In previous blog posts we have discussed things to consider when choosing a formula for your baby, as well as gone over safe formula preparation (I’ve linked those articles at the bottom of this blog). We’ve compiled our top 5 formula feeding tips to help make feeding your baby easier. Ready?
Formula Feeding Tips
Reading is Fundamental
It may sound silly, but make sure you read the packaging for instructions for formula preparation. This will tell you the ratio of water:formula, which is key to ensure your baby is receiving proper nutrition. If you decide you are going to use an automated bottle maker, carefully read and understand the instructions. Failure to follow their cleaning instructions may result in bottles not being mixed with the proper ratio of water:formula.
The Bottle You Use Matters
There are so many bottles on the market with prices ranging from $1 to $20 each! With such a varied price range, you can bet there is a difference in how the bottles work.
I cannot stress it enough: invest in vented bottles. The venting can either be in the nipple or in an insert in the bottle. These bottles will help to reduce air intake during feeding. In turn this can result in a baby with less gas.
Pro Tip: Playtex Drop Ins are probably one of the most underrated bottles out there. Minimal pieces to clean (just the nipple) and they drastically reduce the air baby takes in. The liners come pre-sterilized and are single use. While you could argue that this creates more waste, they also reduce the amount of water needed to clean the bottle.
Make Overnight Bottle Feeding Easier
Premeasure formula and use a dispenser, especially at night. This can save you trips down and up the stairs at night with a fussy baby and reduce spillage caused by preparing a bottle while tired. Speak with your baby’s pediatrician about using bottled, filtered, pre-boiled, or tap water to prepare baby’s bottle. If your pediatrician gives you the go-ahead, pre-fill the bottles with the amount of water needed for the bottle. Then when it’s time to feed baby you can pour in the pre-measured formula, shake, and feed!
Stock Up on bottles and formula!
My advice is to make sure you have enough bottles to get you through a day without washing. It will save you time to wash everything together. If you only have 3 bottles, for example, you will inevitably have to wash bottles overnight when your baby is waking up every 2-3 hours. There’s nothing worse than realizing you have to wash out a bottle with a crying, hungry baby. Been there. Done that. It sucks.
Make sure you have enough formula to last 2-3 weeks, especially if your baby drinks a specialty formula or you have to order it. While there are a decent number of stores in our area that sell formula and are open 24/7, it’s not fun having to run out at 11pm because you don’t have enough formula to get through the night.
If it’s free, it’s for me!
Formula can get expensive! Sign up for samples and/or on the formula company’s website. Ask your baby’s pediatrician if they have samples of the formula you’re using. Just make sure you are always using the same brand and variety of formula. While some babies can tolerate switching between brands and types, if your baby can’t that can be quite uncomfortable for them.
This blog is not medical advice and does not take the place of consultation with your child’s pediatrician. These formula feeding tips are for informational purposes only and not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.