What equipment do I need?
Stocking up to get started
Before you start bottle-feeding you’ll need to buy:
- At least six baby bottles if you're planning to use a bottle for all your feeds. Babies tend to feed around six times a day so this way you should always have a bottle handy
- A minimum of six teats
- Baby milk
- Sterilising equipment
- A bottle-cleaning brush
Baby bottles come in two sizes and are available in wide-neck, regular or narrow-neck widths:
- Small 120ml/4oz bottles for newborns and young babies
- Large 225ml/8oz bottles for older babies
Colic is commonly thought to be caused by babies taking in too much air while feeding. Today you can buy baby bottles and teats especially designed to reduce the amount of air that babies take in. If your baby is unsettled after feeds and suffers with wind, it could be worth trying one of these.
Sterilising is vitally important because it kills the germs that cause tummy upsets and illness. Before you sterilise, you must wash the bottles and teats in warm soapy water and scrub with a bottle-cleaning brush (or put them through the dishwasher). There are three ways to sterilise your baby's feeding equipment:
- Cold water sterilising
- Steam sterilising – electric steam sterilisers or microwave sterilising
Teats come in all sorts of shapes and sizes – and even materials! The type of teat you’ll need will vary depending on what milk you are using and your baby’s preference. As a general guide, it’s best to start with slow flowing teats for newborns and increase the flow speed as they get used to sucking.
Choking, spluttering and milk leaking from your baby’s mouth are all signs that the flow may be too fast for them. If your baby is struggling with bottle-feeding, try changing the type or make of teat. In time teats may deteriorate so make sure you check them regularly.
Other useful extras
As well as the obvious bottle-feeding equipment there are a few other things that can make your life easier:
- A fast boil kettle
- Muslin cloths