Meet Jack. He is my first born and the reason that Little World Organics exists. He propelled me into this wild ride they call motherhood almost eight years ago to the day. Man those first days were hard. I had no idea what I was doing. I was certain I would breastfeed him for at least a year. Formula? Ha! Not for my child. No way.
One of the most important pieces of advice my OBGYN gave me was at my postpartum check up after having sweet Jack. She told me that as a parent you will quickly learn things don’t always go as planned. You need to be flexible and able to roll with the punches.
You see, I was an emotional wreck. I didn’t know that like many other mothers I was dealing with postpartum depression. It wasn’t even on my radar. On top of that I was in a very bad headspace because I was failing at breastfeeding. Jack cried a lot. Not as much as my second child who no joke cried for two years straight, but enough to make me question my decision to have children at all.
At the time I didn’t realize he was crying so much and nursing around the clock because the poor little guy was hungry. I went to a lactation consultant who confirmed that Jack was not getting nearly enough breastmilk. She then prescribed a routine of triple feeding that just about blew my mind. I knew that the best choice for my mental health, my relationship with my husband and most importantly my newborn baby was to feed him formula.
As a new parent, I was inundated with stories and data emphasizing how crucial breastmilk was to the health and well-being of my son. I was certain that Jack would be sick all of the time if I fed him formula. I was sure he would graduate at the bottom of his class. But what I didn’t expect was the amazing bond and love that developed after accepting my new reality. I was rolling with the punches.
I was a formula-feeding good mom who was doing what was best for herself, her baby, and her family.
And you know what?
Everything turned out A-OK.
Jack, who spent his first year of life drinking Holle 1 is now a rising second grader who loves soccer and school. He is a “mama’s boy” to the core, every teacher’s dream (hello rule follower!), and the most likely to care for me when I am old. I can count on one hand how many times he has been sick IN HIS LIFETIME, and he is in the GT program at school. I am not bragging (though I am extremely proud of my oldest child), but merely showing that formula feeding your child is not the end of the world.
For me, it was really just the beginning.
Holle Organic is the gold standard of organic European infant formula. For over 85 years, parents have trusted Holle to nourish their little ones and provide the most wholesome ingredients while caring for the environment, as well. To learn more about Holle infant formula or to make a purchase, click here.
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.
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.
Introducing the new and improved Kendamil Organic, the most natural and scientifically advanced organic formula on the market. Behind the scenes at Kendamil HQ, our team of R&D scientists have developed the brand new Kendamil Organic recipe to be our closest ever match to breastmilk. Kendamil Organic is exclusively made with ingredients sourced across the UK and now, for the first time, will include key nutrients as identified in breastmilk, including HMOs, ARA, nucleotides, taurine and L-Carnitine. Uniquely British, our nutritional standards remain above the rest.
Human Milk Oligosaccharides, better known as HMO’s, are the third largest solid component in human breastmilk, following lactose and lipids. Research has shown that HMOs can help with promoting good bacteria in the gut, development of the intestine and reducing the risk of pathogenic infection and allergy, while supporting brain development and cognitive function in infants. The new Kendamil Organic baby formula will also include Nucleotides, linked with improved immune function; Taurine, an amino acid that helps infants absorb fat and ARA, linked with improved visual acuity and cognitive development. We take extra care to source all ingredients without the use of hexane solvents.
Crafted with over 58 years’ expertise, Kendamil Organic remains the most natural, traceable and sustainable formula in the world, still lovingly made in the Lake District using full-cream milk from grass-fed British Jersey cows – uniquely providing babies with natural milk fats, proven to result in reduced crying and favorable stool consistency. We’re proud to use zero palm oils (linked with reduced calcium absorption in infants) and to use zero fish oils, replaced instead by sustainably-sourced plant-based Omega-3 DHA.
Throughout my pregnancy, I read just about every book, blog, and magazine article in existence that related to having and/or raising a baby. I knew what week my baby’s fingernails developed (week 11), what to eat during each trimester to properly nourish my child, and what schedule I would have in place for my newborn when I brought him home from the hospital… Ignorance was temporary bliss, at least.
And then reality hit.
I vividly remember my doctor’s words of advice during my four-week postpartum check-up. I was an emotional basket case, and my struggles with breastfeeding sent me plummeting straight over the edge. It’s a miracle my husband didn’t divorce me; it was that bad.
You see, I planned on breastfeeding Jack for at least a year. For whatever reason (society? self-imposed pressure?), the thought of feeding my child formula overwhelmed me with negative emotions. Shame, guilt, and feelings of inadequacy drowned what little logic I had left during those first few months at home with a newborn. I just knew that by feeding my son formula, I was setting him up for failure. He’d fail standardized tests. He’d suffer from some major ailment later in life. And worst of all, he wouldn’t love me like he would have had we bonded through breastfeeding.
On some level, I already understood the words of wisdom my doctor chose to share with me that day. “Expect the unexpected, learn to accept it, and move on,” she explained matter-of-factly, “because there is very little that will go according to plan while raising a child.”
I guess I just needed someone with a “M.D.” following their name to tell me what I already knew to be true. Her simple advice put a halt to my downward spiral and enabled me to truly enjoy my son for the first time ever. From conception onward, we are all guilty of trying to control our circumstances from time to time (ahem, some of us more than others). By fixating on my perceived shortcomings, I missed out on so much joy and love that I could have experienced during J’s first few weeks of life.
I’ve heard that your milk supply can differ from child to child, and I hope to breastfeed baby number two for at least a year, as well. I will make sure to have some formula on hand next time around however, because guess what? My formula-fed baby is the happiest, smartest, and sweetest six-month-old I know, and best of all, he sure does loves his mama.