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.

Brand Spotlight: kendamil organic

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.

Shop entire Kendamil range at lworganics.com.

Baby Bennett’s Birth Story

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By Lacey Appolito

Three weeks ago, I delivered my fourth baby (second girl) with my most favorite OB and I couldn’t be more thrilled that my family is now complete. Two boys. Two girls. Lots of chaos. No shortage of love.

I have a weird habit of reading birth stories on my phone while taking a bath during my last month of pregnancy. As each week passes, I change my Google search… 36 week birth stories. 37 week birth stories. 38 week birth stories… You get the idea.

The final few weeks of pregnancy are filled with anticipation. Every cramp is scrutinized. Each trip to the bathroom is a quest for a lost mucous plug. It is fascinating to read how different women experience labor and birth, and exciting to imagine how your own will play out.

My first son Jack was born on a full moon, at 40+3 weeks after days of false labor. I was induced with my second son William at 41 weeks, and my daughter Evie’s birth was almost identical to what I experienced with Jack. It was a full moon and I endured several days of inconsistent but strong contractions before she was born at 39+5 weeks.

I thought for sure that my fourth baby Bennett would come early and fast since my body had birthed so many times before. And even though I know that how dilated you are doesn’t mean much in terms of when you will deliver, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed when I was barely a finger tip dilated and baby was very high at every single appointment leading up to my 40th week of pregnancy.

I was confident that a fourth baby would more or less fall out of my body, but it wasn’t looking like that would be the case at all. So, with the full support of my husband and OB, I scheduled an elective induction for Baby Bennett’s due date, and unlike my induction with William, I didn’t fret over my choice to induce at all.

In comparison to my spontaneous labors, William’s birth was less painful and more controlled. It really was an easy birth, and after a fast labor with Evie, I was worried that Bennett would be born in our car on the way to the hospital, which I wanted to avoid at all costs obviously.

Fast forward to my due date, September 14th, 2018. My husband and I checked into the hospital at 5AM. I quickly changed into my hospital gown and we rested while the nurse set up the Pitocin. Soon after the IV was placed, I felt a few mild contractions and about an hour later my OB came in to check my cervix, break my water, and insert an internal catheter to keep a closer eye on my contractions.

After my OB broke my water, which I have never experienced pre-epidural by the way 😳,  the Pitocin was cranked up and my body started to respond. I dilated from about one centimeter to five centimeters relatively quickly, and I felt confident that I would have a fast labor, after all.

Prior to my induction, I toyed with the idea of a natural birth. Of course I didn’t share this plan with anyone but my husband (who laughed because he knows me so well), so once I reached five centimeters the nurse started talking epidural.

I wasn’t in excruciating pain yet, but I also knew I did not want to feel the pain I felt with Evie, when I was eight centimeters dilated and clenching on to the side of the hospital bed for dear life, cussing and crying, begging for an epidural to take the pain away… So I agreed.

And then everything stopped.

For two hours I remained a little more than five centimeters dilated, but suddenly the situation changed. I started to feel the pain of each contraction again, and despite pressing the epidural button over and over again, the pain only intensified.

It wasn’t pressure I was feeling. It was the familiar stabbing sensation of labor. And it hurt like a mother.

The nurse checked my cervix and I was seven centimeters dilated. The pain continued, moving lower with each passing contraction.

“I’m feeling pressure!” I moaned to my nurse through clenched teeth, who decided to call my doctor up to check me again. Less than thirty minutes had passed and I was now nine centimeters dilated. The doctor wanted anesthesia to come push more medicine through my IV before birth, as the pain was unbearable at that point.

So we waited… briefly. Anesthesia never made it, as I was ten centimeters and ready to push within a couple of minutes.

My doctor returned, and sweet Bennett was born almost immediately. I pushed through two contractions and in an instant she was there! They placed her gooey body on my chest and she peed all over me, but I didn’t care. I was captivated by the moment. In awe of life and its miraculous ways.

It was a bittersweet moment in time, and one that I will cherish forever. My last pregnancy. My last birth story. My last time to experience the surreal feeling of bringing a child into the world.