These are the most practical formula feeding must haves to simplify your formula feeding journey.
We all know bottle feeding is a lot more work compared to breastfeeding.
The good news is that once you get the hang of it, you can find ways to make it easier for yourself.
One way of simplifying formula feeding is knowing and getting the essentials that work for you.
I have compiled a list of formula feeding must haves to help you get started.
You will find the usual basics plus other items that have saved me a lot of time and effort.
Formula Feeding Must Haves For Your Convenience
Let us start with the absolute formula feeding must haves. These are the basic necessities for formula feeding your baby.
Suitable Baby Formula
Getting formula is the very first thing you think of when you plan to formula feed your baby.
It is very important to choose the right formula for your baby.
Formula feeding involves a lot of trial and error, and all that trying mostly revolves around picking the right formula.
After testing a few options, we ended up using Similac Total Comfort on our baby.
It is partially hydrolyzed and suitable for babies with a chance of having cow’s milk allergies and developing eczema.
These formula feeding essentials also involve trial and error.
With so many options out there, testing all those bottles to see if your baby will like them takes time and you will definitely waste money.
Once you find what your baby likes, stick with it.
Look for baby bottles that are suitable for formula feeding and narrow down from there.
I tried a few options and fell in love with these baby bottles. I love the design, soft nipples, and best of all, they don’t leak!
Plus the nipple doesn’t throw milk all over the place if the bottle lies flat.
These are my second favorite bottles. They work great for babies with colic and gas.
Just make sure to always use the vent to avoid milk spills.
Bottle Nipples In Different Sizes
As your baby grows and can swallow a little bit more milk at a time, you need to change the size of the nipple.
It’s also a good idea to have a spare nipple for each size in case it gets damaged.
Keep in mind that if you are going to reuse baby bottles, you still need to buy new bottle nipples as you can’t reuse those.
Your baby is going to need bibs, quite a few of them if you don’t want to wash a batch every night.
Bibs are great for catching milk when it leaks out of your baby’s mouth, saves your baby’s clothes from vomited milk, and very useful to quickly wipe milk if it leaks from the bottle.
Make sure you buy bibs that are big enough to cover your baby’s chest, like these ones. They come in different colors for both boys and girls.
Choose bibs made with 100% cotton, suitable for sensitive skin. Plus cotton absorbs liquid quite well.
P.S. When not used properly, baby bibs fall under a list of unsafe baby products as they pose a risk for strangulation, so make sure you always supervise your baby and never put your baby to sleep wearing a bib.
To avoid gas or reflux, you have to burp your baby after every feed (or even halfway through the feed).
There is always going to be a time when you burp your baby and they spit out a lot of milk.
That is where you are definitely going to need a burp cloth.
Otherwise, all that milk ends up on your clothes, forcing you to have an outfit change, unless you are ok with always smelling like baby vomit.
Bottle For Clean Water
You are obviously going to need clean water to prepare your baby’s bottles.
You might find that the water in your area is not safe for your baby and you have to sterilize it.
Where will you store the sterilized water?
Get yourself a glass bottle specifically for sterilized water. Nothing fancy, as long as it is durable, like this one.
As with baby bottles, I prefer to sterilize the glass bottle every day using these sterilization tablets.
Although it is best to get your baby used to room temperature milk, some babies prefer their bottle to be a little warmer.
The best way is to mix cold water and a little bit of hot water before preparing the bottle.
There won’t be time to boil water every time you prepare a bottle, you will need to always have boiled water ready for preparation.
That is where a good-quality flask comes in handy.
Some cannot keep the water hot for more than 12 hours.
I struggled to find a quality flask. I am still struggling to find the exact one I found.
You might have to shop around a little to find what works for you but here is a good place to start.
Pitcher For Bulk Milk Preparation
One of the best baby formula hacks to save you time is to prepare baby formula in bulk and keep it in the refrigerator the whole day.
All you have to do is measure out the amount your baby drinks, warm it and feed your baby!
Instead of using a plastic pitcher and letting your baby’s formula sit for a long time in contact with plastic the whole day, use a glass pitcher instead.
Preparing a large batch of milk is likely to result in formula forming small lumps that force you to vigorously shake the pitcher.
Avoid all the shaking and use this formula mixer and prepare baby formula without lumps.
A functional bottle brush can save you a lot of time. A quality one saves you money in the long run.
Get a bottle brush with bristles that are strong enough to thoroughly clean your baby bottles, but not so strong that they scratch the bottles.
The brush should definitely have a small nipple brush to wash bottle nipples without you having to turn them inside out and risk damaging them.
This bottle brush meets the above requirements and will actually last long enough until you need to replace it.
You need to sterilize baby bottles to be sure that you kill any bacteria that develops after your baby drinks from a bottle.
This is especially important in the first 3 months.
Although you can stop sterilizing baby bottles after this if your baby is healthy, I still prefer sterilizing until my baby is one year old.
You can sterilize bottles by boiling or using these sterilizing tablets.
Using sterilizing tablets or solution takes long, especially if time is not on your side. A quicker way is to use a microwave sterilizing unit. Here is my favorite one.
You can also use this electric bottle sterilizer. I have not used it but other moms love it!
Separate Dish For Washing Bottles
If you are going to handwash your baby’s bottles, I suggest getting a separate container, for washing the bottles and nothing else.
Firstly, it saves you time to clean the kitchen sink before washing the bottles.
Secondly, it helps avoid contaminating your baby’s bottles with kitchen leftovers and dirt.
Again, the container does not have to be anything fancy, just spacious like this one.
If you can wash baby bottles in your dishwasher, get a dishwasher basket like this one, where you can put baby bottles and separate them from all the other dishes.
Insulated Bottle Carrier
You will obviously get out with your baby at some point.
Preparing a bottle when you are out and about can be such a hassle, honestly.
Save yourself the frustration and prepare a bottle before you leave and throw it inside an insulated bottle carrier to keep it at the same temperature.
You can also carry warm water inside the bottle carrier and only prepare the bottle when your baby is ready for a feed.
A serious time saver when you are traveling with your baby or preparing bottles at night!
Pre-measure formula powder and put in a formula dispenser for later use.
Here is the one I love. All you need to do is turn to the next compartment, instead of changing lids or removing other sections.
I would get two of these dispensers if planning on traveling with your baby, especially if taking a long road trip or flight.
That way you don’t have to refill it every now and then.
Baby Bottle Warmer
If your baby doesn’t like cold milk, pop the bottle containing water inside the warmer and prepare milk for your baby once it has reached the desired temperature.
Formula Feeding Supplies I Don’t Consider To Be “Must Haves” But Are Convenient
You can make formula feeding work without these, but they do make things easier for you. Most moms love them, you might too.
Baby Bottle Instant Warmer
A lot of moms rave about this water dispenser. It dispenses warm water at the desired temperature and can hold enough water for the whole day.
The formula makes formula preparation easy and quick.
I haven’t needed it so far but who knows, you might.
I find that it is great during the first months when your baby still drinks a lot of formula.
Bottle Drying Rack
Another item moms really love.
If you prefer to keep baby bottles dry and ready for the next feed use this bottle drying rack to dry your baby’s bottles.
I usually keep my baby’s bottles inside the sterilization unit, or in the sterilizing solution.
However, if you no longer sterilize baby bottles then you might want them to dry before storing.
That is where a bottle drying rack will be useful.
A Thought On Buying Bottle Feeding Essentials
When buying formula feeding supplies, keep it simple.
You will come across a few lists of formula feeding must haves, like this one. These are items that made bottle feeding work for me.
One thing you will realize is that everybody has their own preferences. You will definitely end up having your own as well.
What is important is to keep things simple.
Focus on getting the basics first. See what works for you and then take it from there.
You should definitely use this list as a guide, you won’t go wrong.