Fed is best! Whether you are feeding your baby breast milk in a bottle or formula feeding there can be a lot to learn for a new mom. As a mom of two who has breastfed, pumped, and bottled-fed both of her kids I am here to share what I’ve learned along the way.
First and foremost do your research! Read reviews online, ask friends and family, and go with what makes you comfortable. Just make sure to ask around and do some digging to get the most amount of information. There are so many products that knowing what you are purchasing and putting on your registry is the best strategy.
Here are a few things to research when it comes to bottle-feeding your baby.
There are so many different brands of bottles to choose from. For complete transparency sometimes your baby may not like the bottle you purchased. Babies can be picky! I recommend buying a few of one type of bottle and then once baby is born and likes that bottle you can purchase more.
I went with Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow bottles because, after a lot of research, they seemed to be the most versatile bottles. Dr. Brown’s bottles do have a bunch of parts so be aware of that! I never had any issues with either of my kids using these bottles. There are multiple sizes of nipples for the bottles so make sure that this is also something to purchase or add to your registry and as the baby gets older you will need different sizes. Each bottle brand has its own type of nipple that you can purchase as needed.
If you want to try a few different options to find the perfect fit for a picky baby I would recommend this baby bottle sampler from babylist. It is a great way to try some popular bottle brands without having to buy multiple different bottles. It has 5 different bottles per box. If you find the perfect fit then you can purchase more of that brand!
Breastfeeding may not be for every mom and that’s okay. You may choose to pump and then bottle-feed your baby and that’s great too. Purchasing a breast pump can be tough because not every pump will work for you, that’s why doing research, in this case, is super important. There are different kinds of breast pumps that will help you narrow down your research. Manual breast pumps are one type that requires you to hand pump your breastmilk.
Another type that most moms opt for is an electric pump which is powered by a motor. With the electric pumps, there are some that need to be plugged in while you are using them. There are also some that are wireless and portable/wearable. Which type of pump you choose will depend on your lifestyle and family situation. With both of my kids, I chose portable/wearable breast pumps because they were more practical for me. I knew that I was not the type of person who could just sit and pump and not be able to move around while doing so, within reason of course.
Once you’ve decided what type you would like to get dive into researching the different brands and options, also, ask any friends or family what they used. Again every pump is different and what worked for me might not work for you!
If you aren’t sure how to purchase a breast pump definitely contact your health insurance because most companies will cover the cost of your breast pump or at least a portion of it which helps a lot!
As with all baby items, there are lots of options! There are so many different types of formulas to choose from you may not know where to start. The first thing I did when we switched to formula was to go wherever I bought my groceries and see what the options of formulas are then also went to a store like Target or Walmart or anywhere else I chose to see what they have. I took pictures of the shelves and also made sure to document prices because formulas can be expensive. If you are still experiencing a formula shortage in your area this will help to indicate which formulas are accessible in-store versus online. I went home with all of that information and did some research on the different brands.
Some formulas are more specialized specifically for lactose-free or any other allergy your baby has so keep that in mind if your baby has any allergies. There are also some accessible European brands out there that are great! After doing some research find the best formula that fits your baby’s needs.
If your baby isn’t born just yet but you know you want to formula feed I would do that same sort of research but I would only buy enough for the first few weeks in case your baby doesn’t care for the brand you chose or they end up having an allergy and need a different type of formula.
Other questions you may be asking yourself are how much does a newborn eat and what’s the best position to feed them their bottle? To start, how much your newborn will eat will depend on their weight. Most newborns don’t eat a lot per feeding but they do eat fairly often. A newborn’s stomach is tiny so they can’t eat very much! It is best to ask your pediatrician how much your baby should be eating since the weight of a newborn varies and each baby is different.
What position your feed your baby in will be what works best for you and baby. You can cradle them in your arms, you can rest them in your lap, can sit them up or even use a pillow to help prop them up, even a breastfeeding pillow if you have one. No matter what position don’t forget to burp your baby!
As with all things baby-related there will be a learning curve for you and your baby so try to be flexible and what works for your family!