What Should I Add To My Baby Registry: Bottle Feeding Basics
We can all agree that there is a lot of baby stuff out there. A lot of baby stuff that costs a lot of money, takes up plenty of space and may or may not ever get used. This leaves many parents-to-be wondering:
What should I add to my baby registry?
As postpartum doulas, we prefer to Keep It Simple, Silly (KISS) so we’ve prepared a pared down list of items to add to your baby register (with links*) to make it even simpler.
Infant Bottle Feeding Supplies
If you have chosen to veer from exclusively breastfeeding and are adding pumping and bottle feeding, these tools will make life so much easier. it really doesn’t take much to keep all the baby bottles, nipples and pump parts clean. If you’re really old school, you can boil it all in a big pan of water (costs nothing) and follow the latest CDC recommendations (found here) for sterilizing these items.
Here are my top three favorite, inexpensive tools for cleaning your baby’s feeding gear:
The OXO Tot Bottle Brush is by far my favorite. First and foremost, it doesn’t have a sponge at the top. Researchers have found sponges to be laden with bacteria and, if used, should be replaced weekly (read more here). This bottle brush will not need replaced unless it wears out. You can use it throughout the toddler years to clean those sippy cups, too.
The Munchkin Microwave Sterilizer is everything! I can’t even tell you how many new parents I’ve introduced this simple contraption to. Bottles, pump parts, pacifiers, and some teething toys can be washed with hot soapy water (with the OXO brush!) and then dumped in. All you have to do is add water and microwave according to the directions. Word of caution: check your breast pump manufacturer’s (Spectra, Medela, Freemie, etc) notes to make sure you are able to utilize the microwave for sterilizing.
The “Lawn” Drying Rack allows all the bottle and pump parts that you have just sterilized to air dry and stay sterile/clean. Most households find they need two of these lawns to hold all the bits and pieces that are needed if you are not exclusively breastfeeding. This drying rack fits on top of a countertop drawer organizer (like this one) freeing up valuable counter space while organizing your bottle or pump supplies. If you’re traveling to Grandma’s, or just traveling in general, there’s a compact version of this cleaning and drying system, too!
We know that there are a million bottles out there to choose from and your baby will undoubtedly prefer just ONE. With that in mind, until you find the one your baby uses well and that you like using, don’t buy a dozen of any of them. As postpartum doulas, we use a variety of bottles, but there are a couple that we regularly recommend.
Since the majority of our clients combination feed (breast and bottle feed), it’s important to use a bottle nipple that offers a similar latch as they would have to a breast nipple. Using the proper bottle and nipple in combination with a paced feeding technique, babies are provided a healthier way of feeding. Each of these bottle systems offers something unique that may be of importance when deciding which system to start with when bottle feeding your baby.
The Evenflo Feeding Balance Plus system in the standard neck size offers a nipple shape and size that promotes a healthy latch with babies. The narrow size of the bottle means there is less tipping involved when paced feeding your baby. They are easy to clean and a good quality. We also like that this bottle style comes in a 2 ounce option.
Dr. Brown’s might be the most popular bottle on the market today. Most parents buy it because of it’s claim to reduce gas with it’s special venting system. We, on the other hand, recommend Dr. Brown bottles for parents of preemies or babies who need to have a very slow flow to their feed. Dr. Brown’s is one of the few systems that offers a preemie nipple and an ultra-slow flow. The glass option (pictured) is a great option for parents who prefer not to use plastic.
We often suggest the Kiinde system to the Intended Parents we support. The Kiinde system has adaptors that fit most pumping systems so breastmilk can be pumped directly into the storage bags. We suggest this for intended parents so their surrogates can pump breastmilk without needing to transfer from bottles to storage bags. The parents can then place the bag directly into the holder, add the nipple and feed their baby. The bags for this system may be recyclable (check the rules in your area) and the only thing that needs washed and sanitized regularly is the nipple and cap. If this sounds like a good option for you here’s a link for a free sample!
There are a bunch of baby bottle warmers on the market, but when we’re asked,
What’s the best way to heat up a baby bottle?
Yep, your favorite coffee mug and some hot water. Portable, simple and great for a hot beverage after your baby’s bottle is warmed.
Check out our Amazon Baby Essentials List and come back for future “What should I add to my baby registry” blogs.