Essential Bottle Feeding Items

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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?

soft organic cotton baby bibs
Organic Cotton For Sensitive Skin

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.

aden and anais baby bibs soft muslin
I am a sucker for anything muslin, and these aden + anais bibs are no exception (available in multiple patterns)

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.

The perfect pillow to support your arm while bottle feeding

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.

stackable formula dispenser for baby formula and snacking on the go
These are great for formula powder and snacks!

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.

Top 5 Baby Must Haves

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As you may know, I recently gave birth to my fifth baby. I consider myself a seasoned mom, and when it comes to baby gear, I’ve pretty much bought it all, sold it all, and bought it all over again. Side note, if there is even the slightest chance you may have a second, third, or fourth baby in the future… DON’T SELL YOUR SH*T.

You see I’ve made this mistake more than once, and I can assure you that (happy) accidents can happen, even multiple times, so do yourself a favor and hang on to every last piece of baby gear you own until the baby factory is closed FOR👏 GOOD👏.

Moving on…

I’ve had some time to reflect on what products really are worth buying (over and over again), and I am here to impart my baby crap wisdom to the world. And the truth is…. You really don’t need that much in the beginning. Diapers, wipes, obnoxiously big bows for your baby girl… These things are actually necessary. Wipe warmers, baby mittens, a grass countertop drying rack? Not so much.

So now that I am six weeks into life with my fifth infant, I feel as if I have figured it all out (ha, ha). So, without further ado, I present to you my top 5 baby must haves (in no particular order):

  1. Ergobaby Embrace Cozy Newborn Carrier– I have tried A LOT of carriers throughout the years (the original Ergo carrier, Baby Bjorn, K’tan, Lalabu), and I haven’t been a huge fan of any of them. Neither have my babies. The Ergobaby Embrace is a game changer for me. It is soft like a wrap, but super simple to put on like a traditional carrier. Cora doesn’t fuss when I put her in, and she usually goes right to sleep. As a matter of fact, she is sleeping in it as I type at this very moment. If you are a first time parent, you may not know that newborns don’t like to be put down. They want to be held all of the time. Don’t get me wrong, I love the baby snuggles and when I had my first son Jack, I literally sat in a chair 24/7 rocking him, feeding him, and holding him while he slept. Now that I have FIVE kids (7, 6, 5, 2, and 6 weeks old), I don’t have that luxury anymore. And although I am remarkably good at doing things one-handed, it can be quite challenging at times. And bonus, carrying a baby in a carrier instead of putting them down to sleep can help prevent the dreaded flat head phenomenon. If you’re like me and slightly intimidated by baby-wearing, give this carrier a shot. You won’t be disappointed. I have pink (of course), but the carrier also comes in blue, gray, black, and cream.

2. Philips AVENT Ultra Air Pacifier– I was given this pacifier with baby number four by a kind mother who recognized a moment of desperation at a preschool event for my oldest son. The audience was supposed to be quiet throughout the gymnastics presentation I was attending, but my newborn baby didn’t get the memo. This fellow mom sprang into action, dashed to her car, and returned with a brand new pacifier that she had on hand for emergencies. #momgoals She said it was the only pacifier her son would take. My baby took it with ease, stopped screaming/disrupting the program, and I was sold. With over 1,200 five star Amazon ratings and 98% nipple acceptance, this pacifier is a winner. Shown in pink but also available in blue.

3. Philips Avent Natural Baby Bottle– These bottles are fantastic for several reasons, but above all else I love how simple and straight forward they are. Bottle, nipple, nipple ring. That’s all. Plus they come in several sizes, colors, and a range of nipple flows, too. In my experience, these bottles are quite durable, as well. If you are exclusively bottle feeding, I recommend stocking up!

4. Baby Brezza Instant Warmer– Let me just start by saying that I used the Baby Brezza Formula Pro with several of my littles ones, and it was freaking amazing, BUT, there are a few downfalls to this otherwise genius product. First of all, it is expensive. Also, you have to clean it a lot. Ain’t nobody got time for that (at least not in this house). And most importantly for me, I never trusted that my baby was getting the correct amount of formula powder. Any time they were fussy, I couldn’t help but wonder if they were being over/under fed by the contraption. Fast forward a few kids and boom! I found this water warmer on Amazon and bought it immediately. It is my current favorite baby product. Instead of using a traditional bottle warmer, which takes f-o-r-e-v-e-r and often leaves you with formula that is way too hot for your screaming LO to drink, this product heats the water to your liking (room temp, body temp, warmer than body temp) and dispenses it on demand 24-7. It maintains the water temperature all day and night, and I am here for it! It is about $50, and if you are a formula feeding mama, it is worth every dang penny.

5. aden + anais Essentials Swaddle Blankets– These are a long time favorite of mine. I still own a couple from my first son, and every child after that, too. I always buy a new pack or two when I have a baby. They are so versatile and soft, and the patterns are beautiful. Bring them to the hospital. Pack them in your diaper bag. Throw them in the stroller. You cannot go wrong with aden + anais swaddle (all purpose really) blankets.

And that’s a wrap, folks. All of my favorite baby things that I will finally be able to discard of/sell when Cora is a toddler, because I can now say with 100% confidence that the baby factory is closed FOR👏 GOOD👏.

-Lacey

May Giveaway

Happy Belated Mother’s Day to all of you mamas out there! My Mother’s Day was spent wrangling a certain little boy who was both tired and restless for the majority of the day. My husband was kind enough to take Jack with him on some morning business so that I would be able to shower and get ready without simultaneously entertaining a baby. The plan backfired however, as the last thing Jack wanted to do after a two hour errand run with Daddy was sit in a highchair at brunch (or a lap or carrier for that matter). Needless to say, brunch was fast and furious.

My husband and I also completed some projects around the house (he did the work and I provided quality control) on Sunday, and our little man enjoyed showing off for the grandparents… Jack is now pulling up and taking steps with the help of his his little tikes Push and Ride Racer, which has pushed him over the edge into to full-blown maniac territory. 

ltwalker

A month or so ago, I wrote a blog post about my favorite necessities for an older baby. One of those items was an adorable diaper clutch by Caught Ya Lookin’.

 

clutch

This diaper clutch is the ideal size for a quick trip out of the house, and the nautical-inspired pattern is perfect for summer. Little World Organics is giving this very diaper clutch away to one lucky Facebook friend this month! To enter for your chance to win, fill out an entry form on our Facebook page under the Wufoo tab labeled LWO May Giveaway.  To qualify for an extra entry, pin your favorite LWO product on Pinterest and mention us in the description.

Good luck!

-Little World Organics

Spring Fever

Things are looking up in the A-family household. I’m getting closer to my pre-baby weight (not counting Monday mornings, of course- Hello weekend fooder*), Jack is paid-off at long last, and it’s the first official day of spring! Ice days are a thing of the past, and it’s time to leave the drab colors of winter behind.

Motivated by the changing season, I spent at least an hour last night perusing the internet- more specifically JCrew and Carters- for spring fashion inspiration, longing to drop a significant chunk of change on new clothes for both Jack and myself. Thankfully, my computer ran out of juice before I had the chance to purchase anything, as pay day is four lonnnng days away, and my funds are already whittled down to almost nil. I have online shopping baskets filled to the brim with outfits that I will probably never buy. Sigh.

I don’t know why I spend more money than is absolutely necessary on Jack’s wardrobe. The kid is eight-months old. He spends his day in a house with other children who have no concept of “cute”. On a good day, he ends up with spaghetti sauce all over his shirt (side note- He is finally eating solids. Hallelujah!). On a bad day, well, use your imagination. Despite the fact that J won’t even be able to wear these clothes in a few months, I simply cannot help myself. When I finally pick him up after an exhausting day at work, seeing my happy little nugget in an outfit that I love makes my day. And can you really put a price on that? I think not.

While browsing online last night, I made a visit to zulilly.com and stumbled upon a charming line of diaper bags and accessories. The brand is called Caught Ya Lookin’, and the bags will be on sale for two more days. This amazing find then inspired me to search for other diaper bags, not that I need another one or have anything better to do with my time… At this point, there’s not much I wouldn’t do to avoid the mound of papers I meant to grade over Spring Break. Whoops.

These are my favorite diaper bags right now. Clearly, I am a sucker for all things preppy, striped, nautical, and/or bright. I actually own the first Pottery Barn Kids diaper bag, but in a different color scheme (and sporting a lovely red wine stain- go figure). Click the bags for purchasing information. Happy Spring!

*fooder- an eating frenzy of sorts

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