6 tips for bottle-feeding moms

Tips for bottle-feeding moms

6 tips for bottle-feeding moms

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I opted to bottle-feed my second child from the start. It meant a routine was needed for her. Here are my tips for bottle-feeding moms.

Both of my children were bottle-fed. I started with breastfeeding with my elder daughter but swapped to bottles after a month. With the second one, I went straight to bottle feeding, and I have zero regrets.

Neither method of feeding is easy, and both have people who judge. The last time I had people tell me off for not giving my daughter the best start in life and for being lazy. It made me feel bad as a mom, but I had to learn to deal with the criticism. Everyone is a critic, but they have no idea behind the reasoning for making decisions. What they didn’t know was that I couldn’t breastfeed.

I can’t give many tips on breastfeeding—except to tickle the baby’s feet to keep him or her awake—but I can offer tips on bottle feeding. Here are my top six.

Stick to the same bottles

There’s no point going out and buying all the different brands of bottles. Find a brand and stick with it. The only time I’d suggest switching brands is if it is for a bottle that offers something specific; like Dr. Brown’s colic bottles*.

I nearly went out and bought a new brand of bottles because I believed my second daughter was suffering from colic. It turned out that she possibly wasn’t, as she can settle herself while crying; when my elder daughter had colic, she couldn’t. I borrowed some colic bottles, but they made no difference. I’m really glad that we didn’t end up forking out for them because they can cost a lot.

I stuck to Tommee Tippee bottles* throughout. They were the cheapest when I originally got them, and the teets were available from all supermarkets, so there was never a problem in getting the next size up. There is also a colic addition if it’s really needed, but I never bothered with that.

Don’t bother with special formulas

There are three different formula brands in the UK. All of them have special formulas, as well as the infant milk. They have hungry baby, comfort, and anti-reflux brands.

With our elder daughter, I bought the comfort Actimal milk for her colic. Did it make any difference? I’m honestly not that sure. But I’d committed to it and stuck to it, despite it costing me around £2.50 more per tub.

With my younger daughter, I stuck to the normal infant milk. When speaking to my health visitor, she advised me not to make a change to the other types of milk. Apparently, the special formulas don’t do any different, especially the one for hungrier babies. Really, we can just make up more formula to feed our daughter if she needs it; she hasn’t so far.

The special formulas end up being a waste of money. The only time I switched formula is to switch brands, as some can cause tummy upsets. Daughter number 1 struggled with Cow & Gate, but daughter number 2 happily takes it. The only other time would have been if there was an allergy and I needed the soy milks.

Accept people will criticize bottle-feeding moms

The best thing to do when you decide to bottle-feed is to accept that people will judge or criticize you for your decision. No, they really shouldn’t, but they do. Rather than getting hurt about it, accept it and ignore them. They’re not worth your time.

Others just don’t understand our reasonings for being bottle-feeding moms. I had to with my first because breastfeeding (and really struggling with it) was affecting my mental health. With my second, I decided I wasn’t going to go through with that and jumped straight to the formula. Maybe the second time around it would have been easier, but I didn’t want to risk the postnatal depression that I had with my first.

There are health reasons people will switch to bottles. You may be on medication which means you can’t breastfeed or have another illness that stops you. If you had an emergency c-section and a large blood loss, your milk supply may not come through enough to feed your baby fully, so you need the formula for top-ups until it happens.

Don’t be ashamed. You’re looking after your baby in the best way that you see fit. As long as he or she is fed and looked after, what’s the problem? People can tell me “breast is best” all they want, but “fed is best.”

Set up a system

The formula tubs say that you should make up each bottle as you need it. After doing some research, I found that making them up in bulk and storing them in the fridge was still okay to do. It’s not as good as making them up as and when required, but it makes life a little more liveable for all of us.

Whatever you decide to do, setting up a system is definitely something that will make bottle-feeding a lot easier. I’m not sure why people say that bottle-feeding is lazy if I’m honest. There’s the washing and sterilizing of the bottles, making up the feeds, and getting them to the right temperature. It’s not easy work, and when out and about it can be even harder!

I had a system of four bottles made up at a time with 12 bottles in rotation. Four would be used, four would be in the sterilizer ready, and four would have been used up and needed washing.

Routines help me function, and this routine meant I knew I always had a bottle just 5-minutes heating away. If I was going out and would need more, I’ll change the routine slightly to ensure I have enough for my daughter.

That being said, I also had tubs of ready-to-go formula in the cupboards. Usually, these were for traveling long distances where I couldn’t heat up the bottles or store them in a fridge, but they were also great in the event of an emergency.

Wind throughout feeding

Some parents leave it to the last drop to wind their babies. This isn’t a good idea! I’ve found out this the hard way with my elder daughter.

It’s best to wind every so often throughout feeding. I tend to do it every 20-30mls, as that usually puts enough food on my daughter’s stomach but collects enough wind to need to get up. If she needs winding more often, she’ll tell me through actions like spitting the bottle or the milk out.

There are different ways to wind. I prefer sitting my daughter on my lap, gently holding the sides of her face and rubbing/patting her back. Some people prefer to do it over their shoulders. My ex-husband would lay her along his arm on her stomach and pat her back that way. That really helped to get her to stretch out her stomach so all the wind comes up.

Always have a bib or muslin* ready for winding. You never know when some spit up will join in with the gas.

Bond during feeding time as bottle-feeding moms

Breastfeeding is often touted as the best way to bond with your little one, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it bottle-feeding moms. Your little one will look up at you, and I find it so important to look her in the eyes and pay attention to her while feeding.

It can be a boring time; I know I’ll get some judgment from that comment. Feeding could take anywhere between 15 minutes to an hour in my house because of our little miss acting out or deciding to take long gaps between feeds. It’s common to find something else to do, like watch the TV or check your phone.

Paying attention will help you bond, but it also gives you the chance to make sure your little one is actually taking the milk. You can look for cues that he or she needs to burp, or that there are other problems at this time.

MORE: Are five-minute breaks good for a work-life balance?

Hopefully, this will help you as bottle-feeding moms. You’re not lazy and it certainly does not make you less of a mom/dad. You’re caring for your child in the best way you see fit, and you deserve to enjoy this time. Good luck!

Alexandria Ingham is a professional writer. She predominately ghost-writes in various niches, including fitness, finance and technology Everything is fully researched and well-written. Under her own name, she writes in the technology, business, history and weight loss niches

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