First things first, you must remember to follow the all-important ‘fed is best’ principle, focusing on the idea that a happy mother makes a happy baby. Do not, we repeat, do not be led astray dear one, by your ear-bashing mother-in-law, or the know it all that you will meet at the local Waitrose who surprisingly, is a complete expert on raising your offspring (although perhaps she can do weekends?) You are in the process of growing a baby from an egg the width of a strand of hair, meaning that you are capable of anything, and perhaps not an expert at first, with the guidance from your Maternally Yours maternity nurse, you soon will be.
For example, whether bottle or breastfeeding, there are several essentials you will need in the early days. To avoid going from looking like a super chic mother at the check out counter who realises with horror that your breasts have very obviously started to leak or to make sure you are all bottled up and ready to make that lunch date, we have some tips.
Bottle-Feeding for One
If bottle-feeding, either expressed or formula milk, you will first need to choose the right bottles. Anti-colic, dishwasher safe brands made of BPA free material are good markers to follow and if using a breast pump to express milk, it may be easier to choose bottles that are compatible with your chosen pump.
For bottle-feeding, a bottle brush kit, as well as a separate bowl used exclusively for baby bottles, is essential for giving bottles a thorough clean, washing up alone is insufficient so a steriliser is a vital piece of equipment to have in your home. As part of this process, it is important to check that the steriliser you buy fits the specific bottles and breast pump parts you plan to buy. You may also find it helpful to have at least 6-8 bottles in order to prevent an overwhelming amount of washing up, whilst of course, this is something your maternity nurse will take care of, do bear in mind the days you’re alone.
For formula-feeding, purchasing a formula machine may prove very useful for making bottles up at home, as this removes the need to boil and wait for the kettle to cool down for up to thirty minutes to sterilise the milk powder, with some machines taking as little as 30 seconds.
When out and about, it is a good idea to have a couple of milk powder dispensers at your disposal, and whilst you will only need one for your journey they are easy to forget at the local cafe and so on, so it’s handy to have a spare. For ease, or when you are in a rush and are not sure that you will have easy access to hot water, a stock of instant formula bottles can be a really good idea. The instant formula does not need to be kept refrigerated unless opened and means you have instant milk ready for your baby, although we’d recommend you stick to the formula brand your baby is used to. Whilst on this subject of carrying around feeds, for example, expressed breast milk, it might also be useful to purchase a diaper bag with a cooler section to keep bottles fresh for that little bit longer, and areas keep a stash of clean muslins and bibs.