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  1. #1
    akc Guest

    Default Breakdown of the Basics of Bottle Feeding

    Hi all -

    I typed this for another thread and decided to post it more generally, because I want to use my experience with bottle feeding to help another expectant mother (WARNING - this is long but chock full of info). And, boy oh boy, once you formula feed a baby, you have a lot of experience on this. :) I could not breastfeed due to a medication that passes through breastmilk and could cause brain development defects, so we went with formula from the get go.

    When I was expecting, I searched and searched and could not find here or elsewhere exactly what to do with bottle feeding and how to plan for it. I was in tears because I felt so unprepared and frustrated. I felt bad enough that I couldn't breastfeed, but having a lack of information was almost an insult to those among us bottlefeeding. I hope this will help ANYONE WHO IS FORMULA FEEDING since I didn't have this info and it was SO very frustrating. I have lots of advice, including on the bottles - and, you should know, we used Avent bottles, but all of the below applies no matter what bottles you use - but I'll start from the top. REMEMBER, THIS IS JUST MY HUMBLE OPINION AND YOU SHOULD DO WHAT YOU WANT, BUT IF EXPERIENCE COUNTS FOR ANYTHING, HERE GOES: ;-)
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    First, the hospital.

    They will give you tiny, ready-to-serve 2 oz formula bottles to feed your baby. They are awesome and the right amount at that time. You should stock up on them. This is not stealing b/c they will charge you later on your bill, but everytime they bring some, put them in your bag and ask for more. Your baby will use this size for a little bit of time and the only ready-to-serve bottles out there come in 4 oz sizes so you're just throwing money away (and, you will spend a lot of formula so save it now!) Stock up!!! You can use these for the first initial, rough nights - I recommend you save them for nights and fix bottles during the day b/c sleep is precious.

    Secondly, SEND your baby to the nursery for feedings at night. This sounds cruel and unless you have your heart absolutely set on rooming in, you should get the sleep. You will not get a full night of sleep again for at least 3 - 4 months and you're body has been through a lot of trauma. We sent our daughter at about 10-11 p.m. and then called for her at about 7 a.m. It is SO key to use the help at the hospital - you'll wish at home that you could just dial up the nursery and have someone come help you!

    Thirdly, unless you are nonconfrontational, you may want to consider putting a sign on your door that says "Bottle feeding" - this will save you two things: 1) heartache - when every nurse and doctor walks in and says, "oh, are you having trouble nursing," "now let's get that baby on your breast," "have you tried nursing?" "why don't you want to nurse, you know it's better for reason X," and "I'm sure the baby could latch on, it's not too late for you to change your mind" - this is at first gutwrenching and at the end the focus of your wrath; and 2) the knock, knock in the middle of the night when they want you to breastfeed and wake you up even though you aren't nursing and desperately want the sleep.

    Finally, for the hospital, let's talk about engorgement. If you are bottle feeding, your boobs don't know it and will get engorged. NO ONE TOLD ME WHAT TO DO ABOUT THIS. You should: not touch them ever even though they burn and get hard, face away from the shower when you take one, wear a sports bra starting IMMEDIATELY after delivery so you keep your breasts compact and less likely to get really engorged (you will sleep and live in this so have plenty clean), get frozen peas (that you'll put in your sports bra when you lie down for a nap, and be prepared for a lot of discomfort. The good news is it distracts from your "down there" pain and you will feel like a Playboy Playmate, but the bad news is it takes about a week for it to go down. If you are desperate and they don't seem to be receding, you should - this is not a lie, this is what they tell you in the hospital - get cabbage leaves and put them in your bra. The cabbage will cook from the heat of your boobs and release some natural chemical that stops your engorgement. Sounds ridiculous, I know, but it works.
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    Now, onto bottles:

    For a newborn, I HIGHLY recommend that you buy enough to get through 2 days (instead of one which most people will tell you). We loved the Avent bottles and had *20* 4 oz bottles for our newborn daughter. Some people will tell you that b/c the baby will only know one kind of bottle, you don't need to spend on the Avent. This is probably true, but I liked the system and they were about the same price as the Gerber New Traditions and the Playtex ones, and I liked the wide size.

    Also, I know many people will advise you to not get all your bottles b/c babies are picky and might not want the bottle you pick. In my experience, all my friends who formula fed, and my pediatrician's, a bottle fed baby has no preference but the one you initially give them. They learn to feed on that bottle and that one only (after the hospital transition which goes smoothly b/c they are so young and so hungry!) We got all our bottles and had them ready to go so we didn't have to bother with unwrapping, assembling, reading directions, etc. once we were home with the baby. Made us feel very ready (my hubby even tasted the formula with an oz or two, but he's just that way). If you really want to hedge your bets, I would say get them all and keep a box or two (they usually come in sets - Avents are in sets of 3) wrapped in case you want to return them. Again, it makes sense that they'll stick to the same bottle. A breastfed baby will have a whole other set of preferences and should rightfully be pickier about which bottle they use. A formula fed baby is a creature of habit!

    Anyway, You will be so exhausted the first couple days and the baby eats about every 2-3 hours - and most likely, it will not be you cleaning the bottles, so have enough that you could go through 2 whole days and run out or - more than likely - you'll do a batch here and a batch there and be fine all the time. It will depend on how big your baby is and/or how much they eat (my daughter went from 2 oz in hospital to about 4 within a week and a half! She plateaued there for a while though).

    We then got *12* 9 oz bottles for after she was 2 1/2 months (I'm telling you, my daughter is a little piggie!) and that gets us through about a day and a half initially, but now (at 4 months) she's down to only 4-5 7 oz bottles a day, so we can really go through three days with them (she's sleeping 12 hours through the night w/no feeding). (By the way, I'm not sure how this is on other bottles, but you COULD use the Avent 9 oz bottles for a newborn, but the disadvantage is that they are much bigger which is not a huge deal except your baby is really floppy and you may want all the hands you've got, but more importantly, the 4 oz bottle marks 1 - 4 oz, while the 9 oz starts at 2 oz. You will probably only fix 1 oz at some point or, more likely, want to know that your baby only drank 1 oz, so having that marker is a real advantage.) You could, however, get a mix if you'd like. I figured that we got the Avent so we could use them with multiple kids and we are really lazy (or efficient my hubby would say!)

    Now, unless there are 10 people living in your house, I also recommend getting a bottle sterilizer (Avent makes the best ones and there are two kinds, but I think you can use it for some other wide-mouth bottles). I know that you will think this is a waste of money b/c you CAN run them in the diswasher (be sure to get those little baskets that you can put the nipples in b/c they can't free float in the diswasher), but we found that we were not running the diswasher often enough to get the bottles clean. To do that, we'd have to run an empty load every night and that was just a waste (plus a pain). We got the plug in sterilizer (b/c it can do 6 instead of 4) and put it on the counter near our "bottle system" - I'll tell you about that in a minute. You can do 6 4 oz or 9 oz or a mix in 8 minutes and then, voila!, you have clean bottles. There is a microwave one too, but it only saves a minute and does 4 less bottles. We are very happy with the plug in one.

    Also, do not waste money initially getting more nipples than the newborn ones that come with the bottles (there is one they sell for 1 months). First of all, with the Avent system, they all come with newborn nipples (which are interchangeable on the 4 oz and 9 oz bottle). You should use the newborn for a while - our hospital said you can use them forever if it doesn't bother the baby. Think about it - breast fed babies don't have "variable speed" nipples, so your baby will get used to one (after a few weeks, in the beginning it's a little strange for them) and they'll be fine on it. We made the mistake of buying 6 sets (2 in a pkg) of the 1+ month and we've really barely used them. Our daughter is happy as is. Plus, there is a high risk that a formula fed baby is overfed b/c you can see how much they are eating and want to squeak more in them if you can (I promise - this sounds strange, but you will. In our case, our daughters formula intake = sleep, so 4 oz = 4 hours, etc. you see why we wanted more?!) So, don't put on the faster flow nipple b/c they will just gorge themselves.

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    Let's see, what else...H20

    OH - SAVE YOURSELF LOAD OF TIME: GO ROOM TEMPERATURE. Some people recommend a bottle-prep process that works for them which is to make the bottles ahead, or a pitcher of formula, and put in the fridge until you need it and then warm it. If that works for them, fine, but I've got to tell you. There is NO reason that a purely formula-fed baby has to have a warm bottle. ROOM TEMPERATURE is absolutely fine. This is how they give it to them in the hospital and this is what they know. Unlike a breastfed baby who gets warm milk from their mom (then you really have to warm it), a bottle-fed baby never has the warm milk experience and will love their room temperature bottles. Can I tell you what this means for you? NO warmer, no chilling, no temperature check, no warming in the middle of the night, no warming on the go, nothing! It's the easiest. You simply mix it up, shake it, and feed!

    Unless you have well water or some other freaky kind of water system, you can use tap water for your bottles, so you can save the money. We were purely lazy and wanted a system that was easier then trying to fill them to the exact mark of oz with a tap and also thought getting the right temperature would be a hassle.

    So, here's our water system: We actually have a room temperature water cooler in our daughter's room (just one of those ceramic ones) b/c it's easy to get clean water (easier than modulating room temp out of a tap). We fill 16 oz water bottles (any kind, you just want the bottle) and set 2 out for a day with 4 out waiting on a shelf. Then, just refill periodically. That way, you have an bottle available to pour the water in the bottle (b/c you need to see the exact amount), scoop in the powder (we went powder, it is easiest and, by far, the cheapest and formula ADDS UP!), shake and feed!

    By the way, that is the process- Don't be scared of powder formula (I certainly was) it's really easy and is highly portable:
    1) water first to the oz mark,
    2) pour in formula powder (don't worry that it makes the bottle higher),
    3) shake or mix,
    4) serve to baby (if you have a gassy baby, you may want to worry about the bubbles, but with the Avent bottles they really can't get to the bubbles unless you are holding the bottle incorrectly OR they are finished!)

    On another important note, often you'll make a "full bottle" (whatever that is at the time) and then Dbaby will only eat 1 oz of it. You'll be very tempted to always keep this b/c formula is so expensive and reuse it later. I've heard mixed things from no matter what dump it (the formula company, I wonder why...b/c they want you to use more formula?) to you have ONE hour to reuse this bottle (my pediatrician). The danger in it is that normal bacteria from the baby's mouth has entered the rest of the formula in the bottle. Any longer & the bottle could be a breeding ground for little microorganisms and contaminated (doesn't matter if you fridge it or heat it). I must admit, b/c I'm trying to be honest here, that I have stretched this a little at times, but generally stuck to it b/c it's just not worth it. You should also use an open can of powder formula in a limited amount of time - check the back of the can - there is a "use by" date - store it out (not in fridge or damp place) but temp controlled to be normal temp and always with the plastic lid on; we use the value size of S. Advance and it's one month. Also, we never used Ready-to-Serve formula but once it is opened, it has to go in the fridge immediately and be used within 48 hours (so be sure you know how much that baby eats!)

    When I go out with Maeve and need to feed on-the-go, my daughter, I fill the Avent bottle with the right amount of water, I got one of those formula dispensers (three sides that you can fill and pour) and then mix and serve. We use Similac Advance and it doesn't have the little individual packages yet, but if you go with either of the ones w/Iron, they have them.

    I promise - this is not cruel to your baby, this is how they know food and how they do it in the hospital. Our pediatrician absolutely advised us to do this. Save yourself about 6 months of effort...GO WITH ROOM TEMP!

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    Hmmm...moving on. Convenience is key:

    I don't know what kind of house y'all have, but we put a can of formula on every floor (we have a three story) and my hubby circulated bottles between the floors as well. This is key b/c you never know when your newborn will have the hunger urge and you won't want them to cry/scream until you can get up/downstairs to feed them. Later, as they get more social, you'll want to feed them in a quiet, undistracting place (in our case, her room) so then you won't have to distribute as much. You may want to do stair running to burn off the maternal fat, but your body will be in no shape after delivery or especially a c-section.

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    On this same front, HAVE A "BOTTLE SYSTEM":

    You can design your own based on whatever works for you, but our "bottle system" has worked for 4 families and I highly recommend it. We got two tupperware containers (the high kind about 14x8 - not for food but for storage). Then, we got two of the BRU bottle drying racks (don't see it on the website - it is really plain with a white bottom and 12 teal sticks that stick up, 6 long and 6 short) and one bottle cleaning brush (can get two if you want to have an extra). Bear with me here b/c it is hard to explain this in words, if you want me to take a digital picture I can later.

    Set one tupperware by the sink and put the drying rack in it. This will be for your dirty bottles. You'll bring them down, rinse them with a tiny amount of soap (if your using a sterilizer) or just water (for the diswasher) using the little bottle brush. It is REALLY important to rinse right away b/c man that stuff clumps and sticks. Then, you turn them upside down on the rack by the sink (there is a little post for the bottle & the nipple, the white ring and the lid can just get tossed in there) and know that these are the DIRTY bottles. If nesting, you can even make a label. We wrote in Sharpie Marker.

    Set the other tupperware away SOMEWHERE ELSE and put the drying rack in it (ours is underneath our cabinet with our "big people" glasses which are, of course, clean). This will be for your clean bottles. Once they are out of the diswasher or sterilizer, they are often still a bit wet. You can turn them upside down in the same manner (bottles and nipples on the posts, rings and lids in the container) and know these are ready to go. Again, if nesting, label CLEAN

    Right now, designate your husband/partner (who is a godsend b/c daddy's can bottle feed in the middle of the night - which is REALLY important for your recovery, see below) as the president in charge of the system AND teaching one or two members of your family (who are, of course, here to help with the baby when born) how to do the system as well. You will be going through these bottles like water, so teach them ahead of time. Your hubby can do a dry run b/c all the bottles need to be sterilized before they can be used.

    If you use this, I promise you'll always have clean bottles and never go through that, "Oh my god, did I just feed my baby with a dirty bottle that was sitting here on the counter and I'm not even sure when it was rinsed?! Or was it clean? ACK?!" You won't have a huge pile up of dirty bottles in your sink and a screaming, hungry child in your arms. You'll be good to go!

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    How the bottle feeding goes with the baby:

    At first, they will have a hard time figuring out this but their sucking reflex is strong and natural, so they get it pretty quickly. Our hospital had soft, rubber nipples that my daughter figured out right away. It will NOT be a problem switching to a silicone nipple later, so don't worry. Also, you should check with your pediatrician, but mine advised me to give my daughter whatever the hospital had while in the hospital and then switch to what we wanted to use (we went with Similac Advance) as soon as we got home. He also advised that unless we experienced problems (allergies, lactose intolerance, other assorted tummy/feeding problems) to only ever switch formulas ONCE. It's not a good idea to try to use every freebie you got from the formula companies - it will only cause them tummy aches and confusion.

    You should be sure to hold the bottle at the correct angle (formula should fill the nipple with no air) and then keep in their mouth at a depth where the baby's lips can close around it, but not too deep that they are gagging. If it's too far out, the formula will run all down their face (which is will partly anyway, but you'll see when their little lips close around it). Your baby may get a little blister on their top or bottom lip from the rubber/silicone nipple but this is OK - it just has to toughen a little bit.

    And, if you can find them, it's nice to have bibs that are: a) velcro closures on the back, b) cloth on the front (soft), and c) plastic on the back (because that formula runs everywhere & you may have to change the baby's clothes with diaper changes so you don't want to have to with diaper change and feeding!)

    In the beginning, we burped our daughter every ounce and she never spit up (that also was probably just that we were lucky), but if they get too much in their little tummy, they will spit up and/or stop eating even though they are still hungry b/c their tummy is full. We burped her sitting up b/c it was easier to just flip her up from lying on her back with the bottle (really at an angle, don't lie them completely flat) to burp and then back down again. She was never really floppy headed though, so this one is personal preference.

    Have a cloth diaper or burp cloth on your lap and your shoulder (and you may want one on your arm beneath the baby's head). You're likely to get formula all over in the beginning.

    All this will depend on the baby, but those were the basics from our front. Also, be sure to know your baby's hunger cues (vs. soothing sucking). Maeve's was to suck vigorously but to do this ravenously side to side (sort of like shaking her head side to side). When she wanted soothing sucking, her tongue went more front to back. B/c your baby is formula fed...trumpets playing...you can give him/her a pacifier right away (or your pinkie) for soothing sucking, so TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS! You do not want to overfeed the baby and they want soothing sucking a lot.

    The great part about bottle feeding is that the baby gets nutrition and calories from minute one, so they are more likely to sleep at bit more between feedings. But, this ALL depends on the baby. Keep track of the amount of time between bottles b/c this is how you'll know if he/she is sucking b/c of hunger or for soothing (and, obviously, keep track of how much they eat b/c you can and only prepare that much until you think they may be growing through a growth spurt.)

    Last thing on this front is this: It IS better for a baby to be breastfed immediately b/c of the immunities and other nutrients in breastmilk. BUT, all babies catch up to each other at 6 months, some earlier. So, do not berate yourself on this decision. We used Similac Advance b/c I felt so guilty and it has the closest formula to breastmilk (along with Enfamil Lipil) so the baby catches up at 3 months, but any formula will get your baby to the same place at the same time. In my case, because of my medication, my pediatrician refused to let me try to breastfeed b/c he did not want to treat my child later for a defect or brain development problem (b/c of the medication is my breastmilk) when I would have a happy, healthy child just as equally if I formula fed. This made me feel very confident in my decision. If you ever need reassurance, just email me.

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    Now, onto Daddy's role in bottle feeding - HE IS YOUR EQUAL!

    On the Daddy front, as much as it is hard b/c you want to hold, snuggle, and spend special time with your new baby, you SHOULD ABSOLUTELY LET YOUR HUBBY FEED THE BABY! Especially during the middle of night the first few days. If you sleep, you will recover more quickly. My hubby and I had a "every other night" system down - he let me sleep a whole night while he fed Maeve, then I did the next night. This meant one of us was never exhausted and could always have a lot of energy for the baby. Also, we both felt completely bonded with her (unlike breastfeeding where the baby naturally bonds more with the Mom). If you are ever really exhausted (b/c you'll still have him/her more during the day) ask him to do a bottle and you go nap.

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    MY SAPPY POINT OF VIEW ABOUT BOTTLE FEEDING AS A TEAM

    This brings me to my last point about bottlefeeding. Despite how much I agonized over not being able to breastfeed, I now believe that bottle feeding has made my marriage and parenting relationship with my husband stronger. From the minute she was born, we were a team. We shared feeding her and planning her activities. We were both completely bonded with her and knew the system to keep her fed & happy. When I was down, he was happy to step in. When he was exhausted (esp when he went back to work), I could step up. We were both rested enough that we could ENJOY our newborn (where many parents are so exhausted they see the first few weeks through bleary eyes). We had FUN! We laughed and felt like we were, together, entering a new phase of our lives. Even today, my hubby still brings the bottles up to her room for her good night and good morning bottle. And, he packs the diaper bag when we go out (by the way, I really love my Avent backpack - it is so handy to have both arms free and everything fits well).

    You have no idea how much this partnership will mean to you. It will make the difference between a miserable first weeks/month and a parenting team that is problem solving but always together. Make your husband read this posting if you don't think you can talk about it. I now think that bottle feeding was right for us, despite how much I wish I could for all of the reasons that I know (and, believe me, people will tell you over and over and over again - if you want advice on that, just email me). Both hubby and I have loved our baby experience from night one and we credit a lack of total exhaustion due to teamwork as a large reason why.

    As much as I longed for the special moment that I was able to bring my baby to my breast, I found that it was replaced by the special moment of seeing my husband give my daughter a bottle, whisper and sing in her ear, and the big crocodile tears streaming down his face at how much he loved her. And, that wasn't just the first time, it is virtually every day. It brings tears to my eyes right now. It was irreplaceable and the first time I watched it was the moment I knew in my heart that bottle feeding was the right decision for us, not only because of the circumstances, but becuase of the reality that is our lives now as we both feed her and look into her eyes knowing she is going to be a happy, healthy baby.

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    THE END

    I'm sorry if this is too long & exhaustive for all you, but I really, really, really wanted to know this stuff and agonized over getting only bits and pieces from different people and books. There are so many step-by-step books for breastfeeding in addition to lactation consultants and the La Leche league. I felt I was a beleagered outcast b/c I couldn't find info and/or assistance. I'm sure this is more than enough advice for you, but if it's not helpful to you, I'm hoping it will be for others!

    Good luck! If ANYONE has any more questions, please let me know and I'll be happy to answer them. I wish you all a happy bottle feeding future!

    Alexa

  2. #2
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    Default RE: Breakdown of the Basics of Bottle Feeding

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I too have felt like a terrible mom-to-be because I will not be breastfeeding, also due to medication. I am so tired of people thinking I can just stop taking my meds or switch to a miracle drug that is safe and effective for both myself and the baby. Right now, I am not on any medicine and I just take things day-by-day - some days are just better than others. The bad days are REALLY bad, but thankfully pregnancy kind of puts me in a type of remission. I have wonderful support from my family and doctors, but other people - even well-meaning friends - are another story. I have been looking for a resource for bottle-feeding and I am so thankful you have shared your wisdom with the rest of us. I've even printed it for quick reference. THANK YOU!

    JMarie
    EDD 2/23/03
    Aidan Christopher
    Jennifer
    Momma to Aidan 01/03
    New addition coming 10/08

  3. #3
    bnme is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Default RE: Breakdown of the Basics of Bottle Feeding

    Thanks so much for this info! It is always helpful to get this type of info from experienced Moms, and bottle-feeding is a subject that's hard to find honest info on. I plan on bfing, but only for a short period of time, so this info will definitely come in handy!!

    You are right, there is so much info and pressure about bfing it is difficult to educate yourself about bottle-feeding. I only want to bf for a short time (going back to work and don't want to/think it will be too difficult logistically to pump --and feel confident that my baby will get good nutrition on formula) and can't really find any info/support/tips on bf for 6 weeks or less. Everyone's answer is "well, you can always pump" or "you may decide to do it longer, you won't know until you try" --as if I am giving in by planning on doing it for a short time only. Thankfully, my pediatrician is supportive and has given some advice -hopefully more once I start seeing them regularly (EDD 12/24)

    Thanks!


    Donna

    Mom to JT 1/03 and TJ 8/04

  4. #4
    mdefalcony Guest

    Default RE: Breakdown of the Basics of Bottle Feeding

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a detailed review. It was so helpful!!!! I haven't found any information out there like you described and I truly appreciate it!!!

    One question: Do you use any of the Avent disposable bottles??

    I plan on starting with the 4oz reusable bottles, then switching to the disposables for the 8oz size. I thought these would be more convenient for feedings away from home. Do you have any experience with them?? Since I plan on using the disposables I'm a little confused as to how many 4oz reusable I'll need in the very begining. I was thinking around 9 (since they come in 3pks).

    I appreciate any thoughts or comments you can suggest.

    Thanks again for such great advise!!!

    Maria

  5. #5
    KimberleyDawn Guest

    Default RE: Breakdown of the Basics of Bottle Feeding

    All I can say is THANK YOU!! Your post was so soothing and informative. I bottle fed my 1st over 10yrs ago and your post was a great refresher for me with some great proven tips.

    Kim

  6. #6
    Momof3Labs is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
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    Default RE: Breakdown of the Basics of Bottle Feeding

    bnme,

    I hope that you don't take this the wrong way, because I had originally planned to only bf for a short period of time (then changed my mind), but did you know that you can combine bf and bottle-feeding? You can wean the baby down to bf for a feeding or two a day and bottle-feed formula the rest of the day. There is no need to pump in between the feedings, if you wean down properly, your supply will automatically adjust to the one or two feedings a day. It's just a suggestion, if you find yourself reluctant to wean by 6 weeks (as I did)!

    Lori
    mommy to Colin Daniel 9/28/02
    Single mom to

    DS ("twice exceptional") - September 2002
    DS - February 2006
    DD - July 2009
    DD - July 2009

  7. #7
    akc Guest

    Default RE: Breakdown of the Basics of Bottle Feeding

    Hi Maria -

    We never used any disposable bottles - primarily b/c we were using powder and so it was easy to mix it in the actual bottle (shaking) and then wash it with our good 'ol bottle system. You'd have to wash the nipple and top ring anyway, right? I find it's really convenient for everyday out and about b/c you just pack the bottles (which you'd do with a disposable) w/water in them and then the container of powder, mix, shake and serve. IF you are going far (we went to St. Thomas w/Maeve at 6 weeks and Asheville, NC with her at 9 weeks), you just take the bottles, a can of powder (or the little dispenser) and get the water there. Easy enough! But, maybe there is someone who used the disposables that can give advice...?

    On the 4 oz reusable, you'll need way more than nine unless you're planning on sterilzing/washing all the time. Keep in mind that if the baby eats every two hours for the first week that's already at least 12 bottles. Now, we did use the "stolen" hospital 2 oz bottles for the first week at night, so that saved us about 3 bottles, but still we had *20* (got 2 in an Avent starter kit and then 6 boxes of the 3 bottles). Remember, if you don't open the box, you can return them, so I would really suggest getting more and then see if you don't use them. I'm really betting you will. At least 12 would get you through a day, but I say go for a day and half or two days!

    Let me know if you have any more questions -

    Alexa

  8. #8
    mama2be Guest

    Default RE: Breakdown of the Basics of Bottle Feeding

    Alexa,

    That was so great of you to take the time to write such an experience and to share with us...It oo am copying it as I type so I can read it and refer to it often.

    You all are going to think I am nuts...but do you mix formula (powder) with water...and if you do does that mean you store them mixed for atleast a few feeding outside of the fridge...or in the fridge...In otherwords are they served at "fridge temp" or "room temp"...

    I know that sounds like a stupid question, I just don't know, never been a round babies...

    you'll laugh the other day I was going over the clothes for baby in my head and I paniced...I thought, "Oh my god I haven't bought him any underwear"..."I don't think I've seen underwear for sale anywhere for babies"...

    Am I a nut or what...??? Duh Duh...and a higher power is letting me have a child...

  9. #9
    akc Guest

    Default RE: Breakdown of the Basics of Bottle Feeding

    Hi -

    Don't worry that you're losing your mind. It's clinically proven that expectant mothers' brains shrink. Yup. Shrink. Which is why we are all so goofy by the time we deliver (and I think so we don't think about all that we're going to go through physically and emotionally!)

    Your question is not nuts - You mix powder with water (first, put the water in the bottle, then add the powder). You can do what some do and mix a whole pitcher and put it in the fridge (or make all the bottles and store them in the fridge.) Then, your option is to serve it chilled ("fridge temp" ) which I don't recommend b/c of the difficulty in recreating that anywhere but home (and, while you can do it, I don't know many moms that give cold formula b/c it's sort of icky to begin with much less cold). You could also set it out about a 1/2 hour before (or 15 minutes) to let it warm to room temp. And, finally, you could warm it with a bottle warmer to a warm temp.

    These three options are NOT what I do. We use room temperature water from the get go. Do not chill. Do not warm. This can be water from a tap or a water bottle (think of how you buy it in the aisle of the grocery store not in a refridgerated case). But "room temperature" means water that is not chilled or warmed, just good 'ol room temperature.

    I'll tell you that I was originally frightened of the effort. How could I not have lots of bottles ready? Wouldn't I be overwhelmed with making a bottle and the baby? In the first week, the answer is yes. But, you get the hang of it. And, you can start to predict timing and make them a tiny bit ahead of time (with the room temp, not the others) OR, what we did when Maeve was still eating during the night, fill the water ahead of time so you don't have to be bleary eyed and measuring on the bottle. Then, either scoop and pour the powder OR use one of those dispensers were talking about so it's premeasured and you just dump it in.

    And, magically, by 2-3 weeks, you've so got it down that you could write this email (well, maybe not for a little longer because later you learn how you can make the process quicker!)

    Does that answer your question?

    Alexa



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    egoldber's Avatar
    egoldber is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    Default RE: Breakdown of the Basics of Bottle Feeding

    I would recommend serving bottles at a variety of temperatures. My DD didn't care if it was cold straight from the fridge, very warm just made or anywhere in between. If you serve them a variety early, it will make your life easier. And if you serve it cold, it makes the transition to cold whole milk easier later.

    I also didn't think that formula was icky. I tried it (all three types, powder, RTF & concentrate) and it was actually a little like sweetened milk, but not as sweet as breastmilk (and yes I tried that too).

    I used disposables. I was never confident about being able to adequately mix in a disposable bottle so I tried to mix ahead of time. Even doing this, I thought it was easier than re-usables (which I used until 9 months) because you don't have to wash the bottles. When I did use re-usables, I found that between the bottles and our dishes, I was running the dishwasher every other day, which worked out perfectly. That way I never needed to store dirty bottles in the sink or on the counter, they just went right into the dishwasher. When I switched to disposables, I just made sure I had enough bottles, nipples and rings to last long enough until I ran the dishwasher.

    HTH,
    Beth, mom to older DD (8/01) and younger DD (10/06) and always missing Leah (4/22 - 5/1/05)

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