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Buying for Baby: Bottle Feeding & Formula

Friday, 17 April 2009  |  Admin

Although we all know the benefits of breast-feeding for mother and child, sometimes it just doesn't work out. Even if you're 100% committed to breast-feeding, your baby just might not get the hang of it.
In my case I fed both of my boys myself for 6 & 7 months respectively and fully expected to do the same with my girly girl (GG). Unlike my boys however, the GG never seemed to take to it in the same way and was very unsettled until we introduced formula at 4 months. I can honestly say it was like flicking a switch - we went from having an unsettled, grumpy baby to one who would simply fall asleep herself under her play gym. I should have listened to my Mum who had been telling me that she was hungry all along (and bless my Mum, she has yet to say 'I told you so').
So is it necessary to buy bottles and formula prior to the arrival of your new baby if you're planning on breast-feeding? Well, yes I think so. There's a couple of circumstances where it's really beneficial.
Firstly, if you have a big, hungry baby like both of my boys then they might not be satisfied with colostrum until your milk comes in. By all means, offer them breast every two hours, but if you've got a restless baby giving them an oz or two of formula isn't going to hurt them and might give you a little respite to have a snooze.
And in this instance, you don't want to have to leave the house for a midnight hunt for an open supermarket. Much easier to have a couple of bottles on hand, with a couple of cartons of ready prepared formula. (Again, if you've never made up formula before, trying to work out the instructions with a screaming baby and fuzzy post labour head isn't a pleasant experience - take it from one who knows!)
So what do you actually need to buy in terms of bottles / formula etc? I used Avent bottles for my eldest boy but switched to Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature for my GG. They're the ones that are boob shaped and are specially made for Mums who plan to mix feed. Initially if you're planning to breast feed, two should be enough for emergencies - and don't bother with the small bottles as they'll outgrow them and you can use the 9oz bottles from the start.
As I said earlier, if you're a new Mum, have 2 or 3 small cartons of ready made formula on hand. You might not need it, but it's better to have it there and not need it than have a panicked rush out to get some when you need it. As for which brand of formula, that's up to you. I used SMA Gold because that's what they use in the maternity unit that my Mum works in, but some friends recommend Milupa instead.
The other reason you might want to buy bottles is if you plan to mix-feed with breast feeding and some bottle feeding (either formula or expressed breast milk). It's a great combination giving you some freedom and potentially getting your partner involved...but I'll talk about that next time. See you soon.

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