Not all maternity units have baby milk and feeding equipment available, so if you’re planning to formula feed or express your breast milk for bottlefeeding, it’s important to check whether you need to bring your own supplies. If you’re planning to formula feed and the hospital you’re attending does provide milk, ask whether it’s the same type as you are intending to use at home. If not, you may want to bring your own to ensure your baby gets used to your preferred brand of milk from the start.
Formula feeding: Preparing the first feed
Some – but not all – hospitals will teach you how to make up your baby’s first bottlefeed. It’s your chance to ask any questions you might have so that you can feel confident when it comes to sterilising bottles and preparing feeds at home.
Using the right teat
When it comes to bottlefeeding, it’s not a case of one teat fits all. Every baby is different and you may need to use different bottles and teats until you find one your baby is happy with.
Many of the teats available are made from silicone, but some babies find these difficult to feed from as they tend to be less flexible and too dissimilar to your nipple. You might find that your baby prefers softer brown teats or those in a different shape, such as an orthodontic teat.
Your baby’s needs change constantly as they develop, so bear in mind that you might need to change bottles and teats during the early months to keep them feeding comfortably.
If you bottlefeed your baby in hospital, you may be given disposable teats to use. If your baby seems to like them, make a note of the shape and style of teat so that you can use something similar at home. Your midwife or the baby feeding advisors at the hospital can advise you on the most suitable teat for your baby.
Add these items to your shopping list:
- Silicone or orthodontic teats
- Small bottles (120ml/4oz), possibly wide-neck (these are less messy to fill)
- If formula feeding, your choice of infant milk
Watch our short video on preparing a bottlefeed