Formula Feeding

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formula feedingIf you've already made your choice on feeding options and decided to go for the bottle, this article is here to reassure you that it is perfectly alright to bottle feed your baby! You might start to feel inadequate with all the 'Important Notes' you read everywhere that breast is best.

It might be best, but if you feel it's not for you, don't feel guilty about choosing formula.

There are a few reasons why some women can't breastfeed. It could be that your milk supply is low, due to insufficient iron levels, poor diet, busy lifestyle, etc.


If you tried it out and found it difficult to cope with the initial pain related to breastfeeding, with the tiredness of waking up frequently during the night for a feed and with the frustration that your baby most of the time has two sucks and falls back asleep only to wake up in another hour for another feed, than maybe the bottle could put a stop to all these.

What do I need for bottle feeding my baby?

You need, obviously, the basic equipment, and that is the formula itself and the bottles and teats. You also need the washing equipment, which is a bottle brush and your usual washing liquid. If you don't want to boil the bottles and teats after each use, you need a steriliser, which can be a microwave one or a steam one. If you prefer the boiling method, make sure your bottles and teats are boiling for at least ten minutes. You could choose the cold sterilising method, instead. Based on chemicals, your baby equipment will be sterilised by submersing in cold water and chemicals. You also need an insulated bag to carry your bottles while out and about. They keep the bottles clean and warm. As an extra option, you might find it handy to have a bottle warmer, too.

What Formula should I buy?

If you are worried about what brand of formula to choose, ask your Health Visitor or GP what's best for your child. In most of the cases, babies are fed cow's formula (cow's milk enriched with the right levels of extra vitamins and minerals, according to age).

It's quite easy to choose between the brands, they all meet the required standards without exception, so you can feed it to your baby with confidence. But if your baby is lactose-allergic, your HV or GP will probably recommend soy formula for her. If she is constipated before starting solids, she probably needs a formula with a higher level of fibre.

After 6 months, babies need an iron fortified formula in order to compensate for their loss of iron accumulated during gestation and consumed over the first six months. This is the main reason why cow's milk shouldn't be fed to babies as a replacement for formula before 12 months.

What Bottles should I buy?

You might feel confused about the amount of choices you're offered when it comes to baby equipment. This is probably a trial and error case. Soon you will eliminate the choices that proved bad and stick to the good ones. Different bottles and teats offer different levels of comfort for babies. Some babies might find it difficult to handle a silicon teat compared with a latex one. However, before opting for latex teats, you should check with your GP if there is a possibility for your baby to be latex-allergic. You might also find that your baby gets less gas from a narrow neck bottle where the flow and suction are controlled better. For more info on colic, please click here

How to prepare a bottle of formula?

The best way to do it is to follow the formula manufacturer's instructions displayed on the tin. Ensure you use exactly the indicated amount of powder and water, otherwise this could make your baby ill and cause serious kidneys problems.

It's also recommended that you boil the water once only in order to avoid softening the water.

Read more about baby feeding and breastfeeding on our website.