Guide to bottle feeding
Here’s all you need to know about bottle feeding, so you’re ready with a whole lotta bottle!
A wide range of bottles and teats are available to enable you to meet all your little one's nutritional needs. Here are some things to look out for when deciding which type is right for your baby.
First things first: have enough Gear up for feeding before baby arrives, so you have everything you need to start straight away. At least six bottles and six teats will mean you'll have a good supply for the little-and-often feeds a newborn needs – every two to three hours when they are first born.
Standard bottles Narrow and cylindrical, these basic bottles are inexpensive and widely available. They usually have teats and lids, and come in a variety of sizes.
Anti-colic bottles Your baby may swallow air while drinking from a standard baby bottle, which is considered to be a possible cause of colic. If you find that your baby seems uncomfortable after feeding and suffers with wind, you may want to buy anti-colic bottles and teats to reduce the amount of air they take in while they are feeding. While this type of bottle can be more expensive than a standard baby bottle, and may be more awkward to clean, they are designed with an air vent or a collapsible bag for the milk, to help reduce the amount of air your baby swallows.
Steriliser bottles These can be sterilised in the microwave, so there's no need for additional equipment. They are more expensive than standard bottles and can become very hot, so will need to be handled carefully.
Disposable bottles Ideal for when you're out and about, this type of bottle is sterilised and ready to use. Their disposability raises environmental concerns, and they would be expensive to use on a regular basis, but they can be handy now and then.
Glass bottles Some people may be concerned about the chemicals used in the manufacture of plastic baby bottles. Glass bottles are free of chemicals and may last longer than the plastic version. They aren't widely available, though, they are heavier and more expensive, and may shatter if dropped.
Expert help on bottle feeding 'There's a multitude of feeding bottles available, and which one you choose will depend on your baby's needs,' says midwife and health visitor Kate Hilton. 'If your baby is suffering with colic, look out for a bottle with an anti-colic valve to prevent air travelling through the milk. Breastfed babies who need to be fed an occasional bottle of expressed breast milk should have a bottle that enables easy transition and allows the baby to use a similar feeding style to the breast. If your little one is suffering with reflux, a bottle with a slow flow rate will be ideal to enable them to pace their feed.'
By Jo Walsh