When you just cannot seem to make formula feeding work, you need the best tips to make it less work for you.
Use these formula feeding hacks to save you time and make formula feeding work for you.
Unlike breastfeeding, feeding your baby formula comes with a lot of effort.
Making sure you always have enough supply of formula milk, keeping the bottles clean, making sure the water is safe for your baby…
All these on top of taking care of your baby, which is a full-time job on its own.
On some random day your baby wakes up earlier than expected, wanting a bottle only to find that you have not found the time to wash even a single bottle…
Not only that.
You find that you actually used up all the clean water in the last feed and now the water supply has been cut off because there is a burst pipe somewhere in the neighborhood.
This means no clean bottle and no clean water for your hungry baby.
At some point you will just want to scream!
The formula feeding tips on this post will help you avoid all that.
You will finally know how to make bottle feeding work for you, get practical tips for feeding at night, and genius tips for formula feeding on the go.
Practical Formula Feeding Tips To Make Your Life So Much Easier
These tips will save you so much time and energy. This is how I survived the first 6 months bottle-feeding exclusively.
Pick The Right Formula
Choosing the right formula for your baby is so important.
Most newborn struggles (think reflux, gas, etc) can actually be caused by the type of milk your baby drinks.
Picking the right type can make your sleepless nights less unbearable.
Stock Up On Extra Formula
Always have an extra can of formula in case of emergencies.
Driving around at 3 am looking for any open store when you have run out of formula and your baby needs to eat is not a joke.
Baby formula is costly, yes, but you are going to have to buy it anyway.
Might as well as buy two cans at the same time.
Read Also: How To Save On Baby Formula (9 Genius Tips)
Get The Right Bottles And Nipples
I cannot stress this enough!
Leaking bottles and blocked nipples can be so frustrating, trust me.
Besides leaking all that milk and reducing your baby’s feed, they drench your baby’s clothes in milk, prompting you to change baby’s clothes, wasting your already limited time.
Finding a bottle you and baby will both love might require a bit of trial error.
So be prepared to switch a few times until you find a perfect match.
Once you do, stick with it.
I have tried a few brands of baby bottles and I love these baby bottles for their cute design, soft breast-like nipples, and the fact that they DO NOT leak.
Create A Feeding Station
Set up a designated area for preparing your baby’s formula.
That is where you will put formula, water, and clean bottles, ready for the next bottle.
Keep the area clean.
Know Your Baby’s Feeding Schedule
Know the time your baby usually feeds and avoid racing against the clock to make a bottle for a hungry baby wailing in the background.
It will not be the exact time every day, but it will be around the same time.
Granted, it might not be so easy to establish this with so much already going on. But it really helps to know.
I know with my first baby it took me a long time to figure it out. The second time around was much easier.
You should also know your baby’s hunger cues so you can always give the bottle before they get irritable.
Give Room Temperature Milk
Do not get your baby used to hot milk, room temp is ok.
Reserve warmer milk for cold weather days as the milk does get rather too cold for a small baby.
Just like you would not want to eat cold food in winter and would prefer a hearty warm bowl of soup, your baby will appreciate a warmer bottle.
Prepare Formula In Batches
Making a large batch of formula is so convenient.
You just take the amount of milk your baby drinks at each feed and multiply that by the number of feeds you want from the batch on that day.
Use a safe milk pitcher, preferably one made from glass, and store it in the fridge for the next 24 hours, measuring out a bottle every time your baby wants a feed.
Keep in mind that once that 24-hour period passes you have to discard the remaining milk.
Do not make the mistake of feeding your little one formula that has been in the fridge for over 24 hours.
Preparing baby formula in bulk requires you to know your baby’s feeding schedule so you can warm up beforehand.
Cold milk takes a little extra time to warm up so you definitely need to start warming it before your baby starts crying.
One of the best formula feeding tips is to always be a step ahead.
Make sure you always have clean bottles, water, and formula milk (pre-measured is even better).
Have a dedicated container for clean, boiled, and cooled water ready for use. Mark it even.
I prefer using a big glass bottle to store this water instead of a plastic one, and this is why.
Have A Schedule For Cleaning And Sterilizing Bottles
Plan to wash dirty bottles before you need them (wash in bulk or immediately after feeding, whatever works for you).
Knowing you have clean bottles when the day starts the day lifts so much weight off your shoulders!
You can schedule to wash the bottles every night before going to bed, or first thing in the morning (if you are going to wash all the bottles in the morning, rinse off milk residue and soak in clean water overnight).
You can even wash them in the dishwasher if they are compatible, check the manufacturer’s label.
Yes, Sterilize Your Baby Bottles
Sterilizing baby bottles sure takes up a lot of your time but it is necessary to avoid health complications from bacteria and germs.
Sanitize, Sanitize, Sanitize
What Is the use of making all that effort sterilizing baby bottles only to handle them with dirty hands?
Keep a bottle of sanitizer next to your baby’s feeding station to use every time before preparing your baby’s bottles.
Ask Someone Else To Feed Baby
One of the best things about formula feeding is the ability to shift the responsibility to someone else and take a breather.
Instead of trying to get everything done by yourself, ask daddy or grandparents to feed your little one.
Feeding time is excellent for bonding so this will also give your baby an opportunity to bond with your loved ones.
Always Have A Burp Cloth Within Reach
More often than not, babies spit up milk.
Where does all that milk end up? Yes, on their clothes.
A burp cloth will catch that milk before it lands on your little one’s adorable outfit, saving you time spent on changing that cute outfit again!
You can also wipe milk spills from the bottles with a burp cloth.
Formula Feeding At Night
I always say the worst thing about bottle-feeding is having to wake up and prepare bottles at night.
Here is how to make nighttime bottle feeding easier for you.
Setup A Feeding Station In Baby’s Room
When you are tired in the middle of the night, the last thing you want is a trip to the kitchen to make a bottle.
Having a second feeding station in the nursery (or your bedroom) will not only save you time and energy, it will also be convenient for you.
You just need to make sure it is not too close to your baby’s crib, especially if there is hot water for warming the bottles.
Preparing Bottles For Night Feeds
Waking up in the middle of the night to mix formula is so boring honestly.
Plus it is so easy to make mistakes when preparing formula milk while you are half asleep.
You might just add an extra scoop, or even end up using hot water.
To avoid this, you can prepare formula bottles in advance.
You do not have to mix beforehand if you do not want to.
Have clean bottles ready, and measure out water ready to mix formula.
This way, all you have to do is pour water into the bottle and throw in formula.
No need to count scoops and definitely no chance of using 4oz of water when you actually wanted 3oz. Believe me, it happens.
I do not prefer mixing formula milk in advance for the night.
You have to keep it in the fridge and that means you will have to make a trip to the kitchen at night, measure the correct amount of milk, and still warm it up.
I would rather just prepare everything in the nursery.
Dim The Lights
Bright light can take your baby out of snooze mode into a wide-awake-ready-to-play mode.
That is not what you want.
You want your baby to snooze off right after feeding so you can go back and catch some sleep as well.
In dreamland, your little one will fall asleep right after burping.
In real life, however, your baby will stay awake for a little while after feeding.
You want to keep distractions at a minimum during this time to avoid stimulating them, so keep the noise levels down.
This means no fiddling with your phone or using toys either.
Keep It Short
Once your baby wakes up, quickly check if they need a diaper change, wash your hands, and prepare a bottle.
Again, you want to take as little time as possible so they can go back to sleep.
Tips For Formula Feeding On The Go
Formula feeding in the comfort of your own home is completely different from formula feeding when you are out and about.
You can make it less of a hassle though.
Here are clever formula feeding tips for when you are away from home. Use along with all the tips on this guide.
Plan Your Trip And Feeding Times
Whether you are having an outing for the day or you are going out for the whole weekend, planning will really save your sanity.
From departure, map out your trip, estimate your time on the road, and see how you can incorporate your baby’s feeding schedule.
How many times is your baby going to drink milk? At which times?
Prepare enough bottles, enough water, and formula.
Now, one three-compartment formula divider might not be suitable here especially if you are going away for a longer period of time.
Use these formula dispensers to measure out more batches of formula for the trip. It is a pack of 6 so you can buy to pack to make it 12 if you need more.
Be sure to store them in a cool dry area to avoid spoiling the milk.
Get Yourself A Good Quality Flask
Use a flask to put warm water for preparing formula milk especially in cold weather. It will cool down as time goes and be the perfect temperature for mixing the formula.
If traveling with a flask is way too much of a hassle, a travel baby bottle warmer is perfect for you.
If the water is too cold for your little one, pop it inside the warmer and get it to the preferred temperature for your baby.
I love this travel baby bottle warmer from Tommee Tippee. It is nice and small to fit into a diaper bag and simple to so simple to use.
Make Plans For Sterilizing The Water And Bottles
If you are going to be away from home for a few days, you need to have a plan of how you will keep your little one’s bottles clean.
It is much easier if you are going to visit relatives as you will have access to hot water and can even use the boiling method to sterilize baby bottles.
If you are going to an unfamiliar place (or camping like us), you will have to make provisions to prepare your baby’s formula with clean safe water and bottles.
Use the chemical solution method (tablets or liquid) to sterilize the bottles.
I find that sterilization tablets are more convenient. Just keep them in a dry area so they do not get moist.
Even if you do not have the sterilization unit, just measure out the required amount of water into any clean container, throw in the sterilization tables and you are good to go.
It is possible that the water in the area you are visiting is not suitable for a small baby.
This portable gas stove came in handy when I needed to boil water in the middle of nowhere with no heat source. Buy it, you will be glad you did.
Plan For Unforeseen Circumstances
What will happen if you end up being away longer than planned? Have you got enough formula to last longer than your planned stay?
How will you wash the bottles and sanitize them? Take a bottle brush and soap with.
Will you have enough clean water? This is where you should consider getting that this portable gas stove to sterilize the water if you are unsure about its safety.
I fully understand and do agree that it is not always simple to travel with all these things.
Especially since traveling with a baby already puts you in a corner to pack a lot.
Do not overthink it, find a way to make a stove to fit into your bag or suitcase.
See if you can also fit in a small bucket in there as well, you can even put in some clothes inside.
It is all about improvising so that you can make formula feeding work for you on the go.
Making Formula Feeding Work For You
Formula feeding is definitely more demanding compared to breastfeeding.
You do not have to struggle or feel like you got the wrong end of the deal though.
One thing I can tell you is that the secret lies in planning.
Always think ahead. Do you have enough bottles and water ready in case your baby wakes up hungry unexpectedly?
Is there enough formula for the next week?
Initially, it will seem like a lot of work.
All those technicalities of measuring enough water, scooping out the correct amount of baby formula, and ensuring you always use clean sterilized baby bottles.
It can all seem like such a hassle.
If you apply these formula feeding tips and hacks, you will get so used to it, and preparing formula milk will become second nature for you.