We made the switch to formula early on with our first child. While I appreciated the wealth of information I found online about breastfeeding, I wasn’t finding the same results online for formula. As a tired, new mama I felt overwhelmed with even the silliest questions about formula feeding- Which brand and type is best for my baby? What would I do if my baby got hungry and we weren’t at home? What bottle is best? I’m relieved to tell you that starting formula with our babies was much easier than anticipated! Here are a few helpful tidbits I learned along the way that may help you whether you’re introducing formula to your babe right off the bat or making a gradual transition a few months down the road.
As always, consult with your pediatrician about which formula works best for your child and family. Many pediatricians also have sample cans of formula for you to try.
Sign Up for Rewards
Once you find your formula, visit out the brands website. Often, they will have rewards you can sign up for. Think less spam emails and more things like sample cans, coupons and other goodies. Additionally, some formula companies let you track your formula purchases to add up to bigger savings rewards. Logging my formula purchases with the company has added up to some great savings coupons on future formula purchases!
Find the Right Bottles for Each Baby
I learned the hard way with my second child that one bottle is not the best for every single child. A few months in, my son suddenly decided he no longer wanted to use the type of bottle we loved with our first child. I panicked and we had to make a quick adjustment to find what type of bottle he needed so he wasn’t missing out on those valuable nutrients. Having a variety of bottles on hand is helpful just in case your babe isn’t taking one as well as you had hoped. This bottle sampler is a great starting point!
Set Up A Formula Station
At home, set up a formula station. We have a small space of our kitchen counter dedicated to bottles, formula containers, burp cloths and a drying rack. We also have a small night light above the area that comes in handy for middle of the night feedings.
We’ve found that bottles at room temperature work best for our babies, so we have a jug of water on the counter ready to be poured. If warm bottles are more your speed, there are a variety of bottle warmer options available depending on the price point and size you want. Or if you want the ultimate bottle maker with minimal parental prep, the Baby Brezza does it all for you (think a Keurig for formula)!
Find A Travel System that Works
There are many options for taking formula on the go. Several diaper bags have special pockets created to hold bottles, or you can buy a separate bottle bag to store your formula and bottles. Many brands of formula offer individual powder packets for 4oz bottles. We find these are perfect for flying so we can quickly and easily make a bottle midair.
For road trips or when we are out and about, this refillable formula dispenser comes in handy. Simply put your scoops of formula in each compartment before heading out and pour into a bottle when needed. Additionally, we bring a full adult sized bottle of water with us when we’re out to make bottles on the go. Sure, you can probably find water where you are but I like the peace of mind knowing I can make a bottle at a moments notice if needed.
To take it one step further, some brands also have “ready to feed” bottles meaning all you have to do is shake the individually portioned bottle and add a nipple. We were given these in the hospital when we delivered my son. They worked great for those early weeks when baby is frequently feeding in small amounts.
Wherever you are in your feeding journey I wish you luck and happy, full baby bellies!