You’ve got a baby on the way and you know you’re going to bottle feed your newborn from the get-go. Great! This post is for you! Here’s a little surprise though, if you plan on breastfeeding your baby, this list of bottle-gear must haves is also relevant to you. Why? Because you never know what breastfeeding issues might crop up in the first few weeks, some of which may require you to bottle feed.
What kind of issues? Well, anything from bad latch that causes nipple pain – the kind where you’re way too sore to even consider baby coming near them – or baby requires formula supplementation because you’re not producing enough milk. These problems suck and can hinder your ability to breastfeed. So, in the event that you need to formula feed, you don’t want to be scrambling trying to find all the things you need to prepare and clean a bottle.
I’ll keep this as simple as possible because, hey, I know you have a ton of other things you want to be researching right now 😊 So let’s get to it!
What you need to bottle feed your newborn
Baby bottle options are endless, as is the case with most baby things. There are SO many brands, shapes and sizes. Where do you even start? First off, you should decide whether you want to go with BPA-free plastic bottles or glass. There are pros and cons of each.
Glass baby bottles – There are few brands that make glass bottles, the main ones being Life Factory and Dr. Brown’s. These types of bottles are usually fitted with a silicone sleeve to prevent breakage. They’re a little heavier, so not ideal for young babies if you want them to eventually hold the bottle themselves. I like that they are free of plastic, except for the collar that tightens the nipple to the bottle. They can go in the dishwasher with no worries and they hold up pretty well.
BPA-free plastic baby bottles – There are MANY different brands of plastic baby bottles, and in the end it might be baby who tells you which one he/she likes best. Some bottles are tilted, or have a wide nipple vs the standard nipple size. The nipple shapes themselves even vary significantly; so I suggest having a few different types of nipples and sizes on hand in case you have a picky newborn on your hands.
Bottle sizes – Bottles come in 4oz and 8oz sizes. When you first bring baby home, you’ll only need the 4oz bottles since they don’t drink very much at one time. As exclusively bottle fed babies get older, they’ll transition to the 8oz bottles, but this is a purchase you can make down the road, not an essential when bringing baby home. As for breastfed babies, I breastfed all 3 of my kids and used bottles when I was away, but never needed anything more than a 4oz bottle. So if you’re looking to keep things simple at first, get a few 4oz bottles to try out and see what baby prefers before buying a bunch.
Favourite Baby Bottles
These bottles have a nipple with a slight angle, which some babies may prefer.
I loved these bottles, although they do come with a few extra parts that you’ll need to clean.
A popular choice, often included as a sample in new mama loot bags.
What you need to clean baby bottles
Once you’ve decided on your bottles, you’re going to need a few things to clean and dry them properly.
First off is a bottle brush. This is a must have if you’re bottle feeding. I suggest having a large one and a smaller one that can fit in the nipple top to clean off any lingering milk.
Next thing you’ll need is a drying rack. Believe me; it comes in VERY handy when you’re trying to dry multiple bottles and bottle parts. You don’t need anything fancy; we used this simple one by Munchkin. I liked it because it could fold down flat when not in use (but really, it was always on the counter!)
I always eyed this Boon drying rack in the baby store whenever I saw it. I thought it looked so cute. I never got one, but did wonder if water settled in between the grass making it hard to clean. If you used one and loved it, please leave a comment!
Another item that I purchased and still use 8 years later, is this dishwasher basket. It has basically lived in my dishwasher for the past 8 years. Even now that my youngest is 4 I still use it for small bits and pieces that I want washed in the dishwasher without worrying about them dropping to the bottom. Probably one of the MOST useful items that has lasted me the longest.
Sterlizing Bags – I only saw these in the stores when I had my third baby, but thought they were a great idea. Basically, it’s a little bag that you can put bottle parts in to sterilize in the microwave. You just add a little water, microwave for a few seconds, and you’re good to go – a great idea for travel. Plus, each bag can be used up to 10 times. I’m still on the fence whether I want plastic/silicone parts to be microwaved, but if it’s of no concern to you, then this is a great option.
Bottle warmers – If you want to avoid late night trips to the kitchen to warm up bottles, then a bottle is something you might want to purchase. If you want to know which one is the best, check out this list of the 10 Best Baby Bottle Warmers To Buy from littleonemag.com.
Burp cloths – Have a few on hand in each room and in your diaper bag. You never know when your baby is going to spit up! You don’t have to get anything fancy, you can cut up a flannel receiving blanket, use washcloths, or small hand towels. Whatever does the trick. I found cloth diaper inserts to be a great multi-purpose option.
Pot and boiling water – It’s recommended that you sterilize your baby bottles and nipples before first use. All you need to do is submerge them in a pot of boiling water for 5- minutes and that’s it, you’re good to go.
Get comfy – Although feeding baby with a bottle is a little easier than breastfeeding, you still want to be comfortable. Set yourself up in a good chair, use some extra pillows for support if needed, and put your feet up 😊
If you plan on breastfeeding, you should take a quick look at this post on breastfeeding essentials.
If you’re interested in reading up on more baby must-haves, check out this post on Newborn Baby Essentials For Sleep.
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I wish you all the best on your journey into motherhood and hope the information I’ve provided has helped you check one thing off your list.