to sterilizing. These brushes are double-ended with the larger end cleaning the inside of the bottles, while the smaller end fits inside the nipples. Always be as gentle as possible when cleaning the nipples so as not to cause any damage. The Munchkin bottle brushes check off all of the boxes and are an Amazon bestseller.
Bottle Drying Rack – This is where you will leave your bottles, nipples and accessories after washing in hot soapy water. Keep it nearby the sink and place everything on there after washing. It is best not to use this rack for other utensils in order to prevent accumulation of germs and dirt. Boon is a fan favorite, and I prefer it in white for a sleeker look.
Sterilizer – Your bottles and nipples will need to be washed and then sterilized after each feed. There are numerous types of sterilizers available on the market, the most common is either a microwave or electric steam sterilizer. Neither of these require any additional washing solution, the sterilization process is created through the use of water and convection or electricity. These are both very quick and effective, sterilizing everything inside within 5-7 minutes. Be sure to leave individual items inside until you need them and always use the tongs provided to remove before replacing the lid again. This option holds up to 4 Philips Avent bottles at once and kills 99.9% of germs and bacteria without chemicals in 2 minutes. Looking to sterilize at work or while away on vacation? These quick clean micro-steam bags are a convenient and portable option.
Burp Cloths – Your baby will need to be burped periodically during each feed and may well bring up a little bit of milk after feeding. Keep burp cloths within reach so you can be ready to catch any milk as it escapes! These basic white burp cloths are an affordable and practical option, but how adorable are these?
Bibs – You’re going to get through a ton of bibs during your baby’s first year! Keep plenty handy both at home and in your diaper bag and always put one on your little one before starting any feed.
Feeding Pillows – A feeding pillow isn’t just for breastfeeding parents, a pillow can help both you and baby to get comfortable during a feed.
Formula Dispenser – If you need to make bottles when out and about, a formula dispenser will come in very useful. Containing space for 2-3 feeds, they enable you to measure out the correct amount of powder for each feed to have ready to make up feeds when away from home.
Additional items which will make your life infinitely easier:
Dr. Brown’s Formula Mixing Pitcher– Prepares up to 32 ounce of clump-free formula, which can then be stored in the fridge and used as needed for up to 24 hours. This works perfectly when boiling water prior to mixing formula (to sterilize powdered formula). Use a bottle warmer to heat bottles as needed throughout the day/night.
Baby Brezza Instant Warmer– Heat the water instead of the bottle…. Genius! Instead of waiting 3-5 minutes for a bottle warmer to warm a bottle, use the Brezza warmer to dispense warm water on demand 24-7. I own and LOVE this gadget!
Baby Brezza Pro Advanced Formula Dispenser Machine– The ultimate formula feeding gadget! The Baby Brezza has patented mixing technology that automatically mixes formula and water to the perfect consistency. It works with virtually all formula brands and all bottle brands/sizes.
I hope this article is helpful! If you’d like to find out more about European infant formula, click here.