More from the Family Files today! We’re talking all about our bottle feeding routine – specifically how to create an easier bottle feeding routine. It’s a list of our must-haves, what’s been working, what hasn’t been working and how we’re managing it. Plus a fabulous Giveaway with Munchkin Canada at the bottom of this post!
So LB is coming up on 18 weeks old (how did that even happen?!) and we’ve already shared our initial struggles with feeding and weight-gain. (Side note: Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the wonderful, heart felt comments, stories and support that you all shared. It made this New Mamma tear up more than once <3) Today would be part two, I guess. I want to talk to you about bottles and bottle feeding.
Things you need to consider when Bottle Feeding
We have learned a lot about bottle feeding over the past 18 weeks! Holy! Who knew there was so much to it?! But there is.
First you need the right bottle feeding supplies. We have used Munchkin LATCH bottles from the very beginning. LB took to them right away and didn’t express any sort of nipple confusion or anything, even when we were doing a bottle + nursing combination. She is using a Number One size bottle nipple now, but I expect we will go up to a Two quite soon. In total we have nine bottles that we run through a daily rotation. We started out with 4-ounce/125ml bottles and are now mixing in the larger size bottles because LB’s tummy can handle more food and she doesn’t eat as frequently.
Then you need the right formula! Ha! This took us a while to figure out because for babies younger than two months, you need to give them ‘ready feed’ (We gave LB this kind). But it’s EXPENSIVE. So once we knew she could handle it, we switched over to powder mix and now feed her this kind.
Which brings me to the next consideration. How to make sure you are mixing your bottles properly, and sterilizing them the right way. At first, I HATED this task. We would wash each bottle, cap, ring, and nipple with a bottle brush and hot soapy water, then put it in a pot of boiling water for four minutes, then pull them out with tongs and lay them out on clean towels on the counter – all while boiling the kettle and then letting it cool slightly so that we could use just-below-boiling water to mix the powder into the sterilized bottles. (WHOA I KNOW, RIGHT!?!)
It was like we needed to hire an entire assembly line just to make it happen.
Then we picked up a few tricks to make it easier on us.
A bottle rack. I’ve talked about this before, but guys – FOR REAL. My Mom insisted on buying us this bottle rack (also from Munchkin) and I laughed at her thinking it was silly. NOT SILLY. SO GOOD. It helps to keep all the clean bottles out of the way while they dry and it can go on the top rack of the dishwasher too.
The next thing we learned about are these really convenient sterilizing bags. As in, when you use these, you pop your bottle and its parts into the bag and into the microwave. This eliminates the need for that large, heavy and splashy pot of boiling water. *Ting! SMILEY FACE-O-RAMA. I know it only saves like four minutes, but if you add up all those four minutes, that’s a lot of minutes!! (Although, it was really good for my pores to stand over a steaming pot of water twice daily. *eye roll*)
The next thing you sorta learn about when you’re bottle feeding is the heat of the bottle/milk when you’re feeding it to the baby. LB does not like her bottle to be even the slightest bit cold. (Actually, cold milk is hard on a baby’s system when they are super little!) At first we were boiling the kettle with water, pouring the water into (our only) glass measuring cup and then immersing the milk-filled bottle into the boiling water and letting it heat up that way. All while LB was screaming her little head off because she was hangry. This method would take anywhere from six to 10 minutes to complete depending on our level of competency and alertness.
NOTE: You are never ever ever ever supposed to microwave a baby’s bottle OR microwave water to heat it up. Both are very dangerous. Don’t do it.
But our lives got monumentally better once we discovered there’s such a thing as a bottle warmer. This thing will warm a bottle of cold milk to the right temperature for the baby in about three and a half minutes. That’s like 6 times faster than our boil-pour-plunge-wait method!! And at 2am, 3am, 4am or 5am, being able to heat the bottle quickly is KEY. You all, when we started using this, I swear for like a day, Dan loved the bottle warmer more than he loved me. This is the real deal. I don’t know how or why we went so long without one.
One thing to keep in mind though, once a bottle has been taken out of the fridge and heated, it should be fed to the baby within an hour to remain safe and sterile. Any bottles mixed in the fridge should be used within a 24 hour period.
We’ve also got a little travel pack and a car bottle heater to try out. I’m heading back to Ontario with LB in six weeks or so and I bet those will come in handy on our road trip. I will report back!
So now, our bottle feeding routine looks like this:
Around 5pm: There are typically two mixed bottles left in the fridge at this point. Gather empty bottles from around the house, wash them in soapy water.
5:05pm: Boil a kettle of fresh, clean water.
While the kettle is boiling, sterilize the washed bottles using the sterilizing bags.
Remove them and let them completely dry on the drying rack (about 10 minutes – during which time, I do the other non-bottle dishes)
Once boiled kettle has cooled a bit, I put on sterile gloves, assemble the bottles, mix the formula and put them in the fridge!
That’s it! Then when LB wants a bottle (usually every three hours, except at night when she goes for about seven hours), we pop it into the bottle warmer and 3 minutes later, we’re feeding the baby.
If you are bottle feeding, how do you swing it? What products do you use and love that make your Mamma life easier? I’d love to know!
Back on Friday with a fun craft project with a new group of bloggers. Hope to see you then.
Oh ya! We’ve got a GIVEAWAY for you courtesy of the fine Mammas over at Munchkin Canada! We’re giving away a huge prize pack FULL of Munchkin DIAPERING Products! (We own and use everything in this prize pack. Trust us. It’s a good one!) You can see most of the giveaway products in this picture of our nursery!
The prize pack consists of:
STEP Diaper Pail
Diaper Pail Refills
Lavender Scented Diaper Pail Puck
Waterproof Liners (pack of 3)
Secure Grip Change Pad
Diaper Duty Organizer
MIST Wipe Warmer
Light My Way Night Light
Enter Using the Raffle Widget Below! Good Luck!
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