Bottle feeding does not have to be hard or a huge struggle.
While it may be different than breastfeeding, here are a couple of formula feeding tips to make things a lot easier on you!
Am I a Bad Mom if I use Baby Formula?
You will never be a bad mom if you give your baby formula.
Both my children were formula fed and are the healthiest babies ever.
You can read more of my thoughts on fed is best along with my breastfeeding journey. You can also check out breastfeeding must haves and pumping must haves if you are doing a hybrid of feeding with breastmilk and formula.
Don’t worry if you use baby formula. There is no shame or need for mom guilt.
You are doing what is best for you and your baby and no one should look down on you for it.
You are an amazing mama. You are the best mom for you baby. Formula has nothing to do with your success as a mom.
How Much Does My Baby Need?
This most often depends on what your baby needs.
Typically in the beginning, newborns will need to be fed every 2 hours with 1-2 oz. This is just a guideline though each baby is different.
Benefits of Formula Feeding
There are many advantages for formula feeding. Here are a few of them.
Easy to Stock Up
With formula, you can stock up as much as you want so you never run out.
With breastmilk, you have to pump and try to build your storage.
It is a lot easier building a supply with formula.
Get a Break
You don’t have to be the only one feeding your baby when you formula feed.
That means you get a break whenever you want!
It is extremely helpful during those nighttime feeds so you can get some rest. Take turns with your partner throughout the night and you’ll feel a lot better.
When you breastfeed, you are the only one to feed your baby. Even if you bottle feed, you still have to pump.
With formula, anyone can make and prepare the milk. This was one thing I didn’t realize about breastfeeding.
Know Exactly How Much Baby is Eating
When you give your baby formula, you know exactly how much food they are eating.
No guessing is involved and it will help determine if anything is wrong with your baby.
This is also a great benefit for formula feeding because it is an easy number to give the doctor and to track their growth.
If your baby is having trouble latching, formula feeding also causes less pain for you and your baby.
Your baby won’t have to fight and struggle just to eat. And, you won’t have painful nipples.
If your nipples are hurting, I highly recommend Verdic Botanticals nipple cream. It saved my life.
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Formula Feeding Tips
First off, I think it is important to mention that there are of course pros and cons to formula feeding.
However just like everything related to being a mom and raising a baby, you gotta do whats best for you and your baby.
And if thats bottle feeding with formula, here is how to rock it.
Use One Brand of Formula
Most of the time, babies can do the simple formula no problem.
A lot of the time the generic formula even has the same exact ingredients as the expensive formula.
Do your research and pick one formula. If your baby likes it, stick with it.
If your baby is having trouble, it could be reflux or digestion problems.
Soy formula is a good alternative if the issue is cows milk.
If it is reflux, Enfamil A.R. is great as it has rice starch to help your baby.
However it is always best to go see a doctor and decide together what will be best for your baby.
Boiling Water/Warming Bottle
You do not have to boil your water to give to your baby.
You will only need to take these precautions if your water is contaminated. You can check here.
You also don’t have to get a bottle warmer. Just like cow’s milk, babies can drink formula cooler as well.
Do what your baby prefers. In some cases, they like it warm while others don’t have a preference.
Remember, less steps makes things a whole lot easier so if you don’t absolutely need it, don’t get it!
Pace feeding will help with reflux, throw up and burps.
Check out how to easily pace feed your baby with this video.
Wait to Buy Bottles
Don’t buy a ton of the same bottles in the beginning.
Start with one and see how your baby likes it before buying multiple.
I made that mistake with my second. I just grabbed a bunch of the Philips bottles since those worked with my breast pump perfectly.
But he hated them. We had to go and buy MAM bottles and never used the Philips ones. It was a waste.
They are amazing in absolutely every way possible and very budget-friendly compared to other bottles.
One thing I loved was that all the free baby boxes I got in the mail each had a different style of bottle so we could try a variety before purchasing other ones.
Tips for Formula Feeding at Night
Feeding your baby during the night can still be a breeze. Here are the best bottle feeding tips for night.
Preparation is Key
Preparation is key for formula feeding at night.
Get all your supplies in a diaper caddy before your lay down.
Stock up on diapers, wipes and all feeding supplies such as formula and bottles.
Keep it close to your bed so you don’t have to get up during the night.
Even if your baby only eats twice a night, always prepare an extra in case they want to cluster feed.
Nothing is more annoying than when you don’t prepare enough.
And, if you overprepare, then you are just ready for the day!
Preparing for night feeds will keep you organized and get you more sleep.
Decide where you will feed your baby and make it as comfortable as possible.
Having a feeding station will help you be best prepared for formula feeding at night.
Get a diaper caddy or other bag to keep everything neat and organized.
How to Store Formula for Night Feeds
You can use a formula pitcher but it does mean you get up to go to the fridge during the night just to make a bottle.
If you have a mini fridge in your room that could work.
Or, you can simply prepare bottles with water and add the formula when you’re ready with a formula dispenser.
PopYum bottles are also amazing to have for bottle feeding at night.
PopYum bottles is one of the best tips for formula feeding at night.
They already store the formula in place so you simply have to pop and feed.
No getting up or spilling formula. It makes formula feeding at night so much easier.
Keep the lights off if at all possible. I found a great night light that was very dim but gave enough light to help everyone stay sleepy.
Size Up on Diapers
After the first couple of weeks, your baby won’t poop often throughout the night.
When that occurs, go up a size on diapers so you don’t have to change at every feed.
This will help your baby stay asleep longer and you will get more sleep too!
Tips for Making Formula Quickly
Formula feeding a newborn does not have to take a lot of time. Here are some tips to make it very easy.
You can also check out my must haves for newborns so you are fully prepared.
It was really nice to have the liquid pre-made formulas during the newborn stage.
That definitely made formula feeding a newborn a lot easier as they tend to eat all the time.
Being a new mom, you are in that postpartum stage. Everything hurts. It hurts to move and to get up.
Having a set of those liquid formulas by your side will help you to still feed your baby and heal quicker.
You can also get a formula pitcher and make a big batch for the entire day. It saves money and lots of time!
Six Bottles Minimum
Having six bottles on hand helps tremendously, and here’s why.
You are exhausted, especially during the newborn stage or with multiple children.
Even though you want to get the dishes done every single day, it is not always possible.
Having six bottles on hand helps give yourself grace.
It also allows you to relax when your baby is napping instead of dragging yourself to do the dishes.
During the newborn stage, they eat a lot, sometimes every two hours or more, even at night.
Having six bottles on hand and ready to go let’s you stay in bed and not get up to go clean a bottle at 2am.
For formula feeding on the go, get a formula dispenser. Personally I love having two and use them even when I’m at home.
One on hand in case you lose it or its in the dishwasher.
There are a few different styles. First, you can get a three-sectioned one where you turn the nozzle. This works better when they are older as it holds the most formula.
You can also get a stacked one. I’ve noticed these typically hold a little less formula than the other style but still very nice.
Another option is the PopYum bottles. They hold the formula at the top of the bottle and you simply click when ready to use.
I always wanted to get these bottles but they are more expensive than traditional bottles. If they fit your budget, I recommend getting them.
Better yet, put them on your Amazon registry to get them free!
Formula Feeding Must Haves
Here are a few of my favorite formula feeding must haves to ensure your feeding journey is successful and as easy as it can be.
Get a bottle cleaner even if you have a dishwasher.
Oftentimes you need to clean a bottle right away and can’t wait for the dishwasher.
If you never end up using it for bottles, it also works great for a water bottle cleaner.
This is my favorite suggestion. Get a diaper caddy to hold the bottles for day and night time feedings.
Instead of trying to carry 6 bottles at once or make multiple trips in and out of the room, just get a diaper caddy to hold your bottles and other necessities.
It was a lifesaver with my second child. We got one big enough to hold diapers, wipes, diaper cream, and six bottles and two formula dispensers.
It saved me so much sleep during the night. It is so worth it.
MAM bottles were both of my kid’s favorite bottles.
They are great for reflux and are easy to clean and use.
Both the tops and bottoms come off. They also make it easy to sterilize in the microwave quickly as well.
Their size 1 ans 2 nipple are all you’ll need. We never used size 3. We bought them but it was too fast for our baby even as she aged.
PopYum bottles, if they are in your budget, will make things 100x easier.
If your baby likes the nipple these would be my top formula feeding must have. They are incredible and were invented to save new moms.
Whatever bottle dispenser you get, grab two.
Also make sure it will hold enough formula to last until they are a year old so you don’t have to buy additional ones later on.
When you don’t need formula anymore, these are also great snack holders!
A formula pitcher is like meal planning for babies.
It makes a big batch to last you throughout the day and saves a lot of time.
Does formula feeding help jaundice?
Some doctors believe formula feeding does help jaundice as it helps to lower the bilirubin in their system. Lots of fluids and sunlight also can help.
Does formula feeding help reflux?
Enfamil A.R. is a thicker formula to help your baby with reflux. It has a rich starch in it and is much safer than trying to thicken formula yourself. Some doctors will prescribe this formula if your baby has reflux.
Are breastfed babies healthier than formula fed babies?
This is not true. While there are powerful benefits from breastfeeding, formula is an amazing alternative choice of food and your baby will be just as healthy, if not more than a breastfed baby. It all depends on what your baby and you as a mom need most.
These formula feeding tips and must haves saved me time, sleep, and ultimately money with two children.
What are your formula feeding hacks for new moms? Share them below!