Breastfeeding is the healthiest way to feed your baby and it doesn't cost anything. Breastmilk will always have its advantages over formula milk but, if you find for some reason you cannot breastfeed or you simply choose to bottle feed your baby, you should use specially made infant formula milk.
Try not to let the decision to bottle feed make you feel guilty or ‘a failure'. All formula milks are nutritionally complete; they provide all the nourishment a baby needs from birth to weaning. And as far as bonding goes, bottlefeeding mums can still have close contact with their baby and you will actually be able to give your baby 100% of your relaxed attention without the stresses and strains of sore nipples, latching on or whether your newborn is taking enough milk.
What will I need?
If you have decided to formula feed your baby, you will need around six to eight bottles plus extra nipples and a system for sterilising them.
There are different sterilises available – chemical cold water steriliser, electric steam steriliser or a microwave steam steriliser.
A chemical steriliser is a sterilisation tank that you fill up with cold water and add a sterilisation tablet or liquid. Make sure you follow the instructions for how much steriliser to use. Never put metal items in your sterilising unit. As sterilising solution is a dilute bleach, all items should be rinsed in recently boiled water before immediate use.
Steam sterilisation. This type of sterilising kills harmful bacteria using steam created in a specially designed electrical unit. Steam sterilisation is a very quick and easy method of sterilising, but make sure you fill the bottles with formula within 3 hours of sterilisation.
Microwave sterilisation. This method works by creating steam in the microwave steriliser to destroy harmful bacteria. All cleaned equipment should be placed in the steriliser with the amount of water specified in the manufacturer's instructions, with bottles and caps upside down. The unit's lid should be securely fastened before placing in the centre of the oven.
Too small a hole will mean your baby becomes frustrated and if the hole is too large the milk will come gushing out. Here is a guide to flow rates;
Slow flow: 0 months+
Medium flow: 3 months +
Fast flow 6: months+
Variflow 0: months +