If you’re choosing to bottle feed your baby, I wouldn’t blame you if you’re scratching your head about what to buy. There’s so much choice out there when it comes to things like sterilisers and bottles, that it can leave you feeling quite perplexed. Especially, if you’re a first time mum and not very well versed in these things, like I was. So here’s a list of the essential bottle feeding items that I found really useful:
It is advised that you sterilise your babies bottles until they are at least 12 months old. This is to protect them against infection and illness because their immune systems are not yet fully developed. You can do this by boiling or using a cold water sterilising solution, but I opted for steam sterilising.
The Tommee Tippee Complete Feeding Kit has everything you need to get started. It includes all of the following: electric steam steriliser, bottles, electric bottle warmer, milk powder dispensers, insulated bottle bags, soother, bottle brush and teat tongs.
The steriliser is really quick and easy to set up and use. It’s operated with a single button, can hold up to five bottles, and sterilises them in just five minutes. It’s also compact in size so it doesn’t take up too much space on my kitchen worktop. It is important to descale the steriliser regularly. We do this around every 4 weeks or sooner if limescale builds up, because we live in a hard water area.
I have to confess I didn’t end up using the Tommee Tippee bottles that came along with the Complete Feeding Kit. My baby suffered from colic so I decided to try the the award-winning MAM Easy Start Anti-Colic bottles. These bottles have a vented base which regulate pressure balance and airflow. This means that milk flows better and my baby is less likely to swallow air, which can cause trapped wind.
If you decide to combination feed and want to express your milk (like I did for a while), MAM claim that the MAM Skin Soft Teat is extra soft and more likely to be accepted by breastfeeding babies. This was certainly true for us because my baby had no problem switching between breastfeeding and the MAM teat.
The MAM Easy Start Anti-Colic bottles also have a self-sterilising function. This means that you can simply add a little water and heat the bottles in the microwave for three minutes. However, I prefer to use the Tommee Tippee electric steam steriliser. But it’s great that the self-sterilising option is there, especially when we are travelling.
The only downside is that cleaning and prepping these bottles takes longer, because each bottle consists of six different components. As a busy mum this can feel quite cumbersome, but in my opinion that’s a small price to pay for a happy colic-free baby.
Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine
If you choose to formula feed your baby the Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine is a game changer. Of course you can make up feeds by boiling the kettle and waiting half an hour for it to cool, but when you have a wailing and screaming hungry baby, time is of the essence. The Perfect Prep Machine is an ingenious product that makes up bottle feeds in under two minutes. I just have to fill it up with water and pre-set the feed amount (e.g. 5 oz), and the machine will do the rest.
It filters the water and releases an initial ‘hot shot’ that kills any bacteria in the formula, and also helps it to dissolve. All I have to do is measure out the formula and shake. Cooler water is then dispensed so that the milk is delivered at the perfect temperature – no guesswork needed.
The Perfect Prep Machine has been a life saver for me, especially for those early morning and night feeds. However, it is really important to keep on top of the maintenance by cleaning the machine and replacing the Tommee Tippee water filter regularly. The machine even helpfully displays a red indicator light to remind me when the filter needs to be changed. Also, the replacement Tommee Tippee filters need to be purchased separately, so it’s not the most economical option.
Tip: The Morkka Drying Rack is great for drying baby bottles because of it’s mock lawn design. It’s also anti-bacterial and free of any hazardous materials such as BPA, Phthalates and PVC, which makes it completely safe for drying my baby’s bottles.